making Boonex free..

anyakates posted 7th of March 2011 in Community Voice. 30 comments.

I was yesterday thinking of making Boonex free for all.

Like for eg: Making Boonex versions to run without any license, so that they wouldn't require it anymore. Not even for removing the adverts and copyright.


Though I agree this would be a kind of violation to Boonex's standards, but yet, as an opensource, I think we have the liberty to 'modify' the code in any form, and 'sell' it. (As per GNU/GPL license)

Again, this is something that is going to take time, and a series of testings before it can be accomplished. Even some features of Boonex might not work maybe. But its ofcourse something that 'can' be done.

So just an idea...

what do you all think?


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On what should provide for their families workers bonnex if everything is free. How to make money for salaries?
But then, opensource platforms like wordpress, joomla etc are also free.
how would you justify their income and salaries paid to their employees.

Also, I never said Boonex should do that officially, but my question was - Whether or not we can make such unlicensed version of Boonex and sell to our local clients. I hope this doesnt disrupts the business of boonex as well as keeps the concept of opensource alive.
Andrew Boon
As it is now - you can try or even use Dolphin for free. The fee is minimal and one is to pay it only if they've tested the product and perhaps started making money, or just want to look cool without BoonEx banners.

Completely free, and, say, GPL way is possible, theoretically, but it would require much higher scale to be sustainable. I am talking about 3-4x downloads and installations to cover costs. Trust me, it's not a super-profitable operation :) . Wordpress makes money from their hosted see more service (WP VIP), Joomla from upselling demo installations, etc.

As for the liberty to modify - you may modify and resell, but need to keep Boonex references the way we specify - that's our footers. If you want your clients to remove them - $99 per license, paid to BoonEx.
You are smart.. you want to make FREE Boonex, but SELL to your local client ? So what is the difference betwen you and Boonex? You want to get a free version ( without the boonex footer) of the platform for to feel free to sell ? I agree with SashaE... they do a lot of job to give us this platform and also a free version...
Everyone likes to get something for nothing including me but I have to disagree with your idea. Boonex has invested an unimaginable amount of time and money into the develop of Dolphin. Do you honestly believe what you want to do is fair? $99 dollars is not that much money.
Nathan Paton
You seem to be under the impression that Dolphin is licensed under the GNU General Public License, or similar. While this was the case in the very early days, it's no longer the case now. I personally wouldn't support an operation like this, as it deprives the real (I can't emphasize this enough) developers of the needed income to continue their work.

I don't understand why people continue to think open-source is the equivalent of being in the public domain--it isn't. I can release my software see more as open-source, but still bind it to a license that forbids certain actions, and that license must be followed to the letter, where legally applicable.

Dolphin is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. This means you are able to redistribute and adapt the software to your needs, under the condition that you provide attribution to the owner of the original work, as specified. In this case, attribution means the links which can be removed by paying for and applying a license.

In short, what you're attempted to do violates the license of which this software is distributed under. Even if that was not the case, the thought of depriving the developers of their much needed income over a link, which is non-obtrusive and fairly inexpensive compared to other licenses for other software on the market, is something to be ashamed of.
Nathan Paton
I should also mention that this can all be waived with the necessary permission, but that seems unlikely to happen.
$99 is almost damn near free anyway
I was not looking at it from the profitable point of view. Had I been doing that, I'd have already made the nulled version for that.
What I was saying was: Is it legally correct to do that or not.

And what Mag said: "attribution to the owner of the original work"
This in no way means the footers. I can do that simply by keeping a reference link to boonex at the bottom.

And furthermore, I was only meaning that in terms of developement, not money making. And if you're trying to supress see more developement, in lieu of trivial matters like staff salaries and sustainance, I think you should find ways to offer similar services like Joomla/WP, because like this you're curbing the competition, not being a part of it.
And btw, I never had a site of my own, I just make for others lol.
Nathan Paton
The license states that you must attribute the work (software) in the form of the author's (developer's) choosing. The links are a form of attribution, and is what the license is talking about when referring to the software.

From Creative Common's Attribution 3.0 license page (

Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

The see more key words here are "in the manner specified by the author or licensor," which means the work can be attributed in any form at the choosing of the author, which can include a footer (which is actually what many software also under this license use), or whatever else they prefer.

You're basically referring to nulling the script, which is a big no-no and any discussion of the sorts shouldn't even be allowed on this site (there are other sites of questionable characters which are dedicated to this, but they will not be named here). It doesn't matter if you meant to do this for commercial purposes or not. I know how to null this software with a single line of code, but refuse to do so out of respect for the developers and their business. I only ask you hold the same respect, along with everyone else.

In short: no, it is not legally correct to do this, nor ethically, for that matter.
RE: "I was yesterday thinking of making Boonex free for all."

You can't make Boonex free for all. Boonex is a company. Perhaps you meant 'Dolphin'.... but it's already free for all.

I think what you really meant to say was, "I'm thinking about ripping off Boonex's work, removing their copyright notices, and selling it as my own." I don't think you'd get very far with that idea.
RE: "I was yesterday thinking of making Boonex free for all."

Great idea Anya. You can make Boonex free if you make a free version that is different than all other versions. A Boonex Free Version would NOT have all of the functionality of the paid versions, and in order for users of the free version to add scale, they would have to purchase licensed versions. Boonex can figure out the details by using Unity as a focus group.

A free version would drive sales because people (at least see more some) will become more familiar with the Boonex brand and product(s). It is safe to say that some people will want to upgrade especially if their sites become popular and require scale.

Great idea Anya.
thanks Kingphish, that is what I wanted to do.
You see, there are many newcomers who do want to use Boonex, but they do not want to invest before they start getting some results; which in this case a footer is something that they do not approve of.
So for the same reason, we might have a free version.
The idea behind is not me selling boonex under my name (had it been so, I'd not be indulging in this mess here), but a competant, minimal feature boonex version to go free, without copyrights.

Also, see more Mag- If you know how to null boonex using a single line of code, sorry thats not so easily possible :)
And thanks for putting into light the legality of the issue. That was what I was wanting to know.
The idea was great :)
I'd love to buy a readymade social aggregated portal for $2500 from you because i dont have to bang my head on every mod developers to get what i want.
also, for every upgrade i'd be very happy to pay you $500 which will be better and well supported.
I think, i cant get this freedom and support from Boonex+1000s of modders even i pay that much.
its like get an android, release your own product :)
still, you better consult with andrew for the usage of license...
Nathan Paton
The only limitation with this software without a paid license are the links. It's not crippled in any way--those who want to use it without a paid license may do so without any restriction of available features or options, and only have to settle with the links being enabled, which isn't all that bad. If someone wants to "try before they buy," they are free to do so, and can purchase a license when they feel ready to invest money into their site.

If you want to improve Dolphin, you should see more release mods for the community in the market, write documentation in the wiki, or help out in the forums.
Andrew Boon
Well said. And I honestly don't see how on earth this offer can get any better, at least in terms of licensing/payment part. One can use it for free with the links and pay a really small amount ($99) if they like the software and/or profit from it, etc.
I agree with tomakali,
The weirdest thing is that you've to run around looking for the mod developer to correct any kind of glitch whatsoever.
So, this would eliminate the need for this and save time. Also, one more minor effect it would have would be a better load time, since the callback would be removed. Also, If boonex faces any ddos attacks in future (as were the case in past) you'd be totally relieved of them. Earlier, if had a problem, all the dolphin websites used to have some see more or the other errors. Inability to login as admin, amongst one of them.

Mag, I agree with you totally. I would not do this though, but yet as a matter of fact, I'd try to accomplish it in any of test websites. No commercial gain on mind. :)
There is only one call to BoonEx during license registration, and NO requests to BoonEx after this (except some rear situation like domain changing).
So load time is not suffering from it at all !

Also It was not mentioned here that Dolphin license is Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License -
Andrew Boon
As for "professional support", and any other wondrous perks that you may see offered with some other products, or that you may thing would compliment Dolphin nicely - don't think it's all rosy. We have been on all sides of this pie - we offered a fully paid version with dedicated support, we also charged premium for services, we have seen feedback about pretty much every competitor, and we witnessed the them in action, we have seen the results of their work as well... and I can tell you see more absolutely confidently that in most cases paying $2500, or even $25,000 for the license and $500/hour for services doesn't really give a significant advantage compared to Dolphin. Heavy-paying clients get stuck with same sets of problems when it's time to upgrade, transfer, etc. They experience communication issues, and have quality complains. With Dolphin, however, it is common that people learn more and are a lot more competent when working with their sites, since they just don't have that expectations of super-service provided for their big bucks.

As it is now, I am sure that Dolphin is THE best value for money, as well as the best community software out there. We work on it every day and I don't expect anyone on the market to corner us any time soon.
@Andrew As a Boonexer your point is valid.
and I see anyakates is a "Developer"
and i see many unity members are "just modders"
heavily modding a website does not make it awesome...
and I am not a "developer" iam a "website owner"
modders wants to make money
developers wants to make money
website owners also wants to make money
since my life on Boonex, i was always wanting a nice feature for my website...
"feature" was available in see more unity market as x,y,z,f,c,k mods
i had to buy and worry about how to install these mods as x+y+z+f+c+k and present to my members
many times i failed...
if there are some people inside/outside boonex who is not just a "modder" but a real "developer"
who takes and convert D7 as "x-D7 news portal-$1000, y-D7 community portal-$1000, z-D7 aggregated Game Portal-$1000" and xyz-power portal-$5000

I WILL BUY with my eyes closed :)
because i will live a day longer as i just stop worrying about all the damn mods i purchased and the support after every upgrade...

@Andrew I urge you to encourage this and create a new position like "innovative developers" and separate them with your strict code conventions from the mini, micro, buggy modders
If someone wants to do something REALLY useful, they can make those #%#@!! blue padlocks go away....OR create flash app skins...OR work on ways to speed up video processing and increase video quality. How about working on mobile apps that support popular third party mods like Spywall,,, there's plenty of opportunity in the mobile app department to make a name for yourself around here.

The price of Dolphin is low enough. We need core improvements more than anything else.
Valid points houstonlively, but that's another blog, is it not? You point about core improvements are all valid, but don't they apply to premium licensees who desire more functionality rather than some newcomer to Boonex Dolphin? For example, "making ... blue padlocks go away....OR create flash app skins...OR work on ways to speed up video processing and increase video quality. How about working on mobile apps that support popular third party mods like Spywall,,, there's plenty of opportunity see more in the mobile app"; isn't that chiz all applicable to premium members? What's the benefit or value to advanced users? What the chiz is some of that stuff?

I'm not suggesting the $99 isn't low, but before I bought it, I wanted it to be $50. It actually took me a little time to decide. Then, AFTER I bought it, I understood the value.

But, I don't see the value in the Premium license (for the obvious reason, I'm not a licensee). The current "Limited License" I think probably gives too much away (as is). So, Boonex creates a "Restricted License" with no Boonex brand with membership and traffic restrictions (based on whatever Boonex comes up with) for free unlike the Limited License. So the key difference: Restricted License (No brand, not scalable, but free); Limited License (brand, scalable, $50); Unlimited License (no brand, scalable, $99); Premium (you all know).

Site owners can scale their site via the purchase of a "Limited License" for $50 (now sold for FREE). The Limited License won't change (but probably could use some tweaking). So, ultimately, Boonex is not making a major change to pricing; it is adding a free version that is restricted, it's selling the NOW entry level version unrestricted license (that was free) for $50 with the Boonex brand, and so on and so forth.

Anya, still a great idea.
No... it's not another blog. My point is, why spin your wheels when the product is already priced ridiculously low already. Seriously.... 99 bucks for a platform that consists of somewhere around 5,000 files, and at the very least, 100,0000 lines of code, is not cheap enough for you? Geezus. Besides, what is being talked about here, is a violation of the licensing terms, so it's all just a moot point, and a useless conversation to have, isn't it?
It isnt a moot point technically.
You are talking of justification, license, salaries of employees etc.
I know that is a must and those needs are to be met.

But comparing Dolphin with other Opensource platforms, I think there are a few of them as Joomla, which are many steps ahead of Dolphin.
Now, when one CMS can be free, why can't this.
Andrew gave a satisfactory answer to it.

Second note: We might need to reorient Boonex business- In a way that promotes sales and increases revenue. see more This can be done by making dolphin to run free for a stipulated period of time- without ads or copyright.
And later after the test period, we put up ads on it.

This would give the person using the platform to test the script fully before deciding to go for it. And if you have trust on dolphin, believe me- Anyone would not even have any problems if the licensing fees goes at around $10-20/month. If Boonex is not offering this feature, then
1: They;re going to lose potential business from newcomers
2: They are themselves not assured about the consistency of their script.

Now a quick thought: Why do you think the Prime membership was made cheaper ($10/month) YET the minimum slab was put to $99 for 10 months.
Though the Prime fee was slashed by 50%, but yet I would not buy it.
Reason1: I dont trust my paypal to hold even $99 for me
Reason2: I dont want to pay a lumpsump fee, until I'm sure I have enough modules to put up in market to cover up the developement costs of all of them + profit.
Thirdly: This is indirectly the same point which many of us discussed in the module pricing section. A one time high price was not favored by many. try to compare both the frames. What is Boonex doing? Its pricing its product for one time high price. ($99 isnt high price, but for beginners who want to test and bet the success of the website on the script- for them its a risky investment). This is going to finally hamper business.

Fourthly: Andrew was seen boasting of 100,000 members, while I have see more no reason to believe that only less than half of them are active. Had even 50% of them were active, there was no loss in licensing dolphin as mere $10/month
This would be a turnover of 50,000x10 = $500,000 from the script itself. Let alone other sorts of revenue sources for Boonex.

So, the point is: When there are modules in wordpress, Joomla which have been made free after so much of work done upon them, why do we not do it for boonex.
Atleast try to rethink upon the monthly licensing fee rather than 99/package. and a free test trial too.
There are are many other ideas of making Unity lively and vibrant with activity. I dont know what you all keep working at?

Dont tell me you all work for Magento as part time :P
My opinion ? It's just stealing someone elses work and efforts ... nothing more, nothing less. If you are such a brilliant developer, why don't you write a complete script yourself ? Sounds very smart (µ) how you calculate the turnover and mention other revenue sources, but what about the costs ? Anyway, everybody wants to make a (good) living. And there's no easy way or a way without efforts ... unless it's the criminal way.
This "bright idea" shows exactly who you are. A thief and a low life.. You have no idea how Boonex looked back in 2008-2009 and how much crazy work with no real profit this script required.. You have no idea how many volunteers worked and are still working on the project just because a owner like Andrew deserves.. This is something you don't see, but you can feel it if you have a decent morality..

Now go scam somebody else not Boonex itself..
What a waste of time and energy....
is Dolphin the best choice among social networking software or else ? if not, maybe you can make a right choice again according to your expectation of liberal values ...
it seems to me, Dolphin is not easily be customized on its menu levels
Below is the legacy version of the Boonex site, maintained for Dolphin.Pro 7.x support.
The new Dolphin solution is powered by UNA Community Management System.