Subject: Re: open source definition
From: peterd@Bunyip.Com (Peter Deutsch)
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 13:56:10 -0400

[ You wrote: ]

> > Hire bands, or see live music, and buy your CD's direct from the
> > band.  More and more bands are specifically making a living from
> > self-pressed CD sales.
> 
> I second that. The music industry is a pyramid scheme stacked against
> the bands.  New bands, in particular, have to put in a lot of money
> they don't have.  Money from the CD's sold at the events goes to the
> band.  Money from CD's bought in the local store goes to the
> distribution chain.

I suspect that the analogy was even better than I had
originally thought. If you look at the act of creating
music, you see lots of labour composing, arranging, hiring
and managing skilled staff (who can be difficult,
especially the gifted ones... ;-), then recording,
overdubbing, mixing, marketing, selling, etc. In fact, the
actual time spent by musicians in the studio is only a
small part of the total needed to produce even a
relatively simple record. Ditto for programmers on a
software product. SOrry guys, but that's the economic
reality.

And we'd all like to see all those people fairly
compensated while making the results as widely available
as possilble. Forcing musicians to give away their labour
wont do that. Forcing programmers wont either. But,
sometimes it can make sense to pay for the work, and give
it away with minimal restrictions. I agree software is
moremutable and the analogy is not 100 percent, but the
differing perspective does let us see the business aspects
a bit better in the new light.


> Hmm. I wonder if we can come up with a public performance model for
> software development.  How much would you guys pay to watch me hack in 
> a bar one night? :-)

Well, Disney apparently has guided tours of their
animation studios. Yup, you can pay to go to Disneyworld
and then watch the workerbees turning out the next
"Hercules". I somehow doubt the animators get residuals
for their performances!

And when I think about it, we *do* have that concept in
the software business. I issued shares to the old hands
who helped me found the company. They profit from all
future work we do. Can you imagine a story about Microsoft
that didn't discuss their employee share options? 


				- peterd

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     Peter Deutsch,                                   (514) 875-8611  (phone)
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