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

CCs trimmed.

>>>>> "Crispin" == Crispin Cowan <> 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

University of Tsukuba                Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences       Tel/fax: +81 (298) 53-5091
What are those two straight lines for?  "Free software rules."