Hey man. I’ll write you a book. Yeah I’ve been talking to them and at least they are very cordial. However, we spoke to a lawyer and they said that we are not selling software, we selling hardware and charging a service fee for the installation. This is the part where they argue that we can’t include this with a commercial product and I argue that preloading free software (that the end user is going to install anyway) is not the same as selling this software. We are just settling an ‘ease of life’ service. It’s an impasse.
The main thing they use as ammo are the cores that are under a non commercial license, and that’s where we don’t see eye to eye. I understand we aren’t supposed to profit from the software but I argue that we are not since we pay people to do the install on our end. I don’t agree that it is as clear as they say and the lawyer I had look at it told me he thought a judge would see this as silly.
However, we don’t need drama and I really like what the devs have created. I absolutely do not want to cause any harm to the software. I do feel like units like the sen pi are actually good for the community because they extend the reach of the community, create jobs, initiate new people into the lakka world etc. This means more people contributing to their cause and Patreon as well. I think that is the big picture that people are missing. It benefits everyone.
I think the perspective is narrow. People love to paint others as corporate scum online. This is extremely naive and disingenuous. People love a cause that let’s then feel smug and self righteous… Do these same people also have to pay bills, eat, etc.? Is all money evil? Well maybe, but this stupid society forces us to have it. I’m not going to apologize for trying to make sure our employees eat. I won’t apologize for trying to have a small business. I don’t want to work for a massive corporate monster. The irony is that many who have this, “fuck these guys for being greedy,” attitude end up having to work for a big evil corruption to pay the bills. The smug righteousness is a bit silly from that perspective. People said I was greedy after the split… They said I took vacations… Etc. Well we know the sums quoted were way off and the vacations were us getting products for fenek… but yes, I wanted to make money. I will not apologize. I want to create things the community likes, I want to employ good people, and I want to create content, games, music, etc. I don’t see how doing that (as opposed to working for a corporation) makes me evil. I won’t try to please the haters. Maybe their perspectives will broaden one day, but the hate is too deep maybe.
Ok I’m going on about the philosophy of money… Let’s be pragmatic; if the libretro guys won’t budge I don’t plan to fight… What’s probably going to happen is that we will sell out of the small quantity we have (already paid install labor) then just cut our labor costs and sell a few diy kits. We could fork it and remove a few cores (just to force users to download them), but that seems circuitous and ridiculous to me. I’d rather leave this alone and do something else if it’s going to harm the community. I really wish they would just work with us. We would do videos, make hardware, and give them some profits so they can keep doing what they love… That would be positive for the community… but everyone would have to get over the ‘money is evil’ thing. I imaging there are some truly predatory companies out there, but I would never want to harm the team or community even if our philosophies are different.
I understand how they must feel like they worked hard on something and now others are benefiting. This is a closed source mentality. If they feel that way perhaps open source is not what they should do. It’s about community… Community code, community hardware, etc. It’s a collaboration. Policing the software over a logo and some non-commercial cores really goes against what open source is supposed to be, imo. This is Linux. Hardware vendors have sold computers and laptops for ages with he software preloaded… Even Ubuntu’s trademarks are ok in this instance because they are selling the hardware and the service, not the software. Red Hat is a billion dollar company working in the open source would. It’s ok to make money. We all have to get by. Hell, it’s even legal to charge money to install closed source software.
To sum it up… I think some of the smug “holier than thou” rhetoric is getting out of hand. The eye rolling and chants of, “this is disgusting,” every time something unoriginal pops up on Kickstarter are getting a little tired. You know, I feel jealous too and some of the schemes people throw online then make way too much on. I want to hate them, but really they figured out a way to not have up get a dead end job. So that is sometime. Yes, some stuff is truly predatory, but some is not. Some things can actually be a good thing for the community… If people could just stop screaming, “scum,” every time someone tries to make a living.
If people would rather support totally original stuff there is the music, the shirts, and the game project will get going in a couple months.
We will see how this goes. Worst case, well have diy boxes and tutorials.