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Re: [DotGNU]paying for free software (was Re: `freeing' proprietary so

From: Barry Fitzgerald
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]paying for free software (was Re: `freeing' proprietary software)
Date: Sun, 09 Jun 2002 16:47:02 -0400

Angel \"Java\" Lopez wrote:
> > >
> > > I believe that fitzix misspoke; what I think he meant is, that it is a
> > > natural *property* of bits and bytes to be copied with incredible ease.
> > > Any restriction of such is "artificial scarcity", i.e., bad for everyone
> > > else.
> Hmmm..... "natural property" ?.... In point of view, it is not the function
> and essence of a software program. In other perspective, my private
> documents or digital photos, are not for be copied....

Sure they are - in fact, they have to be copied into memory for the
software to use them in the first place.

In your mind, they're not to be distributed and that's fine. 
Distribution and copying are two entirely different things.  I leave the
distribution of your own material up to you.  I draw the line when
others start telling me what to do with materials that I legally gained.

> > > > But, in the Open Source, who pays the bill??
> > >
> > > Anyone who has an interest in the continued production of Free Software.
> Who pays MY bills.... ;-)
> I think:
> - Free Software is great
> - In the long term, Free Software will kill any enterprise that its main
> income is from selling license-based software multiple times (except if the
> income is for the package and distribution). Other incomes to analize:
> printed documentation, installation, support, training, consulting....
> Anyone thinking to make a software enterprise, will need to follow this
> pattern....

Yes, but if there is no model of software enterprise that can come about
without oppressing others, then the software market is not a real market
in the strictest sense.

In other words: If proprietary software production is the only way to
make money on a software-only product, then you're initial business plan
is inherently flawed.  That's like coming to my house and selling me
air.  I'm not going to buy it unless you make it impossible for me to
breath the existing air.  Legally, that's what proprietary software is

> - As a professional programmer, my options will be:
>     - Work to or build a free software enterprise, like above.
>     - A company (like Boeing or the Uncle Sam) that needs implements
> one-time system (a particular system)
>     - A company that sells "one-time system" (a turn-key system).

Which is a considerable percentage of those developers who are
employed.  In fact, the percentage of developers filling those jobs
probably exceeds 80-90% of all programming jobs available world-wide.

> The OS licences (low cost or not), deals for OS licences to PC makers, the
> servers (Exchange, SQL Server, BizTalk.... ) licences, development tools
> (VS7, VS.Net), home software (Encarta, Age of Empires...) pays Microsoft's
> bills.

Actually, the stock market pays Microsoft's bills.  Their products don't
take in enough money to do so.

> >
> > (And, from a certain analysis, MS isn't even profitable.  So, all is not
> > equal and proprietary software is not inherently profitable)
> Ooopss.... which analysis?


MS commits to accounting "fraud" to appear profitable when they really
aren't, as do many other (proprietary) companies.  This is one of the
reasons that Enron collapsed (certainly not the only one) -- so it's not
voodoo analysis.  There are real flaws in the reporting system and MS is
one of the biggest financial black holes out there.


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