Subject: Re: the Free Software Movement in Industry
From: Seth Gordon <sethg@ropine.com>
Date: 23 Aug 2001 20:19:07 -0000

   [Tom Lord:]
   That's interesting.  You're claiming that proprietary licensing has
   the effect of forcing the telcos into forming a de facto purchasing
   union,

No, I'm not.

There's no "de facto purchasing union".  Telco A puts out an RFP
saying, "We need a billing system that supports prepaid phone cards."
If the software company's product doesn't support prepaid phone cards,
but the management expects that Telcos B, C, and D will soon be asking
for the same thing in their RFPs, the software company will be willing
to spend more on implementing prepaid phone cards than they actually
get from Telco A for the job.

If later it turns out that Telcos B, C, and D *don't* care about
prepaid phone cards, or they're not offering enough for the feature to
recoup the software company's investment, then the software company
loses.  There's no collaboration between A, B, C, and D -- only a
gamble by the software company that they have common interests.

-- 
"Rav would never cross a bridge when an idolator was on it; he said, 'Maybe he
will be judged and I will be taken with him.'  Shmuel would only cross a
bridge when an idolator was on it; he said, 'Satan cannot rule two nations [at
once].'  Rabbi Yannai would examine [the bridge] and cross."  --Shabbat 32a
== Seth Gordon == sethg@ropine.com == http://ropine.com/ == std. disclaimer ==