Free Software

People often wonder about whether or not SMF will go the route of becoming paid software. I can see why they worry – with several industry heavyweights having done it in the past (Ikonboard and Invision Power Board most notably) it’s?a common fear. Others question it because they don’t believe a company can exist just giving it’s product away. And they’re right! But Simple Machines isn’t a company 🙂

The most recent incarnation of this concern came in the form of a user’s post at – “SMF will it be free always, I doubt” – the user expressed their concern about it going free. Several members of the community interjected on the project’s behalf, however another user posted a very articulate summary of their concerns…here’s a quote and a link to the full post.

Unknown’s post is reassuring, but lacks the authority to commit this project to always being free…. I have no reason to doubt that SMF always will be free, but a statement to that effect from the copyright owner would be more reassuring.? I am spending extraordinary amounts of time integrating SMF into a larger project that will be released under the GNU at some time in the future. I would hate to loose all that time and effort…. [Read full post] [Read the second post from this user]

Certain that I’d made such an authoritive post in the past, I spent some time searching my posts – and found nothing. And so I made a post. You can read it here.

Ultimate SMF will always be free so long as the current team has anything to do with it. I suppose that years and years from now, when I’m not around, then the people in charge at that time may change the direction of it, but so long as I can do anything to keep it in line, it will remain free. Not free as in “do anything you want with it” but free as in “free beer” 🙂


VP HCM Products at NetSuite and Founder of TribeHR and Lewis Media. Waterloo Region Enthusiast and active volunteer.

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