[PD] The economics of Open source

Pedro Figueiredo me at pedrofigueiredo.org
Wed Mar 9 00:21:22 CET 2011


On 8 Mar 2011, at 08:21, Pierre Massat wrote:

> Dear List,
> I was trying to get Ardour to work last night and i came accross the forum on their website. I must say i was quite shocked to see how many posts were about money. I was equally surprized to see that the latest full version of Ardour isn't free (although you can name your price). 
> Now don't get me wrong : I think i can imagine the amount of work that was necessary to write a software like Ardour from scratch, and i totally understand that the team who wrote it may decide that they should be payed for it. 
> This leads me to ask two questions :
> 1) What are the economics of open source software, and how sustainable is the model? How does it work for Pd? 

I don't know about Pd, but as someone that has worked with Open Source all my life, the most common model is selling support and consultancy. Provide a rock solid product and become the authority on the area it covers, and everyone will pay to listen to you.

> 2) I get the feeling that open source developpers used to think that the idea of free (free beer...) software was cool, but 10 to 15 years down the line (that is, now) they're beginning to realize that they can't keep on doing this forever. Am I wrong here? 

If anything, it's the complete opposite, Open Source has never been so strong, and it's never been easier to contribute, thanks to places like Google Code or GitHub (especially GitHub, as far as I'm concerned).



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