Subject: Re: New ESR paper: The Magic Cauldron
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 1999 23:21:34 -0400 (EDT)

Stephen J. Turnbull writes:
 >     Ian> In his list of free software models, he doesn't mention the
 >     Ian> insurance model.
 > I'm not sure what you mean by that; "insurance" is implicit in
 > "risk-spreading" which he discusses in the Cisco case.  If you mean
 > "selling insurance", that's either support or risk-spreading in the
 > Cisco sense; I don't see what else you mean?

Cisco, in that example, is self-insuring.  Ian means selling insurance
as a service.

 >     Ian> He spends time on the tragedy of the commons, but I can't see
 >     Ian> why anybody would think that would apply to free software.
 >     Ian> Do people really make that objection?
 > Eric (or his consulting economist) is being sloppy.  He means the free
 > rider problem, that's clear from other parts of the paper.

Yup.  There's no conceivable way to invoke the TotC in a free software
context.  Been trying all afternoon; therefore there must not be any
way.  :)

-russ nelson <>
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