Home > Free Registration Key Policy and FAQ

Fluid Dynamics will grant free registration keys to certain charitable causes and to those who contribute to the scripts.

General Questions

Q.

If I receive a free key, must I continue to display the publicly-viewable copyright and link to xav.com?

A.

You can remove the copyright. Anyone with a registration key, whether purchased or granted, can remove the publicly-viewable copyright and link.


Q.

I don't have any money and/or my site isn't profitable yet and/or I am 10 years old. Can I pleeease have a free key?

A.

No.


Q.

Will you grant a registration key in exchange for some free advertising on my site?

A.

No.

CGI scripts have a very narrow audience and are not purchased impulsively. Advertising anywhere other than a webmaster-resource-type site would not be very effective. And, advertising is evil.


Q.

Will you grant a registration key in exchange for a free hosting account on my server?

A.

No.

Hosting needs have been taken care of. And, if you could actually see how much disk space, CPU, and bandwidth this site uses, you'd probably retract your offer anyway.


Q.

Are there any products or services that can be traded for keys?

A.

All of the products need help with creating and maintaining translations. Assistance with translations can be traded for a key (see the Merit Grants FAQ section).


Q.

How do I request a key?

A.

Please fill out the Online Request Form.


Merit Grants

Merit grants are free registration keys given to those who help in translating the product or who provide other assistance.

You receive a registration key as thanks for your work. In return, you are expect to surrender all intellectual property rights to the bug fixes, help files, and translations that you submit, so that they can be freely incorporated into the product and sold.

(Prior to 2003-10-20, free keys were offered to those who "help in the forum" and "report bugs". Free keys are no longer provided for that.)

Q.

Your script returns "Internal Server Error" when I try to run it. That's a bug. Can I have a free key?

A.

Generally, no. The "bug-fix" keys are intended for those who isolate bugs in the source code. If you said "I get ISError because on line 56023 of common_admin.pl you are using a 1 instead of a 0", and if we could reproduce that bug and verify the fix, then you would have a free key coming your way.

Free keys are sometimes granted if you assist with an interoperability problem. For example, if you run the Zeus web server, which we don't have, and find there are compatibility problems there, and then provide login access to your Zeus web server so we can debug and fix them, then you may get a free key because you went out of your way to provide access.

Keys are basically granted as a thank-you when the quality of our Perl code improves. If you report a compatibility problem, and the problem is with some other browser/server/host, then our Perl code won't change, and so its quality will not improve, and so no key will be granted.


Q.

I translated your script to the Foo language. Can I have a free key?

A.

Well, you do have to send us a full copy of your translations in a format we can use and you must transfer the copyright to us, so that we may incorporate your work into future versions.

Simply translating the scripts into some language for your own private use is great, for you, but does not warrant a free key.


Q.

What are the rules for translations?

A.

Translations must be submitted using the translation system (see http://www.xav.com/scripts/search/help/1000.html for the FDSE translation system). Translations must be based on the translator files from the most recent beta version.

By fixing 40 strings of an existing translation, you will qualify for a free registration key. For translations into new languages, you should translate the bulk of the strings file (at least the publicly-viewable portions) so that the new translation will be usable in the product.


Charity Grants

Official churches and schools can request registration keys for use on their official web sites.

Q.

What are the requirements for a charity grant?

A.
  1. Charity grants are issued to official churches and schools for use on their official web sites.

  2. Free registration keys are only issued if the standard freeware licensing mode is not sufficient for the site's needs.

  3. Registration keys are granted for use on live web sites which are taking traffic and which have the software already installed. When requesting a free key, include the URL to the main site and the URL to the software. This is used to verify the nature of the site and the way in which the software will be used. (See next question for pre-approval issues.)

    If your site is still under development, just use the Trail Shareware version of the script until your site is complete and is taking traffic. Then request the registration key.

  4. Registration keys will be sent to either "webmaster@domain.edu" where domain.edu is the site requesting the key, or to another email address that is displayed on the web site in question. We will not send keys to email addresses which aren't demonstrably affiliated with the site.


Q.

Can I be pre-approved?

A.

Fluid Dynamics makes the "good faith" pledge to provide free registration keys for use on the official web sites of any official church or school.

In most cases you will already know whether you would qualify. Contact Fluid Dynamics with any questions. This good faith pledge should allow you to budget and make preliminary software decisions during the design phase. Actual keys will only be sent to completed sites.


Q.

What does it mean to be an "official" church or school?

A.

An "official" church or school has a real-life location and is eligible for special treatment by the gov't based on the type of institution it is (i.e., freedom from taxation, 503c status, eligible for .edu domains, etc).

This distinction is made because otherwise it is possible for anyone to put some documents online that are vaguely educational or spiritual and then claim to be a church or school. There's nothing wrong with that, and in fact everyone should do that once in a while, but that type of web site is not the intended beneficiary of our charity grant program.


Q.

Do only Christian churches qualify?

A.

Any religious institution qualifies -- Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, etc.


Q.

What does it mean to be an "official" site?

A.

Basically any web site that is used to carry out the duties of the institution. This would include the main web site of the instutitution, and any department web sites, course-specific web sites, and so on.

Personal web pages hosted on the instutitution's web servers would not be considered "official" sites. Similarly, web sites that are managed by people who attend or work for the institution would not necessarily be "official".


Q.

I feel that organized religions and/or organized education are forces of evil in this world. Why should I buy your software if the proceeds go to help these forces?

A.

Two reasons:

  1. We have in the past, and do sometimes still, support the more alternative charitable causes but we don't publicize this because defining the exact causes we find worthwhile might offend those who think otherwise, or the definition would be so broad that it would apply to everyone.

    In the past our policy was that we would grant charity registration keys to any "worthy cause" and we received many requests from causes we considered unworthy. Denying those requests politely while converting the customer to paying status was difficult, so we have fallen back to this more narrowly-defined group with our own biases somewhat removed from the approval process.

    Rest assured that there are sometimes non-school and non-church beneficiaries.

  2. Churches and schools are not poor, but they are often highly bureaucratic and it is almost impossible for their webmasters to get approval for small shareware fees (they go with the lowest bidder and there is a freeware version of everything). Thus the charity policy is used to build market share in a market segment that has zero revenue potential. Because keys have zero cost, our charity policy does not make your shareware fees any higher than they would otherwise be.


Q.

I am creating a church/school site which has not yet gone live. Can I get a free key?

A.

No, keys are only issued to sites that are live, taking traffic, and have the software already installed. This allows us to verify the nature of the site and the way in which the software will be used.

If you need prior authorization for budgeting and planning purposes, we make the good faith pledge to automatically issue free keys to churches and schools.


Q.

The web site where we want to use the script is on our intranet or is otherwise not accessible from the outside world. Can we still get a key?

A.

Yes, just submit the URL to your main site so that we can at least evaluate the nature of the institution.


Q.

Do I need 503c status? What are the tax requirements?

A.

Fluid Dynamics does not receive tax credit for donations of software registration keys, since they have zero cost. Therefore we do not care whether you have any special tax status.


Other Questions

Use the Online Request Form to apply for a free key.

Please contact Fluid Dynamics if you have any questions.