Subject: Re: OSDD?
From: "Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona" <jesusg@cs.cornell.edu>
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998 12:05:14 +0000 (/etc/localtime)

Ben Laurie writes:
 > 
 > Actually, I didn't include redistribute deliberately, because it is not
 > clear to me that the idea that you should pay, for example, a
 > per-machine licence fee, is incompatible with the idea of open source.
 > 
 > Clearly you should be free to redistribute any changes you have made to
 > people who are entitled to run the unmodified source.

	From my point of view, which makes free software (or open
source) different is the combination of both availability of source
code and freedom of redistribution (along with freedom of
modification, of course). The availability of source leads to better
quality and competition in the support business. The freedom of
redistribution leads to competition in the distribution business,
large market shares and a big competing advantage when you talk about
per-copy costs (not to mention the sense of cooperation among the
community of users, hard to find among proprietary software). When you 
find both source code and freedom of redistribution together, you
have even more synergy advantages...

	Of course, it is still an open question how can an author, 
or a company, make a living (or a profit) from free software. But
we're starting to see some models that seem to work, and we'll see
more of them... Since the features of free software are
different and "new", we also need new models which take advantage of
them.

	If we agree that free software has real advantages over proprietary
software, the question is not *whether* you can make a living of it. The
question is *how* do you make a living of it... Go ask those
companies based on proprietary software in market niches where there
is a good free software competitor...

		Jesus.
 
-- 
Jesus M. Gonzalez Barahona             | Grupo de Sistemas y Comunicaciones
tel +3491 624 9458, fax +3491 624 9430 | Departamento de Informatica
jgb@gsyc.inf.uc3m.es, jgb@computer.org | Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
http://www.gsyc.inf.uc3m.es/~jgb       | c/ Butarque, 15, 28911 Leganes, Spain