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MMD > Archives > February 2001 > 2001.02.15 > 08Prev  Next

Charging Fees for MMD
By Larry Smith

I have to weigh in on the side of _not_ charging for MMD.  Yes,
it is an invaluable resource, but it does not follow that "we should
be willing to pay for it."

A professional mechanical musical instrument restorer will not likely
find anything they don't know on this list, and so will be unmotivated
to continue to provide free advice and support if they will be charged
to do so.  Contrariwise, a sometime or casual hobbyist or someone
merely interested in reading about it will drop out since the digest
won't be worth what we're charging them.

That will leave a much-reduced list, poorer with seasoned professionals
and with enthusiastic amateurs.  That reduced list may well no longer
be worth the price to those who remain; it could well die.

I also feel there are some things we should not have to pay for, some
things we should give back to the community.  I feel we each _do_ owe
each other a responsibility to share ourselves.  Whether it is editing
MMD, writing free software, running a resource website, or whatever it
is you do, you do because you love it, and because you want to share it
with as many people as you can.  You can't put a price tag on that.

If the effort of maintaining MMD or the website becomes too much, I'd
much rather see the effort spun off in whole or in part to others, and
kept free, rather than to have a mandatory charge for it.

Frankly, money is the easy way out.  Far better to give of yourselves
to keep a resource available to all.


Larry Smith

(Message sent Thu 15 Feb 2001, 21:40:33 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

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