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Commercial Use Of Pin2Dmd


lucky1
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4 hours ago, lucky1 said:

I get more and more reports about people who sell either pin2dmd displays pre-activated

lucky1, hopefully you don't shut the project down because of a few bad apples,  but I don't quite understand when you say people are selling them "pre-activated".  Don't they still have to make the required donation to activate them, and so why does it matter if the seller or the buyer activates them - the charity still benefits, correct?  Anyway, let us know what we can do to help stop them.

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1 hour ago, sudsy7 said:

lucky1, hopefully you don't shut the project down because of a few bad apples,  but I don't quite understand when you say people are selling them "pre-activated".  Don't they still have to make the required donation to activate them, and so why does it matter if the seller or the buyer activates them - the charity still benefits, correct?  Anyway, let us know what we can do to help stop them.

 

For me there is a big difference in people who build a pin2dmd for themselves or people who build dozens of them and make profit out of it. Because they make profit with our development, people who resell pin2dmds regularly either standalone or in pinball machines, are simply asked to share an additional 10 Euro with our charity projects by donating 20 Euro directly to the charity organizations.  They have two advantages out of it. They can offer the devices preactivated and receive a donation receipt which is equal to a invoice.

 

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6 hours ago, lucky1 said:

For me there is a big difference in people who build a pin2dmd for themselves or people who build dozens of them and make profit out of it. Because they make profit with our development, people who resell pin2dmds regularly either standalone or in pinball machines, are simply asked to share an additional 10 Euro with our charity projects by donating 20 Euro directly to the charity organizations.  They have two advantages out of it. They can offer the devices preactivated and receive a donation receipt which is equal to a invoice.

So you're just saying that people selling these should pay more since they are profiting from your design.  I agree, and I think everyone would agree with that.  If someone asks you for 10 activation keys, it's pretty obvious that they selling them, so I wouldn't give them the keys unless they paid 20 Euro each.  Or just charge a rate of 20 Euro for everyone, it's worth it and it's a charitable donation anyways, and that's a whole lot better than shutting down the project.  I don't think there's any other way to stop unscrupulous people.

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Maybe you can ask a series of questions before you let people activate them and based on the responses you can charge the correct amount and track who seems to be selling them and send them some messages.

 

I do have a question though. If I built and installed one in my pinball machine, then like a year later sold that pinball machine with it in it(which I’ve done maybe 2 times), should I pay the higher price. Should I pay the extra 10 when I sell that machine? Just let me know and I’ll send you another 20. 

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

 

I am building a handful PIN2DMD and will be selling most of them (selling 4 out of 5 is the plan to start with), and might build a bunch more later on. After reading this post and having a minor mail conversation with Joerg(Lucky1) (ending with pointing out to not mail you but to use the forums) and also getting a comment from Joerg on my posted Facebook inquiry of interest in Sweden for my PIN2DMDs I felt I need to air the matter here.

 

First, I do this as a hobby but I do understand that from PIN2DMD license agreement I am considered selling commercially. I will be making a profit even though most of this profit goes into investing in electronics equipment to build these and support my future planned efforts in designing open source hardware for pinball machines and partly pay for the time I spend on this. So effectively there is no profit and I'm still concerned I might loose money in this endeavor. This aside of course no matter what my profit is used for it is still a PIN2DMD sale. Personally it's a hobby, from PIN2DMD perspective it's commercial.

 

As per the information in the OP,

Quote

Lucky1

P.S.  This is the solution we created for commercial resellers.

  Quote

You  can use my hardware design and sell prebuilt pin2dmd hardware. 
About the license as a commercial reseller you have two possibilities.

Donate directly 20 Euro per device with a minimum of 200 Euro per donation (10 devices) to the charity projects I like to support with pin2dmd and send me a copy of your bank transfer. You will then receive a donation receipt which is tax deductible from the charity organization and from me the keys for free. 

Or sell the hardware without activation and let the end user make the donation. You can offer a service to preload the key you get forwarded from him.

Most important, don´t forward any customers to me if they have questions. As a commercial reseller this is your job.

Always have in mind that I do this for free in my spare time and forward the money I receive through pin2dmd to the charity organizations I like to support.
So it is not about how to make it easy for you to earn money with my project, but how to make it as easy as possible for me.

 

My plan was to offer two options, preloaded activated and customer activation.
Option 1. Preloaded would cost "the customer" €15 extra on top of the hardware, so we would effectively split the diff between a customer personal €10 activation and the commercial €20 donation, customer adding €5 and me taking €5 from my profit.
Option 2. Customer activation would be just that, they buy the hardware from me and need to donate and activate it themselves.

 

Now to my issue.

 

I do understand that you monitor the sale and correct people if they do something wrong, as you should and I praise you for taking your time to do so. But commenting on another languages inquiry of interest and from my perspective going against your own post in the quote above is contra productive. I think this scares people and complicate things unnecessarily. If you want the buyer to pay €20 as well please say so and change your model.

 

I might just up the price and make sure all sales are preactivated instead to not have to deal with this. But since you do offer the model of commercial sellers selling without activation and as I understand the end user donating €10 getting the activation for themselves I thought I was going to offer "my customers" this option. Or have I understood your model wrong when reading the obove quote and the user always need to donate €20 if they didn't build it themselves?

 

Thank you for all your hard work with this project.

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31 minutes ago, connylandstedt said:

Or have I understood your model wrong when reading the obove quote and the user always need to donate €20 if they didn't build it themselves?

 

From my understanding, Personal use only in small quantities, doesn't matter if you built it yourself or bought it elsewhere is 10 euros for activation. If you are buying to sell then the activation is 20 euros if you wish to offer the device pre activated. 

 

I think the idea here is if you are making a profit on the sale of the device you need to pay the extra 10 euros for the activation due to being a commercial sale. The thing that doesn't make sense is that a seller can still sell a device non activated and still make profit but there will be no payment to the charity. 

 

It would be much easier to have a blanket rule to say non commercial sales are 10 euros activation and commercial sales need to be activated for 20 euros. That guarantees that all commercial sales give back to the charity from their profits. There are many that already do this (myself included) but a seller that is selling Pin2dmd commercially non activated gives 0 euros back to the charity.

 

That is just my view and I also think there are other ways to give back as well as a seller, such as providing help to others and taking part in projects and colour files.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Terranigma said:

From my understanding, Personal use only in small quantities, doesn't matter if you built it yourself or bought it elsewhere is 10 euros for activation. If you are buying to sell then the activation is 20 euros if you wish to offer the device pre activated. 

Yes, this is my understanding as well, and all the previous conversations I have seen here seem to confirm that.

 

However, the comment from Lucky1 on Facebook in this case gives rise to confusion and might even give distrust in the PIN2DMD project if the licensor gives different information at multiple places going against its own information in this thread.

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5 minutes ago, connylandstedt said:

 

However, the comment from Lucky1 on Facebook in this case gives rise to confusion and might even give distrust in the PIN2DMD project if the licensor gives different information at multiple places going against its own information in this thread.


I can’t comment on that sorry as I have not seen the FB comment.

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26 minutes ago, Terranigma said:

It would be much easier to have a blanket rule to say non commercial sales are 10 euros activation and commercial sales need to be activated for 20 euros. That guarantees that all commercial sales give back to the charity from their profits. There are many that already do this (myself included) but a seller that is selling Pin2dmd commercially non activated gives 0 euros back to the charity.

Yes, that could be an option, could open up another can of worms though. What is not to say that it's not a commercial sale if you order PCB with assembly service from China? Technically you bought a complete PIN2DMD in a commercial transaction. Where is the line drawn that says you are allowed to use a non commercial license in that case? And in the same case when people do a group buy from china there is usually one person doing all the transactions and splitting the costs, is that not a commercial sale when they distribute the units? even tough they personally might not make a profit it could be viewed as a commercial sale in a closed group.

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3 minutes ago, Terranigma said:

I can’t comment on that sorry as I have not seen the FB comment.

ok, for complete transparency here is the Facebook post in it's original form and translated to English (google translate and somewhat sanitized after) with Lucky1 comment following.

 

My post in Swedish

Intressekoll, PIN2DMD.
Bygger ihop några PIN2DMD och tänkte kolla om det finns intresse här. 2100kr föraktiverad eller 1950 utan aktivering där du får skaffa nyckeln själv (cirka 100kr).

 

My post in English

Interest check, PIN2DMD.
Building some PIN2DMD and checking here if there is interest. SEK 2,100(about €210) preactivated or 1950(about €195) without activation where you can get the key yourself (approx. SEK 100(about €10)).

 

Lucky1 comment

This is considered commercial sales according to our license, because you make profit with PIN2DMD . So activation is 20 Euro NOT 10 Euro !!!!

 

As you can see this could give rise to confusion.

 

I have given a reply to Lucky1 comment

Joerg Amann Thank you for your comment, as per the forum post you pointed me to in our mail conversation. If you did not change your license model without updating your original post you still provide the personal license to anyone for €10. And if I get the license and preload it I will donate €20 for each sale due to it being considered commercial sale as per your license model. I am trying to make sure we do it correctly and I had hope me offering two options for "the customer" saying they have the option to choose is ok, of not the case please tell the community and me. This post was just a inquiry of interest and I do intend to inform anyone that buys the PIN2DMD hardware the intricate details about the license model and that I think it's a nice thing to actually pay me an extra €15 euro compared to not activated, to get the license because the buyer and I will effectively split the extra €10 going to the full €20 donation. So from my perspective I actually am doing something extra here, you might not agree? Do you want me to only offer preloaded sales?

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2 minutes ago, connylandstedt said:

Yes, that could be an option, could open up another can of worms though. What is not to say that it's not a commercial sale if you order PCB with assembly service from China? Technically you bought a complete PIN2DMD in a commercial transaction. Where is the line drawn that says you are allowed to use a non commercial license in that case? And in the same case when people do a group buy from china there is usually one person doing all the transactions and splitting the costs, is that not a commercial sale when they distribute the units? even tough they personally might not make a profit it could be viewed as a commercial sale in a closed group.

 

It is not how you purchase it from a manufacturer like PCBWay, as many do that for personal and commercial. It is how you intend to use it. 

 

If you order 5 or more from PCBWay yourself for your 5 or more personal cabinets that you own to play, that is personal use.

If you order 5 or more from PCBWay yourself with the intent to sell and make a profit, that is commercial use.

If you order 5 or more from PCBWay yourself with the intent to sell as a group buy without making a profit but helping the community, as long as Lucky could see all the details (you can send him your thread) I am sure he will allow that as no real profit is being made here. But that is solely up to him and he has the final word and group buys may have changed. It is his project and ALL the money is going to charity. 

 

In terms of how you would monitor this, Lucky monitors everything already. If you're a seller he can make sure your orders are correct. I'm sure there are other ways he matches data etc but I really do not see the point in a seller trying to get out of paying an extra 10 for a charity project. It's a lot of work for him as well and he does it all for free, so it should be simple enough. If you're making profit on his design, please pay the correct fee. You're only cheating the charity, not some big business.

 

I am not saying this is what you intended, I am just generalising.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, connylandstedt said:

My post in Swedish

Intressekoll, PIN2DMD.
Bygger ihop några PIN2DMD och tänkte kolla om det finns intresse här. 2100kr föraktiverad eller 1950 utan aktivering där du får skaffa nyckeln själv (cirka 100kr).

 

My post in English

Interest check, PIN2DMD.
Building some PIN2DMD and checking here if there is interest. SEK 2,100(about €210) preactivated or 1950(about €195) without activation where you can get the key yourself (approx. SEK 100(about €10)).

 

Lucky1 comment

This is considered commercial sales according to our license, because you make profit with PIN2DMD . So activation is 20 Euro NOT 10 Euro !!!!

 

We seem to have posted at the same time. 

 

Ok thanks for the clarification. I think this may have been misinterpreted. As I said, I can't comment on behalf of Lucky on that thread because that is between you and him. I would wait for a reply directly.

 

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Yes, it would seem we posted at the same time :)

10 minutes ago, Terranigma said:

 

It is not how you purchase it from a manufacturer like PCBWay, as many do that for personal and commercial. It is how you intend to use it. 

 

If you order 5 or more from PCBWay yourself for your 5 or more personal cabinets that you own to play, that is personal use.

If you order 5 or more from PCBWay yourself with the intent to sell and make a profit, that is commercial use.

If you order 5 or more from PCBWay yourself with the intent to sell as a group buy without making a profit but helping the community, as long as Lucky could see all the details (you can send him your thread) I am sure he will allow that as no real profit is being made here. But that is solely up to him and he has the final word and group buys may have changed. It is his project and ALL the money is going to charity. 

 

In terms of how you would monitor this, Lucky monitors everything already. If you're a seller he can make sure your orders are correct. I'm sure there are other ways he matches data etc but I really do not see the point in a seller trying to get out of paying an extra 10 for a charity project. It's a lot of work for him as well and he does it all for free, so it should be simple enough. If you're making profit on his design, please pay the correct fee. You're only cheating the charity, not some big business.

 

I am not saying this is what you intended, I am just generalising.

 

 

I agree and understand the difference, and that is a very nice list you made there, seem to sum it up quite well.

7 minutes ago, Terranigma said:

 

We seem to have posted at the same time. 

 

Ok thanks for the clarification. I think this may have been misinterpreted. As I said, I can't comment on behalf of Lucky on that thread because that is between you and him. I would wait for a reply directly.

 

Yes, I eagerly await Lucky1 thoughts on this, since all the information I can gather says I was not doing anything wrong. I can understand that my pricing model could cause confusion though, but that was my way of splitting the extra donation between myself and the customer and I would always recommend the customer to buy it preactivated to support a good cause.

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1 hour ago, Terranigma said:

If you order 5 or more from PCBWay yourself for your 5 or more personal cabinets that you own to play, that is personal use.

Correct !

1 hour ago, Terranigma said:

If you order 5 or more from PCBWay yourself with the intent to sell and make a profit, that is commercial use.

Also correct ! Also if you buy pin2dmd devices to restore pinball machines and sell the machines afterwards I consider this making profit with pin2dmd.

 

1 hour ago, Terranigma said:

If you order 5 or more from PCBWay yourself with the intent to sell as a group buy without making a profit but helping the community, as long as Lucky could see all the details (you can send him your thread) I am sure he will allow that as no real profit is being made here. But that is solely up to him and he has the final word and group buys may have changed. It is his project and ALL the money is going to charity. 

That is not the case here because 210 Euro with activation or 195 Euro without is the same or even above what shops ask for a pin2dmd device.

A group buy is when you buy something and simply divide the costs by the number of person who take part in the group buy and take nothing or

max 10 Euro (= 1 hour of work with minimum wages) for assembly service

 

If you try to finance your tools or electronic equipment with the profit you make by selling PIN2DMD it is considered commercial.

 

3 hours ago, connylandstedt said:

But commenting on another languages inquiry of interest and from my perspective going against your own post in the quote above is contra productive. I think this scares people and complicate things unnecessarily.

I don´t care what scares people or not or what is contra productive. Offering preactivated devices for only 15 Euro more instead of 20 Euro leaves the impression that a commercial license is only 15 Euro or you activated them with private activations, which both is wrong. If I leave this uncommented other will point me to that and say "Why did he get the license for 15 Euro ?" or justify themselves doing the same. 

 

 

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, lucky1 said:

Correct !

 

Also correct ! Also if you buy pin2dmd devices to restore pinball machines and sell the machines afterwards I consider this making profit with pin2dmd.

 

That is not the case here because 210 Euro with activation or 195 Euro without is the same or even above what shops ask for a pin2dmd device.

A group buy is when you buy something and simply divide the costs by the number of person who take part in the group buy and take nothing or

max 10 Euro (= 1 hour of work with minimum wages) for assembly service

 

If you try to finance your tools or electronic equipment with the profit you make by selling PIN2DMD it is considered commercial.

I agree with above and argue that I am following what is said and never done anything that should be able to be misinterpreted as to try to avoid making sure there is a commercial transaction with the associated €20 donation in that case.

 

However, what I choose to charge for my devices is up to me and everyone who build these have different expenses to build one. Just look at the stm32 chips, you pretty much cant buy them and the ones you can get your hands on are crazy expensive. And the LED panels keeps getting more expensive by the week. I seriously doubt stores that build these devices now would be willing to sell for what they have done previously. I have seen the numbers of what you were able to build these devices for just last year and I have no way of building them that cheap. It's a free market and if people think mine are too expensive go somewhere else (good luck finding them in a store, I can't find them anyhow) or try to make a deal with me.

35 minutes ago, lucky1 said:

I don´t care what scares people or not or what is contra productive. Offering preactivated devices for only 15 Euro more instead of 20 Euro leaves the impression that a commercial license is only 15 Euro or you activated them with private activations, which both is wrong. If I leave this uncommented other will point me to that and say "Why did he get the license for 15 Euro ?" or justify themselves doing the same. 

Fair enough that you don't care. But then you should also stay out of the business of anyone selling this device unless you have a clear case of not following your license model.

 

I don't agree with you about the pricing, any seller should be able to price it as they wish as long as they follow your rules set up for the license model and donate the €20 for a commercial activation. If a seller choose to take it out their own pocket that is their choice. Until they sold a preactivated device with the wrong license I am of the opinion that you should not be leaving such detrimental comments.

 

In that case I'd be inclined to use your words and say I don't care if people get the impression the commercial license i only €15 because it clearly is not. And anyone pointing to that pricing and saying they got it for €15 is not valid, because the price clearly is not for a personal activation donated and procured from you. If it says preactivated commercial device there is only one way of doing it correctly and that is by donating €20 for each device and procure the activation from you.

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You are right as long as you pay 20 Euro per license you can sell the hardware at whatever price you want, but I would prefer that you make this clear in your offer that the license costs you 20 Euro to avoid misinterpretation of other commercial resellers. I want to avoid unnecessary e-mails as much as I can. 

One more thing I need to add. Commercial resellers donate directly to one of the charity organizations we support

with pin2dmd and they use bulk activation. Which means you send me a copy of your donation receipt of x times 20Euro(screenshot of the paypal transaction) together with all the numbers you want to activate and I send you the keys for free.

Please contact me about the details about which organization to donate to, as soon as you have your boards. 

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As an example of proper use as I understand it. 
 

PCBWay required me to purchase five boards and I only want two. 
So, I offered three to the community at my cost. All three of those boards were committed to within minutes. I specified in my post that I would sell these boards with or without LEDs and with or without activation and/or color files. I specified that the Lucky1 contribution and/or author contribution would have to be included in the transaction if I activate board. I believe for a group buy this properly fits the procedure. I am only recovering 1/5 of my actual cost with each transaction. 
 

However if instead of estimated $156 per board plus contribution amounts say I charged $200 then I am creating a commercial transaction and the 20 euro applies for each transaction. 
 

Doesn’t seem to complicated to me if I understand it correctly.  
 

All three of the members who have expressed interest in my surplus stated they have built these boards before. Therefore I think one is getting a board with no LEDs and the other two are activating it themselves.  To further distinguish that this is a cost only transaction I will not offer any additional boards unless in the very far future I buy another pin that needs a board. 

Edited by bushav
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