Subject: Re: Unexercisable rights
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 1999 09:02:35 -0400 (EDT)

Brian Bartholomew writes:
 > > I feel obliged to point out that the belief that some organizations
 > > are making money by discouraging redistribution of libre software is
 > > a conspiracy theory
 > In my imagined free software X-files episode, every fsb about to
 > receive investment from a VC firm has a meeting with the Investor.
 > The Investor asks, what will the fsb do to protect the investment if
 > some undergrad takes it upon themselves to market and distribute the
 > fsb's GPLed product in a charity fashion.

How?  With what money?  Distribution, completely apart from
manufacturing, is a profitable business all on its lonesome.  Most
vendors aren't worried about undergrads marketing the products in
charity fashion.

Really, Brian, you're looking at this whole issue complete
bass-ackwards.  You're thinking that businesses have to find a
value-subtract for free software.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  They have to
find a value-add.  Once they're adding that value, they only have to
worry about someone who's going to add that value more cheaply, or if
customers don't need that value any more.

There's a lot of friction in markets.  Don't worry if you're basing a
business on its existance.  A lot of businesses are based on reducing
friction in machinery.  They're not worried about someone finding the
mythical method to eliminate all friction -- that is, the perpetual
motion machine.

-russ nelson <>
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