here is to talk about numbers once again.
We recently introduced you to vvvv gamma and what it will initially be about, but also what you can expect from it in the future. Now is the time to inform you about the licensing options we have planned for it.
Trust me, when I tell you that this is the most rewritten blog-post we ever published. Creating a suitable licensing model seems far more complex than creating the software itself. So initially this resulted in rather complex models that we were only able to boil down to the below by talking to some long-term commercial users and incorporating their (sometimes contradicting) feedback. So, many thanks to those who listened and engaged in a discussion with us!
Continuing the T.R.U.S.T model
Foremost it is important for us to keep our (pattern pending) T.R.U.S.T model, which means:
- No copy-protection
- No feature limitations
- No mandatory registration
- We trust you to declare your commercial use of vvvv correctly.
That’s the world we want to live in. We don’t believe in any form of copy-protection or artificial feature limitations that usually only restrict honest users. Others will always find a way around such restrictions and thus not be bothered anyway. We’re all grown-ups here. If vvvv helps you make a living, then help us make a living by providing vvvv for you. How simple is that?!
Education must be free
Same as above, this is what we believe in. In the end everything always comes down to education and equal access to it. We don’t want to be responsible for anyone to not have the pleasure of learning vvvv.
There are commercial educational institutions that could make us a lot of money indeed. But also we’re smart businessmen and know how to cash in on the free drugs we hand out now, later.
Further it is in the interest of any professional user of vvvv to quasi support the free educational use as this keeps the flow of new talents steady. WinWinWin.
Gamma over beta
So why not simply keep the existing licensing model? Indeed, to make this clear: The licensing for vvvv beta will not change! As long as you’re not interested in vvvv gamma, everything stays the same for you (but you’re missing out! Just sayin…).
But then, regarding vvvv gamma, there are a couple of reasons to adapt the licensing model:
- The existing model is simple to explain, but just does not fit well to different use-cases. We’ve heard of people not using vvvv for certain smaller tasks because they didn’t justify a whole license
- With its possibility to export executables, vvvv gamma becomes a different type of product. It allows you to distribute and run your projects as self-contained programs without the need to install and run vvvv on every machine. Like this, vvvv becomes closer to more traditional development environments where it makes sense to charge per developer seat rather than per executable that was created with it
- By still offering the edit-while-running workflow, vvvv gamma at the same time stays the same product and needs to keep existing licensing options
- Too often we heard the phrase “I told the client to buy the license” as an excuse and even partly as a complaint that it would be our fault that we don’t have means (dongle, …) for the client to understand they need a license. But this was never our intention. We’re doing business with you, not your clients!
So bottom line up front: vvvv gamma is more and therefore requires a more defined licensing model.
Types of vvvv gamma licenses
Having said all this, we want you to declare your use of vvvv gamma using the following licenses:
In other words: the idea is that every commercial devvvveloper will have an Editor Plus license and that is it. With it you can work on and export as many projects as you please. For cases where you want to run the vvvv development environment also on a device in, say an exhibition, to use the advantage that you can e.g. remotely maintain the program while it is running, you need additional Editor licenses for each device. This is comparable to how you’d buy a full license for each PC running vvvv beta so far. Obviously you can still use your developer seat license also in an installation/show, as long as you’re running only one instance of vvvv and don’t need the license to work on another project at the same time.
If you’re not working on projects that will be deployed as executables, then you can stick to the Editor license also during development.
And finally, the Product license, which is similar to the vvvv beta OEM license. Only now it is in addition to the Editor Plus license every developer needs who is working on a product.
Pricing per size of wallet
Another thing we wanted to improve over the beta licensing model is the fact that we understand that vvvv is used in quite diverse financially potent scenarios. To accommodate for all of those on an individual basis is not really feasible. But at least we thought, we can add an option on either end of the default “professional” user.
- SME: Small and medium-sized enterprises
- NPO: Nonprofit Organization
- FOSS: Free and open-source software
Payment options in detail
Different use-cases also demand different payment options. Here is what we have planned:
- Buy once, use forever
- Includes one year of updates
- Can be converted into a subscription within the first year
- With a subscription you are always eligible for using the latest available version.
- With a yearly subscription your are saving 30% from the second year on.
- Automatic renewal of subscriptions at the end of the period can be canceled at any time.
- When canceling a yearly subscription you can keep using the last version that was available within your subscription period.
- When canceling a monthly subscription and you have had that subscription for at least 12 months, you can keep using the last version that was available within your subscription period.
- A subscription that was canceled cannot be continued/updated at a later point. A new subscription will have to be started instead.
- These are for using the vvvv development environment in projects temporarily
- Includes updates available within the covered months but must not be used after the covered months have passed.
Accommodating the various requirements of all types of users and use-cases is a tricky task. This paired with trying not to completely disregard the pricing politics of “the competition” but also adding our own ideas and still balancing an economically viable solution didn’t make it any easier. We still hope that we found a way that can be sustainable for all of us.
We are aware that the above may leave some questions open and we are ready to further refine the fine print and add examples to make it easier for everyone to declare their licenses. Please help us do so by asking your questions in the comments below, so we can understand where we need to get more specific.