Much of the software I have used in my life has been paid software. And as I got older, and had less money to spend, I have switched mostly to open source software. I know that when other blogging software went to a paid or subscription based model, that most people moved over to the entirely free WordPress blogging software, or atleast gave it another look before plunking down cash on the paid software.
I sometimes wonder though if WordPress would survive people turning off the tap for free plugins and themes, and going to a pay model for expanding WordPress.
So you spend all your time making a great plugin or theme for WordPress, you use it on your site, and you decide you would love to see others use it as well, you set up a page to order the theme or plugin for $2 USD per download. Wouldn’t that be fair?
You took the time to write the plugin or design the theme, you are going to support it, release other versions of it, should you not be compensated in some way for the time and effort you are putting into the project?
I know that a shift like that could really hurt WordPress, and currently there are already people asking for money for themes, but for the most part you can find whatever you need, totally free by searching hard enough.
Does anyone think that a micropayment model for themes and plugins would work for a community like WordPress? Or is it too late to shift away from being free?