Discourse.PRO plugins are GPL now

As we agreed with Jeff Atwood all the Discourse.PRO plugins are GPL now.
Jeff said I can trust that the Discourse Meta community will not share my software without paying for it, so I will try to trust.
Please note that I set license price as 5% of my development costs. For example, if a license price is $100 than I invested $2000 in development (estimated in my work time).
If you estimate my work time and development costs lower please do not buy my software and I will not sell it to you.
Please note that if you buy my software and share it you just steal my salary and lead me to bankruptcy. I have no office job and my software is my only revenue.
Please note I am not seeking for any job or projects or donations. I want to do my product business only: do my software and sell my software to the mass market. I do custom development only as a bonus for VIP clients: https://discourse.pro/plans


That’s quite a statement for @codinghorror to make, if he did. The GPL allows anyone to copy and distribute the software as much as they like, to anyone they wish, without any payment to anyone. Nobody who chooses to distribute the software should feel any concern or guilt for doing so.

For you to earn a living producing this software, you’ll need to demonstrate to the community that your support and services are worth the prices you charge, just like the Discourse team has done. Their software is free too.


This is a great start and shows a very strong commitment to the community and now I’m much more likely to consider buying a few of your plugins.

Now, I highly doubt that Jeff would make such a statement stating that people would not share your software without paying for it. Perhaps you misunderstood? Now, this isn’t to say that GPL will stop you from making money because it won’t.

Assuming the community is large enough and the price is appropriate. A few people will pay for your download as a means of tipping you. Some will likely buy it as a means of getting support for the product. You’ll also be able generate revenue if you offer some customization upon request which should ideally be very low on the manhour/effort cost since the bulk of the work is done.

All in all though, this was a very mature response to the previous community’s reaction. I am not so sure that I would responded the same way if my fundamental attitude seemed to differ to such an extent, but I’d like to think I’d try. I guess what I am saying is, good job! :slight_smile:


I don’t feel very comfortable by watching this development. :currency_exchange: :moneybag: :dart:

Other thoughts appreciated.

The point we made which we wholeheartedly agree with is that if @dmitry_fedyuk plays nice we expect the community to play nice.

People who buy his plugins, even though they are entitled to upload them to GitHub and share them to the world, are unlikely to do that. By doing that they are shooting themselves in the foot, and risking the plugin not being maintained.

They are paying not just for the code but for his commitment to the plugin, abusing his trust is against their interest.


I definitely agree that the community as a vast whole will do the right thing and support the author. Those who do put it up on github and those who download would of course not only be hindering the future maintence of the module(s) but also would likely be removing the ability to seek help from the author.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see that those who would of bought the plugin will still purchase, while those who don’t likely wouldn’t of (if they’re not terribly invested in their forum).

For those of us who not only want to see our forum grow (and would feel better knowing a plugin we depend on is being actively supported and maintained) but also the wellness of Discourse through the cultivation of an incentive for more plugins to be produced seems like a worthy cost.


The nice thing, for me, about this development is that if I’m out of the support plan and @dmitry_fedyuk got bored with coding, with discourse, or just dropped off the face of the planet, I feel that my investment wouldn’t be lost. This makes me far more likely to purchase.

What I don’t want, however, is to always wonder… will the next update to discourse or the plugin break my site? For that reason, I’d really love to see these features in core. I don’t know how sales are, but maybe if the development time (20 copies) were made up, we’d see the plugins which are inline with the Discourse vision submitted as PRs to core?

I don’t know if that’ll happen, but I know the move to GPL helps me consider the plugins more openly.


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