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Last post Author Topic: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)  (Read 33424 times)

Markham

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Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« on: July 20, 2010, 04:59:10 AM »
We will shortly be launching Circle Dock Version 2 and with it a new License Agreement.

Up to now, all versions of Circle Dock have been made with no charge to you, the end-user, as "Donation-Ware" - meaning that if you like the software and use it regularly, you were encouraged to help in its development by means of a donation. Unfortunately very few of you have donated - indeed we have received more donations from non-users than from users of Circle Dock. We have costs to meet in order to continue to develop and support Circle Dock and therefore, regrettably, we have to change the way in which Circle Dock is licensed.

If you are a private user and have no more than two copies of Circle Dock installed and they are installed on computers that you personally own, then you may continue to use all versions of Circle Dock as "Donation-Ware". However, two minor restrictions will apply:
  • Kiosk Mode will cease to be available to you. This Mode was primarily introduced for corporate usage anyway.
  • Product Support will only be provided via this Forum.

If you use Circle Dock in a commercial organisation or wish to have more than two copies installed or, indeed, require the Kiosk Mode functionality, then you will have to apply for a commercial license via the new Circle Dock web site which will go "live" on the same day as version 2 is released. Commercial Licensees will have the benefit of:
  • Kiosk Mode functionality
  • Ability to report bugs and request new features via our Tracker
  • Enjoy email support
  • Enjoy priority for new feature consideration

We fully appreciate that this change will not be universally popular and if you are unhappy about it, I would ask you to remember that, like you, we live in the real world and have to pay for development tools, the hosting of our new web site, etc., and these all cost money.



Team Circle Dock
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 11:43:08 AM by Markham »

daddydave

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2010, 03:12:44 PM »
No news is probably good news, I can't imagine anyone having a problem with it, it's still a very generous license.
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!

f0dder

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2010, 10:30:53 AM »
IMHO it's a decent enough license, and I only think it's fair paying for software if it's helping you make money. The only slightly dubious thing about this is that the current CircleDock is based on Eric Wong's original code.
- carpe noctem

Rigel

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2010, 11:34:52 AM »
If you are a private user and have no more than two copies of Circle Dock installed and they are installed on computers that you personally own, then you may continue to use all versions of Circle Dock as "Donation-Ware"....
I return after some time and I find bad news.
I don't understand why a limit on how many copies we have. Now I use 6 copies of CD because it's too slow to navigate in its folders so I have a CD for each topic: games, app, programming, personal, doc ... and others for my girlfriend.
Mark, I know you've always been against my idea, but block it in this way it's not right, limit of copies on one account is a nonsense.
Furthermore there are other way to have money without commercial license (example: with sponsor) and thousand of great application are totally free and the core of CD is an Erik property and he give is code to community for free, also to you.
If one of us use Erik core for an other CD developing the name CircleDock is free and usable so I hope you change the name and leave free CircleDock to community.
However I will never use the new version so your limit will be useless.
Vary bad idea.
Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.

Archon of Fate

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2010, 07:15:18 PM »
I have to agree with Rigel on this one it just seems wrong to limit copies of CD per account. this is also based on Erik's code so I'm not sure if you can charge for it anyway...  :tellme:

sgtevmckay

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2010, 11:34:10 PM »
Jimminy Christmas!!!

I really do not want to be an enemy of fun here.
As much as I love being an A$$Hole, this is not one of them  :-[
I love all the folks that use and help support Circle Dock.
Please realize that many limits are being hit based on the software that is currently being used, and certain software products must be obtained in order to develop towards some of the requests that have been, and are being, made.
Want to advance Circle Dock, but apparently have hit various financial limits.
Many here at DC and Circle Dock Donations have been great and open, many donating more than they can afford. I know, I am one of these.
Know that Markham and I are not absolutely happy with moving in this direction, but we are feeling very limited by the current choices at present.
I have done some serious research into Eric's license, as I was asked if I can justify what we are doing, and do so in clear conscience.
The immediate answer is no.  :-[ ,But what alternatives exist?
That being said; I see no reason that we would not consider alternatives or modifications to what Markham has already outlined.
At this time, as far as I know, nothing is absolutely carved in stone, so Options and suggestions are advised, over criticism.
We can not ask more than the DC Community already gives, and we now all know what the problems are.
Solutions are what are needed, thoughtful and forward moving, not Complaints. I do not say this angrily at all  :-[
I understand you positions. But costs need to met and in the immediate future

Please observe the following quotes from Eric's License.

Quote
You may charge any price or no price for each copy that you convey, and you may offer support or warranty protection for a fee.

This is not derivative taken out of context, but a complete paragraph.
I have not modified this in any way. I am too lazy.
But I request that you research the license again, before jumping towards incorrect conclusions, again no insult is meant by this statement.  :-[

I am of two minds in this.
1) Protecting VIP's Legacy
2) allowing Markham to protect his intellectual rights and be able to afford teh necessary software to expand on Circle Dock's capabilities.

I do not at all wish to alienate any users, but if any one has a better solution, or licensing concept.
We will listen.

My immediate thinking would be allowing a limit on computers installed over an install limit on a single system.

Thoughts

scancode

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2010, 12:01:08 AM »
Um, wasn't CD GPL'd?

Quote from: Original CD License
Circle Dock is open source software licensed under GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE V3. Use it as you wish, but you must share your source code under the terms of use of the license.

Unless the original author gave you another license in written, you're required to release source to all binaries/modified versions. You _CAN_ charge what you want and add all limits you want, but we should be able to recompile without them.

[for an example shareware GPL'd app, see http://www.verypdf.c.../pdf2word/index.html]

Cheers.

mouser

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2010, 12:34:35 AM »
I think sgtevmckay and Markham may have to step back and take a deep breath here and think over how they want to move forward.

Both of them have worked long and hard supporting and improving CircleDock, for no other reason than the pleasure and satisfaction of improving it for others. And then I think they've just gotten to the point where it's hard hard to keep up with all of the requests for support and improvements without having to think about finding a way to re-coupe some money to offset their time.  I've found myself in that very tricky position and i can tell you there is no easy solution.  I know their intentions are completely honorable.

As others have pointed out, Eric Wong created Circle Dock and made it open source, and his intentions and licenses must be given the highest consideration, and i know this is a learning experience for everyone.  It may be that the enthusiasm for improving Circle Dock needs to be tempered with the realities of how hard it may be to raise money to fund its continued development, i don't know.  i think everyone may just need to step back a bit and get a fresh perspective on this stuff.

There are people here who understand the GPL (both its legal technicalities and the rationale for them) much better than me and it would be wise to seek out their advice and bounce ideas off them.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 12:37:34 AM by mouser »

app103

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2010, 02:18:33 AM »
Quote
If I distribute GPL'd software for a fee, am I required to also make it available to the public without a charge?

    No. However, if someone pays your fee and gets a copy, the GPL gives them the freedom to release it to the public, with or without a fee. For example, someone could pay your fee, and then put her copy on a web site for the general public.

Anyone that doesn't like your new license terms can pay for the commercial version of CD and then subsequently offer it for free (with a copy of the source that you must provide to them when they purchase it) on their own website. Or they could decide to charge money for it, just like you. You can not stop them.

Quote
I'd like to license my code under the GPL, but I'd also like to make it clear that it can't be used for military and/or commercial uses. Can I do this?

    No, because those two goals contradict each other. The GNU GPL is designed specifically to prevent the addition of further restrictions. GPLv3 allows a very limited set of them, in section 7, but any other added restriction can be removed by the user.

In other words, you can't restrict the free version of CD to only personal use. And I don't think you can limit the number of copies a user is allowed to install.

Quote
Does the GPL allow me to require that anyone who receives the software must pay me a fee and/or notify me?

    No. In fact, a requirement like that would make the program non-free. If people have to pay when they get a copy of a program, or if they have to notify anyone in particular, then the program is not free. See the definition of free software.

    The GPL is a free software license, and therefore it permits people to use and even redistribute the software without being required to pay anyone a fee for doing so.

Anyone that decides to offer your commercial version for free on their website, anyone that downloads it from their site and uses it, does not have to tell you or pay you for the right to use it. And if someone decides to charge for copies (even for your free version), they don't have to share that money with you, nor tell you about it, nor does their users have to pay you anything.

I understand and sympathize with sgtevmckay and Markham, but the GPL is the GPL, and since that was what Eric released his original under, you have to understand and comply with the GPL.

And if you don't like the GPL license, your only alternative is to not contribute to a GPL project.

Markham already made one mistake by adding to a GPL project and releasing his versions under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL), which is listed as incompatible with the GPL. That means Markham's license is incompatible with Eric's license, and by all rights, Markham shouldn't have the right to use Eric's GPL'd code in his version of CD.

Please proceed very carefully, or you could put the entire project in jeopardy, and then there will be no more CD for anyone, except for Eric's original version.

phitsc

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2010, 02:44:48 AM »
This is one of the reasons why I'm so hesitant to release any of my stuff as open source. It all becomes so complicated.

It might not be the most trivial of solutions: maybe Eric's part can be re-implemented? I don't really know if that would solve the problem, nor how different a re-implementation would have to be to count as such.

scancode

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2010, 07:04:31 AM »
This is one of the reasons why I'm so hesitant to release any of my stuff as open source. It all becomes so complicated.

http://sheehantu.wor...enses-in-a-nutshell/ <- That's pretty much it. Software licenses are great bathroom reading material, tho :)

daddydave

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2010, 08:32:17 AM »
This is one of the reasons why I'm so hesitant to release any of my stuff as open source. It all becomes so complicated.

http://sheehantu.wor...enses-in-a-nutshell/ <- That's pretty much it. Software licenses are great bathroom reading material, tho :)

That's a nice link. From your comment, I expected something else, although you did say READING material, not WIPING material lol. I should read more carefully. :)
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 08:50:42 AM by daddydave »

Archon of Fate

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2010, 09:28:37 AM »
read the site and it outlines them all quite clearly.... well if CD uses the GPLv2 license you should be pretty safe from people that would modify it and re-release it. there's the quote:

"GPLv2

The major change in v2 is the Liberty or Death Clause in Section 7. This states that if your software has some restriction where it violates GPL-covered property, then it cannot be distributed. For example, if a legal ruling states that they can only distribute the software in binary form, they cannot distribute it at all. The Linux kernel is covered by this license currently, and the license prevents others from just taking the source, modifying it and not contributing back to the community that founded it."

there seems to be no easy solution but then again I am new at this... as for my comment earlier I meant no offence

scancode

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2010, 11:13:49 AM »
read the site and it outlines them all quite clearly.... well if CD uses the GPLv2 license you should be pretty safe from people that would modify it and re-release it.

How exactly? Also, it's GPLv3'd...

Your quote is irrelevant to the matter at hand.

Archon of Fate

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2010, 11:27:20 AM »
I saw a few comments about people having the ability to modify CD (markham and sarge's) and upload it and charge for it themselves... apparently GPL2 protects against that... further more I did say I'm not an expert on this at all so my comments will not be as accurate as everyone else's.

just one of those loose ends I though I could help adress.

Markham

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2010, 11:30:30 AM »
Let's be very clear about something. The cold, hard facts are that almost no Circle Dock user has shown their appreciation by making a donation to help defray the development costs. In the eleven months that I've been working on this project, a total of $167.37 has been donated to me personally. Of that sum, the biggest portion didn't come from individual donors/users but from this site! Only one Circle Dock user has made a donation, the remainder came from non-users.

And yet the users demand that bugs are fixed quickly and new features implemented and, in 99% of cases, we have obliged, very often receiving no thanks for our efforts let alone a donation to help offset our costs.  There are real costs involved here: the development tools (Visual Studio) is not free**, our electricity is not free and nor is our broadband internet. We are very fortunate - and extremely thankful - to mouser and DonationCoder for hosting this forum and our downloads. Just top give you some idea, that $163 I've accumulated in 11 months - that's the equivalent of 5 week's internet connection charges for me.

I am not going to force this issue and it's pretty clear what we must do. We will re-enable the downloads for Eric's last GPL version, both source and binary, and leave it at that.



Mark

** Eric Wong's releases were built using Visual Studio Express. I have been notified officially by Microsoft that software developed using the free Express editions may not be distributed publicly whether for profit or not. Hence all the versions I made were compiled using a paid-for copy of Visual Studio.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 11:33:08 AM by Markham »

mouser

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2010, 11:49:26 AM »
I have learned the hard way that few people donate to support software (there are some exceptions of course)..  And it can take a long time to build up a relationship with a userbase to the point where they know you are serious about working on the software and are willing to support it with their donations.  And you have to be really up front about asking for donations.  If you don't ask, and ask regularly, people will assume it's not something you care about.

I wrote an article touching on some of these issues here.

But the bottom line is that if you think too hard about how few people donate compared to the number that download or use your software, you are going to get depressed and you may start to feel like you are being taken for granted, etc.

The only way to go forward with this kind of stuff is to work on these things chiefly for the pleasure of working on them and the reward of having happy users.  We're just not at the place yet in the software world where many people are willing to financially support projects that they don't have to.  Until that changes you just have to find a way to balance the time you spend on these projects with the time you spend making a living.  It can still be a very satisfying experience.

I think part of the problem that you CircleDock guys have found yourself in is that you revived this project, and the two of you got so enthusiastic and energetic about improving it and making it better and more popular, at such a break neck speed, that you've found yourself on a path where the only natural way forward down the course you were on was to try to commercialize the program.  99 times out of a hundred in such a situation, you'd have written the program from scratch and you'd have the luxury to choose how to move forward with it.  It's just that Circle Dock has a history and legacy that makes that path less viable, and that to honor Eric's project you have to honor his open source license and the restrictions that places on you.

I think mostly you guys need to just pause, step back a bit, take a deep breath, and reclaim some of your time and energy that you've been just exhausting pouring into Circle Dock work.  I'm constantly surprised at how hard it is to get perspective when i'm deep in the middle of a project.  You just need to take a break and clear your head and give yourself some time to figure out all this stuff and how you feel once you are out of the eye of the storm.

Everyone here at DC is wishing you the best in all things and is appreciative of all the work you've put in.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 11:59:38 AM by mouser »

Markham

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2010, 12:25:39 PM »
You're right, mouser, as you often are. I have put a lot of effort into getting this program where it is today and, believe it or not, there's very little of Eric Wong's original code in what would have been Version 2.

Whilst the point is now moot, I did consult with a Patents, Trademarks and Licensing lawyer in the UK regarding Circle Dock's license and whether or not it can be issued with a new, more restrictive license. I would not have gone ahead with that proposal had I not received that lawyer's advice. Since there have been objections raised, I have now decided that I will not continue with this project at all: fortunately I held-off signing a hosting contract for Circle Dock's new web site which although fully-designed, is now also cancelled.

We hid the download to Eric Wong's latest source code for one very good reason: there were unscrupulous persons (mainly in China) who were compiling it, claiming it to be their own "invention" and charging users - the cheapest I saw was $50 per copy. That source code will be unhidden on the wikidot site and available to all as will his last binary release (v0.9 Alpha 2).

As for my binary release, I will let that remain available for download until the end of this month whereupon it will be removed from the dcmembers server.

Let's just see if any of those who object to paying for software take up the challenge to improve on Eric's code knowing that they won't receive one brass penny for their efforts!



Mark
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 12:28:46 PM by Markham »

mouser

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2010, 12:39:22 PM »
Take a step back and take some time off and give yourself time to process everything.

You have a world of possibilities that you could consider AFTER you get some perspective and distance:
  • You could decide to just stop all involvement in circledock and related projects, for the sake of your sanity.
  • You could decide to embrace open source, release all your source code, and do improvements on your own time scale and when you feel like it
  • You could decide that it's worth spending a few weeks rewriting the core code from scratch, cleaning up the code in the process, and re-launch a similar commercial product with a new name and new license and without any of the original code.
  • etc.

Look, we are all learning how to survive and make our way in this world.  Think of this as a learning experience.  If all your learning experiences are this cheap in terms of blood, stress, and treasure, you should consider yourself a lucky man.

wraith808

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2010, 12:55:58 PM »
You could decide that it's worth spending a few weeks rewriting the core code from scratch, cleaning up the code in the process, and re-launch a similar commercial product with a new name and new license and without any of the original code.

I don't have a dog in this race so to speak.  I've thought about looking at CD, but haven't, so take this with that in mind.

Considering all that the developers have done on CD, and if the amount of code written is as much as you say, I'd say re-brand it as something else, clean up the code and remove any references to his code, and do as you will with it.  Especially as you've already consulted a lawyer on this, and I know that they are not cheap (one of the stopping points for several projects that I've considered has been legal fees).

Just my opinion.  I think your license was more than fair, especially considering some of the other docks out there.  I use a few, and many of them are licensed per year to give you an example of what some others do.  The only change that I see that you could have made is to offer license to those that did donate- therefore anyone who was whinging after that would be people who utilized the software for free and didn't donate.

That's my .02.

superboyac

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2010, 12:56:20 PM »
I really feel for the software developers who try to offer good freeware.  Especially since joining this forum and getting to know developers, I really value the work you guys (and gals!) do.  I have no problem happily paying for good software.  I've never understood how freeware authors can sustain the development of their programs without charging for it.  I'm not a programmer, but I know that it's too much work to not get paid for it.  i don't understand that at all.

I wish mouser would take my money for his software that I use every single day.  I wish some of you guys would charge $20 or so for your stuff.  It just doesn't make any sense to me any other way.  People in this world are getting paid a lot of money for doing a lot less.

I have a hard time understanding how the freeware model can sustain itself.  I can't justify working that hard, putting out a quality product, giving up hours of your life that you can be getting paid for doing other work...and in the end just get by on donations.  If people can get it for free, they will.  There's no way around that.  You have to force them to pay, even if they are like me and they will pay graciously.

I understand that you want to be charitable and offer free stuff for everyone out there, out of the goodness of your hearts.  But it frustrates me because I don't want the situation being described here to happen.  I don't want the developers to feel like they are not being appreciated or feel frustrated.  I want you guys getting money for this work, it's good work.  You need to get rewarded financially for this stuff.  There's so much crappy software out there that people are paying for, you can't do it for free.  I feel like those other developers are laughing at you.  They do shit and get paid, you guys work hard and produce awesome software, and you only get a few little donations.  Please make us pay you!

Anyway, I really feel for you all.  I love software.  I love these little tools that make my life so much easier.  I love it a lot.  The service you guys provide is something I always will appreciate.

Markham

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2010, 01:40:38 PM »
I think your license was more than fair, especially considering some of the other docks out there.  I use a few, and many of them are licensed per year to give you an example of what some others do.  The only change that I see that you could have made is to offer license to those that did donate- therefore anyone who was whinging after that would be people who utilized the software for free and didn't donate.
I agree with you regarding Circle Dock's competitors and I also agree that those who donate should be offered a free license for the commercial version and I would have taken-up your suggestion. However, as the freeware version allows running as many copies as the user desires on up to two PCs that he owns and for personal (not business) use, giving a single-user license would have been more restrictive.



Mark

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2010, 01:44:01 PM »
Take a step back and take some time off and give yourself time to process everything.

You have a world of possibilities that you could consider AFTER you get some perspective and distance:
  • You could decide to just stop all involvement in circledock and related projects, for the sake of your sanity.
  • You could decide to embrace open source, release all your source code, and do improvements on your own time scale and when you feel like it
  • You could decide that it's worth spending a few weeks rewriting the core code from scratch, cleaning up the code in the process, and re-launch a similar commercial product with a new name and new license and without any of the original code.
  • etc.

Look, we are all learning how to survive and make our way in this world.  Think of this as a learning experience.  If all your learning experiences are this cheap in terms of blood, stress, and treasure, you should consider yourself a lucky man.

I'm taking the first option and reserve the right to take the third as, in fact, there'd not be much to do to remove all GPL'd code from what I'm currently working with. However, there are other considerations to take into account - I've already PM'd about them.



Mark

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2010, 01:51:59 PM »
You could decide that it's worth spending a few weeks rewriting the core code from scratch, cleaning up the code in the process, and re-launch a similar commercial product with a new name and new license and without any of the original code.

I don't have a dog in this race so to speak.  I've thought about looking at CD, but haven't, so take this with that in mind.

Considering all that the developers have done on CD, and if the amount of code written is as much as you say, I'd say re-brand it as something else, clean up the code and remove any references to his code, and do as you will with it.  Especially as you've already consulted a lawyer on this, and I know that they are not cheap (one of the stopping points for several projects that I've considered has been legal fees).

Just my opinion.  I think your license was more than fair, especially considering some of the other docks out there.  I use a few, and many of them are licensed per year to give you an example of what some others do.  The only change that I see that you could have made is to offer license to those that did donate- therefore anyone who was whinging after that would be people who utilized the software for free and didn't donate.

That's my .02.

+1 from me with the exact same sentiments. Many people confuse GPL/OSS with being FREE. I watch as people praise and praise OSS, regardless of license type, simply because they are led to believe that if it is open source it is free.

That said, I have not used CD, but have watched its active development and fully support the decision you have made.

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Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled)
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2010, 02:24:00 PM »
Um, you'd also have to offer sourcecode for YOUR binary build (aka latest circle dock!)
That's how it works, unfortunately. It was kind of expected, tho.

Also, weren't you aware that the project was GPL'd when you began working on it?
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 02:31:40 PM by scancode »