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Licensing question [Dec. 17th, 2002|03:36 pm]
LiveJournal Client Discussions

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[maeglin73]
I've noticed that all of the clients are free so far, and a few are open source. Would it be out of the question to write a shareware client, or are there any stipulations in that area? In this case, it's for Palm OS, if I do it.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: benzado
2002-12-17 12:53 pm (UTC)
As far as I know, it is entirely possible. The only way you could be restricted is if there was some kind of implicit agreement made when you use the client-server protocol, and the docs make no mention of this. From what I know of the LJ staff (not that I know them well at all), forbidding shareware clients probably hasn't even cross their minds.

I'm working on a Mac OS X client that I plan to release as shareware. I've been envisioning all sorts of backlash from the LJ community, but I haven't formally announced it so I can't tell what the response would be. I'd be interested in keeping in touch to hear what your experience is like, and I'll be glad to share my story, too.
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From: evan
2002-12-17 01:27 pm (UTC)
I can't guarantee nobody will flame you, but there's nothing legally wrong with it. (Especially Mac people are used to paying for this stuff, but I'd be afraid of people confusing paying for the client with paying for the service.)
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[User Picture]From: maeglin73
2002-12-17 01:35 pm (UTC)

Thanks

Worth a shot, anyway. If the fire gets too bad, it can always be re-released as freeware (in my case, anyway). It's good to know that there are no legal issues around it.

As far as making it clear what is being paid for, that can easily be spelled out in the client description (assuming people actually read that stuff :-)
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[User Picture]From: benzado
2002-12-17 02:30 pm (UTC)
I'm expecting flames. I've got all sorts of counter arguments prepared. Nobody will be forced to use my client; iJournal is already open source and free. The framework my client uses is open source and free. The LJ service itself is a form of shareware: you don't have to pay but you get extra features if you do.

What do you mean by "Mac people are used to paying for this stuff"? (Is your comment missing an "if"?) I don't think Macintosh users are any more or less cheap than Windows users. Probably not as cheap as Linux users, though. :-)

Possible confusion is an excellent point. I'll do what I can to prevent that. (Now you have me wondering about the feasibility of paying for service through the client, though.)
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From: evan
2002-12-17 02:52 pm (UTC)
What do you mean by "Mac people are used to paying for this stuff"?

Er, yeah, sorry... I don't even have a Windows machine anymore. I'm not really accustomed for paying for software (and most Windows-using people I know pirate everything anyway) so when I first got my Mac all the nagware really surprised me. It runs Linux now.
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[User Picture]From: kimera
2002-12-17 01:33 pm (UTC)
If you don't mind my asking: Seeing as there is already a free PalmOS client, what kind of features do you have in mind that would make your software worth paying for? I pray this doesn't sound like I'm trying to discourage you or flame you, I'm honestly just curious how different (and I assume also easier/flashier/better) your client would be from what already exists.
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[User Picture]From: maeglin73
2002-12-17 01:47 pm (UTC)
The existing one is an AvantGo channel which, for one, requires AvantGo. It would also seem to be quite restricted as far as the number of users goes because of that if it was made as a custom channel, with AvantGo's new policy on those things. I don't know what issues he's currently having with them because of that. It also appears that Palm's wireless devices are left out of live access to that service (as opposed to updating content when syncing).

In my case, I'd have a dedicated client on the Palm OS device itself. Since the LJ protocol is on top of HTTP, I can probably handle both regular network access and Palm's wireless network (if you know nothing about the latter, it seems to be exclusively HTTP-oriented). I'd also probably be bringing a more Palm-centric interface to it than a series of web forms could provide.

Does that answer your question? :-)
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[User Picture]From: kimera
2002-12-17 01:55 pm (UTC)
Sounds cool to me. :)

(My knowledge of PalmOS stops at the m500. I had no idea that Palm was WAN-capable.)
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From: bbrewer
2002-12-18 01:55 pm (UTC)
A note about the wireless access: I've been using handhelj (http://palmlj.sf.net) for some time now on my Treo 300, and it works great for me.
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[User Picture]From: crane
2002-12-17 06:21 pm (UTC)
i think it'sagood idea and see nothing wrong with it. i planned on doing the same thing with a windows client (which in the end- would be better then the other clients currently out). but i'm not sure i will go through with it or not.. good luck though.
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[User Picture]From: xb95
2002-12-18 01:51 am (UTC)
which in the end- would be better then the other clients currently out

Bold statement. ;)

As for the original issue... I don't think there's anything legally wrong with it, however, there are plenty of freeware clients, so good luck if you go for it.
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[User Picture]From: crane
2002-12-18 08:15 pm (UTC)

Re:

oh,believe me it would be. it would put them all to shame! =)

if your client has something else to offer that the others don't and you take your time to improve it (mine's from ground up, vb, since that's all i know) and you can market it, go for it!!
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From: jinx4848
2002-12-23 03:22 pm (UTC)
wow
not too many flames, its all elegant polite wording
heres mine:
why the hell would you want to release something as shareware? are you that greedy that you need to profit off of a hobby? do you really consider this to be a job opportunity for you? if so then you're in the wrong market.. go work for a company. stop stealing money from people who are just posting journal entries. Geez, it's people like you who ruin the point of the internet. FREE information. Argue you may but one of the ideological points that were backing the original "internet" structure was the sharing of information from around the world, not the profiteering of greedy people like you.
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From: plix
2003-01-17 10:44 pm (UTC)
You don't seem like someone who's ever had to pay any of their own bills. It's not like he'd be forcing you to buy his client.
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From: jinx4848
2003-01-18 12:44 am (UTC)
I pay all of my bills actually, all of my food too -- at the age of 17 i have enough money to live alone and i make it all myself. dont see how that's relevant though, you can't honestly believe that this client he's writing is going to pay his bills. if thats the case maybe he should find a REAL job.
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