The Thread About Less-Than-Free Content

  • I would pay cash for ER-301 content
  • I would give up contact info for content
  • Both of the above
  • None of the above

0 voters

Let’s gather conversation here because it has been scattered through other threads in a way which distracts from those threads original topics.

Brian’s official stance:

EDIT: Now with poll!

Without turning this into a thread about moderation, I’m sad that @anon83620728’s posts were pruned in such a way that they were left feeling marginalized.

Until now, users have hosted their content on these forums for free. IMHO there’s room in this (extremely small) community for creators to approach content distribution in their own ways and Brian’s allowance of this helps enable those creators’ visions. His permission, however, doesn’t instantly establish these alternate means of distribution, nor the culture / customerbase / protections for these transactions. We are all equally lacking in experience here.

Personally, I would only pay for ER-301 content if there was sufficient video / audio demonstration (or just a manual) to effectively preview. There are creators here (@anon83620728 and @joe so far) whose depth of engagement with the middle layer surpasses anything I could personally approach. I’d like to hear their voices on the matter :slight_smile:


Thank you for making such a thoughtful and considered post about this, I really do believe these are thing we should discuss, they are important. I agree that it is new territory and we all have lots to consider and learn.

I am very unsure at the moment how I will proceed, for sure there is quite a lot more content in development, and I really need to be very careful about how I present things I create in the future.

One thing is certain, I won’t be releasing anything for ‘free’ any more. That ship has sailed. I believe strongly that creators should be paid fairly for their work. I also believe creators should have certain responsibilities and that these become diluted when the work is given away for free - there is a tacit absolution of responsibility. For example, things very quickly become out of date due to to the changes in the firmware updates and I for one would assume responsibility for keeping any content I release updated.

Ultimately, I see all this as a positive step in the right direction.

The questions that remain for me are ‘do I want to release?’ and if so, ‘how?’.

I will be interested to hear any thoughts about this. I would very much like to get it right so that everyone is happy and I will be listening carefully.


Is the lack of DRM a concern?

I am not sure, I would like to believe in people’s honesty and that they will do the right thing.

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Thanks for starting the thread. I appreciate the culture of sharing knowledge and content freely with each other that we have going here. It’s what makes the O|D forums my favorite online hangout. I hope it can continue.

That said, I don’t have any issue if someone wants to charge for original ER-301 content. I guess I’ll decide for myself at that point whether what they are offering is worth what they are asking for it.

I’ve not decided whether I would ever offer anything “for sale”. Some of the middle layer units I’ve worked on have approached that line where they start to feel more like work than relaxation. :slight_smile: At the moment, with the firmware in constant evolution, I’m not really interested in doing anything that would make feel like I have to support any content that I create on Brian’s rapid schedule. I’d rather put the content out there and let others enjoy it and get some feedback about it, and support it best-effort in my free time.

I think the thing that really sparked this discussion was asking for an email address in exchange for a download. I get super leery when people ask me for an email address. That person or company may be respectful and have the best of intentions (which I think was absolutely true in the recent example). But once I put my email into a form, I lose control of it. It can be abused, sold, hacked, stolen, etc.

The net culmination of this over many years is that today, my email is so full of spam that email is barely usable and I overlook important things. My phone rings 5-20 times a day with distracting robot calls to the point that I do not answer unrecognized numbers at all. My physical mailbox is stuffed so full of junk that there’s barely room for any non-marketing items. So when someone wants my email address or other contact info in exchange for a free product, I abandon the offer very close to 100% of the time.


In the past I have actually become uncomfortable with how much I’ve benefited from community content, especially when the burden is carried by a small few individuals (e.g. Teletype). A donation button helps salve the guilt :slight_smile: This could be an alternative for creators who don’t wish for the responsibility of serving customers.


with the exception of what @Joe said about his work on the middle layer units (i.e. i don’t have that experience)
i’d like to second every thought he just shared.

it was also the reason why my post (that unexpectadly has been replaced with the official statement, but now i know that it wasn’t only mine…) was meant only to tickle @Flux302
so that he’d offer his unit also on this forum, which he ultimately did. in a nice PM we also made sure
we’re not angry at eachother, so we can turn our attentions back to happy and constructive thinking.
i’m sure this way we will come a long way even with this obviously more serious matter.

so at this point i can’t add much more to what Joe had already said. i am just glad and greatfull
to @desolationjones for having started this thread! and also to everybody who is enriching its content
by sharing their experiences and ideas about how we could improve our personal and community lives in this matter. i’m excited to hear more.

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I belong to and have helped support the Blender (3D content creation software) open source environment for more than 20 years now. There are 16,000 FREE downloads per day of that constantly evolving software. There is an active and healthy ecosystem of Addons where some are paid for, but the majority are free. At any given time it appears that there are well more than 100 people donating their time to create and support this competitor to Autodesk’s hegemony and most are volunteers working on some seriously complex 3D, ray-tracing, video editing, internal game engine, texturing, and lighting systems.

Blender works by donations first and foremost, especially the Blender Foundation which steers the direction of the tools. But with a user base in the millions Blender was allowed to mature into a serious hunk of software.

While I love everyone’s effort here to extend the ER-301 it feels like monetization of an immature firmware foundation serving such a relatively small community is about to create some friction that seems way too early in the development cycle. If someone here requires remuneration for their efforts I’m sure there are people here such as myself who would gladly donate. Hell, I recently purchased @Starthief newest recordings for the reason that he prominently featured the ER-301, the same goes for when artists have featured the ER-101. If I can learn from someone else’s work, I enjoy supporting them.

Regarding the paid Addons of Blender, they are only available externally on other websites not directly connected to Blender Foundation. Ton Roosendaal who has been guiding Blender all these years is adamant about the ecosystem, its openness, and where the lines are drawn between paid for and free content. I for one appreciate @odevices position on this matter regarding his site and platform.


Let it be known that this discussion is welcome here but do NOT use this space to strong-arm another user (or users) into following your preferences or philosophy. If a collective agreement arises it can only be a suggestion, actually no, it can at most be an indication of what the vocal majority would like which others are free to follow or not.

I will not tolerate people telling others what they can or cannot do with their creations. Period.


I have no idea where this ‘strong-arm’ idea is coming from at all, I certainly haven’t done anything like this and I don’t see anyone else doing it either. Period.

Totally baffled!!


It doesn’t need to come from anywhere. I am stating my position so that no one is surprised when a moderation action occurs.


Just now seeing this thread.
My thoughts are as such…
To be clear , I didn’t ask for anyones email or anything else. It’s a requirement of the host platform, same as signing up for a forum or any other site. I had actually forgotten it was even a requirement. 1) if I sign up to download someones modules or content from github… I have to give up my email. I see no difference in using an email on anyone elses site. I had to do it to sign up here. I keep a separate junk email address for sites I don’t trust. To me it’s a non-issue. However I can understand to some it is an issue and they are welcome to not download from a site that requires an email. Totally personal preference.
2) as for charging for content… Imho it makes a ton of sense that POST 1.0 paid content could be a thing. I would certainly pay for a nice reverb, or other fx set up etc both first and third party. I am not a coder, I doubt I would ever offer paid content but I won’t close the door on that idea. I agree with kels, content creators deserve compensation.
3) this sort of thing is well established in the reaktor community that the er301 echos greatly. I can remember nearing a decade ago similar discussions were brought up there… The paid content that eventually followed actually helped to grow the platform and it’s userbase benefited greatly.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I am not good at being a capitalist. I often undercharge or give away my services. But I don’t get mad when I see people ask a fair compensation for their time and energy.

I’m very sorry that my site requiring an email offended some. I didn’t intend for that to be the case, and most of you that have reached have expressed the same sentiment… I’m also very sorry to hear that this sort of discussion would lead to users no longer feeling good about sharing free content. I think there is plenty of room for both.


In my opinion there’s nothing to apologize for. You haven’t done anything wrong at all. Quite the opposite - you gave us all a cool, free unit. Thank you!!

For me personally, I wasn’t offended. However the site’s requirement to supply an email to get the download link makes me far less likely to try your creation though, for the reasons I stated. At a minimum, getting prompted for my email always makes me stop and think whether I really want to proceed.

BTW- github doesn’t require you to login to download a public repo. I am not saying that github is the best or “right” way to distribute these though. Just clarifying.


Interesting. I was given a prompt to sign up the other day, I navigated away(I already have a github account I believe but was busy). Good to know.

Thanks for the kind words and I appreciate all the work you have done for the community as well.

I agree providing an email gives me a slight pause as well. I weight if I feel like it’s worth it. For me 9/10 times it is. But again that’s all personal preference .


I agree that creators should charge what they want however they want and it should be up to the buyer to decide if they would like to pay or not (Just do what you want, man!),

I was a little confused, as I generally lurk these forums for ideas, inspiration and education to try to recreate concepts myself from unit building blocks. I can only speak for myself, but that’s my “ER-301 Experience ™.” If there’s enough of a plug-and-play market for folks that want that then why not?

I do want to thank all the people who have provided content (videos, presets, wiki entries, etc.) so far (edit: I want to further emphasize that your free time and efforts are appreciated). To me, the sharing of how things work is what sets this module apart from a lot of others. I hope to give some useful knowledge back someday.


As unfortunate as this has all been, the question was always ‘when’ never ‘if’.

At times like this we should all appreciate the philosophy of Kurt vonnegut, who would say…

‘so it goes’

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I was never mad with you @Flux302, I am disappointed that my posts have been interpreted this way. I can’t do anything about that other than reiterate, as I did twice previously, that I am completely fine with anyone doing whatever they want. Nor am I offended by your asking for peoples email address for a download, this is a common business practice. That is absolutely not what I was saying at all.

The choice not to do any more free stuff is my choice and I am grateful for the knowledge that I will be supported and protected in doing this. This choice hasn’t been made solely because of this discussion, it’s a wider issue I feel in other areas of my life and an emerging general philosophy in response to everything that is happening in the world today.

Personally speaking, I believe that anything I do that I charge for should continue to be supported regardless of firmware version and that is what payment will cover.

It will be presented in a way that complies with globally applicable data collection legislation to avoid the life-destroying fines for non-compliance and to help mitigate any feelings of mistrust any potential customers may have by increasing confidence that the data they are providing will be kept safe and won’t be misused.

I worked out that researching, designing, drawing, coding, testing, debugging (and testing again) the Mid Side unit took about 10 hours in total, even at a very modest £50 hour that’s somewhere in the region of £500. If I was charging for it I would probably add another round of testing and polishing the code to make sure it was perfect. It was downloaded ~20 times, which means that a fair price would be something like £25. Intuitively this seems too much for a single unit but it is a very reasonable representation of what it cost.

What would be a reasonable sum to charge for the unit?

p.s. other units I am working on have taken much more time and are still not completed, Evil Twin and Scorpio took days of pretty intensive work to develop and that was with Joe and myself working on them, so double that - I estimate over 100 man hours for each? Maybe more!

An honest question - not trying to create an argument as I believe in your ability to value your time - but what about those who volunteer to update the wiki? Should they charge a fee as well?

Absolutely - a resounding YES from me!

I would love to see a thriving community where everyone who contributes is rewarded handsomely for their efforts. I can’t think of a better way to encourage further development and increase quality.

Lets face it, none of us are exactly poor are we, we are comparatively well off, although I would hesitate to call any of us rich - I get the feeling that we all work for a living - right?

For us, paying a few £ here and there is not going to break the bank!

I know if I earned a reasonable remuneration from developing a unit, I would devote more time to writing more on the same basis. Even writing bespoke solutions for people who have specific needs. Etc…

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