[pmwiki-users] Commercialism in PmWiki (was: Google Analytics)

Patrick R. Michaud pmichaud at pobox.com
Thu Aug 24 12:26:00 CDT 2006

On Thu, Aug 24, 2006 at 08:47:10AM -0400, The Editor wrote:
> Just for my two cents, I'm a bit averse to using the words "commercial
> license".  That is, if the code is going to be the same, there's no
> logic to paying for a separate license.  

Tsk, tsk, tsk -- how quickly you dismiss what I wrote [1]!  For many
businesses and organizations, there *is* logic to paying for a 
separate license.  Cost is only one aspect of any particular
solution, and people will often pay increased cost to obtain some
other benefit.  In many organizations it's actually easier
and less costly overall to buy a package than to try to use a
free version, because of the way their internal tracking and auditing
systems are set up.

Yes, it may seem illogical to some, but the truth is that
some groups use a logic that is based on much more than simply
"what's the package price tag"?

> When we talk about two different kind of licenses, esp when one is set
> in opposition to the GPL license, the temptation might be to gradually
> add new features to the one and not the other.  Soon we'd have a
> PmWiki-Pro and a PmWiki-Light

As I indicated in my other message, I have absolutely no plans or
desire to create "pro" and "light" versions of PmWiki.  I simply want
want to increase PmWiki's reach and make some additional income
from it.  If I can do that by simply adding another license option
(that doesn't interfere with existing licenses), then I don't see
any compelling reason not to do it.

> [...]
> Even when I offered to pay for help, I couldn't get it.  
> So a support contract would be great--or even a $10 question
> answered email hotline.

I did indicate that I would be offerring paid support
options as well as the separate licensing model.  (I wasn't
planning on anything at the $10 level, but there might be a way
to craft something around that price point.)

> Pm's done a great job with this software.  I wish him the best in
> generating revenues from it. But my preference would be to see that
> come through support not licensing.

Other projects (notably MySQL) have been able to do quite well
with a dual-licensing model, I don't see any reason why PmWiki
cannot do the same.  And I do have several entities that have 
said they would *really* like to use and support PmWiki but 
the GPL is currently a big stumbling block for them.  

(In case it's not clear... my goal is not to convert the world
to open source, or to try to convince organizations that it's
okay for them to be using GPL software.  My goal is simply
to increase the usefulness of PmWiki, and to increase what I
get back from my investments in it.)


1.  One may reasonably ask "If PmWiki is available under the GPL,
    why would anyone pay for a traditional license?"  The answer
    is that, believe it or not, there are businesses and
    organizations that have policies restricting the use of
    GPL software, or that can only used software that has been
    purchased and has an asset tag, invoice, or purchase order
    for it.  Or, they may just wish to have a more traditional
    vendor relationship.

     - http://host.pmichaud.com/pipermail/pmwiki-users/2006-August/030979.html

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