Freedom or Copyright? - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)

Alex Hudson home at
Sat Feb 9 22:10:32 UTC 2008

On Sat, 2008-02-09 at 22:48 +0100, Matthias-Christian Ott wrote:
> > You're passing a judgement on the quality of the culture based on the
> > mode of production. That's what I meant by 'elitist'.
> I don't see why this is elitist. But essentially my critique is a
> critique of the mode of production.

It's elitist because you're saying art produced and not given away is
worth less than art given away.

> > That's the fundamental economic difference between this idea and free
> > software: free software essentially precludes a single business model
> > from several. This gift system effectively precludes all business
> > models. That's unjustifiable.
> Well, that's your opinion. If you do everything just because of money
> and to get rich, we have different world views.
> I didn't say that gift economies work as well as scarcity economies in
> terms of making money.
> I just said it's possible with a little help from the solidarity of
> the people. You wont become a millionaire by accepting donations, but I
> could do concerts etc.

We're not arguing over whether or not it's "possible", of course gift
economies are possible - they exist. 

And your statement that you won't become a millionaire is also patently
false. RMS' example of Radiohead - who hadn't made a penny from digital
art before they effectively gave away "In Rainbows" - made millions of

The high-profile artists will make large amounts of money in virtually
every type of economy other than a communist/planned economy. If your
goal is to prevent people from getting rich, a gift economy isn't what
you want.



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