New licensing model suggestion

Moderators: Bart Read, Luke Jefferson, Greg.Tillman, Clive Tong

New licensing model suggestion

Postby JohnWigger » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:26 pm

I write this to suggest an alternate license model. I derive a lot of value from reflector add-ins. How about borrowing a page from Microsoft's Visual Studio strategy and coming up with a free express version? The free version could forbid add-ins and include advertising for red-gate products. Personally I would pay for a license for my hard-core use but would greatly desire to utilize Reflector in a light way. A light use case might helping troubleshoot software on a friend's PC. I might download reflector from RedGate's site, allowing an advertising opportunity, not want to worry about licensing, use it briefly, and then never use it again on that machine. I have used this scenario with Reflector and other tools many times, including software like UltraEdit/UltraCompare that I have purchased. Also, regardless of what you think about this licensing option, it seems appropriate to encompass an associate model so that, as an example, the creators of Reflexil might share in the income generated by Reflector sales.
- John Wigger
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Postby Greg.Tillman » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:10 pm

Thanks very much for your feedback John. There will be a free 14 day trial for all versions of .NET Reflector. This will be fully functional.
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Re:

Postby karnivor » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:25 pm

Greg.Tillman wrote:Thanks very much for your feedback John. There will be a free 14 day trial for all versions of .NET Reflector. This will be fully functional.


He's not talking about trial version but an express version - free limited funcionality.

But if you want to charge money, expect that the quality bar needs to be raised. I suppose that commercial version would not crash on obfuscated assemblies with incorrect instructions and other hacks and it would support even some unobfuscation...?
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Postby jackson jarvis » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:28 pm

There is a simple, profitable solution to this situation.
Make two versions available, both with the same functionality.
The Free version would be ad supported.
The Paid version would be user supported.
This is a no-brainer.
Last edited by jackson jarvis on Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re:

Postby mat » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:37 am

karnivor wrote:
Greg.Tillman wrote:Thanks very much for your feedback John. There will be a free 14 day trial for all versions of .NET Reflector. This will be fully functional.


He's not talking about trial version but an express version - free limited funcionality.

But if you want to charge money, expect that the quality bar needs to be raised. I suppose that commercial version would not crash on obfuscated assemblies with incorrect instructions and other hacks and it would support even some unobfuscation...?


Unobfuscation could be considered circumvention of copy protection, which could land Red Gate in very hot water. Aint gonna happen.
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Re:

Postby AdamsGuitar » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:58 pm

mat wrote:Unobfuscation could be considered circumvention of copy protection, which could land Red Gate in very hot water. Aint gonna happen.


There's a difference between unobfuscation (which, realistically, is not possible without something that can "know" what the code is doing in a larger context) and not crashing on valid input. The very purpose of obfuscation is to produce code that is semantically (and usually, if not always, syntactically) the same as the original code, but with the meaningfulness of the names removed, and often using identifiers that are legal in IL but not in other languages.

Even if the identifiers are illegal in the language, there's no technical reason that Reflector needs to crash when they are so. It just won't be producing code that you can slap into VS and compile, which shouldn't be a problem for anyone using Reflector to figure out what's going on.
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Re:

Postby howarthcd » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:48 pm

Greg.Tillman wrote:Thanks very much for your feedback John. There will be a free 14 day trial for all versions of .NET Reflector. This will be fully functional.


In that case it should be possible to create and use a Virtual Machine for development and then simply re-install the trial version every 14 days after first rolling-back to a snapshot taken before the initial installation of Reflector.
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Postby Al Brown » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:06 am

Look, for your own sake, I am begging you - all you have to do is release a version 6 that doesn't have the timebomb, and all of the anger will evaporate. It will become obsolete eventually, and people will switch over to the new version.

So much free software has been written that depends on .Net Reflector to do some of the back end processing. As an example, take a look at

Simple Assembly Explorer
http://code.google.com/p/simple-assembly-explorer/

This project and others like it will all die without a free version of .Net Reflector to use.

Hex Rays uses the exact model I am describing with IDA pro, and they are fabulously successful: http://www.hex-rays.com/idapro/

When Lutz Roeder sold you reflector back in 2008, the most valuable thing you got for your money was not the source code he had written, but the community he build. Most of the utility of Reflector comes from addins written by the community.

There are currently no pirated copies of Reflector Pro circulating on the internet, which is a reflection of the good will you have created by supporting the .Net Reflector community. If you ignore what I am saying, this is guaranteed to change.

Your two options are:

1. Release a free version of .Net Reflector 6 without the timebomb, and keep the .Net Reflector community

2. Wait for someone else to release it on bittorrent (likely .net reflector 7 pro), and piss off/loose the .Net Reflector community.

I await your response. I always pay for software from companies that are moral, but if nothing has changed by may 31, me and many others are going to start updating Reflector through bittorrent.
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