Subject: Re: Can open source cost money?
From: Brian Bartholomew <bb@wv.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 00:47:19 -0400

> First, it doesn't need to be perfectly secure.  A reasonably secure
> mechanism will still exhibit lower theft than over the counter
> products, which is a reasonable goal.

I was planning on relying on the honesty of customers who agree to a
signed contract.  Do you think I will lose many potential sales?
Maybe I should give out gratis personal licenses to kids under 18.
Co-opt the warez d00ds by making 'theft' approved, and thus boring.
Possibly also a long-term marketing investment, a'la Apple.

> The source code can be kept in escrow until this occurs and released
> on this condition

I'd rather release source to purchasers, before the libre release.  If
you want to join in my project, influence development, contribute
code, or get on the mailing lists, you have to buy a copy first.

> Second, it is sufficient to know when to stop charging.  If, after a
> certain point, the charge mechanism simply stops billing you have
> achieved the free property you wanted.

Do you mean run-time monitoring?  Big brother scares me.

> There is one problem with your proposal: it shifts the burden of
> costs to the early users who take risks.

I see this as an insurmountable free rider problem.  Maybe the early
users should share in the profits.


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