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Open Source = no rights Industry?

Of course, reading the above initial title, everyone reading this says, oh no, here comes another thread of open source vs commercial software.

Most, (if not all) debates centre on the issue of simple things like looking at some source code, or things like vendor lock in.

However, the fundamental issue, and what is at stake here is rights of software developers.

Societies around the world that support individual rights tend to have the best standard of living.  If you take away the right to own a business, or the right to own land, (or, in our case, the right to own software), then as a individual you MUST work for the government (or someone else). We all know the sad and sorry state of affairs in the socialist and communist countries around the world. This really comes down to a issue of freedom.


At the most fundamental level in a society, the best thing we can do is to give each individual strong rights in terms of ownerships. To attack ownership rights is simply a socialist ideal that so many people around the world are attracted to today.

I mean, sure, if you don’t make music, then it is very easy to agree that Artists that make music should not have music rights. (or, even be able to sell those rights to their music). And, if you are big Naspter (or these days Kazza), then you most certainly love the idea of getting the music for free.

Since IBM does not really sell software, then why is ANYONE a bit surprised at their support of open source software? Sure, IBM needs and uses software, but that is not their core business model. Their model is a service based model, and thus they don’t care, nor need strong intellectual property rights. The more IBM can marginalize us developers who write software, the better off IBM is. Of course, the More Nike can marginalize the wages they pay people to build their running shoes, the better off the executives at Nike will also be.

It should be no surprise that governments around the world, and especially the socialist ones in Europe support open source software. Most governments if allowed to will take away individual property rights when they can. Socialist Governments as rule don’t like, nor do they support individual property rights at all.

Many people point out that IBM supports and pays developers to make open source software. Sure, they most certainly do this. The problem here is that IBM does not support property rights for developers. This is no different then when I government says you are free to work on a farm, but you can’t own the farm, and can only work for a wage on some land that you don’t own.

So, if you want to work in the food industry, you can go work for MacDonald’s. Or, if you want to work in the software industry,  you can go work for IBM (both industries can benefit from marginalized wages). The problem is that I might not want to go work for MacDonald’s (or IBM). I want to have my own business based on rights of ownership..

I want to build and make my own products. The problem here is that IBM does not make products, but ONLY sells services. What about us people who want to make products?

I guess what is really sad is that IBM was long known for its use of the patient office. In fact, due to research, IBM issues a LOT of patients. In other words, in parts of their business that THEY CAN hold AND BENEFIT from holding property rights to, they certainly do.  Of course, we are talking about the shareholders and executives here. Since it is NOT in the interest of the company to support IP rights for developers. then they don’t!

However, for those people who work in the software industry, IBM is now simply attacking our rights to ownership of software. In effect, promoting open source software is to shout down the land owners rights to property. IBM really should be ashamed of their behavior in this regards.

When large industries support and promote open source, these industries are thus seeking to turn the software business into a socialist system. This socialist system seeks to remove ownership of products that we create.

As always, the arguments centre around the so called greedy land owners. If you are poor worker on the land, then of course you don’t support property rights. If you are a poor artist, then the rich successful music artists are a easy target. If you are software developer that does not own any code, then again it is easy to support systems of software that don’t support property rights. 

I mean, the guys to developed Lotus 123 did so in a VERY short amount of time. That great idea and dream turned into a product worth 100’s of millions. People who write books, music, or simply own some land should be able to benefit from the rights given to them.

So, once can argue SOME benefits of open source software, these benefits come at the cost of property rights.

Thus, the rotten part about open source is that it seeks to remove property rights from the workers that make software, and I for one strongly support the rights of people who create software.


Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Monday, July 26, 2004

"The more IBM can marginalize us developers who write software, the better off IBM is."

IBM isn't attacking developers -- they're attacking Microsoft. Open source just happens to be a highly effective method of taking jabs at Microsoft in some areas of their business, and given that OS/2 isn't doing so great it only seems natural. Open source as a general phenomena wouldn't be remotely as popular and interesting if it weren't for the dominance of Microsoft. Indeed, the futility in even attempting to compete with Microsoft in many once lucrative areas of the software market has led a lot of contenders to either leave the market, or to pursue an alternative arrangement (like open source) to try to submarine in a business model.

As an aside, just a few years ago IBM actually made more money than Microsoft on software -- I doubt they still make more, but I'm sure they still make several billion on software sales a year (usually esoteric, but incredibly expensive, products for mainframes).

Dennis Forbes
Monday, July 26, 2004

"The problem is that I might not want to go work for MacDonald’s (or IBM). I want to have my own business based on rights of ownership.. "

Uhh... then go and have your own business based on rights of ownership. I don't see how Open Source prevents you from doing that -- but should a developer not also have the right to choose to share their creations if they want to? It's not an all-or-nothing thing.

Jordan Lev
Monday, July 26, 2004

"Since IBM does not really sell software, then why is ANYONE a bit surprised at their support of open source software? "

Umm,  we pay IBM a honking great $30m a year for their software. 

Koz
Monday, July 26, 2004

what software is that?

Prakash S
Monday, July 26, 2004

Can you actually own software these days, either proprietary or not? Mostly I see EULA's.

Derek
Monday, July 26, 2004

Open Source is a pretty wide reaching term.  Are you talking about Free Software (ie the GNU GPL) or one of the million other open source style licenses?

Actually, lets talk about the word "license" since really, that's what it comes down to.  A license grants use permission to use a piece of "software" whether that "software" is music, movies, or the stuff you install onto your PC.  It's a simple contract; for x you can do y.

Without such a license or contract, we have no rights to a copyrightable product at all.  That's essentially the basis of copyright.  Everything else is negotiated.

So, we can purchase a CD or DVD and we are granted a limited license to view that product in our home.  It's not in the contract that we can take that DVD and show it hundreds of people in an auditorium.  For that, we need to purchase a different license.  The same goes for software; you can purchase a license to install software on a single PC or an entire organization.  The limiting factor of copyright is that you cannot copy -- unless you are given permission.

Who gives the permission?  Well obviously it's the creator of the product.  And this is the property right you are talking about.  When I create something, it's my property, and only I say what happens with it.

Your conclusion is: "the rotten part about open source is that it seeks to remove property rights from the workers that make software" but that is ENTIRE FALSE. 

Open source is BUILT on strong property rights.  Without strong property rights, the entire foundation of open source  collapses.  It's strong property rights that keep Microsoft from taking the best of linux and dropping it into Windows.

When Linus created Linux, nobody else could use it or copy it.  It was his property.  He could have chosen to sell it but nobody would have bought it.  So he said, you can copy it -- no restrictions.  You can sell it.  You can use it.  You can modify it, but if you modify it, but the product must always remain open source.  And nothing is stopping you from adding code to Linux and taking that same code and selling it Microsoft.  What you can't do though is take some part of Linux and sell it Microsoft.

"However, for those people who work in the software industry, IBM is now simply attacking our rights to ownership of software."

What a leap.  You're saying that IBM is attacking your right to ownership of software because they promote software that someone else said they could use?  That's a bit of a stretch.

Must everything be done for profit?  I mean really, this message is copyright by me.  You cannot copy it.  I'll give you $5 to quote it.  Enjoy.

Almost Anonymous
Monday, July 26, 2004

>>>Societies around the world that support individual rights tend to have the best standard of living. <<<

Based on the reading I have done, I think this is true. 

But what is the point of the rest of your posting?  In a free market producers can set whatever price they want to for their products, even if it is zero.

>>>So, once can argue SOME benefits of open source software, these benefits come at the cost of property rights.<<<

You haven't made the case for this at all.

Your arguement looks like this:
    "I want to write and sell software"
    "Other people are writing and selling software for less than what I want to sell it for."
    "Therefore, these people, IBM in particular are promoting socialism."

Having a right to property and a free market means that you can set your own price when you are trying to sell.  It also means that someone else can set a lower price for their property.

mackinac
Monday, July 26, 2004

>IBM isn't attacking developers -- they're attacking Microsoft. Open source just happens to be a highly effective method of taking jabs at Microsoft in some areas of their business

That likely does seem to be the case. (but, it is still shameful in how it hurts developers for that goal. In other words...the hell with us developers in the cross fire).

And, Sun with open office is in the same boat. I really don’t care much if Sun, or IBM decides to give away software.

However, I do mind when industry leaders go to governments, or our industry and the press and tell everyone that software without individual rights is the way to go. If too many business, governments and the general industry accepts this as the only means to develop software, then yes, we developers do loose out here.

>Uhh... then go and have your own business based on rights of ownership. I don't see how Open Source prevents you from doing that -- but should a developer not also have the right to choose to share their creations if they want to? It's not an all-or-nothing thing.

Open source does not prevent me in anyway from building my own business. However, just like any political or social movement, there are supporters of property rights, and some that don’t support property rights. You are certainly free to run around and promote that system that does NOT respect property rights.  However, if the movement is successful in convincing governments and industry that open source is the way, then we as developers loose out here. Fact is, very soon for government contracts I might NOT have a choice. There are NUBMER of bills in governments around the world that seek to remove the choice of the type of software that governments use. So, yes…I might have a choice now..but that choice is being taken away from governments around the world as we speak. If industry and governments choose this socialist model, then developers loose that choice I am talking about.

All I want here is that people be aware of what open source means. I don’t mind developers sharing their work, but I do mind when companies go around promoting to governments and industry to support a system that ignores individual property rights.

>Open source is BUILT on strong property rights.  Without strong property rights, the entire foundation of open source  collapses.

That may be the case, but that in no way changes how open source attacks ownership and hurts rights of software developers. If all  industry, governments etc use open source software, then we as developers WILL NOT have property rights. So, just because some law on the books prevents some greedy land owner from taking someone else land, that changes NONE of my argument.  Fact is, we good need laws.

If some landowner decides to donate some property to the City, and specifies that the land may NEVER be used for commercial use, then the owner who has these good property rights is free to do so. (his rights to his property allows this).

However, the act of doing this is not exactly a great example or idea of supporting property rights by given something away…is it? So, just because some good rights allows the open source license to exist in no way is an example of a concept that supports our rights. For sure, without property rights,  you can’t own something in the first place to give away! (if no one can own land, then you can’t give it away in the first place…can you?).  So, I can easily argue that donating land can’t happen without good property rights in the first palce!

Just because open source shares some of the rights and rules attributed to property rights does NOT mean that open source supports property rights. So, sure, open source benefits from some good copyright laws, but it sure don’t benefit developers who are loosing royalties payments from companies that now choose to use open source. Once again, this is the question of who can benefit and do you believe in ownership of property rights.

My argument here is that I want a healthy software industry based on rights of people who create products in our industry.

If governments and industries continues to promote the use of open source software, then those developers and software companies that benefit based on property rights will lose out.


Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Monday, July 26, 2004

mackinac, the point is that there are lots of people claiming that giving away software and property rights is good for the developers, and it's not.

Of course customers and users, and business schemers (IBM,) will lobby for cheaper software. That's normal. I wouldn't mind cheaper cars and houses but no-one will give them to me.

Uncle Bill
Monday, July 26, 2004

Providing open-source software for free can be considered as"dumping" ( http://reference.allrefer.com/encyclopedia/D/dumping.html .) And as far as I know, dumping is fobidden by international laws.

Many open-source advocates argue that writing software costs nothing, but who is paying their computer, their electricity, the food they eat to have enough energy to think, and their internet connection?

I too love writing software and want to have higher standards of living (I am from a developing country.) But because of open-source, my company lost last year 2 important sales. Two companies were planning to license a library we wrote. But after some time they found an open-source alternative (that isn't as stable or as feature rich as our product) and cancelled everything. So please do not tell me that open-source is made to help poor people on this planet!!

Most open-source code is written by people that get bored after their work (or university courses.) These people have a descent life and a job paid in USD or Euro. They have no idea about the damage they do for people like us.

GinG
Monday, July 26, 2004

You know, Albert, you and your ilk would argue much more effectively if you'd quit trotting out your own personal bogeymen, like "socialism".

When was the last time you ever heard anyone in North America with any stature seriously argue for socialism?  And I mean someone saying "socialism is good", not you interpretting something as socialism.

You've fundamentally mistaken open source software by claiming that it attacks property rights.  The most stringent of free software licences depends 100% upon strong property rights.

What it *does* do is attack the economics of proprietary software.  Trust me on this: you'd have a much better time arguing that open source software destroys the economic viability of ISVs.  Try this: argue that corporate support for open source software is like government support for soup kitchens insofar as it effects restaurants and fast food chains.

Just please, leave the tired, old strawman of creeping communism out of it.

Justin Johnson
Monday, July 26, 2004

"Many open-source advocates argue that writing software costs nothing"

No, they don't.  They're very aware of the energy it takes, and anyone who does it seriously would love to find a way to get paid to do it.

Justin Johnson
Monday, July 26, 2004

This is kind of ridiculous fear-mongering isn't it?

Look at Linux -- it has spawned an entire industry with companies and individuals making big money.  Without it being open source, Linux would be nothing.

I'm an ISV and I build commercial software and it's based on open source technologies.  It's classic "commoditize your compliments".  I build web applications -- not web servers, or programming languages, or SQL databases.  I save a fortune, my clients save a fortune, I get a stable and easy to use platform to build off of.

If you look at what IBM is doing with governments and businesses -- they are selling a common basis.  The operating system, the basic bundled applications, etc.  The real money is building the custom systems that are on top of that platform.  We all win with a commoditized (and free) platform to build off of.

People want to make money -- even open source developers.  And most open source developers are paid -- paid to build a common platform that a number of companies can build on. 

Sure, it's socialist -- but it's not government mandated -- it's freemarket socialism.

Almost Anonymous
Monday, July 26, 2004

>The real money is building the custom systems that are on top of that platform.  We all win with a commoditized (and free) platform to build off of.

I could not agree more with the above. (IBM is not stupid!). And, sure, a GOOD many people in our industry make good money by using a service model.  This is a good thing.

However, it is also becoming a way that large companies avoid paying for software rights. If your software business is based much on the service model, then Open source just like free music certainly seems to be a benefit.

However, if your business is based on selling a product based on rights, then it is not so good. So, benefits here will depend on what side of the fence you are on.

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Monday, July 26, 2004

"But after some time they found an open-source alternative (that isn't as stable or as feature rich as our product) and cancelled everything."

Boo hoo.  Do you know how many open source alternatives there are to what I make??  Hundreds!  But you know what, they all suck (personal opinion).  I have a long line of paying customers because our product is vastly superiour and our clients would spend even more trying to get one of those open source products together.

You're in a tough spot -- because you know what, developers need libraries and being developers they tend to be able to build them all by themselves.  They don't like to pay for libraries so they share libraries.  It's not like it even has to be open source -- open source just makes the distribution easier.

"Most open-source code is written by people that get bored after their work (or university courses.)"

That's a classic myth.  Most *popular* open source software is written by companies who have paid developers who write open source software.  The next group are developers who develop a library or other software to help them with their job but is not the main product they sell.  This is probably were you library comes from -- people just don't write libraries out of the blue -- they are designed to solve some problem.  The last group are the collage kids -- and they generally write complete applications -- but not the type that compete with commercial software.  Because, lets face it, they are collage kids.

Almost Anonymous
Monday, July 26, 2004

"everyone reading this says, oh no, here comes another thread of open source vs commercial software."

...and they are simply shocked and amazed when that's exactly what it turns out to be. Who would have expected such an unlikely thing?

Seriously, what sort of freak actually expects to start another open-vs-closed source debate and achieve anything useful?

welcome to the anti slashdot
Monday, July 26, 2004

"The real money is building the custom systems that are on top of that platform.  We all win with a commoditized (and free) platform to build off of."

"And, sure, a GOOD many people in our industry make good money by using a service model."

Err..  I said nothing about SERVICES.  If you're government, you need alot of software -- I'm not talking about word processors or web browsers.  I'm talking about software that runs the deparments.  This is not OPEN SOURCE software.  This is real, licensed, all property-rights up software.  People will have to write this stuff and sell it.

Open source provides that common basis for that software to written on.  It's never going to be replaced by open source code -- because it's often cheaper to buy than build yourself.

For fairly obvious reasons, the best and most used open source software tends to be infastructure software.  The least used is the fringe stuff that you are worried about.

Almost Anonymous
Monday, July 26, 2004

"This really comes down to a issue of freedom."

It really does.

It comes to an issue of whether individuals have the freedom to give their work away, and whether corporations have the freedom to sell value-added services based on the work people have freely given away.

Denying either of those freedoms would be socialist.

Alyosha`
Monday, July 26, 2004

Funny.  Seems like the only person here who's anti-property rights is you Albert - you're the one telling people what they are and aren't allowed to do with their property.  If I want to give my property away, I will.  Don't you *dare* tell me what to do with my time.

If you can't develop better software for money, then get used to working at McDonalds.  Joel seems to manage.

Rodger Donaldson
Monday, July 26, 2004

I agree and anyone else who doesn't can't program worth a shit and thus doesn't matter if they have no ownership of software. 

Why doesn't pizza hut give out their recipe and free pizzas?

C++ Sucks
Monday, July 26, 2004

I think this sums it up

> I guess what is really sad is that IBM was long known for its use of the
> patient office. In fact, due to research, IBM issues a LOT of patients. In
> other words, in parts of their business that THEY CAN hold AND
> BENEFIT from holding property rights to, they certainly do.  Of course, we
> are talking about the shareholders and executives here. Since it is NOT in
> the interest of the company to support IP rights for developers. then they
> don’t!

I was going to silly comment about IBM would have stronger IP rights if they got a LOT of patents, instead of patients.  But I won't.

You seem to assume that Open Source has no "IP rights for developers".

I'm not an Open Source developer, nor advocate, but even I know that's wrong. Open Source software is still copyrighted (by the authors), it's just a license/distribution model that allows others to use the software in certain (fairly flexible) ways and build off each other's work.

S. Tanna
Monday, July 26, 2004

Almost Anonymous,

"Boo hoo.  Do you know how many open source alternatives there are to what I make??  Hundreds!  But you know what, they all suck (personal opinion).  I have a long line of paying customers because our product is vastly superiour and our clients would spend even more trying to get one of those open source products together."

This happens when you're dealing with smart people not with while-collar managers that doesn't know what "quality of a code" means.

The two lost sales I mentionned were cancelled because a manager thought that an open source library that costs 0 is better (in pricing terms) than ours that costs $$. The developers were against this choice but their opinion was ignored because the management was looking for the cheapest solution.

"That's a classic myth.  Most *popular* open source software is written by companies who have paid developers who write open source software."

Do you have statistics? I agree that popular open source software is sponsored by companies. But how many OS software can be considered as popular? 20, 30? Now, how many people resgitered in Source Forge make a living (or at least can buy a drink) from the sponsors money? FYI, even sponsored software has contributions from individuals that do it "just for fun".

If Linus, Miguel, and Alan are living from OS money, this isn't the case for most of the crowd.

GinG
Monday, July 26, 2004

"This happens when you're dealing with smart people not with while-collar managers that doesn't know what "quality of a code" means."

If your marketting comes down to "quality of code" no wonder you lost those sales.  Are you telling me there is nothing _significant_ between your library and a free one? 

"open source library that costs 0 is better (in pricing terms) than ours that costs $$."

In pricing terms, yes a library that costs 0 is better than one that costs money.  *IF* that library does everything they need -- good for them.  How can you compete?!?  But if your library is tangably better than you should push that.

"because the management was looking for the cheapest solution."

Would you be similarily upset if I sold them a library that is comparable for $5?  We've been undersold before (I pity them -- and I enjoy when their projects fail miserably) but it happens.  The price..  $20, $10, $5, or even $0 isn't the issue.  In fact, most managers would prefer $5 over free.

"But how many OS software can be considered as popular? 20, 30?"

Does it matter?

"Now, how many people resgitered in Source Forge make a living (or at least can buy a drink) from the sponsors money?"

Only popular products have sponsors.  And only popular projects have developers (really).  And only popular products have users.  So what's your point?  Are you really worried about the lone 15 year old building a comparable library to yours?  No. (at least I hope not -- otherwise, you've got problems).  Most of the projects "just for fun" don't get past the planning stage.

That library that got your customers is sponsored by somebody but probably indirectly.  A number of those customers are being paid to work on their respective projects and as part of that they are collectively working on that library.  That's how most OS projects get built.  Not from "sponsors" but from paid developers trying to get their job done by contributing to products they use.

Almost Anonymous
Monday, July 26, 2004

>Funny.  Seems like the only person here who's anti-property rights is you Albert - you're the one telling people what they are and aren't allowed to do with their property.  If I want to give my property away, I will.  Don't you *dare* tell me what to do with my time.

Where did I say people can’t give away software? (please don’t put words in my mouth). Now, you are stating that I can’t have an opinion here?

So, no, I am not telling you can’t give away your software. However, I MOST CERTAINLY am telling you that the open source model hurts property rights for developers. That is a big difference here. You are 100% free to do as you will.

The people of Germany were also 100% free to elect their leaders also. You are 100% free to vote for whoever, but I certainly can tell you the consequences of your actions. Please show me my quote where I told you what you can’t, and can not do?

And further, why make some big huge moral law of the land that I can’t tell you what to do with your time anyway? You mean I am not allowed to do this? You mean my free speech rights are to be removed by you? Why such a big new moral law that you are creating here? Are you now not preaching to me? Thou shall not *dare* to tell me what to do with my time (I thought that is what beer commercials do all day…don’t they?).

Does this new big moral law of yours only work on way? Hum? Please quote me where I stated what  you can’t do with your spare time?  I did not tell you what to do, I simply told you the consequences of your actions.

As I said, this issue really revolves around ownership rights of software. I not saying you can’t give away your software, but I am saying that open source attacks your ability to collect royalties on software (especially if the government  (or CEO) mandates that all software must be open source). Simply put, if you support open source, then you are against rights of developers to collect royalties on their software. The choice is still yours.

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Monday, July 26, 2004

" However, I MOST CERTAINLY am telling you that the open source model hurts property rights for developers."

Where is your EVIDENCE?!?

"but I am saying that open source attacks your ability to collect royalties on software (especially if the government  (or CEO) mandates that all software must be open source)."

Software can certainly be open source AND you can collect royalties on it.  Seriously.  Open source is a big concept and likely government is more interested in the freedom from lockin and loss than not paying someone for the work. 

Now, I'm not talking about GNU GPL...  but again, nothing stops you from charging for GPL software either -- but nothing stops your client from passing it on -- so you better charge enough. 

Open source is not incompatible with capitalism or free enterprise.  Certainly it's no worse than freeware or shareware.  But it adds an important change -- it prevents lockin.  Governments can hire their own developers, and/or move away from IBM, if they wanted.  That's different from buying traditional (e.g. Microsoft) software.

Almost Anonymous
Monday, July 26, 2004

What it gets down to is that software is probably the only industry where lots of practitioners have been convinced that it's cool to give away their work.

I think that as time goes on, more open sourcers will develop software that's valuable and start to question the ethos of giving it away, even if for a salary, especially when they see others in the company earning lots more.

.
Monday, July 26, 2004

"What it gets down to is that software is probably the only industry where lots of practitioners have been convinced that it's cool to give away their work."

Artists and musicians never give anything away, right? That's different, how so?  I write software for fun, don't you?

And I'm sure most construction worker are up in arms over Habitat for Humanity (It devalues their work!).

Almost Anonymous
Monday, July 26, 2004

I actually find it funny that nobody seems to realize that this entire industry is based on FREE software.  Right down to the code printing in magazines that we typed into our commodore 64s.  Would the early days of software development be anywhere without BSD Unix?  Back in the day, all BBS software was free.  Would we have the web at all without Netscape for free?  The list is endless.  Giving shit away is the basis for our industry and proably part of the reason it's been so unbelievably successful.

Almost Anonymous
Monday, July 26, 2004

and of course, what isn't free has been pirated.. 

Almost Anonymous
Monday, July 26, 2004

Almost Anonymous,

According to what you've said:
* we can't sell to developers because they can code all what they need;
* we can't sell to geeks because they use the open source alternatives;
* we can't sell to average Joe user, because he's going to use the pirated copy;
* we can't sell to the government, because it's using open source too; and
* we can't sell to companies, because Microsoft was there too long before us.

So are independant developers and small ISVs doomed to failure in the coming years?

GinG
Monday, July 26, 2004

"we can't sell to developers because they can code all what they need"

Developers cannot code everything they need.  If they can code what they need, why would they come to you with anything in the first place -- open source or not.  This is nothing new.

"we can't sell to geeks because they use the open source alternatives"

I never said anything like this.  And most software doesn't have an open source alternative and never will.

"we can't sell to average Joe user, because he's going to use the pirated copy"

How many pirated copies of Windows are out there?  And office..  lots.  There is and always will be piracy.

"we can't sell to the government, because it's using open source too; and"

If you want to sell to government and they pay big bucks you'll probably find some way to open source your code.

"So are independant developers and small ISVs doomed to failure in the coming years?"

They are no more doomed to failure now than they ever were.  But times change and so must you.  If an open source library is out there and it's beating you down maybe you need to do something about it rather than whine about people doing work for free.  I'm sure they don't see it as doing work for free -- they see it as work on their projects.

Almost Anonymous
Monday, July 26, 2004

>Where is your EVIDENCE?!?

You mean you need to know when a hammer is dropped, that you can’t conclude it will hit the ground?

So, if you create a software system that manages a school, and the school mandates that the software you create MUST be open source, then how will you retain the rights to re-sell that software to other schools?

I mean sure, it benefits the schools if they don’t have to pay for teachers, or schools don’t have to pay for paper, and also benefits the schools if they don’t have to pay for software.

However, our society don’t work that way. I really not sure what you mean by lack of evidence here?


>If you want to sell to government and they pay big bucks you'll probably find some way to open source your code.

Why do you assume they will pay big bucks? Maybe they will below the going rate to get this done?

Regardless, selling out the industry for big, or littlie bucks carries little honor, and nor does it help the cause of ownership rights for our industry.

This not only just about money, but about rights of the individuals involved in our industry.


Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

>I actually find it funny that nobody seems to realize that this entire industry is based on FREE software.  Right down to the code printing in magazines that we typed into our commodore 64s.

People give away all kinds of software. However, there is a big difference here between some magazine giving away some free code as compared to a government (or industry) mandating that you MUST open source your software.

The issues is not that some developers give away their software, the issues at hand are the rights of the developers that we loose when the industry as a whole uses open source software.

A few magazines giving away some AppleSoft basic code for the game of life was never a problem anyone had to worry about.

That is not the kind of comparison we are making here at a all.


Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

I fail to see how Open Source taking away your ability to collect royalties on your software in anyway impinges on your property rights, even if true.

Property rights guarantee ownership, not profit. Nobody has a guaranteed right to profit, exccept perhaps in corrupt dictatorships.

It seems to me that rewarding people for their work, regardless of market value, is a socialist ideal, not a capitalist one. And I say that without making a value judgement (I think there are pros and cons to both idiologies).

Iconoclast
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Your schools example is a good one, but not in the way your intend. If schools are no longer spending money on software, they might instead spend it on other things that will improve the educational experience of the children.

How can anyone think that's a bad thing? The only way I can see you can conclude that is through a very narrow perspective of a software developer who only cares about money, and not the wider social consequences that the school's decision entails.

Of course, it is a balance, and if it swings too far one way then there will be nobody left to write software, as there will be no way to make a living doing so. However, I see no evidence we're anywhere close to that point at the moment. I also see no evidence we will ever reach that point - should we start to go down that path, then people will either have to start paying more to attract new developers into the field, or do without new software. And if they do without it, they obviously didn't need that badly in the first place!

In any case, I see no reason at all to panic.

Iconoclast
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

"So, if you create a software system that manages a school, and the school mandates that the software you create MUST be open source, then how will you retain the rights to re-sell that software to other schools?"

As I've pointed out many times there are many forms of open source.  It doesn't necessary follow, from making available your code, that you cannot retain the rights to re-sell your software.  Certainly, that is by-definition NOT free software but governments are looking at all the angles here.

They are probably more interested in having access to the source code than having "free software" and bankrupting, as you say, their software industry.

Besides, if it's not economically viable to write free software for government (and I'd say it's not) then NOBODY will do it.  There will be no software and then at some point somebody will have to buy something.  It's self correcting.

I totally think that governments should make use of open source software whereever possible.  They should also, I think, contribute to open source projects.  If they are doing in house development, why not have it available to all tax payers.  However, can they force companies to write open source for them?...  no.  They can mandate it -- but nobody has to actually do it. 

I don't feel sorry for Microsoft when some south american government says they want to use Linux over Windows.  They aren't going to bankrupt the entire software industry.  Microsoft might have to work harder but that's all.

Almost Anonymous
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Somebody bookmark this.

If it hasn't been said before, given the length of this post and thread, it must have been said here.  And if was not said here, then it surely it should have been.

So, on the next Open Source Software topic, just reply "Albert D. Kreme de Salad".

We can end it there.

hoser
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

> Artists and musicians never give anything away, right? That's different, how so?  I write software for fun, don't you? And I'm sure most construction worker are up in arms over Habitat for Humanity (It devalues their work!).

My friend, if you even started to *think* about having construction workers work for free, or even not paying their overtime loading, their union would be down on you like a ton of bricks.

Re artists and musicisians, the ones that are good enough to turn professional are acutely aware of ownership and income. Ever been to an art gallery?

Uncle Bill
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Albert, didn't it say in the jargon file that trolls were supposed to be short?

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Wozzat? Nasty, british and short, wannit?

trollop
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

It's like you're insisting on price controls for software.  Now there's a socialist idea.  At the same time, you'd require governments to buy overpriced software.  You do realize that's a cause of higher taxes, right?

"So, if you create a software system that manages a school, and the school mandates that the software you create MUST be open source, then how will you retain the rights to re-sell that software to other schools?"

You forget that you have the option not to sell to that school.  Or you could sell it, but only for a bizillion dollars.  Nobody's forcing anyone to do anything.  It's just the free market in action. 

What is it about the free market that you don't trust?  Adam Smith's invisible hand works both ways.  It punishes overpriced goods and inefficient processes.  If software's so cheap to make that people will do it happily for free, then that's its market-determined value.  Those who oppose open source because they can't justify their six-figure incomes any longer are just loom-smashing reactionaries.

Alyosha`
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Alyosha, no-one's condemning free markets. Free markets consist of producers trying to maximise their returns and buyers trying to minimise their expenditure. That's fine.

In open source, there are lots of people saying it's best for producers that they reduce their returns. Even a fair few of the producers, although not the best ones, accept and promote this belief. This is actually a distortion of free markets.

Uncle Bill
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

>It's like you're insisting on price controls for software. 

No, I am insisting that we give rights of ownership to peoples property.

>Now there's a socialist idea.  At the same time, you'd require governments to buy overpriced software. 

Oh, gee, here we go with the greedy business syndrome. Gosh, we are now having a good old fashioned argument about business owners and peoples rights. Yes, it is always that the governments and people must rise up against the greedy land owners and overpriced goods that business supply. My gosh, did we not have a rash of these types of leaders just before the world wars? They all stated that we must stop those greedy land owners? These leaders also used class envy and pride, and jealously and statements like “require governments to buy overprice software”.

How do you know it is over priced, and why should a government be so stupid to waste money and buy overpriced software? I am not suggesting that at all, and to outright assume that software is overpriced is simply that old fashion envy and characterizing that business are dishonest, and overprice their software. Who said anything about purchasing overpriced software? Why are you now characterizing the software vendors as being over priced?

However, just because something is overpriced, you now take away ownership rights?

So, housing in the USA is overpriced, so the government solution is to remove the right to owning a house? (how the heck does that make sense?). Heck, lets go all the way and remove the right to vote?

>You do realize that's a cause of higher taxes, right?

Yes, and so is paying for water for the school. In fact, so is paying for teachers. If we can get teachers to work for free, or get the paper manufactures to give schools paper for free, then we also reduced taxes..rigth? If you are telling me that schools have to pay for things they use, then I don’t think that is new concept here.

If you are telling me that the way to reduce taxes is to reduce property rights, then yes, you might be on to something. We can really do good here if we remove all rights of ownership, and then you have a zero tax problem….don’t you?

>You forget that you have the option not to sell to that school. 

Very true, and when governments mandate or choose to support open source, then they are supporting a system that reduces the rights of developers.

>Or you could sell it, but only for a bizillion dollars.  Nobody's forcing anyone to do anything. 

Actually they are forcing people to do something. They are saying:

    To work for me, you must give up your property rights, or go work else where.

I don’t think it is such a good idea to allow a company (or government) to hire people as they please, and not have to respect any ownership rights of those individuals. Sure, governments are free right now to hire and build systems anyway they want, but that don’t make it necessary good.

>It's just the free market in action.

Well, if you think that taking away property rights is the road to freedom, then you like every other socialist leader in history is making the very same argument as you.

So, no, it is not the free market in action when you take away ownership rights. That is like saying that anyone can grow food and sell it, but they are not allowed to own the property on which they grow the food. How is that the free market in action? You are telling me that I am free to sell food, but not own the rights to producing that food? How is that free choice? Sure, it might let the government, or that company do as they please and step all over the property rights of individuals, but that choice comes at the cost of individuals loosing their rights.

Once again, the issue here is property rights, and do you want a system that supports those rights of the developers?


Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Are you (original poster) sure you are not mixing up rights and privileges?

Land ownership is no right but a privilege, since there is only a limited amount of available land, which means that there is no guarantee that everybody can own land. A "right" to own land would thus be meaningless, since there is no way you can exercise the right without permission by a current land title holder.

As for copyright, I'm not sure that it can be considered a right. It's a government-created monopoly for the author of a work and it's meant to encourage creation of more works rather than protect some sort of right per se.

The same applies for patents, obviously. (And on a sidenote, I think anti-trust law has never been used against a patent holder abusing his government-guaranteed monopoly in whatever products he has a patent for.)

If there was a right to "intellectual property", why would the law recognize such protection to be temporary? I don't think a "right" is something government is meant to take away after 25 years (or whatever terms are used in any given jurisdiction).

So I believe you are actually talking not about rights but about privileges, specifically the extent to which government should manipulate the market to recognize such privileges.

Leauki (Andrew J. Brehm)
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Having property rights includes the right to give away said property.

T. Norman
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

"I don’t think it is such a good idea to allow a company (or government) to hire people as they please, and not have to respect any ownership rights of those individuals. Sure, governments are free right now to hire and build systems anyway they want, but that don’t make it necessary good."

not only governments are free to hire and build systems anyway they want...also companies are free to do the same, and so are individuals.

why would you want to change that?  how would you suggest controlling the government and free enterprise to ensure that they make only the 'right' choices?

FullNameRequired
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Albert, so far your argument doesn't seem to amount to much more than "It's not fair, somebody should stop it."  You've started with the predicate that open source is a threat to your livelihood, and you seem to be struggling to find reasons why that should mean it shouldn't be allowed. 

It's a (relatively) new business model (and yes, it is a business model).  It primarily supports people working in custom-software (either as small-scale contractors or employees), and competes against large-scale contractors and shrink-wrap.

It's frankly a case of adapt, out-compete, or die.  IBM have chosen to adapt (with caveats), Microsoft are trying to out-compete (but I bet they've got back up plans); it sounds like you want someone to come rescue you.  That's not a viable option.

JP
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

It should be no surprise that governments around the world, and especially the socialist ones in Europe support open source software. Most governments if allowed to will take away individual property rights when they can. Socialist Governments as rule don’t like, nor do they support individual property rights at all.

You are a clueless a***hole.

FYI, there are no socialist governments inside the European Union; there one or two in Europe *outside* the Union, but these ancient Soviet republics and the like, not the ones that you were hinting at.

A right winger
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

>Actually they are forcing people to do something. They are saying:

>  To work for me, you must give up your property rights, or go >work else where.


How is that different from any other type of requirement they might have?

"to work for me, you must be willing to program a school-management application for $50.000, or go work elsewhere."

"to work for me, your application must have features x, y and z, or go work elsewhere."

"to work for me, you must be willing to wear a suit and tie, work from 9 to 5, hang around with my buddies at the golfcourse, and pay for the hookers, or go work elsewhere"

a2800276
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The most ironic is that OS's success has little to do with ideology or economy or freedom, and a lot to with the fact that everyone realized it's the only possible way to get at MS.

I'll bet that most of these governments/public officials that are "threatening" to go OS are just trying to get a special deal from MS.

As for "caring for the developer", neither of them (MS or IBM, or anyone else) does. They'll just assume strategies to make it look so when it suits them. Let's not forget that the motto is always "Look out for #1".

A right winger,
WRT governments in Europe, I think what the OP means is that the rules in Europe tend more towards socialism than in the US - e.g., wellfare, medicare, etc. Which, from what I read, isn't all that different from Canada.

OTOH, if he really means that european governments are socialist (in the true sense of the word), then he does need to improve his research.

Paulo Caetano
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

What I find rather ironic is that so many people use the capitalism vs. socialism case as an argument for not allowing competition.

If Free Software outcompetes certain proprietary software vendors that's just a result of the market, it's capitalism at work. Don't complain about the competition, produce better software. That's the answer. If others can produce cheaper, you might have lost in the market. That can happen. That's capitalism. Get used to it.

You can either try and compete against the new competition or use government to outlaw them.

Leauki (Andrew J. Brehm)
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

First of all, I agree fully with Leauki, second of all, nice trolling albert.

Most governments fight for stronger ip rights, sick laws allowing people to copyright algorithms etc. (thank god europe is free from that bullshit.)

What's wrong with socialism? A mixed economy (some things mostly owned or financed by the state, such as schools and hospitals, and the rest a somewhat free market, regulated by government as in most of europe) seems to be the best alternative for the people of a country. sure, not for the companies - but for the people actually making up the companies.

Sallad Cream.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

"When was the last time you ever heard anyone in North America with any stature seriously argue for socialism?  And I mean someone saying "socialism is good", not you interpretting something as socialism."

Actually Hillary Clinton said this just a couple weeks ago...

KC
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Well I've read all this.

Can I have that bit of my life back now please?

Albert's main argument (leaving aside the patent arguments for the moment), appears to be that any kind of Open Source or Free Software in of and of itself affects other software developers ability to earn money for writing software since it devalues the notion of software as a marketable commodity.

Its an argument that could be made only if the possible buyers of this software thought the cost of Open Source (which is not Free) or Free Software (which is just as unfree), as equivalent to the cost of producing new software.

This is comparing implementation costs with development+implementation costs.  This is an equation that will be differently valued for every comparison.

A newly written piece of software (possibly to order), may be relatively cheap in implement and install and begin using.  This is probable because the same person that wrote the software (or at least the same organisation), will be the one doing the implementation and there will be some kind of contractual relationship and pressure to do the job and do the job well.

For a non trivial example, the Open Source version may well be a completely finished article but the user will require its implementation and installation.  They may be able to do this themselves, it will take time and understanding not only of their own problem domain but of the problem domain of that software and its installation and fitting the two to match.  This might take quite a reasonable time.

Alternatively, the user may ask someone else to implement and install it for them, they may well know the software well but they will need to understand the user's problem domain well enough to map it to the software.  Their time taken to do this will be less than the users and less than the developers time to develop something from scratch and implementing that.

Their hourly or fixed price rate, however, will likely be higher than the rate charged for original development, though they may well come in cheaper overall.

This is fine if the Open Source software does exactly what the user wants, if it doesn't then they may require customisations and these will be billable at regular development rates.  The advantage to the developer is that there is an existing corpus of work upon which to build, once they've understood that it becomes relatively cheap for them to develop using it but the same relative cost to the consumer.  In other words the margin on sales is better.

However, I can hear Albert complaining, if it is Open Source or Free Source, the changes I make are free to everyone.  And the answer to that is yes and no.

The consumer will certainly have to pay for the work that is done, depending upon the licence they may receive all the sources, depending again upon the licence the developer may have to make that source generally available (although in practice this means having it available at some address).  There is no compulsion in any of the licences to contribute back and have that contribution accepted by whoever is the guardian owner of that repository of software.

And this is the nub of it.  I do not develop on top of GPL licenced software, not because I hate Gnu or anyone associated with it, but because I do not want the risk of contaminating any other source of mine or clients with a GPL licence.

I limit myself to developing (when the need arises), on sources that are licenced under the BSD, Mozilla or its variants, public domain, Apache and so on.  All of those licences allow use to be made of the original source without having to publish the changes or additions you make for a particular implementation.

Most often, though, I develop closed source because the kinds of things I most often do are better suited to that and we tend to be the primary creator of them.

Now, in length at least, I've managed to equal Albert. :-)

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

In the USA software patent applications are made defensively, not to proclaim a right to charge whoever royalties but a defence against any other company charging them with royalties.

It is a bankrupt and corrupt system.  Bankrupt in that no member of the general public values a patent whether its valid or not.  Corrupt, not in that officials take pecuniary advantage, but that companies take advantage of an under resourced and collapsing public service.

I'd like to know if any developer that ever reads anything here  has ever had their livelihood affected by a software patent.  Whether they've been stopped from doing something, or forced down a different development path.

I'd expect some might bring up the Compuserve Gif ownership but I'd still ask who was really affected by that?  In great part it meant that the free and public domain JPG happened.

Freedom out of Restriction.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Albert, simply put, you don't understand economics very well, and you have a poor grasp of business in general.  Simon very nicely outlined how it's possible to make money by using Open Source software.  There is plenty of empirical evidence to support his statements.

Since you do not demonstrate that you understand the issues involved, would you please desist in attacking the method by which many of us make our living?  We've figured out how to make it work for us.  You haven't figured out how to make it work for you, and that's fine.  Stick to what you do know, and if you want, tell us why it works for you.  Just remember that it's not necessary to attack the way that we make our living to tell us how you make yours.

Clay Dowling
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

"I'd expect some might bring up the Compuserve Gif ownership but I'd still ask who was really affected by that?  In great part it meant that the free and public domain JPG happened."

You mean PNG, not JPG. JPG predates the GIF licensing brouhaha, and was created to encode images for which GIF is unsuited, i.e. photographic images with more than 256 colors. PNG, OTOH, was created in reaction to the GIF licensing issue, to be a license-free replacement for GIF.

Karl
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

http://rinkworks.com/dialect/dialectp.cgi?dialect=fudd&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdiscuss.fogcreek.com%2Fjoelonsoftware%2Fdefault.asp%3Fcmd%3Dshow%26ixPost%3D167500

has
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Granted and corrected Karl.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Albert,

If you look closely at your argument, it is almost identical to that of the southern plantation owners when the Cotton Gin was invented.  After all, previously most cotton was picked by legions of slaves, and the cotton gin was very bad for business.  Oh, No.  How horrible.

Steamrolla
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

"How do you know it is over priced, and why should a government be so stupid to waste money and buy overpriced software?"

It's overpriced because it's above the fair market value.  Envy or greed has nothing to do with it.  There's two apples available on the market, one for 10c and the other for $10.  The $10 one is by definition overpriced.

"To work for me, you must give up your property rights, or go work else where."

Guess what -- that's how a free market works.  Naturally you'll demand a premium for your property rights, or else no sale will be made.  It wouldn't be any different if the customer asked, "to work for me, your product has to be blue, have five-nines reliability, and be less than $100, or go work elsewhere".

This is a scenario limited to neither governments nor open source.  It's very common for a contracted corporation to sell the intellectual property to the customer along with the software, meaning that the creator of the software can't sell it elsewhere.

Alyosha`
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

> And this is the nub of it.  I do not develop on top of GPL licenced software, not because I hate Gnu or anyone associated with it, but because I do not want the risk of contaminating any other source of mine or clients with a GPL licence.

Simon, so you are in fact arguing against the GPL? Possibly it's the GPL aspect of open source that Albert is concerned with. I certainly am.

Also, patents are a different subject than open sourcing /GPL.

Uncle Bill
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

"Simon, so you are in fact arguing against the GPL?"

He's saying the GPL is not appropriate for his own needs and he's willing to pay the premium of having a closed-source license.  But he leaves open the possibility that the GPL might be suitable for someone else. 

This logic is like saying that since one person doesn't like strawberry ice cream, strawberry ice cream should be abolished from the face of the earth.

Also, GPL is only one form of open source.  There are many others.

Alyosha`
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Yes, I'll use and implement software that's under GPL, so long as its clear I'm not modifying either source or files that are themselves likely to be used by me for something else.

Though its true I'll take a non-GPL licence over an otherwise perfectly good alternative.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

"I'll bet that most of these governments/public officials that are "threatening" to go OS are just trying to get a special deal from MS."

If only this were true. It would be the smart move. Unfortunately, "smart" isn't on the radar here. What is most definetly on the radar is a one time projected (not even real) budget savings, coupled with broad anti-american undercurrents.
It is a classic loose-loose deal.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

I am an English teacher. I don't want to work in a school for a salary. I want to own my own teaching business. But all these socialists from California to Chile are destroying my property rights because they are  giving education for free.
It's not just me. I've got a friend who is a doctor and these evil Medicaire commies are forcing him to work in a hospital and he doesn't get much over six figures.
And that Marxist/Leninist Eisenhower really destroyed the property rights of those who wanted to create toll roads. Luckily there are still openings for levying tolls in advanced countries like Somalia and Afghanistan.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Bad example. The education isn't free. Somebody, usually the tax payer, is paying the teachers, so it is possible to make a living as a teacher. If lots of well-off do-gooders were teaching for free, then the profession would be screwed.

It's a bit like pub music in a university town: student bands play for peanuts, so tend to squeeze out the professionals - a bad thing for student musicians who later want to go pro, and for the culture as a whole since it's the fulltime pros who drive the medium.

In general, working for free is a great way to help kill off a profession - and to avoid all the messiness of having a social life and dealing with non-coders. Get a life!

Air Condo Victim
Friday, July 30, 2004

Well, this thread has been enjoyable, and sparked more discussions then I expected.

Been real busy the last few days, and am only getting back to this thread now (I think it is time to let it die). However, since this stuff stays around for a long time, I will take some issues with points made here:

>If I want to give my property away, I will.  Don't you *dare* tell me what to do with my time.

The above is really funny when you read it. You see, in my spare time I come to this board and make posts! So, in the same sentence this person is telling me you can’t tell anyone what to do with their spare time, and yet that is exactly what the poster is doing to me! I love this contradiction, as it really means that the person does not want to be told anything, but in the same sentence tells me what to do! Got love that one! The world is full of famous leaders that apply the rules to everyone but themselves!

>Albert, simply put, you don't understand economics very well, and you have a poor grasp of business in general. 

Oh, and gee, you all of a sudden become the lord and judge of the universe here? Oh, yee great master of business…please teach me!

> Simon very nicely outlined how it's possible to make money by using Open Source software.  There is plenty of empirical evidence to support his statements.

Gee, where did I say that you can’t make money with open source? I have software running on Linux for years (in fact, before anyone even heard of red hat). That software is currently running on Red Hat right now in 5 or 6 countries. Why do people put words in my mouth? I make NO such claim that you can’t make money with open source? Man…what gives? Where the heck did I say that?

> would you please desist in attacking the method by which many of us make our living?

Wow, my opinion is now an attack! (geesh!). How is stating that supporting open source reduces IP rights all of a sudden now characterized as an attack? I kind of thought my conclusions was quite obvious. So, you are most certainly free to differ on opinions that open source curbs IP rights. However, again what is laughable here is that you call my conclusion an attack, and now you are actually telling me to curb my free speech rights! Where in the heck do I tell people not voice their opinion?

In other words, you are telling me not to say anything on this issue! You guys crack me up, as once again the great liberal who believes in free speech actually don’t want to be told anything! In other words….don’t voice my opinion, but you can voice yours! Why do you get to reserve the right to what I voice!

> You haven't figured out how to make it work for you, and that's fine. 

Yes, please oh please tell me how to figure things out for my self, as I am in need of some great and higher human being to have such great judgment on me! I bow before you oh great judge.!

> Stick to what you do know, and if you want, tell us why it works for you.

Yes, once again, don’t tell you anything you don’t agree with! Gotta love this open mined stuff…..eh? Why can’t I talk about thinks that do, or do not work! (this is truly funny here!). So, I can only talk about things that work for me, but nothing else! (yikes!!...this is really funny!).

> Just remember that it's not necessary to attack the way that we make our living to tell us how you make yours.

First, how do you know how I make my living? Further, why is pointing out something that hurts IP rights an attack? Further, now why are you attacking me! (again, that silly contradiction crops up!).  Yup, I love the rule: don’t attack anyone, and in the same sentence attack me! (further, as mentioned, I find it rude that you call a debate on IP rights an attack).

And, a few more for good fun:

> If you look closely at your argument, it is almost identical to that of the southern plantation owners when the Cotton Gin was invented.  After all, previously most cotton was picked by legions of slaves, and the cotton gin was very bad for business.  Oh, No.  How horrible.

No, in fact we would be talking about the patent rights to the cotton Gin! The issue here would be giving up rights to something that you create…not that someone lost some jobs!

>> "To work for me, you must give up your property rights, or go work else where."

>Guess what -- that's how a free market works.  Naturally you'll demand a premium for your property rights, or else no sale will be made.  It wouldn't be any different if the customer asked, "to work for me, your product has to be blue, have five-nines reliability, and be less than $100, or go work elsewhere".

I can’t agree with the above more, and never implied other wise. All contracts and works are simply that of agreements between two parties.  People really are free to make whatever deal they want, but I just want people to be aware of what that choice means.

It is up to all of us to figure out what rights and terms of employments we want. Getting what we want is certainly different from what life actually will dish out to us.

This has been a fun debate.

Thanks to all of you who contributed to this thread. I have enjoyed and welcomed the differing opinions and ideas debated here.


Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Friday, July 30, 2004

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