[Ardour-Dev] Licensing and enforced payments

Jan Stary hans at stare.cz
Thu Jan 22 04:09:06 PST 2009

> 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.

Agreed. It basically means 'hiding' the progress until the next release.

(Would that also mean making the changelog secret? Probably not,
because how else would people learn there is something new and
interesting in the SVN that they might even want to pay for to
get it earlier then with the next release.)

What I can imagine is I read an announcement on users@ that
a fully-working midi code has just been commited into SVN
and I pay a small one-time fee to get a one-time checkout
because I cannot wait.

(Technically, it good be a one time password AFAIK.)

> 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
> simpler?

Well put. I think this is a very good idea.

> 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).

You mean, Paul hires someone to raise funds, and the guy gets
a percentage of what he raised for Ardour?


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