[mythtv-users] We don't need no stinking surveys!

Tony Maro tony at maro.net
Tue Jul 6 00:10:24 EDT 2004

Dan Morphis wrote:

> Chris Petersen wrote:
>> > My concern is once they get us all hooked, in a year or two they
>> > slap on a monthly fee. You can see it coming...
> I can see where your comming from, but you seem to think that they 
> should provide you with something for free. 

Actually, no.  I put this thing together myself "for free" and expect 
that I will continue to maintain it "for free".  If I had wanted a 
monthly fee  I would have bought a Tivo and saved a lot of headache. 
You wouldn't expect to pay a monthly fee to use the digital thermometer 
you assembled yourself would you?  Not a good analogy, but no, I don't 
EXPECT them to give me something for free.  What I want to make sure is 
that if and when they decide to charge for their service, that I still 
have another option for my Myth box.  I hope the developers are planning 
the same contingency.

> over.  If they want/need to charge a fee to make this all happen, they 
> are well within their right.  It's called capitalism. 

No argument there.  I just point out that it's _very_ likely to happen.

I worked for a software company once that decided to give away a product 
for free, with the full intentions of "flipping a switch and starting to 
charge later" once "all those users are hooked and can't give it up" as 
the CEO described it.  About 20% of our customer base was pissed off 
when it happend... the rest paid up.  It's not extortion or 
bait-and-switch, it's capitalism just as you say.  Something I hope to 
keep out of all my Linux boxes.  By the same token I don't even accept 
donations for my open source project, CheckBook Tracker, or for the 
(beta) of the MythTV theme designer I've released.  I pay for the open 
source packages I use by adding to the community.

And their service isn't made just for MythTV... it's designed to work 
with any and all software, including commercial packages.  So don't 
consider us "too small" for them to start charging.  They would also 
start charging all those "all-in-wonder" purchasers as well, among 
others.  Or at least that's my prediction.

I fully expect in 1-2 years we will be back on screen scraping again, or 
forking over a monthly fee.  If not sooner.  My subscription expires in 
August, and I wouldn't be surprised if a fee kicked in by then.

It's certainly no worse than Mandrake or Red-Hat charging for "support" 
- so I'm not against them charging a fee.  I just like options ;-)


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