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Author Topic: Change to Official License Key Policy  (Read 14677 times)
Rover
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« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2005, 07:35:19 PM »

As mouser mentioned, some people would rather use poor quality FREE software vs. anything that might hint of getting paid.

The reason is strictly philosophical.  They believe that software should be free, 100%, always, forever as in Free Beer and Freedom of speech.  Nothing you do short of giving it away all the time forever will make them happy.  It's not about the work, quality, effectiveness, etc. it's about a philosophy.

If you want that, publish your work under the GPL and live happy.  If you want something else (dare I say, a little more reasonable?) then they will not use, promote or speak nicely about your software or your mother.  So what? 

You can't please everyone, so please who you want.  It's your software, work etc. do whatever you want.
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momonan
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« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2005, 08:06:52 PM »

No, longrun, you are not the only one who thinks things are fine as they were.  I don't think the basic concept of the site should be discarded just because some people don't understand it.  If donations keep the site, and the work, going, then that's the structure that should be kept.  We can't succumb to the definitions others create.

There's every reason  jump at the chance to explain the site on other forums, when someone raises the issue, but that doesn't mean you have to capitulate.
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nudone
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« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2005, 01:29:53 AM »

sorry, to everyone if i sounded down on the licenses. i'm glad everyone feels like taking a stronger standpoint about the site. personally, i don't have a problem about any kind of license system. i'd jump through any kind of hoop to be able to use 'Find and Run Robot', time and time again.

please consider this a momentary negative relapse on my part. the shame, the shame.
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mouser
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« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2005, 01:48:15 AM »

hahaha -
being against license keys is not being against this site.  no one here has to agree in lock step with everything we do.

the license keys are an inconvenience.  no doubt about it.  and it makes sense that those good souls who would donate to the site regardless would tend to think that they are overkill.

the real question, and its an empirical question, is to what extent would donations and participation on the forum drop off if we stopped using license keys.

my speculation is that it would drop off a bit, but how much i do not know.

i actually think that the people who are complaining about the license keys and say they would donate only if we didn't have such a thing are probably fooling themselves.

but that's not to say that there aren't benefits that would come from removing the license keys, worth considering.

it seems to me that we should answer this question, both for ourselves, and as a way of answering a question that other donationware authors would probably like to have answered.

so i suggest that sometimes in the next few months (maybe timed to our 1 year aniversary in march or april), we conduct a survey and spend a month  having either no license keys needed anymore, or else letting people sign up and get an immediate non-expiring permanent license key.  it seems to me we don't have that much to lose other than a months worth of user donations, and it would be a fair price to pay to get a better understanding of how the license key system helps or hurts.
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rjbull
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« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2005, 04:17:21 AM »

They believe that software should be free, 100%, always, forever as in Free Beer and Freedom of speech.

Strikes me the people in alt.comp.freeware only believe in free beer.  In all their whining, I never noticed anything about free speech, i.e. source code availability.


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NigelH
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« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2005, 01:29:23 PM »

Personally I feel that we should keep things the way they are or, perhaps,  let the s/w run without a key for 6 months. After that a free, one year license key is needed. When that key expires, then a permanent key may be obtained.

I used to "hang out" a bunch on alt.comp.freeware, but eventually (about 18 months ago) got sick and tired of the whiney attitude there.

Mouser, you really have started a great thing with DC and I hope it continues to flourish.
Regards...
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Icfu
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« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2005, 10:20:03 PM »

Hi there,

it's very simple, actually. This is the price you have to pay when you try to take money for stuff announced as free:
People who want to donate, will donate.
People who don't, won't.

What you are trying to do here with your free licenses, no matter how long they are active, is absolutely contraproductive:
1. If people have the decision between buying a licence and getting one for free they will not buy one and always take the free one.
2. Crackers who are used to remove nags are bored by your applications because you are offering the keygens to remove the nags yourself, this means that the underground won't spread the word about your applications.
3. Asking for money for software that others code for free is a waste of time. Think about the level of essentiality your software has, is all of the stuff announced as donationware really "that" extraordinary? Yes, some of it is, but not all, so I suggest that you make the "ordinary" programs freeware and charge for the rest so the users get a feeling for the amount of work you put in some of those apps.

Look at Total Commander if you want to learn how to do it "right" when demanding money of users:
It shows a nagscreen on each program use in which the user has to press 1, 2 or 3 to remind them that it's shareware, otherwise it's not limited at all.
The author doesn't try to force users to visit the website because he knows that they will visit it anyway if they feel the need to do so, users are not stupid.
He doesn't try to force unregistered users to pay for the software by letting TC stopping to function after period X or reminding them again and again, as this would mean that a possible customer is maybe lost forever.
Users who need more features or bugfixes will do an update anyway, no matter what, but users who are satisfied with old versions, do not update so just leave the decision to the users.

The point is:
Do not waste your time thinking about how you can annoy users LESS THAN NOW but just STOP annoying them AT ALL. Wink
Stop deviding the community in "good" users aka donators who are allowed to beta test your applications (is that really an advantage? Wink) and those who are "just" software enthusiasts that like to use the software for free.

Last not least, here is an article you should not miss:
Piracy and Unconventional Wisdom


Greetings and happy new year

Icfu

P.S:
@mouser:
ProcessTamer is still polling the registry (in case you remember me), any news on that? Wink
« Last Edit: December 30, 2005, 10:38:57 PM by Icfu » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2005, 12:51:12 AM »

hi icfu -

some good points, and let me say i think that article is excellent and agree with nearly all of it.

(one thing i probably disagree with in the article and your post is pricing - there is some interesting and depressing data that seem to suggest that higher prices sometimes increase sales due to a psychological effect; there was a post here about it recently i think).


i do think that most of this discussion really boils down to a simple empirical question: is the license key thing helping to get more people to donate and participate in the site.

if not, we should remove it right away.  if so, then we have to ask if the inconvenience is worth the benefit.

your advice is very similar to that suggested by some people on alt.comp.freeware newsgroup, which basically comes down to: if you want to make money, make the software shareware - and lock it down with nags and limits until people pay some set amount.

this is a bit of a confusing argument to me - it basically says that it's too inconvenient for a user to get the "freeware" license, and so the "solution" is to stop calling it freeware and stop giving people a way to use it without paying!



i think the starting point for proposed changes for our site policy has to start out with the understanding that we are *philosophically* opposed to charging a fixed price for our software, and believe that people who cannot afford the software should still be able to use it fully.

we are very much interested in promoting a donation-based model of software financing where people pay what they want to, and what they can afford.

i've described in detail my experiences in the past with donationware and why i came to the conclusion that people need some motivation/encouragement to actually follow through with donating, and that's what we've tried to implement.  finding the balance for this is the hard part and what we are still trying to do.

i do appreciate the thoughts though, and i'd like to keep hearing more from people.
as i've said before i think we will try a month of making it easier and see if donations go down or up, and see what the reaction is..

-mouser

ps. regarding process tamer - if i remember, the performance querying metrics make "virtual" calls to the registry (they aren't really file reads); but maybe you could post again on the process tamer section reminding me the issue so i can check into it again if you think it might be something else..

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Icfu
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« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2005, 01:42:24 AM »

Quote
(one thing i probably disagree with in the article and your post is pricing - there is some interesting and depressing data that seem to suggest that higher prices sometimes increase sales due to a psychological effect; there was a post here about it recently i think).
You are ready for step 2, but don't hate me for this please. Enjoy. cheesy
http://www.joelonsoftware...melsandRubberDuckies.html

Icfu
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mouser
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« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2005, 01:53:41 AM »

yep, joel was the one that wrote the other article too - he is an interesting character we have talked about on this forum before.  his obsession with money troubles me a bit but he is very smart and insightfull on these matters.

maybe we should charge $1000 for charter membership in the site, but then allow some "coupon" that lets you choose how much of a discount you want, up to $999.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2005, 01:57:09 AM by mouser » Logged
rjbull
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« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2006, 04:16:25 AM »

Google adsense?  EGG DONORS?

<sigh>
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