NT: free software and money

Frank Heckenbach frank at g-n-u.de
Tue Mar 30 16:12:09 UTC 2004

Moritz Sinn wrote:

> 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.

Without lawyers <> without laws. But I don't mean that lawyers are
bad per se, but it's dangerous if laws are made by those who profit
from them (corporate lawyers) as seems to be mostly the case in the
current debates. That's why there is (was? or never really was?) the
separation of powers ...

> >>    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?

It's the principle, but it doesn't always work out. If A restricts
its knowledge, then A may gain somewhat and everybody else loses a
bit. If all do this, in total everybody loses. -- Well, in practice
not quite, some will gain, mostly big proprietary businesses and
corporate lawyers. And not incidentally those are driving the more
restrictive laws (see above).

> communism never existed. its a big big failure of the mainstream to think
> that the east would have had something todo with communism. the usa is
> more communist than china

While I agree with the first part, the last sentence seems
"interesting" (though OT) ...

> another main quality of capitalism is the competition and
> this is also more stronger than ever today.

In some areas yes, but especially with intellectual monopoly (as you
called it quite correctly) it's more and more endangered, I mean by
laws. Technically, there can always be competitors, but if they can
easily be crushed down with software patents etc., the competition
will only be a faint dream, with all the bad consequences
(technically, economically and WRT civil liberties).


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

More information about the Discussion mailing list