General Question

gciochina's avatar

Should i start selling my open source application?

Asked by gciochina (107points) September 1st, 2008

Hey there! I’m in a really bad situation (not only financially speaking)... my dad died couple of months ago, my brother is a student, and with my current income i can’t cover all the bills…

Anyways, so I’ve been maintaining this open source application (PDF reader for smart phones) for quite some time and now i was thinking i should start asking money for it…

People always say “that’s a good application” and stuff and I DID set up a donation service… but no one ever gives anything… so i don’t know what to do… i always loved open source / free / software… but…. i don’t know… what would you do?

PS: sorry if this will upset some of you ppl, i’m just asking for advice…

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4 Answers

StellarAirman's avatar

Probably depends on how you licensed the open-source. Some allow you to sell it while others don’t. If it’s open-source a lot of people will probably get around paying for it anyway.

And, people HATE it when you start charging for something that used to be free. I would expect a serious uproar from whatever users you currently have if you decide to start charging for it.

One option might be to leave the current version free and let people know you’ll be charging in the future, or charge for a “pro” version with more features while still having a simple free version.

Or, develop a new application that you charge for that is completely separate.

VoodooLogic's avatar

SSH used to be owned by AT&T. then the last open source release became the program that we know now, I think your code as it’s currently written will be open source, but as StellarAirman said, you could conceivably have future versions that are commercial. I’d contact Adobe directly, as E40 would put it (both of whom are here in the bay area), gotta hustle for yo paper, playa.

Truefire's avatar

I’d say, contact a distribution company, get it sold in stores, and still offer it for free on some abstract place on your ‘Support’ website that no one ever visits.

No body should complain about that, and PDF’s are not exclusively Adobe’s….
or OpenOffice and FoxIt Reader would not exist.

Vincentt's avatar

I don’t know what kind of software it is, but perhaps you could provide a service around it?

PS. If anybody is upset by this question he/she has serious issues ;-)

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