Subject: Order entry application user group
From: Brian Bartholomew <>
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1999 13:50:37 -0500

Tim writes:
> I'd like to persuade the consultants and the other customers that it
> would be great if we could set up a cooperative exchange, where we
> all share our modifications, and the cost of maintaining and
> upgrading the software.  Now the developers may think that they'll
> make more money by dunning each of the customers in turn, rather
> than as a group, and I imagine that for a certain size of project,
> that is revenue-maximizing.  But my contention is that there are
> tasks that no one of the customers will want to fund, but that all
> of them together would be willing to fund.  Finding that line for
> the benefit of the developers is the challenge we have to overcome.

What sort of contractual legal arrangements could you propose, such
that the software users **as a group** own the IP, and hire the
developers to work on it?

	The group elects a board and officers to represent and act for it?

	The officers may tax the users to hire developers?

	Outsiders may join the group by paying an amount which is
	rebated to existing members, and calculated to reduce existing
	members' pay-ins from cost/n to cost/n+1, plus profit to
	existing members for the risk of being earlier adopters?

	Insiders may leave the group and avoid future taxes, and
	continue to use and grow their existing software versions?

Sounds somewhat like a union, doesn't it?

This is a much different structural arrangement than fiduciary limits
on a company, but I hope to produce much the same results.

A member of the League for Programming Freedom (LPF)
Brian Bartholomew - - - Working Version, Cambridge, MA