Subject: Re: the Free Software Movement in Industry
From: Lynn Winebarger <owinebar@free-expression.org>
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2001 17:45:51 -0500

On Friday 24 August 2001 11:59, Seth Gordon wrote:
> Oh, sure, once you have one free and decent-quality telecom billing
> product in the marketplace, that upsets everything.  The problem is,
> I don't see how we can *get* that one product -- it's not the sort of
> project to excite either hackers in their spare time or venture
> capitalists.  Lots of people were willing to use version 0.1 of Linux
> and contribute their suggestions for improving it, but who would use
> version 0.1 of a telecom billing system?

      Maybe not something specific like a telecom billing system, but 
perhaps the government would have enough of an interest in accurate 
billing across large industries that it would fund a general billing 
system "compiler".  That way you might reduce the billing system 
'program' to levels that might be feasible to audit by federal 
regulators or court-appointed auditors.
     I believe Ameritech recently (within the last few years) faced a 
class-action lawsuit regarding overcharging in Illinois (that got 
settled).   This is where you'd find application of such a generic 
system (one possible cause could at least be disposed of quickly).

Lynn