Subject: Re: On topic. 'Signalling'
From: Stephen J. Turnbull <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: 23 Oct 2001 10:56:54 +0900

 23 Oct 2001 10:56:54 +0900
>>>>> "Jean" == Jean Camp <jean camp@harvard.edu> writes:

    Jean> Seriously this implies that free software is an important
    Jean> element in the adoption of hardware for all but the G7.

Don't rely on "fishing-expedition" regressions.  Tell your buddy to do
a Granger causality test for the possibility that the uptake of
hardware is a direct cause of piracy, but only in poor countries.  Or
maybe both are caused by a fondness for talking paperclips.  Oops --
cross sectional data, huh?  No causality can be inferred, then.

Technician's grumpiness aside, interesting numbers.  Indicative.

Since the U.S. produces the most gratis (the sense used in the
regressions) software, I guess we should inflate the U.S.'s global aid
figures by a factor of two or three?  No need to pay up to the U.N.!
We're already doing more that our share for development.  :-

It also implies (to unpack your statement a bit) that (1) a more
flexible approach to IP regulation is surely appropriate (this is also
known with respect to eg AIDS drugs), and that (2) if allowed
(preferably encouraged) by international IP conventions (eg,
drastically restricting or prohibiting software patents), libre
software can play an important role in encouraging poor countries to
respect those very conventions.

I don't see a business model there for pure FSBs, but it's certainly
something to whisper in the ear of the next IBM executive/Foggy Bottom
feeder/Senate staffer you meet.  If Bill G. can take off his
intellectual blinders for long enough to read  Information Rules ,
even Microsoft might see something in it (as long as we restrict
ourselves to non-Copyleft Free Software, of course).


-- 
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences     http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
              Don't ask how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.