Subject: Re: Motivating support contracts
From: Brian Bartholomew <bb@wv.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 05:48:31 -0400

> Many (all?) commercial Linux vendors take that view that some people
> will initially use whatever is cheapest or most easily available,
> but once they are committed to a particular distribution they will
> go to the official publisher for upgrades and support.  So the
> bitcopiers are sowing the seeds of future sales.

I agree this is what users do.  But why do users do this?  If a copy
*truly is* a bitcopy, it's exactly as good as the original.  It's as
if the purchasers don't trust the bitcopiers to make timely or
accurate copies.  As if the branding is damaged during the bitcopying.
Compare this decay of branding to FSF programs, where users seem to be
less emphatic about always downloading their versions from the FSF.

When I discuss the price of software, I often get the response that
program Y only costs $99 (or $45, or $9, or whatever programs of that
type are costing this week) which is cheap, and why am I making a fuss?
I care because as a purchaser I want the cost of software to approach
the price to create it, not to float up to some marketing-derived
disposable income-related price.


League for Programming Freedom (LPF) ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/lpf/patents.text
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Brian Bartholomew - bb@wv.com - www.wv.com - Working Version, Cambridge, MA