Subject: Re: Dwyer, FRB, Economics of Open Source
Date: Sun, 28 May 2000 19:33:11 -0700

On Sun, May 28, 2000 at 10:03:18PM -0400, Frank Hecker wrote:
> wrote:


> > Hypothetical -- if a party could pay the "stupid tax" and were bent on
> > mangling the source, it's possible that an intentionally convoluted but
> > highly desirable modification could be made.  This would be a high-stakes
> > and rather expensive game -- not likely to happen in the course of casual
> > development, but more plausible in a standards war.
> As you say, hypothetical. I guess we'll have to wait and see whether
> anything like this ever happens in practice.
> > > Based on this some might claim that the MPL actually promotes modular
> > > design rather than the opposite. I won't make quite that strong a claim,
> > > but I do think that the MPL (or any license for that matter) is not a
> > > major factor in promoting poor design.
> > 
> > I'd argue quite the opposite -- particularly if the license is
> > proprietary.  Cf:  Varian and Shapiro [1] -- there is a strong incentive for
> > a proprietary market-leader to create tangled code with undocumented
> > features.
> When I made my comment about "any license" I was thinking of libre
> software licenses in the context of public development. I agree that
> proprietary licenses and closed source development are different cases;
> even apart from any incentives to deliberately create tangled code,
> there are arguably fewer incentives not do so so.

Fair enough, both points.

Karsten M. Self <>
  Evangelist, Opensales, Inc.             
   What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?      Debian GNU/Linux rocks!      K5:
GPG fingerprint: F932 8B25 5FDD 2528 D595  DC61 3847 889F 55F2 B9B0