this is an old subject, but it was raised again on some other board, so i thought i'll add my thoughts here.
since Marshalrusty's response at the beginning of this thread seems to summarize the team's attitude, i write my post as a dialog with his answer.
twisi, phpbb asks for a very modest "payment" for the support board-owners receive here:
this "payment" is the "powered by" link at the bottom of every page.
the suggestion here is to allow board-owners to choose between two forms of payment *for the support*:
-- the traditional, free, and in the spirit of GPL - place the "powered by" lined at the bottom of every page.
-- alternatively, pay some money to the project, and opt-out of the "powered by" rule, and still be eligible for support.
please note that i am only talking about the "powered by" line - the actual copyright notice embedded in every file is a different matter altogether.
so here are MarshalRusty's message, and my response for each part:
Marshalrusty wrote:This has naturally been brought up before.
We are an open source project and we have no intention of ever charging money for any version of phpBB. Why would you want us to?
you seem to be in complete misunderstanding of the question, so your answer seems to be irrelevant.
there is no *legal* obligation of anyone to place the "powered by" line at the bottom of the page.
however, phpbb group has a policy of not providing support for sites which have removed it.
now, the question is about "buying back" the support option for sites which have removed the copyright notice.
in other words: the suggested payment is *not* for the right to use the software (as your answer implies), it is for the right to receive support through this site *despite* removing the "powered by" line.
this looks simple, elegant, and 100% within the spirit of GPL (if you actually bother to *read* the license you'll find there specific mention of support-for-pay being absolutely in accordance with the GPL word and spirit)
I likewise don't understand why someone would purchase the product to remove the credit line; it doesn't take up much space and everyone familiar with bulletin board software knows the truth anyway, so it just looks silly to them.
this is irrelevant: it is not important for the site owner that you'll understand why they choose to design their site one way or another. it is their choice. the question is not about why they chose to do it, the question is about being flexible with who we give support: currently we have an iron rule "place the 'powered by' line at the bottom, else there's no support". the suggestion here is to make it more flexible: "keep the 'powered by' line at the bottom, *or* contribute to the project, else there's no support".
beautiful in its simplicity, and may provide some cash towards lofty goals, such as helping with travel expanses to key team members helping them to attend one of the "XXXXXXX-invasion" events.
I could potentially see us setting up some kind of paid support program for large professional users at some point in the future (although there are currently no plans whatsoever to proceed with this), but that too would have nothing to do with the credit line.
any news on this "pay for support" program? is it still discussed? could you (or any other team member) give a short update regarding this plan?
and as a side: regarding the last sentence, it would have *everything* to do with the "powered by" line: as mentioned above, the "powered by" line is not required by the license, and is forced only by the "no support" rule. anyone who buys support obviously is not affected by the "no support" rule, right?