Moving from Donationware to Trustware

Posted in News by Cristian Tabacitu - 11th of November 2016

After a lot of consideration, I’ve decided that instead of asking for donations, we should charge a small fee for commercial use. This should still bring a small revenue, but hopefully it will be more than donations and it will be enough to justify spending more time on Backpack. I already clock around 20 hours a week, imagine what Backpack would become at 40. Initial feedback was that it's only fair that those who make money using Backpack should be the ones who financially support it. And I was very very happy to hear that. Hope you agree.

What does this mean?

Instead of saying “please donate to help make this software better” we’re now saying “if you make money using Backpack, you should pay a $19 license per commercial project, to help us make this software better”. We won’t enforce it with a paywall, because we trust that professionals know that "time is money" and every license buys a lot of hours of development. The packages are still open-source and public on Github and stay that way.

How does this impact you? 

If you’re using Backpack for open-source, non-profit, student/university, testing, etc - zero impact. If you’re using Backpack to develop software for others (as a freelancer, employee or company) - please budget for this additional $19 cost in your next Backpack projects and purchase a license for each commercial project you start after Nov 11. Using it in production without payment is illegal, for those projects. For details take a look at the new pricing and its FAQ. If you have any questions afterwards, shoot me an email.

Of course, GitHub contributors receive free commercial licenses for big PRs. For now that's the only way we can reward them financially, but hopefully we’ll get to a point where we can assign bounties for certain features, have a monthly "top helper" cash bonus for replying to Github Issues/StackOverflow, and more.

Thank you so much for being part of this. Everything has been created in the past 6 months, in spare time. Can you imagine what Backpack could become in another 6 months if it managed to support a full-time developer?

Buy a $19 commercial license

See the pricing table