Subject: Economics of software distribution
From: drg@CANDIDUS.MA30.BULL.COM (Daniel R. Guilderson)
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 93 11:43:05 -0500

I tend to agree with Peter.  R&D has to be funded somehow and I'm not
convinced that there is a way for a company to recoup money spent on
R&D through selling "mass-market" free software.  It's ridiculous to
think that you can subsidize R&D by selling manuals or providing
support because if the market is lucrative enough you will have others
providing the same services without the liability of R&D expenses.
And it doesn't help matters that currently R&D is a major expense.
Russ's business works because R&D is being funded by companies that
are trying to sell hardware.  The mass-market software business
doesn't have that luxury.

On the otherhand, I hate the idea of hording software forever.  I like
Peter's model and there are other models which are nice compromises
such as copyrighting the software for a couple of years and then
releasing it into the free domain.