Subject: Re: Mandatory donations or build from CVS...
From: Adam Theo <adamtheo@theoretic.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 02:41:03 -0400

Kevin A. Burton wrote:

> If you were presented with this scenario... what would be your reaction?
> 
> You find some cool Open Source software.  You go to download it but you only
> have two options:
> 
> 1. Download a stable build via paypal with a mandatory donation (say $5.00)
> 
> 2. Fetch the latest code from CVS, go over the README and build it yourself.
> 
> I am thinking about *requiring* donations that all of my downloads give.  At the
> very minimum I have to pay for bandwidth. :)


oh, boy...

/me dives for cover from the coming cross-fire  :-)

but seriously, i had thought about this myself, but rejected it. first, 
few end users would do it. and if it's open source, "competitors" will 
just take your stable/cvs code, package it, and offer it for free from 
their websites. no end user is going to pay $5.00 for the convenience of 
installing one software. and you'd have to lower the price to pennies to 
make it worth their wile cost-wise, but then make paying such a small 
amount an inconvenience in itself.

also, avoid the term "donations". i learned that donations should only 
be used for tax-deductible transfers to charities. instead try the term 
"gift". i'm using it as the centerpiece of a project you may be very 
interested in: http://www.theoretic.com/giftnet . "GiftNet makes giving 
easy"

also, you may be most interested in a project i've just started, called 
Ransom. you may find this a better alternative to your "pay to 
download". for one, Ransom targets businesses and distributors, not end 
users, and it compensates the programmer for the work they do, not the 
number of copies they sell. http://www.theoretic.com/ransom . "Hold your 
code for Ransom"


> 
> I already have the paypal donations setup but no one pays when it is optional.
> ... :( I have only received $5.00. :(


hehe, yeah.   :)


> 
> One of the obvious problems is how do you support donations with projects that
> have multiple developers? (AKA Debian or Apache).  I am working on this problem
> too and maybe I will post something here shortly.


yep, my GiftNet and Ransom work on that. i'd love to hear what you've 
come up with. maybe we can share ideas.


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