The deal is simple: Buy Free Software, Get One Free!!
“Get one what free what?” you are almost duty bound to ask. And the reply is something intangible and beyond monetary value -- what you get is Freedom free; the continued work on copyleft software, so that the software's continued survival is not subject to the whims or monopolistic strategies of an individual company (witness MYOB, Macromedia FreeHand etc etc).
So yesterday saw me buy two extensions for the Joomla! Content Management System: the Search Engine Optimisation extension sh404SEF (£22.10) and the forms extension RSForms (£20.60). That's a grand total of £42.70 for a year's subscription to software that I have used on numerous jobs and for which I have charged in excess of £10,000.
What is interesting is that I don't mind paying for Free Software but if I don't have to, then I rarely do! Like everybody else, there never seems to be enough money to go around. The moral of this? There is nothing wrong in charging for Free Software, because if it is worth the money, then people will pay. In the words of Richard M Stallman “Since "free" refers to freedom, not to price, there is no contradiction between selling copies and free software” (The GNU Project)