On Tuesday 28 May 2002 15:41, Ferren MacIntyre wrote:
> From: Larry McVoy <lm at bitmover.com>
>> >Subject: business models [was patent stuff]
> >Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 15:24:52 -0700
> >If the free software community is ever going to really compete with the
> >non-free software community, they simply have to come up with a better
> >business model than giving it away and trying to make money on support.
(Larry's comment came up during an interesting and quite heated debate over
whether FSMLabs patent was hindering the use of Linux for Real Time systems).
Bear in mind Larry is trying to justify his business model for BitKeeper.
Linus' use of same has annoyed a lot of people because it is not GPL, his
attitude is it's the best tool for the job.
Another argument I hear a fair bit is that software as a product is an idea
that will eventually go away, and that the majority of computer related jobs
aren't in that field anyway (as your own situation demonstrates).
Computer scientists (for lack of a better description) becoming more like
doctors, lawyers -- providing a service.
But this is like arguing that any medium where copying costs next to nothing
(software, books, films, music) should not be regarded as a product. I don't
think many people would agree with this. Does the fact that a car is harder
to duplicate than a piece of software make it more of a valid product?
One approach to take is that, as a software contractor, you agree with your
clients that anything you produce will be open sourced. I'm not sure if
this is amazingly viable however.
I don't think there is an easy answer. FSMLabs have chosen to use a patent
to ensure a revenue stream in conjunction with a GPLed product, an option
that is available to few.
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