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International Shareware Sources THREAD : YES



Thanks for letting me know about the upcoming article and where it'll
appear.  I haven't seen Shareware Magazine, but I'll look for it now
I know it exists.  Having just u/l'd a copy of LOADMACS (a DOS 5 DOSKEY
macro loader program) to Compuserve, I'll be interested in what
percentage of the listed number of file accesses end up as paid
registrations for this shareware program.  Even allowing for a very
large (benefit of the doubt type) rate of try-and-discard user
performance, it seems that the remaining fraction of registered users
to users is unacceptably small.  Now that we have distinct subsets of
computer users (pure users, developers, developer/users), it's no
longer reasonable to assume that the work an individual posts for
others to use will be paid by a return (by others) of equally valuable
works.  In the days when this kind of free exchange took place, it was
common to see the source code distributed with these works.

When's the last time you saw a major user level application program
distributed as freeware (with source code)?  The last I saw was Phil
Burn's PIBTERM communications program, and that was quite a number of
years ago.  (And this was still a copyright work.  Not PD.)

It's pretty clear that shareware has enormous benefits for users, yet
it puts developers at an increasing risk of not being compensated for
their work as the population of users grows and that population
misunderstands or disregards the notion that shareware isn't freeware.