Subject: Re: Mandatory donations or build from CVS...
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 17:41:38 +0900

>>>>> "Kevin" == Kevin A Burton <burton@relativity.yi.org> writes:

    >> Welcome away from the magical pixie dust of open source.
    >> You've got expenses, and you need to meet them.  This ain't
    >> 1999, and meeting those expenses is not something you can
    >> Raymond away.

    Kevin> huh?  What is Raymond away?

Eric Raymond, Magic Cauldron, etc.  "Free software is a good business
proposition, but rms makes it impossible to see that, so let's rename
it `open source.'"  Didn't work.

By the way, Eric has always been perfectly charming and reasonable in
the presence of real economics as far as I can tell.  ;-)

    Kevin> We will see.  I am going to do it anyway and see what the
    Kevin> feedback is.  All this theoretical conjecturing is good but
    Kevin> I think an actual experiment may help out.

This is very similar to shareware.  All of the shareware I ever used
for more than twice the trial period suggested (this is empirical, I
don't have a principled reason for cheating that much and no more :)
I've paid for ... eventually, once nearly a year after I stopped using
it.  :)  A lot more than the $5 you mentioned, too.  But most people
don't pay up, for whatever reason.  Paypal may make it more likely.

So you'll probably make several times more money.  I bet your
downloads drop drastically, though.

As for alternative URLs "screwing the author", you're mostly wrong.
Norbert et al are not out to screw the author, any more than the five
publically accessible (but not well-known, and three are now out of
that business) distributors of Emacs 21 that I know about are out to
screw the Emacs developers.

They're out to help their friends get around annoying restrictions,
and they don't mind if that allows their friends to help other
friends, and pretty soon people are posting URLs to Usenet.

And to be honest, I don't understand the psychology behind releasing
software under a free license and feeling badly that people don't pay
up.  That's the whole point of releasing it under a free license, so
that people who don't feel like paying don't have to!  Calling them
"pirates" (your word, even if you did put it in quotes) is just not
intelligible to me.  If you really feel that way, what's wrong with a
proprietary license?  It says exactly what you mean!


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