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Re: Release plans

From: Lennart Borgman (gmail)
Subject: Re: Release plans
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2008 01:09:49 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20071031 Thunderbird/ Mnenhy/

Thomas Lord wrote:
> Consider a feature, X, which is desirable for practical purposes.
> Consider a feature, Y, which is banned.
> If the ban on Y makes X harder to implement, in the sense
> of costing more in labor or money, then the economic incentive
> to go into business selling a non-free implementation of X goes
> up.
> The reason that incentive goes up is because the cost of
> going into business selling a non-free X goes up while the
> demand for the practically useful X remains steady.
> Now, someone with some money that they want to spend
> writing new, non-free software looks at that and says
> "I think I can do X, in spite of the ban on Y.  In fact,
> given the work I did on my masters thesis, I think I can do
> X cheaper than most people.   If I start selling a non-free X,
> it will be a long time before some competitor comes along
> either selling a non-free competitor to X or sharing a free
> version of X.  It will be a long time because I'm almost the only one
> with an effective idea of how to get around the ban on Y.
> Therefore, I'll go into business selling proprietary X and count
> my blessings for the banning of Y."

Are you sure that reasoning is valid as an argument here? There will for
example, as you even hint, be different economic incentives for
different people.

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