Subject: Re: [arch-dev] universities struggling to avoid making money
From: Tom Lord <lord@regexps.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 11:03:47 -0700 (PDT)



	stephen@xemacs.org
	> Granted, there really isn't a middle ground for FSB and Friedman that
	> I can see

If the "strong IP method of bean counting" really makes sense (I'm
very skeptical), then even a modest coallition of FSBs who implement a
mirror of that system based entirely on voluntary reporting and
accounting will achieve the same economic effect, perhaps without the
the need for a facist state/beaurocracy.  Yes, enforcement at the
fringes looks different (mostly, the coallition simply loses, I'd
guess) but -- what are you gonna do (that's the central question)?

If paying royalties is affordable to your customers and its obvious to
everyone that that's what makes the system work, I think people will
do that (people without much money gave me hundreds of bucks for
something as obscure as arch!).  If your customers can't afford
royalties -- giving them access to useful tools and friendly help as
mood and time permits seems like a good long term strategy.

Of course, execs (at least in the 90s, from what I saw) were so scared
to death of anything that could lead to a shareholder lawsuit or other
trap that I think they mostly just threw up their hands, abdicated
their responsibilities, and entrenched in CYA ("Cover Your Ass") mode.

Personally, I think there are likely to be better ways to count beans,
for everyone involved.  Bits don't act like material goods; the system
of property evolved to handle material goods; trying to force bits
into the mold of material goods amounts to burying one's head
up...er...in the sand.  If it isn't a pie, you can't sell it by the
slice.

-t