Earing money with Python software (was: More on Protecting Source Code)

brueckd at tbye.com brueckd at tbye.com
Tue Sep 17 16:35:59 EDT 2002

On Tue, 17 Sep 2002, Hartmut Goebel wrote:

> Martin v. Loewis wrote:
> > For software, I think the economical risk is that somebody uses your
> > software without giving you the money you want - not that somebody
> > sits down and studies your code for days, to write a program that he
> > could have written himself from scratch in the same time.
> Which brings me to another (related) topic): How to earn money
> distributing Python software?

I think the answer to that question is more or less the same regardless of
the language - nothing Python-specific there. It probably depends almost
entirely on your target market.

> - Sell it via micro-payment? 

This one always appeals to me but today there are no standard & safe ways
to make payments, much less micropayments (hehe.. imagine entering credit 
card info for each 50 cent charge).

> - Declare it "Shareware" and hope somebody pays for it?

Too little incentive to pay. Most people are more or less honest, unless 
you make it _too_ easy not to pay. You have to give them a little more 
incentive, whether it be extra features, support, or an end to nags.

> - Offer commercial support?

This works well if your target audience is a commercial entity.

You asked the age-old question though. I'm partial to the completely free
or free-for-personal-use-but-companies-must-pay approach when possible.
Otherwise, put a bit of a "wall" up protecting your code but not much
beyond that. It's a futile arms race to try and lock everyone out (and the
techniques to do it frequently anger your legitimate customers), and the
people who tend to crack programs usually wouldn't pay for it anyway.


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