[Ardour-Dev] Licensing and enforced payments

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Thu Jan 22 19:34:08 PST 2009

Jan Stary wrote:
> On Jan 22 18:59:31, Patrick Shirkey wrote:
>>>>> repeat after me: there are *no* license keys in GPL'd software. not even
>>>>> for (gasp!) mac users.
>>>> There are plenty of license keys being used in various projects. 
>>> Not "various projects", Patrick, but "GPL'd software".
>>> Name some if you can.
>> Ok. Lets see. Joomla has about 500 of them.
> What? You don't need any kind of a "license" to be
> running a full installation of Joomla.

You asked about companies that do it. Joomla is not just an application 
it is a community of developers. Many of them making significant income 
from building components and modules aimed at professional needs.

Phil Taylor who owns Blue Flame is one of the biggest contributors to 
Joomla platform. He is occupies a similar level of authority and gets as 
much respect as Paul does with Ardour except that Joomla has a board not 
a benevolent dictator.
>> Looks at for example Blue Flame IT or the guys who make acajoom.
> Both of these are commercial extensions to Joomla,
> and none of them is a GPL software.

Actually they provide GPL software and once you purchase a "License" you 
get access to the full code. There is nothing to stop anyone else 
releasing the code except that there is an honour system where the 
developers who can be bothered to work on it are probably getting paid 
to work on the components and modules anyway and everyone else gets left 
behind by the skills and progress made by said paid devs. The code is 
actually very advanced so not many people can be bothered to take it on 
when it already does nearly everything if not everything they want for a 
very reasonable price.

The products are so advanced and development moves so quickly that it's 
fairly time consuming to keep up. Anyone who would be bothered to fork 
the code would automatically loose access to the svn anyway and would be 
effectively on their own.

This may not fit everyones ideal of opensource ethics but no one is 
complaining about it because it's truly a win win situation. The 
companies are making very good money and supporting developers and 
releasing excellent professional grade products and releasing GPL 
software and customers are getting what they want at a very reasonable 
price due the the volume of sales.

The only thing stopping this from happening for Ardour is that we as a 
group are addicted to the ideal of freedom. The problem is that true 
freedom as someone else pointed out cannot involve money so as we need 
or want it we have to make some compromises.

I can think of far worse compromises that we could make but the main 
issue for me is that Paul can continue to work on Ardour and even better 
would be if several other people could be paid for it too.

The plugins idea probably has even more merit to me now.

Maybe Paul/Ardour should have a subsidiary company that focuses on 
plugins as a product and leaves the fundamental core of Ardour as free 
as in beer. Then extensions to the interface could be purchased by those 
who want them.

Several people have said they want beautiful and cool plugins probably 
more than the midi peeps. It seems that is a real market for 

Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd.

More information about the Ardour-Dev mailing list