Subject: Re: a model of competition between free and proprietary software
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Mon, 28 May 2001 12:23:20 +0900

>>>>> "Kragen" == Kragen Sitaker <kragen@pobox.com> writes:

    Kragen> "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp> writes:

    >> What's fascinating to me about F is that it can generate
    >> "industrial strength" (pun is the whole point) economic effects
    >> without financial capital beyond individuals' willingness to
    >> accept compensation in kind, and in small amounts.  F somehow
    >> putters along, demanding little from charity and often without
    >> being asked for by anyone, and in the process changes the
    >> world.

    Kragen> This is the nature of unrestricted information, and always
    Kragen> has been.

    Kragen> Free software changing the world should surprise no one
    Kragen> who understands what the academic tradition has done for
    Kragen> the world and how free software naturally proceeds from
    Kragen> that tradition.

As an out-of-the-closet academic, I think your "argument from nature"
is wishful thinking, and "what the academic tradition has done for the
world" is precisely the example I would use.

Although I am proud of the academic tradition, I believe that
"academic tradition" has done little for the world _directly_.  It is
those have have _marketed_ the knowledge freely provided by academics
who have had _direct_ effect.  Marketers have historically been
protected by all manner of devices, legal and otherwise.

Free software explicitly and _effectively_ eschews those protections.
It is new and not analogous to the academic tradition for the purposes
of FSB.

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