Subject: Re: Economics of software distribution
From: Peter.Averkamp@E20.PHYSIK.TU-MUENCHEN.DE (Peter Averkamp)
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1993 14:58:22 +0100

On Mar 18, 17:43, Jonathan Ryshpan wrote:
{ Subject: Re: Economics of software distribution
>
....comments about Peter's compress example deleted
> 
> What do free software vendors sell?  I'd guess these things, all of
> which are called support.
> 
>    o Hand holding
>    o Custom modifications
>    o Quick bug fixes
>    o Early access to updates
> 
> The difficulty that vendors of free software have is getting customers
> to pay for what they *thought* they were getting for free, namely all
> the above and possibly more besides.  (Additions are requested.)
> 
...stuff deleted
>
}-- End of excerpt from Jonathan Ryshpan

This seems to be one core point of the whole discussion:
The name 'Free' software is extremely unfortunately chosen. It leads people
to associate it with no-cost software, which we all know is wrong. I feel
that any other name for the model would have been better, even if it
contained the word 'open', like 'open source software' or 'full source
bartering' (to keep the acronym 'fsb' :) ).
The idea of trading could indeed be used to help a fsb generate revenues,
if, the GPL put aside, every author would require the recipients to do
something to help the software pool as a whole or just give money if he 
does not like to do so. An example: If I publish a piece of sofware, I think
it would be reasonable to ask anybody who will generate income with that
software to give something back. The difference to shareware is that the
person may choose among several things to give back: it may be, e.g. a 
piece of work on the wishlist, a bugfix, direct promotion for the software,
or if all else fails, money.  By this either my product becomes more
valuable with every customer or i get direct payback. Of course it will
be very hard to assign a direct value to everything people do, but as a whole
there might be a much better motivation for people to put work in someone
else's product if they can effectively pay a bill with what they do.

 Peter Averkamp


-- 
Peter Averkamp,                      | email:
Physics Department E20               | petav@radon.e20.physik.tu-muenchen.de
Techn. Univ. of Munich               | Phone: ++49 (89) 3209-2408 and -2814
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