Subject: Re: open source definition
From: peterd@Bunyip.Com (Peter Deutsch)
Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 13:04:01 -0400

[ You wrote: ]
.  .  .
> Picture a world like the one in Neil Stephenson's _Diamond Age_: Every
> manufactured object has the cost properties of software.  Big up front
> cost to design the first one, nearly zero cost to print out copies.
> This is the world I want my profitable free software development plan
> to work in.  I call this the Star Trek economy problem.
> 
> Basing a business's revenue on old-fashioned, hard-to-reproduce things
> like cdroms, books, or consulting hours, is a perfectly fine and moral
> thing to do.  But it doesn't answer the question I'm interested in.

We are not the first generation to see this phenomenon in
a business setting. It matches perfectly the description of
the recorded music industry (among others). Rare, skilled
workers produce an easily manufactured product. Not many
people call for a boycott of charging for records and few
people think of themselves as being in the "Vinyl record
business" or the "free music business". Sorry, but I don't
see why software is inherently different...

					- peterd

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