Subject: Re: -- Tangled Webs: What Gives Them the Right?
From: Ben Laurie <>
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1999 08:41:44 +0000

Russell Nelson wrote:
> Ben Laurie writes:
>  > Russell Nelson wrote:
>  > > Not necessarily.  Every boxed piece of software comes with a warranty.
>  > > Free software cannot, and that's one of the things that people don't
>  > > like about free software.
>  >
>  > Why can't it? How is it different from proprietary software in this
>  > respect?
> Uh-oh, I said a four-letter word.  Sorry, I meant that gratis software
> cannot come with a warranty.
> And even if you sell boxed free software with a warranty, you're still
> only selling it to people who want the warranty.  Ya gotta ask
> yourself (when setting up your cost structure): why do they want a
> warranty?  Granted, they can only get the boxed set *with* the
> warranty, so part of their reason may be other things that come with
> the warranty: the reduced risk of a branded product, the printed
> manual, the CD-ROM put together by the authors.  But if the value of
> the warranty dominates the other value, then you ought to presume a
> high rate of warranty repairs will be needed.

You can't have it both ways: free software can't be worse than
prioprietary software because it has no warranty, but giving a warranty
indicates that its worse than proprietary sofware. Eh?




"My grandfather once told me that there are two kinds of people: those
who work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the
first group; there was less competition there."
     - Indira Gandhi