Subject: Re: [arch-dev] universities struggling to avoid making money
From: "Benjamin J. Tilly " <ben_tilly@operamail.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 00:28:51 +0500

Tom Lord <lord@regexps.com> wrote:
> 	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)?

The "strong IP method of bean counting" eventually forces you to
micropayments in the limit, and they don't work.  The following article
has good information on why not:

  http://www.openp2p.com/pub/a/p2p/2000/12/19/micropayments.html

> 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.

Royalty models would fit better on a shareware licensing list.

> 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.

Funny, and here I was thinking that a major problem in the 90's was that
execs got protection against shareholder lawsuits for misrepresenting
corporate finances, and this was a contributing factor behind some of
the more aggressive accounting practices that were used.  But that is a
subject for another time and list.

Please forget that I mentioned it.

> 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.

The "F" in FSB stands for the bean-counting method named, "Don't."  The
FSB premise is that (at least in some situations) this is the best
bean-counting method to use for software.

Cheers,
Ben
-- 
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