Subject: Re: Open letter to those who believe in a right to free software
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 17:09:48 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "rms" == Richard Stallman <> writes:

    rms> For free software, the question of who (if anyone) pays
    rms> what part of the cost of the development is a side issue.

"If anyone."  What do you mean by that?  _Somebody_ has to pay; if
nobody kicks in bucks, then the programmers are kicking in hours for

If who == noone, it is not a side issue.  For some applications I care 
about, who == noone.  I bet I'm not the only one.

    rms> As long as the work gets done--and it is getting done, at an
    rms> increasing rate--then there is no point worrying about the
    rms> "unfairness" that some people contribute more than others.

I don't give a fig about the unfairness of insufficient contribution
by some individual, actually.  But the work is not getting done, not
on some apps I care about.  That means the _total_ contribution is
insufficient.  I don't see why _I_ should go around bending the ears
and twisting the arms of users like me to cough up a few yen to
support development of that software, especially since it's morally
imperative to share with them; it tends to stir up hostility amoung
people who are getting along as friends.

I'd love to delegate such unpleasant work to a free software business;
since nobody seems to be interested, I'll settle for a proprietary
firm.  And have, in a very few cases.

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."