I agree with the locking of the thread at this time - the general approach we take to threads like this is make sure everyone has their chance to air their views a few times and then lock it if it looks like we are going in circles and likely to implode.
Bloss, I feel your frustration -- I don't think it's the case that no one here cares -- I think it's just that most of us aren't familiar enough with the details to be able to comment intelligently just yet -- but knowing this bunch we will be keeping an eye and ear open and sniffing around to see what we can learn.
And I think many of us are also feeling burned out by ACF, which seems to have a habit of causing people to go to war with each other, for reasons that are beyond me and unusual for a site focused on freeware.
Lastly let me address one issue that Bloss raised and disagree with something that App said:
Since this is primarily a donationware site, I don't think it would be likely that one of our applications would fall into the category of being able to be pirated in the way you describe..
My understanding of what Bloss is upset about is the idea that people are selling collections of freeware on cd, and making a real profit from the software created by freeware authors, without any of that money going to the software authors.
And I share that concern. While some software authors don't care -- and for some software like mine that asks for donations explicitly or requires a free license key it wont matter. For much of the free software on this site and other sites -- the idea that someone might be selling cds of the software and charging unsuspecting and unknowing people for it, who think they are paying the authors for their work but are really paying the cd burning people, this is upsetting.
But then the response from pricelessware seems to be that they are only charging nominal amounts for the effort involved in burning the cd, etc. And if that's true, and they are making a good faith effort to explain clearly what they are charging for, then it doesn't seem to be unethical.
So in my opinion, where are now is:
- There is a dispute about the practices and we should inform ourselves about them. I think Bloss for bringing the issue to our attention.
- There doesn't seem to be much value in continuing the argument in this thread any longer, at least for now.
As was said above, not only is there not one person's opinion that decides these things, but none of the mods or admins here think they're any better than anyone else.. when push comes to shove sometimes someone has to pull the trigger and make decisions, but no one here feels like they are always going to be right, and we don't feel like we can't all have honest disagreements sometimes