[Ardour-Users] Could this solve Ardour's financial headache?

Mark Knecht markknecht at gmail.com
Wed Jan 7 08:56:21 PST 2009

On Wed, Jan 7, 2009 at 7:47 AM, John Emmas <johne53 at tiscali.co.uk> wrote:
> Only this morning I found out that Subversion is able to restrict access
> using a password database (rather than 'anonymous' access which is the
> default).  Obviously, something like this must already happen for write
> access but I gather it can be implemented for read access too.  I couldn't
> help wondering if this might offer a solution for Ardour's ongoing financial
> dilemma...?
> According to various things I've read during the past year, monthly
> downloads for Ardour are typically between 10,000 and 20,000 downloads per
> month - although it's thought that most of these might just be existing
> users keeping themselves up-to-date. Also, I'm not sure how that splits
> between people downloading the source and people downloading binaries,  For
> the sake of argument, let's say that 500 "new" users download the source,
> each month (i.e. 2.5% - 5% of the total).
> If anyone wanting to download the source had to pay a one-time fee of $35,
> that would be a big chunk of income for Ardour each month.  For their $35
> they'd get a password to use for future SVN access (which would be free from
> then onwards).  People could still obtain binaries for free - and they could
> obtain source code for free (in a tar ball or whatever) - but SVN access
> would carry a one-off registration fee.
> Ideally it would need to be an automated process because I'm sure Paul's got
> enough to do already without having to issue 500 passwords every month.
> Also, there'd need to be some way of accommodating the existing user base,
> so they don't find themselves suddenly out in the cold.
> In the early days (when Ardour wasn't as feature-rich and there probably
> wasn't enough interest in it) I can see how something like this would have
> been counter-productive.  But given that Ardour is more mature and is
> steadily gaining in popularity, is this now something worth thinking about?
> John

I don't think it's a good idea at all, but that's just me.

All of the Open Source licenses I know of say that source must be
available even to people that receive binaries. Anyone who has the
source is allowed to then modify and redistribute source. One person
pays $35 and then redistributes it. What's gained?

>From a practical point of view I get Ardour via Gentoo's portage so
you're essentially saying distributions couldn't get new versions
directly unless they pay your subscription fee. They won't and it
becomes unavailable to me through my normal channels.

In my case it's not a big deal. I might pay the $35 or I might not. I
don't use Ardour. I've gone back to the Dark Side and became a Pro
Tools user once again. It and Acid Pro have the features I want and
need. I try to stay up to date on what Ardour is up to as I really
like the flexibility of the program. I suppose I could do this using a
binary so it's not like I'm making a strong vote here.

I do wish that Linux Open Source development could be financially
lucrative for the people writing code but I don't know how you'd
decide what percentage might go to Paul vs Jesse vs Taybin vs others.

I vote a strong no, but weakly...

- Mark

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