juridical Question on software and GPL

Frank Heckenbach frank at g-n-u.de
Sat Mar 27 13:03:12 UTC 2004

Moritz Sinn wrote:

> a free software programmer wants to earn as much as a proprietary
> software programmer ==> free software cannot be cheaper than proprietary
> software.

Again, be more careful with your conclusions. Of course, it can be
cheaper, if it requires less work. This can be easily the case
because free software often allows for better reuse of existing code
(legally and technically).

> the reason why red hat is so successfull is that they don't pay for
> the capital on base of which they earn money: software. you can say they exploit the free software
> programmers. so they get software for free out of which they can win
> surplus value. but this is based on a very small idealistic community of
> free software programmers who also have to live and earn money and thus
> will never be able to really overthrow the big business.
> microsoft didn't loose any significant share of market in the last years
> and i don't see why it should.

I don't know what you see or don't see, but this statement is a non
sequitur anyway (unless you want to argue that Red Hat can't exist,
just like you claimed that we can't do what we do).

Even if your assertions about programmers were true, the fact is
that the Red Hat and other distributions are there, and anybody can
get them, without more free software programmers being required.

> that ppl don't care about quality and that they only see the outer
> appearance was already mentioned in this discussion. they don't care
> about their freedom to change the software, to read the source code or
> what so ever. they just want to use it. if it would be diffrent linux
> would be on every computer and not windows.

For many people this may be true today, but even for private users
it can change. The more people realize the problems of the upgrade
treadmill, the increasing Big Brother features, the security
problems (currently mostly in the form of viruses), or even just a
lower price, and stop falling for the proprietary propaganda, they
might start caring for freedom (which, though not the only reason,
makes an imporant difference in all those areas and more). So even
those who don't want to read source code themselves will see the
consequences quite clearly.


Frank Heckenbach, frank at g-n-u.de
GnuPG and PGP keys: http://fjf.gnu.de/plan (7977168E)

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