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Author Topic: Sponsored installation (toolbars etc.)  (Read 5560 times)

circular

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Sponsored installation (toolbars etc.)
« on: April 11, 2013, 12:33:11 pm »
Hello people,

Someone contacted me to include a "financed remcommandation" in the installation of LazPaint. In fact, it is about installing explicitely an adware. I thanked him about asking me instead of publishing installations files with adwares without my consent. And at least, it is a visible, not a covert installation.

He showed me an installation program saturated with spyware. Clearly I would not agree to make this with LazPaint for two reasons : tons of pages of adware for a single program is just absurd and painful for users, and the checkboxes were checked by default. I understand that it's a way to get people installing those additional softwares, but it's not what I would call a free choice.

So I told him that the minimum condition would be that the checkbox would not be checked by default, and that it would be easy to uninstall. Indeed, I looked over the Internet about such programs, and often they are impossible to uninstall for standard users. He garanteed me that it would not be the case, and that it could be uninstalled in the control panel.

Even with all these conditions, and even if I think that it would be fair that I get money for my program, I am not convinced that it would be a good idea. This is clearly a controversial issue.

In any case, it raises the question about getting money for what we do, because you know, you need to eat sometimes.

What do you think about it?
Conscience is the debugger of the mind

BigChimp

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Re: Sponsored installation (toolbars etc.)
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 12:56:24 pm »
Nice question/post!

If you want to profit from your work, go ahead.

I personally would be very suspicious of installers with adware. I wonder whether the revenue would be very big compared to the negative image... but I don't know.

Especially if you still publish the sourcecode, and even more if you also have a non-adware version (that may be released later or without an installer or something - see how the Piriform people do it: http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner), then that may be something.

Another option is the famous open source light/commercial full featured distribution model, or asking subscriptions for maintenance. The latter is probably not feasible; the former... perhaps impractical.

That said, it's your code, your decision.
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marcov

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Re: Sponsored installation (toolbars etc.)
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 01:29:54 pm »
So I told him that the minimum condition would be that the checkbox would not be checked by default, and that it would be easy to uninstall. Indeed, I looked over the Internet about such programs, and often they are impossible to uninstall for standard users. He garanteed me that it would not be the case, and that it could be uninstalled in the control panel.

Still it is mostly about tricking users in what they don't want, so that is IMHO deceitful.

Quote
Even with all these conditions, and even if I think that it would be fair that I get money for my program, I am not convinced that it would be a good idea. This is clearly a controversial issue.

Deceit is never fair.

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In any case, it raises the question about getting money for what we do, because you know, you need to eat sometimes.

That's a difficult question, and generally should be oriented to making something people want to pay for, not make something and hope people will pay (since that will often be disappointing)


circular

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Re: Sponsored installation (toolbars etc.)
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2013, 01:36:51 pm »
I personally would be very suspicious of installers with adware. I wonder whether the revenue would be very big compared to the negative image... but I don't know.
I have also this feeling. It's a bit like destroying my work in some way. Well, at least if it is not checked by default, it may not be seen to negatively. Apparently, unchecking makes much less revenue. So it also decreases the advantage.

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Especially if you still publish the sourcecode, and even more if you also have a non-adware version (that may be released later or without an installer or something - see how the Piriform people do it: http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner), then that may be something.
Can you briefly explain to me?

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Another option is the famous open source light/commercial full featured distribution model, or asking subscriptions for maintenance. The latter is probably not feasible; the former... perhaps impractical.
Yes, it would be possible to do a full featured, using a plugin system. The full version would have those additional plugins, so that it would keep a clean border between the GPL part and the commercial part.

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That said, it's your code, your decision.
Yes, that's right.
Conscience is the debugger of the mind

BigChimp

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Re: Sponsored installation (toolbars etc.)
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2013, 01:38:48 pm »
Piriform give out an installer with adware. Some weeks after release they release a "slim" installer or version without the adware.

I always wait a couple of weeks ;)
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circular

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Re: Sponsored installation (toolbars etc.)
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2013, 01:44:50 pm »
Still it is mostly about tricking users in what they don't want, so that is IMHO deceitful.
I'm also have this feeling. However, with this condition, it is not tricky unless the additional program itself is tricky. It would just be like a sponsor. But I fear I cannot garantee that.

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Deceit is never fair.
I agree.

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That's a difficult question, and generally should be oriented to making something people want to pay for, not make something and hope people will pay (since that will often be disappointing)
Yes.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 02:23:06 pm by circular »
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circular

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Re: Sponsored installation (toolbars etc.)
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2013, 01:45:51 pm »
Piriform give out an installer with adware. Some weeks after release they release a "slim" installer or version without the adware.

I always wait a couple of weeks ;)

I understand. What kind of adwares are proposed when installing it?
Conscience is the debugger of the mind

circular

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Re: Sponsored installation (toolbars etc.)
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 01:55:35 pm »
I would say that my main concern is that additional programs be a kind of trojan horse.
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BigChimp

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Re: Sponsored installation (toolbars etc.)
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2013, 02:23:03 pm »
I understand. What kind of adwares are proposed when installing it?
No idea.
Want quicker answers to your questions? Read http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org/Lazarus_Faq#What_is_the_correct_way_to_ask_questions_in_the_forum.3F

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circular

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Re: Sponsored installation (toolbars etc.)
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2013, 02:41:16 pm »
This subject makes me think of the words manipulate and convince. Depending on what our interests or motivations are, we will say that something is a deceitful or that it is a way of convincing people. When money is involved, this gets even more controversial.

I think that in any case, there is a kind of manipulation when making money. If I distribute a free software but with features that are not free, I am intentionally frustrating people in order to make them buy. If I distribue a software with adware, I am not making them pay anything, so they cannot complain that I ask them for money, but they will get commercials to watch. That's more or less how the TV works.

I do not want to make people see commercials, because I can understand how annoying it can be. At the same time, I would like that people can use my software even if they don't have money.

In a perfect world, I would sell my software with a price that has a value proportional to the wealth of the individual who buys it, and that price would be very low for people who don't have money, so it would be something like zero. This is this zero that motivates me to make a free software. But it is not reasonable if I want to earn money at some point.

The donation system is supposed to solve this, but even if we generally agree with the proportionality idea, our behavior does not match this. And using paypal is not perfect at all, because some money goes to paypal. Is it not in a way working for paypal and tricking people in thinking that it is a donation to me only?

There is no perfect solution. What do you think about insisting about donation in the software itself?
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Chronos

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Re: Sponsored installation (toolbars etc.)
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2013, 09:17:13 pm »
Heh, topic which every FOSS developer will have to deal with soon or late. Which reminds me funny article about open source business models http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/11-open-source-business-models/5371
It is worth to read also discussion under article.

Main fact is that in contrast to physical things software can be copied without effort and this means without cost. But process of development cost time and money so it makes sense to pay some money for buying software. In many cases this price of development pay somebody and software is offered to others for free as development is somehow paid. Mostly I prefer situation where somebody create software for himself and make it available also for others. It could be student doing hist homework for programming course or some big company with 1000 computers developing office suite. It such cases development cost money and it is paid by some entity who benefit from such software.

But there are many other possible business models. Many can be combined together. Basically it you are doing it as hobby project and you already have daily job then you haven't problem with money for living. But if you decide to devote all your time to project then you need fight for living and have to try combination of many business models.

Personally I don't like mentioned adware model. And if you step out of pure FOSS development then you will have problem to motivate other contributors to help you with project. Beg ware model is first model you could use without affecting all users. Also some raise this model to fundrising model where you set yearly target budget for and place progressbar on web and write info how money will be used.
Another model which I like is "pay for feature" model where you will offer possible application enhancements and write expected time to complete and possible price. Then somebody who want such feature could pay you to implement it and after it will be done then community could benefit from it.

Also there are webs like Kickstarter where people could fund interested projects. For example http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/421164014/openshot-video-editor-for-windows-mac-and-linux?ref=live

So there are wide possibilities about open source funding...

circular

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Re: Sponsored installation (toolbars etc.)
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2013, 11:56:07 pm »
Personally I don't like mentioned adware model. And if you step out of pure FOSS development then you will have problem to motivate other contributors to help you with project. Beg ware model is first model you could use without affecting all users. Also some raise this model to fundrising model where you set yearly target budget for and place progressbar on web and write info how money will be used.
Another model which I like is "pay for feature" model where you will offer possible application enhancements and write expected time to complete and possible price. Then somebody who want such feature could pay you to implement it and after it will be done then community could benefit from it.
Maybe a combination of begware and pay-for-feature would be a good idea, enabling to keep it completely opensource and ad-free.
Conscience is the debugger of the mind

 

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