Subject: RE: Chaordic Commons
From: "Scott Capdevielle" <>
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2002 14:10:36 -0700

I have heard people use that term "consumptive" good about music and it
is not accurate.  The Grateful Dead is just one example. Why were these
guys the most profitable band on the planet if they were giving away a
"consumptive" good?  Obviously the music represents value that can be
extracted through a myriad of ways (concerts, cd sales, licensing,
etc.).  The recorded version of a song may be a consumptive good, but
the song itself is obviously not.

Software is similar.  A compiled piece of code MAY be a consumptive good
but its source code is not.    

Scott Capdevielle
CEO Syndicom Inc.
925 258 4345

-----Original Message-----
From: Karsten M. Self [] On Behalf Of
Karsten M. Self
Sent: Saturday, June 29, 2002 3:49 PM
To: fsb
Subject: Re: Chaordic Commons

on Thu, Jun 27, 2002, Giles ( wrote:
> Scott Capdevielle wrote:
> ...
> >The Dead on the other hand became the most profitable band on the
> >planet while they were touring.  They realized that by "giving away"
> >their music, they reached the largest amount of fans possible,
> >therefore expanding the market for their live shows.  Every show was
> >sold out and they played hundreds of times a year.  This is no
> >accident.
> >
> >So what does that have to do with free software? I think it is very
> >clear.  By giving away the software, you maximize the potential
> >market.  Every minute a developer spends contributing to an open
> >license product, makes that developer more valuable to a "user" of
> >the software.  And ultimately, if we can make the personal
> >contribution to the implementation of software the most valuable ( as
> >opposed to the license ) then we, the contributors stand to gain the
> >most.  scott
> Interesting analogy.  I wonder where the comparable "sold out concert"
> is for most open source projects.  

Wrong model.

Music, as most entertainment, is fundamentally a consumptive good.  It's
not a further means of production.   Excluding, say, componentization as
a part of a festival or other public event.  But this sort of
componentization leads to precisely the same sort of patron support
model that was typical of, say, the 15th-19th centuries, and of much
current free software development.

There are very few mass celebrations of free software.  But you could
say the same of musical instrument design, or the other infrastructure
(lighting, sound systems, pyrotechnics, portable lavs) typical of a pop
music festival.

Software is infrastructure.  Get that straight.  It needs an
infrastructure-oriented support model, whether that's major works (US
space program, defense development), sponsored incidental work, hired
specialists (similar to law practice).


Karsten M. Self <>
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
    Microsoft offers them the one thing most business people will pay
    any price for - the ability to say "we had no choice - everyone's
    doing it that way."
     -- Andrew Grygus