Subject: Re: Competition by internal expertise for F/OSS vendors
From: Rich Bodo <>
Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 23:14:18 -0700

> A "cynic" funding free software as a bargaining chip
> might actually be more motivated to fund "plumbing"
> work than an FSB that had to make a sustainable living
> out of somehow charging for one piece of the product.
I see more of your point of view now.  The trade off is:

+lower risk for the would-be pen manufacturer
+at least they have something to work with that, lets face it, is 
probably easier to learn right now
+dollars go to pen research
-swords are distributed to poor people, who now have strong incentive to 
violate copyright and little incentive to learn about alternatives.


-high risk for the pen-manufacturer
+pens are distributed to poor people - they're gonna figure it out and 
learn more this way
+some poor people become contributors to FOSS via product feedback, bug 
reports  and other contributions
+some poor people get to grok yet another reason why peer production and 
the free exchange of information is so dang cool.