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

Jamie McLaughlin j.mclaughlin at sheffield.ac.uk
Wed Jan 14 06:29:09 PST 2009

It's really interesting hearing the circumstances under which people use
Ardour in this thread. I certainly don't think anyone should feel forced
to contribute to Ardour, particularly if they can't easily afford to do so.

What I would repeat is that Free Software relies on the community
voluntarily funding its development. It's all very well saying "I'll
donate when it does everything I need", but of course if you don't
donate now then that point may never come.

Surely we can all agree that it would be a crying shame if development
on Ardour ground to a halt, or if the program or parts of it ceased to
be Free software. The reality is that if we put a (relatively tiny) sum
in now, we will all reap the benefits later.


Hein Zelle wrote:
> Jamie McLaughlin wrote:
>> Actually, the 'reality' of Free Software is incompatible with your
>> approach. In the case of proprietary software, development is funded by
>> private interests in the expectation that they can sell the finished
>> product to recoup their investment. From the perspective of an end user,
>> you don't have to pay until the software is finished and available. It
>> is the "Buy Now, Get Now" model, and it is obviously what you would prefer.
> That's true, but at the same time it's not really fair to expect users
> to pay for something they are not using, I think.  I do like the
> current version of ardour for what I want to do, and when I start
> recording somewhat more seriously I will donate.  I don't expect
> people to donate when they don't like it for their purpose yet.  
> I think the keyword is "donate" - it's not "buy", and therefore
> voluntary, and that must be inspired by something.  Liking the
> software a lot, being encouraged properly, and preferably both.
> About Paul's point - I'm indeed starting to wonder if there _are_ any
> relatively small software packages that are open source that do make a
> sustainable income from it, on the scale that you're looking for.  I
> have my doubts if one (let alone multiple) full time position is
> feasible from small donations alone.  I fear if you want that, you may
> need to add a paid-for component, so it becomes "buy" instead of
> "donate", with the additional expectations.
> Of the options Paul listed I favour the "plough on regardlessly and
> hope/wait for more critical mass" the most.  I do have the impression
> it's taking off quickly with the popularity of ardour.
> Regards,
> 	Hein Zelle

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