Subject: Re: Software as a public service
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 16:10:56 +0900

>>>>> "Santiago" == Santiago Gala <sgala@hisitech.com> writes:

    Santiago> This part of the argument assumes that software is a
    Santiago> scarce resource,

I'm sorry, you are wrong.  My argument makes no assumptions about the
nature of software, except that for some reason broad distribution is
socially desirable.

In any case, "software" is a scarce resource, ie, more of it would be
somehow useful to someone somewhere.  Otherwise you would not have a
job, right?  The correct statement is that "any given program, once
written, is no longer scarce, under the assumptions of perfect
information about its nature and availability, and zero communication
and storage costs."

I object to all four of those assumptions.  Here I am specifically
concerned with that of "perfect information about availability".

    Santiago> I have worked for the Spanish Administration in
    Santiago> precisely those terms: they required from me a
    Santiago> non-exclusive source license to the source code of the
    Santiago> system, and I remained free to re-use generic portions
    Santiago> of it.

Good for the Administration, and good for you.  My point may be
expressed as the question, "How many _other_ Spaniards even know of
the existence of the software?"


-- 
School of Systems and Information Engineering http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.