Subject: Re: the Free Software Movement in Industry
From: Tom Lord <>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 15:36:46 -0700 (PDT)

	The telco's directors wouldn't want to devote large amounts of
	money to sponsor development of features that the telco's
	competitors could then download for free.  (For some software
	projects, this wouldn't matter so much, but not for a project
	so close to the company's core business.)

That's interesting.  You're claiming that proprietary licensing has
the effect of forcing the telcos into forming a de facto purchasing
union, and assuming that they won't voluntarily form an explicit
purchasing union.  Your argument here easily generalizes to other
industries, as well.

What's the solution?  I think it's a sales and marketing problem for
the billing software vendors, combined with a critical mass problem.
If a few good vendors say to their friends in their markets: this
(Free Software) is part of the R&D and engineering strategy we think
makes the most sense for both of us, a de facto Free Software
purchasing union will follow.  This has already happened in the Linux
server market, for example.

De Facto purchasing unions are, in my opinion, the major positive
innovation of Open Source processes in industry.