NT: free software and money

Moritz Sinn moritz at freesources.org
Mon Mar 29 10:56:10 UTC 2004

Frank Heckenbach <frank at g-n-u.de> writes:

> (Because economy and even society is more and more dictated by
> lawyers who are the ones who gain most from it?)

without lawyers things would be worse. there wouldn't be any rules
anymore which companies would have to follow. it's a bit vulgary to
blame the lawyers which are only a product of modern society.

>>    why do all companys keep their knowledge secret,
>>    why are new laws inveted to stop us from sharing our wisdom?
>>    economy would never be so stupid to demand something which is bad for
>>    itself!

> I think you confuse what's better for the single company (in a given
> environment) and what's better for all. For a single company, it may
> have advantages to keep their knowledge secret, though it harms
> others. So if all do it, all will lose in total. (That's a basic
> principle, see "prisoner's dilemma".)

"what's good for me is good for all", isn't that the principle? of
course its bad for the society if knowledge cannot be shared. but
capitalism has immanent rules, it doesn't follow what's good for society
it follows the profit. a company isn't free to do what it wants, a
company is forced by competition to gain as much profit as possible. for
gaining profit its not good to share the knowledge. you cannot sell what
you give away for free.

> And it's one of the basic problems of capitalism, also in other
> areas. Capitalism wants companies to be selfish, selfish companies
> try to grow until they reach a monopoly, and a monopoly means no
> competition which is the basic idea of capitalism. (Very simplified,
> of course.) That's no proof that capitalism can't work (that would
> be a discussion for other places), just shows that you have to be
> careful with terms like "economic sense".

when i speak of economy i mean capitalism, because its our economy
today. though every company is selfish as you say and follows its own
strategy, they've all in common that they have to make as much profit as
possible. this main common interest also gives all companies, and that's
what i mean when speaking of "the economy", having similar political
interests. one of these interests is to protect intellectual monopoly.



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