Subject: Re: Successful FSBs
From: Lynn Winebarger <owinebar@free-expression.org>
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2002 19:20:11 -0500

On Monday 04 November 2002 20:36, Tim O'Reilly wrote:
> The "way of life" in this context is the law of information dissemination,
> that openness has better survival characteristics for information than
> closedness.  Goodness is the virtuous circle of a gift culture.  Laws are
> the licenses that we rely on when we don't trust that people understand the
> ways that open source works, or that they have our best interests at heart.

      As I understand it, most succesful COTS firms regard the last version
of their software a competitor, so why do they want it to have better survival
characteristics?  Or, aren't we looking ways to maximize the survival
characteristics of a software business (under the constraint of freeness of the
product or something of that nature), as opposed to the maximization of the
survival characteristics of the information?  
   Actually, that's a little redundant.  The freeness condition maximizes (or
should maximize) the survival characteristics of the information itself, whereas
the proprietary condition tends to maximize the survival characteristics of the 
firm.  It's not quite that simple as that sort of assumes fixed quality of the
software, where the OSS argument is that the freeness condition tends to
maximize quality by peer review (the corresponding proprietary argument is 
that profit drives quality maximization by attracting the best programming 
talent).

Lynn