Subject: Re: PGP CREATOR, NAI SPLIT OVER OPEN SOURCE DIFFERENCES
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 16:10:31 +0900

>>>>> "Rich" == Rich Morin <rdm@cfcl.com> writes:

    Rich> 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.

    Rich> At the risk of getting stomped by the Real Economists (TM)
    Rich> on this list, I think you are overstating the case.  There
    Rich> is a name for markets where nothing is proprietary: "pure
    Rich> competition".

Well put.

The only problem is that in the all-fixed-cost, zero-marginal-cost
world of software development, the efficient scale for a single
producer is the whole market.  Pure competition cannot exist.

Of course that's a caricature, but my opinion is that it's close
enough to reality that Russ's description is more useful to practical
FSBs than yours.

There are potentially competitive markets in free software (Russ's is
one, I think), but the skilled labor that could drive prices down in
them is in very short supply, so it doesn't really matter.  (Russ's
retirement fund is in no danger I can see.  ;-)

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