Re: Obsolesence of Intellectual Property

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Thu Aug 03 2000 - 17:48:54 MDT

mjg223 wrote:
> On Thu, 3 Aug 2000, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> > mjg223 wrote:
> > >
> > > On Thu, 3 Aug 2000, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> > > > So the 'Official' Red Hat CANNOT be reproduced, and I cannot sell or give away
> > > > the work of Red Hat (whether its their programming work or their Customer
> > > > Support work is really irrelevant, and a pointless distinction) without
> > > > compensating them to the degree they desire.
> > >
> > > Utter nonsense. I can have all the same bits without the pretty box for
> > > free if I grab it off their ftp server, minus some non-free added value
> > > junk. I can install it on as many machines as I want, I can burn CDs and
> > > pay you to take them from me, I can call it some thing else and start a
> > > company putting it a different box. (Witness Mandrake.)
> > >
> > > Calling the distinction between software and support pointless is
> > > insanity. The software is free, paying a human being to help you use it or
> > > adapt it to your purposes isn't. That's the whole freaking free-software
> > > business model - that's what RMS has been talking about for years.
> >
> > SInce I work most of my time at a software company, I know there is
> > functionally no difference between the two.
> I can't copy an engineer at zero cost - that's a rather important
> functional difference between software and support/maintenance.
> > All the 'free' business model is doing is some sort of hacker-leach
> > lotus eating paradise, where people that know what they are doing get
> > the software for free, and the unit COST of producing that software
> > the distro distributor is externalized through the tech support
> > process to make the clueless pay for the free software the geeks are
> > using.
> I write a piece of software and give it away, free of charge, to anyone
> who can use it. I have things I'd rather spend my afternoon doing than
> setting it up on your PC but for a few bucks - sure - I'll give you a
> hand.
> Obviously I'm a hacker-leach, victimizing the clueless.

No, you aren't. The people who don't hire you to help them are
benefitting from the fact that you only bill the clueless for your time,
thus the clueless are subsidizing the software of those who don't need
help with it. What you are practicing is a reverse sort of technological
socialism, where the people with the intellectual capital (the hackers)
pay the least, while the intellectually poor (the newbie) pays the most.
Its a highly regressive tax system, which is odd coming from people who
tend to be socialists politically.

> > RedHat still has to pay its programmers to produce code. Instead of
> > making everyone pay their fair share of the cost of producing that
> > code that everyone benefits from, they make the newbies pay for it
> > all.
> Linux was built on support money, unfairly extracted from unjustly
> burdened, exploited newbies? Gcc and the Gnu tool set? X-Windows? Kde and
> Gnome? Apache? What the hell are you talking about?

Something that anyone with an ounce of understanding of how business
work would understand.

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