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The High Cost of "Free"

You see it all the time: a company offers a Free! product that does exactly what you need. But free often comes with associated costs of one kind or another.

During this session, Brenda Huettner will go over some of the most common types of expenses associated with free (such as time, effort, portability, expertise required, licensing issues, and compatibility). She’ll talk about the types of “free,” and look at open source, ad-supported, and limited-functionality models. She’ll also take a close look at some popular free programs to evaluate first hand what they might really cost you and your company.

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The High Cost of "Free"

  1. 1. The High Cost of “Free” Brenda Huettner @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon
  2. 2. @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon 14
  3. 3. @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon
  4. 4. Free Software Foundation Categories @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon
  5. 5. Other Categories of “Free” @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon • Software Trial • Free with Purchase • Freemium • Creative Commons • Shareware • Beerware
  6. 6. @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon
  7. 7. Functionality Costs Pandora Spotify Slacker iHeartRadio Monthly Unique Users 65.6 million 20 million 4 million 48 million Launched 2000 2008 2007 2008 @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon Free version available Yes: limited skips, ads, reduced quality Yes: ads, limited listening time Yes: ads, limited skipping Yes: fifteen combined skips per day, six per hour per station Paid Versions PandoraOne: $36/year or $3.99/month no ads, higher quality $4.99/mo. for desktop & laptop, no ads. $9.99/month lets you use all devices, no ads $3.99 ad-free, $9.99 custom playlists and full on-demand streaming No paid tiers Music Library Size 900,000 20 million 13 million 15 million Stations Custom stations, supported by Pandora algorithm Custom, unlimited skipping Custom, 200+ curated stations, 750 terrestrial stations, live talk radio Custom, 1,500 Live Stations Excerpted from by Charlie White
  8. 8. Support Costs • Tech Support: Who you gonna call? • Documentation: There are some FLOSS manuals you can download (or buy) • Upgrades: Well, it depends. @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon
  9. 9. Security Costs • Privacy Issues • Security of Personal Information • Bonus: malware and trojans included for free!! @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon
  10. 10. @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon
  11. 11. Compatibility Costs @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon
  12. 12. Legality Issues GPL (GNU General Public License) AGPL (Affero General Public License for servers) FDL (GNU Free Documentation License) BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) Creative Commons (6 different ones) @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon
  13. 13. Legality Issues Excerpt from the Open Source Definition • The program must include source code • The program must allow modifications • The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software • The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed – Open Source Initiative @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon
  14. 14. Survey Says… @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon
  15. 15. Survey Says… @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon
  16. 16. Survey Says… @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon
  17. 17. City of Munich @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon
  18. 18. City of Munich @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon
  19. 19. References • Open Source Initiative • Free Software Foundation • Open Office • LibreOffice • FLOSS Manuals • Open Source survey -future-of-open-source-survey-results @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon
  20. 20. Thank You! Brenda Huettner @bphuettner #CostofFree #LavaCon @bphuettner