Subject: Re: open source definition
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen)
Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 13:27:57 -0400 (EDT)

On Sun, 26 Apr 1998, Peter Deutsch wrote:
> 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...

Music doesn't require testing, maintenance, or bug-fixes, it doesn't
need to be updated to keep up with the times, and there is, as of yet,
no `compulsory licensing' for software, the way there is for music.

And while there may not be many people calling for a boycott of
charging for records, the overwhelming majority of people in the US
have made copies of music and given them to their friends.  I assume
this is true elsewhere too.  This indicates to me that people generally
don't buy into the value system the copyright law on music promotes.

Also, people generally don't depend on music to fly planes, run nuclear
reactors, run radiotherapy machines, figure their taxes, etc.  They
just listen to it for entertainment.

But maybe this discussion is of the type that Adam Richter was
complaining about.  Perhaps we *ought* to start another mailing list --
Free Software Debate, or something.  Russ, could you host it?

Kragen