Subject: Re: Open letter to those who believe in a right to free software
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 16:14:23 +0900 (JST)

CCs trimmed.

>>>>> "Crispin" == Crispin Cowan <crispin@cse.ogi.edu> writes:

    Crispin> "Stephen J. Turnbull" wrote:
    >> This I disagree with.  Proprietary software has an important
    >> economic role; working on proprietary software may detract
    >> from, but surely does not destroy, the community we have
    >> created.  An all-free-software world would be a poor world,
    >> just as an all-proprietary software world would be.

    Crispin> Now *this* claim would seem to be rather specific, and
    Crispin> need supporting.  Why would an all-free-software world be
    Crispin> a poor world?

Because there would be less software, of lower-than-necessary quality.
This matters a lot to non-programmers.

This is not compared to the all-proprietary software world; it is
compared to the optimal mix of proprietary and free software.  I
suspect that the head-to-head comparison would have more software in
the proprietary world, higher quality in the free world, and total
social market benefits I can't guess, although developers would lose
so much fun in the all-proprietary world it would surely lose out in
total.


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