Re: Pricing ACL
- From: Richard Fateman <fateman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 07:23:11 GMT
Pisin Bootvong wrote:
And I can be sure Franz did not violate any of them because I never see their source code, right?
And if you did see the source code, you would know? Of course you would not know then either! But presumably Franz stands behind their product and claims (and will defend the claim that) it owns Allegro Common Lisp.
And nobody that uses Franz in commercial also use CL-PPCRE, CL-PDF,
If you are selling a product that relies on BSD code, you are in fact assuming a certain risk. If you are selling a product that relies on GPL code, you are assuming a certain risk, as well as an obligation, in many circumstances, of making your own code free and open source. As a business model this has some deficiencies.
And if you use Franz with those BSD/GPL licensed library then
you don't have to be worried?
the business says, "Oh, about that Tahiti trip, who's your maintenance person on 24-hour call." you say "Hey man, does a blackberry work in Tahiti?"
This is quite nonsense. Your client never know, when a problem comes,
whether it is your application's problem or the underlying Lisp's
problem. So if a customer have a problem with a product (Your product
X, not ACL or any Lisp) and cannot contact the you because you went to
Tahiti, that is not a problem of using open-source Lisp, it is a
problem of choosing the wrong shop.
Well, when I ask for help from a vendor of Windows-based software, I am often told that I should mess around with the operating system, get a download of something, etc. The vendors rely on Microsoft maintaining a certain presence. We may argue that MS doesn't do everything we want it to do, but it usually doesn't require downloading fresh source code for the whole operating system, editing a makefile, and recompiling everything. That's the kind of advice I get if cygwin is broken.
Are you saying that if reddit use ACL then the developer can go to Tahiti, not taking any call, and Franz will support any reddit issue for them?
I believe that Franz works very closely with some customers, and in some cases may know more about the application than some of the application programmers. I suppose it depends on the kind of revenue stream that the application represents. I doubt that a one-time $29.95 shrink-wrap license fee for an infinite number of redistributed binaries would get much help, but for $100 per copy (X many copies) it makes sense for Franz to be helpful.
I thought ACL have something like EXE maker. And that it shakes the image and unused function from the distributed image. I never know that when ACL build a distributed EXE, it includes all the IDE inside.
If your image uses all of Lisp, that doesn't help. For example, you might use the IDE, or eval. Or you might use the compiler (e.g. for dynamic CLOS).
I thought that if I bought MSVC++ and sell a product call "start-up-vc.bat" which does nothing but start MSVC. And if I sells it for 1$ and distributed MSVC++ with them, I can still get sued from MS. And yet MS didn't charge MSVC per distributed app.
To some extent, you are implying that any language that have "eval" should be licensed per package sold. As a matter of fact, if a interpreter can be written in a language such language implementation should be licensed per package sold, too. Right?
If you omitted eval from a copy of Allegro, but then you wrote an eval that had hooks to every function in Allegro, then not much could be left out of that Allegro. Just the main line of maybe a page or two of one program, eval.
If you are afraid of your customer cheat in such a way, why not put it in EULA? Get a lawyer to indicate what it means to sell product that, in some way, allow one to use devlopment features of ACL. And indicate that only such product require per-package distribution fees (well, disregarding those Allegro special feature that should reasonably be charged per package if used, like AllegroCache).
If there is such an EULA, (I don't know), I think it would have to be a very elaborate license agreement to cover every contingency; so elaborate that a potential purchaser would have difficulty figuring out if it was right, and maybe would have to re-write particular parts. Maybe even hire a lawyer :( .
If the current technique is for Franz to try to "partner" with the application writer, then that cooperation may be at least as useful as the proposal above. But presumably people at Franz read your note and this one and can comment.
You don't have to be afraid that they won't follow the EULA, since if they are not willing to, I think they willl cheat in all other ways anyway.
There are ways of auditing the sale of products. While MS might not catch you making an extra copy of Word on your laptop, you can be sure that if a large organization, even a university, buys software, (or sells software) it cannot use piracy for long. (Unless it is in a country that does not respect patents, copyrights, etc.)
So far as I can tell, the pricing model you are suggesting looks pretty close to what is already in place.
It seems that we are hypothesizing the existence of a creative lisp programmer who has the following characteristics: 1. he/she avoids lawyers. 2. and yet is willing to assume unknown legal risks to use "free" software; 3. and probably has no financial backing (since investors (a) have lawyers (b) do not want to assume unknown legal risks. ) 4. so has no money to buy a commercial Lisp.
So Franz is not losing money on this person. :)
More seriously, finding a good way to "not give away the whole thing" seems to be a key. Maybe distribute a fasl file. Run it on a trial version.
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- From: Pisin Bootvong
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