Subject: Re: Communities as the new IPR?
From: Jim Thompson <>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 10:16:53 -1000

Russell Nelson wrote:

>Jim Thompson writes:
> > seems to me one must either believe in the "efficiency" of a 
> > free/competitive market (in which case reinvention is fine, as the 
> > 'market' will pick the winner) or one must believe in (and support) 
> > "social policy".
>Choosing a free market is a social policy, but this is the wrong
>mailing list for that discussion.
That market produced Microsoft, n'est-ce pas? (It is true that Microsoft 
manipulated the market to its advantage.)

So called "Free-market" policies have often served to undermine the 
markets of local producers, provide state subsidies to multinational 
corporations, destroy public sector services, and create greater gaps 
between the wealthy few and the underprivileged many.

(I do agree with Jamie's assertion that a bit of both makes the best 
market 'soup'.)

Still, what I seek (and I believe others seek the same) is the freedom 
to engage in commerce, with certain socially-agreed constraints (among 
these, ethics and laws), and I must allow others the same freedom. Nokia 
is free (and must be free) to 'fork' (though I doubt they have). The 
community has only a few possible reactions if they do:

1) ignore Nokia, and continue on with
2) follow Nokia
3) bifurcate
4) create a new path, following neither or Nokia.

The community (or rather, its members) must be free (like Nokia) to 
follow the path they feel most correct. If Nokia
doesn't want to enable people to easily strip pieces from Maemo, they're 
free to create an image that makes this difficult, so long as they 
comply with the license terms for the software included in that image. 
If the community rejects Nokia's "better idea", they should also be free 
to do so. I have little doubt that portions of the community will create 
their own Maemo-like images for distribution.

To insist that Nokia or any other party be otherwise restricted or even 
shouted down, is to dictate that someone has political power, and that 
idea is the antithesis of freedom.