Paying to use Mint

Questions about the project and the distribution - obviously no support questions here please

Are you willing to pay $5 a year to use Mint?

Yes, if it means a killer OS with ubiquitous hardware support, extensive feature set, and awesome new software replacements
12
32%
No, free software all the way
26
68%
 
Total votes: 38

Verix
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Paying to use Mint

Post by Verix »

It's just a hypothetical scenario, I'm just curious how it would turn out. The OS would stay open source (a license other than GPL), and so will all the repository applications which would stay free. Think about it, we already have about 31,000 members on the forum, so we at least have 30,000 users, that's $150,000 a year or $12,500 a month, at the very least. The money can be used to improve the OS and available software by many levels.

I'm not saying I support that, I just think it's an interesting business model.
Last edited by Verix on Sat May 15, 2010 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
FedoraRefugee
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by FedoraRefugee »

If the OS stays open source why would you pay? Why not just donate your $5 under the current model?

I dig the theory behind your question though. I think we should all give back to the distro we use just by principle. But I checked "no" in your poll because if I "HAD" to pay for the use of this distro I would simply use another distro! If the code were still open source I could just use the free version of the distro, much like CentOS is the free version of RedHat. (It is NOT Fedora like some uninformed folks seem to think. :wink: )
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by Snydar »

I agree that a nice income of money would definitely contribute to improving the development of Mint. But I don't think people will be willing to pay for something they can get an easy alternative to for free. If I were seeking an alternative to MS and found hundreds of distros, even if Mint was rated a little higher than most of them, I wouldn't be willing to pay $5 to give it a shot.

It could work though if I got hooked on some trial version of Mint, and paying the extra $5 would get me some extra features like online storage, a USB flash drive, better tech support...

Personally I think a cool thing to do would be to have some meet an greet type events in different local areas hosted by members. We could charge a little for beers and food, and some of the money could go back to Mint. 8) Raise money for Linux Mint by drinking beer and eating food. Flawless plan in my opinion. :lol:
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curmudgeon
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by curmudgeon »

For the above noted reasons, I voted that it has to be free. I have never donated to Linux Mint, although if I could afford the few bucks every now and then I would.. I do however, give back to the community in equally valuable ways by donating my time to helping people here on the forums, or in IRC. It's not just Mint either, I help with a number of other software projects that (usually) may not be so incredibly user-friendly to the newly converted windows user.

One of the most valuable assets that the FOSS community has is the users that are willing to spend time with the unlearned user to help them learn about something new and different. If it wasn't for people like that (people like me), I would have left linux long ago. So I also must give great thanks to everyone who's ever answered a 'stupid' question I may have had, but it helped me see the greater picture and I'm happy giving back in return as much as I can.
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AndrewH
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by AndrewH »

If I were to pay for it, it would have to be vastly superior to all the other free distros available.
Verix
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by Verix »

AndrewH wrote:vastly superior to all the other free distros available.
That's the magic word I guess.
curmudgeon wrote:If it wasn't for people like that (people like me), I would have left linux long ago.
I totally agree, the community for the large part is what makes Linux usable.
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by deadguy »

pay for use? no thank you.
donate to something I support and enjoy? definitely!!

so no, free software all the way!!
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Fred
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by Fred »

Verix wrote:
The OS would stay open source (a license other than GPL)...
You know of course that you can't just change the license just because you want to don't you? That's like saying let's change the license for Windows or Apple so it fits our needs. The people that wrote the software do have a little something to say about it. :-)
I just think it's an interesting business model.
Yeah, one based on copyright infringement, or as some would call it piracy. Good luck with that idea. lol

Fred
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by Verix »

I know it's a very flawed scenario, but consider it for a brand new distro. I just like the idea of a very cheap OS, it's never been done before on the desktop. You either have super expensive ones (Mac OS X, Windows), or the free-as-in-free-speech ones.
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by FedoraRefugee »

Verix wrote:I know it's a very flawed scenario, but consider it for a brand new distro. I just like the idea of a very cheap OS, it's never been done before on the desktop. You either have super expensive ones (Mac OS X, Windows), or the free-as-in-free-speech ones.
Oh, it has been tried with Linux several times now. Most often the vendor sells the support but sometimes they can sell their repos or even proprietary bits they put in the Linux distro.

I would think that if people can be sure their hardware is supported and that they could get a hassle free OS full of codecs that they would be happy to spend the small fee. yet each time one of these distros comes out they usually fail dismally.

I think currently Mandriva sells some kind of powerpack with their distro and elive tries to charge for its OS, though you can get it free if you look. It is sometimes a fine line between what you are selling: The code or how the OS is put together.

Most average Linux users know better though. It is not that we are cheap, but we just don't like being told you have to pay if you want it to work.

I do not mind paying for good software, but Linux is so fast moving that in six months your OS is obsolete. It is one thing if you are a corporate environment paying RedHat or Novell for support but home desktop users tend to want their distro to be fairly recent.

Intuition would say that this would solve most of the problems but the reality is paid support is no answer. I think it really all boils down to the fact that it is a Windows world. Windows came on the computer, everyone else uses Windows, and Windows just works for you. Why bother changing? Maybe someday that will all change...
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Fred
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by Fred »

Verix wrote:
I know it's a very flawed scenario, but consider it for a brand new distro.
What you are failing to see is that almost all the software, GNU tools, kernel, etc. that a distro is built from is already licensed GPL. You can't put a distro together and re-license the stuff it is made from. This was intentional, so that someone couldn't wall it off behind a corp. veil.

You can charge for GPL binary software if you wish, but you must still make all the code available to anyone who wants it for the nominal cost of reproduction. That is why it is necessary to sell something other than just the software to make a viable product. Red Hat, Novell, LinkSys and IBM are a few examples of this in action.

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by subslug »

The beauty of Linux is also one of it's biggest pitfalls. Since it normally comes without cost people assume the development doesn't cost anything or that the folks developing aren't humans with their own bills and lives to afford.
I imagine one of the warmest feelings these developers get is when you tell them you support their work as long as it's free, start charging and you're out of here.

Just to clear up any confusion, it doesn't state anywhere that you can't charge for Linux.
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by baffle-boy »

im DEFINITELY willing to pay, but many others would not be, therefore we would lose a lot of users and community base if this was done... it sounds cool, but really it doesn't work. maybe we should have a minimum donation of at least $.01 (just kidding :wink: ) but they should have a lot more encouragement to donate, maybe a paypal link on the main screen of the live version or in the installation screen? i think many people would be willing to donate if presented an opportunity. or maybe the link should appear on the second startup, so that people will have used it for a while and come to love the OS before they think of donating!
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by Biker »

subslug wrote:Just to clear up any confusion, it doesn't state anywhere that you can't charge for Linux.
That is true, however, it no longer falls under the GNU/GPL scheme if you charge for it.
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subslug
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by subslug »

Biker wrote:
subslug wrote:Just to clear up any confusion, it doesn't state anywhere that you can't charge for Linux.
That is true, however, it no longer falls under the GNU/GPL scheme if you charge for it.

You're saying if I burn a cd, send it someone and charge them for it then it's no longer GNU/GPL?

Where is that stated?
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by Biker »

You may charge for the CD and shipping and still maintain GNU/GPL status. The second you charge for the OS, it no longer falls under the GNU/GPL scheme.

In other words, if you were to charge someone $5 to download the ISO, you're breaking the terms of the GPL agreement as the OS is no longer free.
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Fred
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by Fred »

Biker,

You are incorrect there my friend. The GPL allows you to charge as much for the binaries or machine readable code as you wish. Having said that, you must also provide the compilable source code you used to generate those binaries to anyone who requests it for the nominal cost of reproduction.

EDIT: GPL machine readable software is not necessarily free as in beer or cost, but in freedom.

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by Biker »

If you look at the license wording for GNU/GPL, it specifically states it's free software. There are other licensing provisions under GNU, however, the GPL specifically states the software is free.

However, you can charge up the wazzoo for distribution costs. That's the difference.
Last edited by Biker on Sun May 16, 2010 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by remoulder »

baffle-boy wrote:but they should have a lot more encouragement to donate
Unfortunately I fear this would be a double edged sword in that whilst some users may be encouraged to donate, others would be put off by the nagging and look elsewhere. Besides I would venture that such nag screens could be easily bypassed.
[Edit] your original post and add [SOLVED] once your question is resolved.

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Re: Paying to use Mint

Post by MALsPa »

I would be willing to pay $5 per year to use Linux as it is right now. I wouldn't even need to add the qualifier "killer OS with ubiquitous hardware support, extensive feature set, and awesome new software replacements." $5 per year? Are you kidding me? That what be a great value, an outstanding deal! Send me the CD or DVD!
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