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Flame War

On 04/13/2010 05:04 PM, Derek Martin wrote:
> As with the above, what you're talking about actions that have clear
> and substantial negative consequences on other people (in this case,
> someone has to clean up your exploded corpse, and someone has to deal
> with the law suit that will inevitably follow in our litigious
> society, which is an entirely separate and equally annoying problem).
> Adding apps to my computing device that aren't approved by some
> arbitrary authority can impact only me.  You're also talking about
> breaking laws, which I explicitly excluded in my earlier statements.
> Your challenge has no merit whatever. =20
> As for your comments about the free market, yeah, I already commented
> on that too.  I'm all in favor of the free market, so long as the
> folks participating in it think like I do. ;-)  It's the problem of
> living in a market where the masses consistently place higher value on
> things (or, more accurately I think, have a harder time not getting
> sucked into overpaying for things with "cool" factor) than I do.  Life
> sucks, and then your progeny overpay for your funeral.
>  =20
There are a lot of dynamics in the marketplace in general. Businesses
like to differentiate their products through advertising (or demand
creation).  When we spend a lot of time, effort and dollars to develop a
product we want to be able to be compensated for it. I personally think
that software patents are very wrong, but there needs to be some
protection for the author. One issue is the length of time. There are
many other issues both in software patent as well as copyright. If I
write code to do something neat, should someone else be able to take my
code and sell it leaving me out in the cold. Today, there are many
businesses who use and/or develop Open Source code and have figured out
how to make money either by providing a service based on that code or by
providing features. Code Weavers is an example where they provide
commercial products such as Crossover Linux and Crossover Mac that are
built on the open sourced WINE. They also provide a home for the WINE
project. Red Hat, Novell, and Canonical likewise have their own models.
Taken in context, if I develop a piece of software, at one point would I
want to contribute it to the community. If the product is unique enough,
if I withhold it, others will reverse engineer it, or some will purchase
the rights from me. Lots of options.

One of the issues is the  use of the word, "free". RMS never advocated
free as in "free beer", but free in the context of freedom.

Jerry Feldman <gaf-mNDKBlG2WHs at>
Boston Linux and Unix
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