[SATLUG] F/OSS motivations

Todd W. Bucy toddwbucy at grandecom.net
Wed Aug 13 00:26:10 CDT 2008

sorry forgot something...
> Good points Bruce.  I would only add that the FOSS model is probably most 
> closely modeled by the peer review process in a patent free society (or at 
> least a non-patent-happy one).  This is why patents are the enemy of FOSS.. 
> the restrict and punish innovation.. while close source models thrive on it 
> (like leaches).  With closed source.. the "widget" you sell is the software.  
> With the FOSSmodel, the "widget" is purely a service... the software is 
> simply a free tool to deliver said services (a tool with well defined rights 
> of it's own.. but a tool none the less).
> Yeah.. the "gift" idea doesn't jive with me either.  I mean how valuable is a 
> gift that you can copy and give out a billion billion times?  
I am not interested in how the F/OSS model is used to make money (at
least not yet) what I am interested in however is how the F/OSS model is
used to create software.  From this point of view the production and
distribution of software within the F/OSS model, is such that it
represents not a comodity or market economy but that of a gift economy.
Ask yourself this, What do you think what would happen to the F/OSS
community if the Linux kernel became a comodity which could be bought
and sold for the sole use of an single individual or group?  Wait didn't
somebody try that one a couple of years ago? SCO ring a bell?  As it
concerns the market economy and the F/OSS model the comodity is not
software but service as it concerns F/OSS and the production of software
its a gift, whose purpose may or may not be to facilitate the selling of
a service within a larger market economy.


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