Can you make money from selling free software? The recent community meltdown over Six Apart’s decision to change license terms for its popular Movable Type content management application has many people wondering.
You can, but you also have to set a precedent and keep things clean. You need to keep your free products and pay products separate, ne’er the twain should meet. Sure, you you can layer service fees on top of a fee product, as Six Apart did with its Typepad service. But where you get yourself in trouble is taking a free product — especially a consumer-oriented one — and turning it into a pay product.