Subject: Re: Economic incentives to produce software in a free software regime
From: Ben_Tilly@trepp.com
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1999 20:55:17 -0400


> >>>>> "Crispin" == Crispin Cowan <crispin@cse.ogi.edu> writes:
>
>     Crispin> "Stephen J. Turnbull" wrote:
>
>     >> >>>>> "Crispin" == Crispin Cowan <crispin@cse.ogi.edu> writes:
>
>     Crispin> Consider the view that commodity software is just an
>     Crispin> inducement to sell hardware.
>
>     >> Specialization leads to efficiency, as a general rule.  Both
>     >> lower costs, and the right product being delivered to each
>     >> individual user.
>
>     Crispin> I completely fail to see how your comment relates to my
>     Crispin> comment.
>
> Bundling products together is a bad idea for efficiency, both in
> production and consumption.  This may be indirectly good, for example,
> if bundling somehow kneecaps a monopolist, thus reducing price and
> increasing consumption.  Seeing as bundling is typically a strategy
> used by monopolists to constrain customer choice, the exact opposite,
> you're starting off on the wrong foot on two counts here.
>
Would you please reiterate the explanation of why
bundling is inefficient when the actual cost to
the hardware vendor of so bundling is nil?  (It is
nil because the hardware vendor is aquiring the
software for the same cost that the consumer could
aquire it - and it comes with no strings attached.)

The classic use by monopolists is where they are
forgoing monopoly profits in one area to aquire
additional control over another.  I fail to see with
free software how anyone is forgoing monopoly
profits.  The software would not exist in its
current form without being free - and so no profit
has been forgone!  (If you disagree then please
explain how Linus Torvalds should have obtained a
maximal profit from his system in the competitive
OS industry.)

Ben