[Ardour-Dev] Licensing and enforced payments

John Emmas johne53 at tiscali.co.uk
Thu Jan 22 03:52:16 PST 2009

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jörn Nettingsmeier"
Subject: Re: [Ardour-Dev] Licensing and enforced payments
> repeat after me: there are *no* license keys in GPL'd software. not even
> for (gasp!) mac users.
>> If it actually starts to make Ardour some money then that will be very
>> good for everyone.
> obviously true, but totally orthogonal if not diametrical to all the
> ramble about code locks, integrated browsers (knock, knock - anyone
> home?) and paid-for svn access.
> now please, can those ideas be buried for good?
Nobody has yet shown how SVN access is governed by GPL.  IMHO, making a
(one-off - and SMALL) charge for SVN access - despite its unpopularity - is
a near-perfect scheme with few disadvantages that can't be readily overcome.
It doesn't prevent anyone from having access to the code and nor does it
cripple new features.  In both cases, it simply forces people to wait if
they don't want to pay the fee.  At the same time, it would be easy to
provide free access for those who needed it (developers / testers /
translators etc).  And it would be an easy matter to reign in anyone who was
abusing the service (e.g. creating an unofficial fork) without in any way
breaching the originator's obligations under the GPL.  Apart from its
unpopularity, I can't see any drawbacks to this idea at all.  The charge
would not be for the code per se - it would be for the convenience of having
ongoing access to the code (e.g. getting bug fixes and new features ahead of
everyone else).  Some people will value that - others won't.  What could be

Of course, how much difference it would make to Ardour's fortunes is a
thorny question.  Remember, I'm talking about a modest, one-off fee here -
not an ongoing arrangement.  Ardour is reputed to be experiencing between
10k and 20k downloads per month but nobody knows for certain how many of
those are from new users.  My "gut feeling" is that there are only a small
number of "new" users each month (perhaps less than 50).  Therefore paid-for
SVN might not make a great difference at this point in time.  But in
conjunction with some of the other good suggestions (Ardour "live" CD /
Ardour promotional CD's etc) it could be something that would pay dividends
in the future.

The "paid fundraiser" idea is another one that's received a lot less
attention than it deserves.  IMHO, this is more likely to succeed in the
short term than any other suggestion here (assuming the right ambassador
could be found).



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