I’ve never noticed this until recently when I learned that to download dictionary databases for stardict, you have to pay at least $5 to become a level-one user. From the homepage:
If you like StarDict, you can consider to upgrade to level 1 user for $5, this will help StarDict develop further. I am going to go abroad in 2008 and study operating system then, this need much money, so I hope I can earn some money from StarDict, but I will keep StarDict open source. Your help will be appreciated!
First off, the dictionaries are hosted on SourceForge mirrors and you can actually download them without the five-bucks hassle there. However, the origins of some of these dictionaries (such as Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate, Oxford ALD, Longman DCE, Collins Cobuild, Duden, etc.) are questionable. And should putting such materials on SourceForge for public download be considered a violation of copyright laws?
I use stardict everyday, it’s small, useful and very well-written. And I consider author’s situation and motive to be very understandable and sympathetic. But shouldn’t asking for donation instead of selling the dictionaries he/she does not own more appropriate?