Like the rest of the planet, I enjoy some great free software. That being said, I completely understand that a developer needs to make a dollar, or two, or twenty-three to sustainably support the application and feed their family at the same time. But what I don’t understand is how one developer can give its app away on the web for free, but then turn around and sell the same application on the Mac App Store for a whopping twenty-three dollar markup. Cyberduck, the popular and free FTP application, is available for free on the Internet, but it’s only available on the Mac App Store for $23.99.
I’m sorry, but that doesn’t add up to me at all.
To be fair, the free version on the web does ask you for a donation every time you open the application. You’re free to donate whatever you like to remove the nagging.
The Cyberduck website explicitly states:
Free software is a matter of the users freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. The continued donations of users is what allows Cyberduck to be available for free today. If you find this program useful, please consider making a donation. It will help to make Cyberduck even better!
Which is then followed up in the sidebar with:
Cyberduck is free software, but it still costs money to write, support, and distribute it. As a contributor to Cyberduck, you receive a donation key that disables the donation prompt. Or buy Cyberduck from the App Store.
Which is it, guys? Is the application free with a donation, or is it worth $23.99, because I can’t help but feel like you’re taking advantage of my preferences for the Mac App Store. I’m willing to pay for applications, and prefer to get them on the Mac App Store because I find them easier to manage that way, but when you’re offering the application for free to some of your customers and then turning around and making another subset of your customers pay a steep premium for the application, well, it leaves me pissed off.
So, as a result, I just purchased Transmit. Thanks for making the decision easy on me.