Pay (what you want) To Download

We’ve tried a few different business models during 2012, for this glorious software of ours, and we’re going to try just one more.


Here’s how it works:

  1. You pay whatever you think is appropriate.  (“Pay what you want” is always fun.)
  2. Once the payment is complete you will be taken to a download page.
  3. On that download page you will be able to download every piece of software here (Linux Tycoon, Illumination Software Creator… all of it).
  4. Everything is DRM free.
  5. Everything runs on Linux, Mac & Windows.

When this idea was first pitched to me… I thought “That… sounds terrible.  I hate this idea.”

Then I thought about it some more.  And now I think it just plain rocks.  Here’s why:

  1. There is no need for DRM.
  2. It does away with the need for upgrade fees (as new versions would require a downloader to pay again).
  3. Since there is no DRM, the downloader can archive any version (or multiple versions) locally in case they don’t want to pay for future downloads.
  4. You only have to fork over cash for versions and updates you actually want.
  5. The price is “Pay What You Want”.  Combine that with #4 and you get a system that could be significantly cheaper than paying for individual version upgrades or subscriptions.
  6. The download page will only expire every few weeks.  Making it easy for you to come right back and download again in case you misplaced an installer or need to install on a different machine.

Maximum flexibility.  Minimum price.  Respect for content consumers.  Support for content producers.

I dig.

And now, if you would like to download, here is the place to go.

Now, what if you’ve picked up a copy of any of this software, over the last few months?  Don’t worry.  We love you guys.  We’ll be emailing download links to you shortly.

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  • Nathan Campos

    Incredible idea. I wish you the best with this new business model.

  • Aaron Hill

    I think it is really great that you are willing to try out new business models. I’m sorry that your other models didn’t work out the way you had hoped. Best of luck with this new model!

  • George

    Good luck with this model. I had thought of a similar model, except one where you bundle source code (proprietary license, if you like) along with the binaries. Have you considered this?

    My only question is, How major will an update have to be before I have to re-pay for it? I.e., do I have to pay to get bugfix version 1.0a when I have paid for 1.0?

  • drnapster

    I love it but I would like to ask what about the people who purchased before when you had a set price and all future upgrades were included. Will that promise be honored by sending them separate links that will receive the updates?

  • Martin

    Good. I wish you luck :)

    However, when this works out (or if it doesn’t). Would you mind disclose some numbers? or at least some kind of data on the result?

  • Bryan

    drnapster: All future upgrades were never set to be free for life. That said, we did provide free upgrades from 1.0 through the 4.x series (because we are awesome). And everyone who picked up (or upgraded to) 5.0 (including those who donated during the Open Source period) will be getting emails with download link info.

  • Chris Johnson

    This sounds like the best business model yet! I hope it works out well. But I think you should guest host on the Linux Action show every once in a while. You could also keep people updated on your software. Plus it would be cool to see you back on the show every once in a while.

  • Jaime

    Hi, I have done the donation but I hadn`t be taken to the download page please, I have the SCREEN shoot as a backup. contact me because I like this software and I would like to have it

  • Bryan

    Jaime: Drop me an email if you still don’t have it. How it is *supposed* to work is that you are automatically redirected to the download page. But one or two other people have had this not work as well. Just email me (perhaps forward the paypal receipt) and I’ll get you the info toot sweet. (Now to figure out why that redirect didn’t work for a few folks…)

  • Christer

    Hmm I really like that you are trying everything but some time I wish you would just stop experimenting and changing everything all the time. I just want my download links to work and to get a 1.0 of ISC 5. I am thinking of using ISC for a small app at work so it would really help if ISC 5 gets done and I will talk to my boss about buying it for the office.