Subject: Re: proprietary -- a truism
From: Bob Young <>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 18:45:14 -0400

> I think Microsoft, Sun, Cygnus, Red Hat, and FSF lie along an openness
> continuum,

You could argue that there are two continuums - the for-profit one 
and the academic one.

This thread is largely a debate on the academic spectrum, where 
software licensing as currently taught in the nation's law schools 
are at one end of the spectrum and the FSF is at the other, with the 
OSI being very close to the FSF end.

The for-profit debate is much simpler - the free market decides, and to 
date it has decided that the proprietary license model is more 
effective .  Although some of us, including to a greater or lessor extent 
SUN, Cygnus, and Red Hat, are trying to change that.

You can't argue that free markets make rational decisions, but to 
paraphrase Churchill: it may not be a very good system for deciding 
these issues but it's better than any of the others. Including 
debating these issues endlessly on this list.  ;-)

Of course this does ignore the rule-setting role government plays in a 
free society, but I sure don't want to go there.


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