Subject: Re: Studies
From: "Adam J. Richter" <>
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 1997 12:44:07 -0800

I have to run to Thanksgiving dinner, but here is a reply to some of
the issues that Peter raised:

1. It happens that Yggdrasil segregates proprietary software, such as the
   Motif that we resell, onto discs separate from our free software products.
   Therefore, we could, if we desired, ship Alladin Ghostscript with our
   products at no cost to us.  So, Peter's accusation of an immediate
   economic interest at play are unfounded.  Some other vendors do include
   proprietary software on their discs, so I can see how he might have made
   that mistake.

2. The underlying economics of CD distribution of free software are solid.
   Besides the fact that wholesale production of CD's costs under $1 per
   gigabyte, while whole internet connectivity costs about $2.11 per 
   gigabyte ($2k/month per *fully utilitized* T1 line), CD's are also
   a more convenient medium for installation, disaster recovery, etc.
   If you do not buy these underlying cause arguments, just look at results.
   Probably something like a hundred thousand people regularly buy
   CD's consisting entirely of snapshots of Linux FTP sites that people
   can access for free.  Nobody is forcing these customers to buy, and
   they are educated consumers.

3. To the best of my knowledge, development of the gimp photoshop clone
   is accelerating, not decelerating.  The most recent beta was a couple
   of days ago.  The original authors moved the FTP site to
   after they graduated.  Maybe you were looking at an older FTP site.

Adam J. Richter     __     ______________   4880 Stevens Creek Blvd, Suite 205     \ /                  San Jose, California 95129-1034
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