Will Code for Food

Don’t laugh. No, I’m not a dot-com refugee turned panhandler. I’m simply stating a truth about the work we do.

The source code is open — you’re free to do almost anything to it, even without registering it.

What’s It Worth?

If you find my software genuinely useful, it will have saved you blood and sweat. In our economy that means it will have saved or made you money — either directly, if you wrote commercial software with it, or indirectly, if it freed up time and mental energy that could be used to make money. Money that puts food on your table.

I have put my own blood and sweat into the code, because I believe it has its unique place in the software world, and it will be genuinely useful to some of you. It’s only fair then, if you use the code, you should register it by paying me. Money that puts food on my table.

The Gift Economy

On the other hand, I also believe in the gift — that your contribution in testing and coding will make a better product, that an open not grasping hand will improve the sum of everyone’s knowledge. Isn’t life more important than food?

If you submit unique bugs or contribute new code yourself, you get a share of all subsequent registration fees.

You shouldn’t have to buy it without trying it. And you shouldn’t be punished with restrictions, especially if you’ve bought it. And if you want to make it better for yourself and others, I shouldn’t stand in your way.

Therefore, it is open source — without paying a cent, you’ free to do almost anything to it. You can read it, change it, combine it with other code, even resell it. However, in the spirit of openness you must reciprocate all your own code, whether it is a modification, a derived work, used only within your organization or distributed to anyone else.

If you want to keep your source to yourself, that’s cool with us — you need to make money and so do we. Simply pay the license fee and you can now keep your own source your own, with no further fees or royalties.

What’s in It for You

It’s not all stick and no carrot. If you register the software, you get:

Free upgrades. The same license automatically applies to all versions released within a certain time period e.g. one year for the Personal registration.

Priority support. If you come across a bug or want a new feature, and there are also unregistered users waiting for their support, you get your stuff attended to first.

Source control access when available. You’ll get a user name and password for read-only access to the source repository when it is available. This means more timely updates and a first peek at the cutting edge.

Share of subsequent fees. If you submit unique bugs or contribute new code yourself, you get a share of all subsequent license fees. It’s my way of saying thank you for helping.

A better version. When you register, you are giving me the time and energy to build a better, improved next version.

Easy does it

I’ve made it painless to register. Just click on the appropriate Paypal Buy Now! buttons to register a single developer or a site, and follow the screens. If more than 5 of you work together in a company, it’s more worthwhile registering for a site.

Mon, 29 Sep 2003. © Pixelglow Software.
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