July 18th, 2004, 11:09 PM
Freeware for Profit?
I have recently bought a copy of the magazine 'PC Utilities'. This magazine comes with a "free" cd with many differant progs and apps on it - mine sited '513 essential programs'.
while flicking through the descriptions of these progs in the mag and browsing through them on the cd........I came to 2 truities about them 1) none of them are that essential and 2) they are almost all freeware!!!
And I realized that this magazine is making money on distributing freeware under the guise of promotion. Is this legal? (I hope there are staff members from PC utilities in this forum ) or is it just a matter that it has never been brought to the attention of anyone who cares that may do something about it? Not that I care - I am just of the curious variety......
Also has anyone ever compiled a program and distributed it as freeware and if so what are the incentives to work so hard on a project and than give it away.... (other than the universal and public access to information and knowledge share - which, personally I am a great proponent of) - if that is the case, but I am not 100% sure how the freeware system works.
July 18th, 2004, 11:26 PM
Generally, the rule regarding freeware is that you can charge for the distribution costs (i.e. the cost of producing the CD, shipping it to people etc) but not the software itself. However, the main cost you pay is for the magazine and the content within it (which is subsidised by advertising) and saying "we stick on a free CD with 500+ free utilities on the front" is a valid form of promotion. So long as the editors don't imply that the software writers endorse their magazine in any way or claim copyright on the software (although they can copyright the collection if I recall correctly) they're in the clear.
I've never distributed my own code as "freeware", although I do allow people to look at almost any of the PHP from my web site for free (really must get round to licensing all that somehow, probably BSD).
The freeware system generally works as:
1. You can use this program for free
2. You can't have the source code (unless it's open source, but then it wouldn't be called "freeware" otherwise you'd have Eric Raymond and Richard Stallman breathing down your neck)
3. Don't expect any kind of support from the author
4. If you lose everything and die as a result of using the software, it's not the author's fault
July 18th, 2004, 11:47 PM
To add to what Pwaring has already said, Freeware quite often comes with adaware bundled in with it. So the author maywell get payment from advertising. Most of the freeware apps that i have seen have been limited in there ability, with a pro or fuller version available for purchase.
What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry
July 18th, 2004, 11:56 PM
Ahhhh very interesting, thank you Pwaring and jinxy............but
I still think that the price of the 'zine is a bit in excess to the printing, distro and cd expenses (with profit included)........But I do understand what you have said.....
Im still interested to hear about other members programs and distros.........
July 19th, 2004, 05:24 AM
haha, yeah, freeware for profit = adware or something. One good freeware for profit I can think of is KaZaA, but if you pay for the program, you do not get the ads and spyware. Go figure, somebody who runs a network riddled with virii, warez and mp3z defending their own copyrights, and sued over it as well. Kinda ironic ya know?
July 19th, 2004, 03:49 PM
Don't forget - the magazine has to pay people for the articles they write for the magazine as well, plus the permanent staff (some magazines I read have 5-8 regular staff in addition to regular freelancers) and the costs of distributing the magazine, not to mention the fact that the retailer will want a cut as well (hence why subscriptions are often a lot cheaper than buying the magazine in a shop).
Originally posted here by IcSilk
I still think that the price of the 'zine is a bit in excess to the printing, distro and cd expenses (with profit included)........But I do understand what you have said....