[linux-elitists] Re: free software & May 24 Face Value

D. Joe Anderson deejoe@raccoon.com
Fri Jun 20 07:39:37 PDT 2003

Well, it's been long enough that I don't think this will make it
into print:

On Sat, May 31, 2003 at 12:40:04PM -0500, D. Joe Anderson wrote:
> Freedom, not price.
> SIR - In a putative "free market," if producers of goods and
> services require payment in return for their participation,
> could one fairly say such a market is "not as free as it
> appears"?  Of course not: The "free" refers to the adaptability
> that freedom confers, not to price.  Your recent article on
> Sun's place in software markets (Face value, May 24th) misses
> making this crucial distinction with regard to free software.
> Nearly all software requires training and tending.  Free
> software is unique in the range of freedom it extends to
> consumers in how to apply it and who "'to take care of it.'" In
> contrast, once consumers of proprietary software have made their
> initial purchase and deployment decisions, they are limited in
> how they apply the software, and are often locked into procuring
> what the industry refers to as "maintenance" from the single
> supplier holding the source code.  Clearly such limits and
> lock-in greatly benefit a few large proprietary system vendors. 
> How beneficial their would-be customers find such limits can be
> read from the growing use of programs like Linux.

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