Subject: Re: PGP CREATOR, NAI SPLIT OVER OPEN SOURCE DIFFERENCES
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 25 Feb 2001 18:21:33 -0800

Rich Morin <rdm@cfcl.com> writes:

> At 1:14 PM -0500 2/25/01, Russell Nelson wrote:
> >If you hold back nothing as proprietary, you are the proprietor of
> >nothing.  Instead, you are a philanthropist.  Capitalists and
> >philanthropists are separate (useful) roles in a society.
> 
> At the risk of getting stomped by the Real Economists (TM) on this
> list, I think you are overstating the case.  There is a name for
> markets where nothing is proprietary: "pure competition".  There is
> perfect communication between buyers and sellers and no barriers to
> entry.  Wholesale grain markets, retail gasoline, and "shovelware"
> CDs are all examples of this kind of market.

Well, but Russ said ``You could hold back physical items: CDs, books,
or hardware encryptors or tokens.''  The people in your examples are
holding back physical items: grain, gasoline, and CDs.

If you are a pure software vendor with no associated hardware, then it
is possible, in principle, to hold back nothing.  Then you become, as
Russ said, a philathropist, who gives everything away from largesse.
Alternatively, you become a academic scientist, who is paid by an
institution of higher learning to give everything away.  Or there are
probably other possibilities.

Ian