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Another of those tricky little things, full of words, that Adam clearly hasn’t read yet. But he wants us to, so I thought I’d oblige the little bugger.

It’s not clear to me, given his table manners etc, why anybody would invite Stallman to give a speech in person. Surely it would be better value all round if you just bung him $2000 plus costs and ask him to send you a video and stay the hell away from normal people. Why, you could even share and reuse and alter the video, in line with the Four Freedoms (which theoretically this particular “philosophy” post is all about). I mean, sharing and reusing and disassembling Stallman himself is … well … distasteful at the very least. And disgusting at the worst.

The stench, my dear! The moral stench!

Of course, you’d have to find a Free and Open Videoconferencing system, so I suppose that’s out.

Now, before going on to highlight the lowlights, as it were, I’d like you to ask yourself a simple question. If you invite a smelly old hippie half way around the world to give you a keynote speech (or whatever), do you really want him making lame punning jokes at your expense? Because that’s how Richard eases himself in. It’s almost worse than that horrible singing episode of a few years back.

But not quite.

———————

However, it’s unrelated to the fanatical, dissembling, lunacy. Here are a few samples of that.

Proprietary software keeps the users divided and helpless.

That would explain all those hopeless serfs that use Word and Excel (and Google Docs, for that matter) to get work done and to share and help each other, wouldn’t it?

In RMS’s current software world, which basically goes no further than wget with an emacs front-end, the user is little more than a mewling baby with beard-nits and toe-jam. Big improvement, that.

But any proprietary software gives the developers unjust power over the users.

Not it doesn’t. It’s (inevitably) a circular argument to call it “unjust,” let alone “power.” I haven’t met a single developer yet who considers himself to have power of any kind over users — quite the reverse, in fact.

So the question can be restated: “What should copyright law allow you to do with published works? What should copyright law say?”

Or you could just dismiss the question as raving self-defined obsessional lunacy in the first place.

But, OK, let’s sit down with Mother and listen to how copyright affects absolutely everything else as well as software. After all, RMS is an acknowledged software expert. It follows that he must be an expert on absolutely everything else.

———————————-

Copyright has developed along with copying technology

Ooh, a single clause in and he’s already wrong. Copyright and copying technology have coexisted over the centuries. They have not developed in lockstep, as he would have you believe.

Here’s his take on Gutenberg:

the printing press and the type were expensive equipment that most people didn’t own; and the ability to use them, most literate people didn’t know. Using a press was a different skill from writing. The result was a centralized manner of producing copies: the copies of any given book would be made in a few places, and then they would be transported to wherever someone wanted to buy copies.

Leave out the “expensive equipment” bit (which incidentally would have applied to absolutely everything that Richard touched in the MIT labs of the 1960s — up to and including the coffee machine), and that sounds just like software, doesn’t it?

So Richard wants to have his cake and eat it. We are far advanced from Gutenberg, yet we are, er, actually at the same stage. (Which would imply by his lights that copyright makes sense … to him, at least.)

I’m going to leave the idiot analysis of copyright in English History, as ignorantly drawn from Wikipedia, to somebody else. Mr Monco appears to be well versed in this area. RMS appears to be more like half-arsed doggerel.

It [copyright] was easy to enforce, because it only had to be enforced against publishers. And it’s easy to find the unauthorized publishers of a book—you go to a bookstore and say “where do these copies come from?”. You don’t have to invade everybody’s home and everybody’s computer to do that.

Well, they didn’t have computers in Charles Dickens’ time, so I suppose the Loon is right in a way. But if you asked Dickens about the rest of it (circa 1860), he’d laugh in your face. (Apologies for the visual image of one bearded loon laughing in another bearded loon’s face.) Do you know why Dickens toured America? It was because there wasn’t any enforceable copyright for British works there; in fact, I’m pretty certain there wasn’t any copyright at all. The only way he could make money was to tour. Dickens’ literary tours of America served almost exactly the same purpose as DRM and the like does today.

So if this were still in the age of the printing press, I don’t think I’d be complaining about copyright law.

It’s like Christmas Panto, isn’t it? Oh yes you would, Richard, oh yes you would. In any case, wasn’t this all supposed to be about Principles? Why should messy sordid reality affect your Principles? I mean, it never does in any other respect, does it?

——————————

And I’m about a third of the way down, and so on and so on. I think Richard is getting senile in his old age. Some of this stuff is just plain gibberish: the Shakespeare riff, Walt Disney, two adorable puppies with thirty two hexadecimal characters superimposed1 ... I mean, the Loon is Losing It.

It’s very sad, really.

And what’s really sad is that the word “community” is mentioned only five times (you are welcome to check this). Once in the title. Once by the Emcee. Once in the Four Freedoms. Once immediately after the Four Freedoms. And once more in terms of the “software community.”

Get a life, you hopeless old hobo.

———————

[1] I’m not making this up. I only wish I were. It’s part of an extensive, yet totally unintelligble, schtick concerning how Richard took on DRM encryption and won goddamnit … but obviously only with the help of those two adorable puppies and thirty two hexadecimal characters (I hope their hexadecimal mummies vouched for them). And after all, a Puppy is Not Just For Christmas.

It is Also a Mis-Spelled Parrot.

#1 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 1, 2011 7:22 PM

I don’t think you really get it. Copyright in the age of the printing press was pretty much impossible (or improbable) to violate because nobody had access to copyright technology. This started to change with the advent of the copying machine and went to crazy new heights with the advent of the Internet.

The Internet has made information sharing possible by anyone with a cheap computer. It’s fundamentally changed the information landscape, yet we have copyright laws that were written way before this kind of technology existed.

#2 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 1, 2011 7:22 PM

copyright technology = copying technology

#3 Posted by JoeMonco on Nov 1, 2011 7:29 PM

“the printing press and the type were expensive equipment that most people didn’t own; and the ability to use them, most literate people didn’t know.”

Yeah, because printing presses are dirt cheap and easy to operate these days. With tens of millions of dollars, some healthy supply of paper (and by that I mean literally tons of it), a building the size of a football stadium and some good knowledge on the halftone printing process, you, too, can publish your own newspaper:

http://statesmannieprogram.wordpress.com/the-pressroom/

Don’t forget the inks, though. Pretty toxic that stuff, last time I heard.

#4 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 1, 2011 7:39 PM

The whole puppy thing is in regards to the infamous AACS key, a key that can be used to unlock the DRM in HD-DVD and some Blu-ray disks.

The goal of the MPAA and AACS people was to censor this key. They started to send C&D letters to anyone hosting the key (which is just a number) and some Web2.0 sites like Digg. The revolt on Digg was especially notable, people posted new articles with the key faster than anyone at Digg could even do anything about it and they eventually gave up.

People started to embed the AACS key in pretty much everything, including pictures of puppies.

Some people even tattooed the number to their skin.

This of course is called the Streisand effect, and one of the glorious things about attempting to censor something on the Internet – it almost never works and typically has the opposite effect.

You can see the banned number in all glory in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AACS_encryption_key_controversy

#5 Posted by JoeMonco on Nov 1, 2011 7:39 PM

“The Internet has made information sharing possible by anyone with a cheap computer.”

Pen and paper are pretty cheap, too.

And you know what? All that hoopla about information being more accessible to people applied to when Annæ Reginæ was enacted as well. After all, that’s precisely the reason the legislation existed in the first place.

#6 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 1, 2011 7:40 PM

@Adam.

Whether or not I “really get” whatever creams your personal pie is totally irrelevant to an analysis of this article.

You offered this article up as an important piece of evidence.

I have partially (even us carnivores get bored after a certain amount of giblets) eviscerated it.

Your response to the evisceration, please?

Am I wrong in any particular?

Oh, why bother. You don’t read. You don’t even bother to think. Your “modus operandi” only crops up when the meds kick in and you are briefly normal (and, I might say, obviously intelligent).

Stay drugged and obnoxious and stupid, kid.

#7 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 1, 2011 7:43 PM

And yes, I was on Digg that day. It was glorious. People don’t even know about RMS and FSF, never even heard of Linux and they all universally knew what movie industry was trying to accomplish was wrong. And they won. It showed to me the naked power the “unwashed masses” have when they unite to a greater cause. No entity big or small can do anything about it.

#8 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 1, 2011 7:43 PM

Copyright in the age of the printing press was pretty much trivial to violate.

Don’t you get it? Didn’t you read? (Why am I bothering to ask myself this question?)

Didn’t you spot the huge great bleeding chunk of exposition concerning Charles Dickens? I have some sort of memory that it worked out the other way around, with Mark Twain.

I mean, are you cretinous or just deliberately obtusive?

#9 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 1, 2011 7:50 PM

Fair enough DrLoser.

Your 1-4 paragraphs, the entire third section, the first paragraph of your second section, the last paragraph of the second section are all examples of ad homiem attacks on RMS.

This constitutes the vast majority of your post. I will of course, focus on your refutations.

“Leave out the “expensive equipment” bit (which incidentally would have applied to absolutely everything that Richard touched in the MIT labs of the 1960s — up to and including the coffee machine), and that sounds just like software, doesn’t it?”

Not sure what you mean here. Elaborate?

“So Richard wants to have his cake and eat it. We are far advanced from Gutenberg, yet we are, er, actually at the same stage. (Which would imply by his lights that copyright makes sense … to him, at least.)”

So you are claiming that the Internet has done nothing to change the ability to share information? If so, can you elaborate on why you believe this is so?

“It was because there wasn’t any enforceable copyright for British works there; in fact, I’m pretty certain there wasn’t any copyright at all. The only way he could make money was to tour. Dickens’ literary tours of America served almost exactly the same purpose as DRM and the like does today.”

Again, I’m not sure what you are saying here. How was Dickens literary tours similar to DRM?

That’s all I could find that wasn’t attacking RMS in some way.

#10 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 1, 2011 7:54 PM

“Pen and paper are pretty cheap, too.”

Indeed. But all you need to share an entire movie with MILLIONS of people is a cheap Internet access account and BitTorrent. Try that with pen and paper.

The Internet changed everything.

#11 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 1, 2011 7:56 PM

Digg was “glorious?”

You seriously need to get out of the basement more, kid.

I cannot think of a single thing related to the tech press, or for that matter science and mathematics in general, that I would describe as “glorious.”

On the other hand, I think I would be correct in the judgement of perhaps 95% of the world’s population when I describe Richard Stallamn — even in his less manic episodes, and this one is farcically manic — as a deranged worthless lunatic who has nothing intelligent, or even intelligible, to say.

Hexadecimal puppies and Wellington boots, indeed.

What a twat.

#12 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 1, 2011 7:57 PM

DrLoser,

Do you have something to add or are just going to continue to hurl childish insults?

If you are trying to hurt my feelings you are doing a very bad job of it, all I feel is pity for you and your inability to make coherent points.

#13 Posted by JoeMonco on Nov 1, 2011 8:07 PM

“Copyright in the age of the printing press was pretty much trivial to violate.”

All that stuff about printing technology is just smoke and mirrors in my book. If you want to talk about copyrights, start with “le droit d’auteur”. None of it had anything to do printing presses, mind you.

“Do you have something to add or are just going to continue to hurl childish insults?”

That I think depends on the amount you have put forth in the first place. As far as I can see, though, that amount at this point equals to exactly zilch.

#14 Posted by JoeMonco on Nov 1, 2011 8:08 PM

*do with

#15 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 1, 2011 8:17 PM

@Adam:

And fair enough to you, although somehow I suspect that legalistically quoting paragraphs with nothing else (Adam, you have nothing else) doesn’t quite count as a refutation.

However:

“Another of those tricky little things, full of words, that Adam clearly hasn’t read yet. But he wants us to, so I thought I’d oblige the little bugger.”

Paragraph one. I am happy to concede that you might have read the whole piece. In which case you are an idiot for recommending it to others. I notice that you don’t actually discuss the contents of RMS’s rants; you just fall back on your own views of copyright.

Fine. Just discuss copyright. Don’t pretend that this antipodean expedition of the Cheese-Footed One is remotely relevant.

Paragraphs 2-4: Whimsy. Sometimes people do that, Adam. Sometimes it succeeds, sometimes it fails. But, as in this instance, it is non-refutable.

——

The first paragraph of my second section is as follows:

“However, it’s unrelated to the fanatical, dissembling, lunacy. Here are a few samples of that.”

It’s a Statement of Intent, you dipstick. You do not refute a statement of intent. You refute the following argument.

——

The last paragraph of the second section is a clear reference to my belief that Stallman would be complaining, no matter what. It’s expressed whimsically, but it’s hardly ad hominem.

——

And that’s all you’ve got, is it?

That’s all you’ve got?

I tear into the guts of this stupid piece of intellectual trash, and all you can say is “ooh, ad hominem!”

Fine. Lose the whimsy and the ad hominem and tell me where I am wrong in pointing out that Stallman is full of sh1t. Here, as always. For ever and ever, Amen.

——

It’s rather sad, really. You were getting so very close to being rational. But, like Frank Sinatra, I’m afraid this is my last goodbye to you.

I will follow your future (high quality wage earning and all-round saviour of the software world) career with interest … much the same interest I tend to reserve for car crashes by the side of a twisted little road in the backwoods of Arkansas.

#16 Posted by JoeMonco on Nov 1, 2011 8:41 PM

“Fine. Just discuss copyright. Don’t pretend that this antipodean expedition of the Cheese-Footed One is remotely relevant.”

Speaking of that, I just find, not just RMS or Lawrence of Creative Commons, but all those declaring copyrights “obsolete” at odd with the majority view.

Software production, as an industry, is sustainable at this point as well as in the foreseeable future under current copyrights laws. There is simply no financial reasons at this point for any lawmaker to move away from the status quo in any way – let alone moral ones. This, mind you, is in clear contrast to anything suggested by weed-smoking college kids who have absolutely no idea about how the economy works or what “le droit d’auteur” means.

#17 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 1, 2011 9:02 PM

@Adam:

OK, one last time.

Defend a single stupid statement in bold type. Ignore the ad hominems, ignore where I am clearly and irrefutably wrong in your mind.

Just a single stupid statement in bold type, please.

Bear in mind, I was nice enough to omit the demented Shakespeare bollocks, which pretty much demolished his point on its own.

——

Oh, and that “communiteh” thing?

I’d appreciate your analysis on why it wasn’t necessary to refer to the “Community” again.

Because, round these parts (ie academia), that would get you a C- for carelessness at best.

#18 Posted by kurkosdr on Nov 1, 2011 9:38 PM

If you want to see Stallman‘s true ideals, take a look at this old aricle of his: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/shouldbefree.html

(It doesn‘t show up on the fsf page for obvious reasons.)

Hmm.. Zero-sum transfer, tolls are evil, and other hidden communist ideals.

@ADAM, Here is a piece of free advice: At the end, people who take care of their personal happiness always win. Hippies who can‘t make their own money and advocate with silly protests for everything being free (because they feel like being in an amusement park where everything has a price and they arrived with no cash), always lose at the end. I see you use the term free culture a lot, so it‘s obvious you ve been taken away from this hippie “everything should be free“ mentality. If everything should be free why copies of books advocating free culture come at a price, even for digital coies (the ones containing well written bullsh1t, not the Stallmanian rants books who contain bullsh1t and are poorly written).

#19 Posted by imgx64 on Nov 2, 2011 3:54 AM

I have this feeling that DrLoser and JoeMonco are trolling Adam_King. It’s really odd.

I’m not talking about the actual content of the conversation, but about the tone of the comments. They’re full of snark, name-calling, and bringing-irrelevant-details.

Honestly, Adam, I encourage you to continue your civil behavior in the face of trolling. I hope you never return to your previous immature state.

#20 Posted by imgx64 on Nov 2, 2011 3:59 AM

“Speaking of that, I just find, not just RMS or Lawrence of Creative Commons, but all those declaring copyrights “obsolete” at odd with the majority view.”

Then why do we have things like DMCA and E-PARASITE (formerly PROTECT IP)? If they want to protect their copyright, then fine, let them do it, but don’t make the lives of everyone online harder along with it.

#21 Posted by Linsuxoid on Nov 2, 2011 4:42 AM

I must admit that I know virtually nothing about history of copyright (and its infringement), but I have that strange feeling that it’s never been this easy for every Greek highschool dropout to make a copy of the whole fscking library in mere hours and then immediately start redistributing it. All that without even stopping to watch 28th episode of porn series that he pirated yesterday.

So, yes, copies are virtually unlimited resource. At the same time, we all know that economy is all about redistributing LIMITED resources. So, are those DMCA/DRM/whatever just signs of lack of imagination (Artificially putting limits to unlimited resources just to reuse old stupid economy for it? Meh)?

Well, not really. Talented content creators’ time is really limited (scarce) resource. What if we take something like STP and pay in advance? Not sure about music/movie industry, but it would definitely fail for software. Everybody knows that about 80% of ALL software project fail (abandoned before crossing finish line), of the rest 20% about 15% severely underestimate costs. Are you OK with loosing every 4 of your 5 dollars? And you never know if that project that asks for additional funding would ever succeed.

OK, maybe let’s tax EVERYONE and put government in charge of producing software. Because everybody knows, that governments are very effective at things like this. With all those serious “first world problems” most of you guys have no idea what “deficit” really means. When government in charge of producing everything it ends up like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amx-JHhtsHw
Yes, that is the line to McDonalds in the capital of the nuclear-weapon state. And yes, all that people don’t see anything non-normal in this situation: they’ve pretty much used to lines (you must spend 8-10 YEARS in waitlist to buy one of those Soviet cars http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O2zaG5yhP8). Can you imagine that half of the USSR used to go to Moscow just to buy sausages with meat in it (other half just got used to toilet-paper based one)?

#22 Posted by unixisc on Nov 2, 2011 5:26 AM

Just wondering one thing. Does Stalman write any software these days? Anything – giving Emacs a lynx like browser capabilities, making Emacs a shell all its own so that one won’t need ash/bsh/csh/...zsh? Why not just complete Hurd, instead of trying to force everyone to say GNU/Linux? And just have on it Gnome and Emacs, and use Emacs for all text based activities and Gnome for anything graphical he needs.

#23 Posted by imgx64 on Nov 2, 2011 5:43 AM

“Does Stalman write any software these days?”

No, from https://secure.mysociety.org/admin/lists/pipermail/developers-public/2011-October/007647.html :

“I have to spend 6 to 8 hours *every
day* doing my usual work, which is responding to email about the GNU
Project and the Free Software Movement.”

I agree with you though, the FSF and the “GNU project” should make Hurd their first priority, instead of wasting their time and money on worthless “campaigns” and “advocacy”.

#24 Posted by Gesh on Nov 2, 2011 5:46 AM

“Does Stalman write any software these days?” – No, although I cannot find the interview, where he states this explicitly

“Why not just complete Hurd, instead of trying to force everyone to say GNU/Linux?” – Because its hard, pointless and he likes preaching to people.

“ And just have on it Gnome and Emacs, and use Emacs for all text based activities and Gnome for anything graphical he needs.” – Doesnt this contradict with the so called Unix philosophy, where you have an obscure tool, each with its own bugs and arcane (command line) options, for everything?

#25 Posted by JoeMonco on Nov 2, 2011 8:08 AM

“I’m not talking about the actual content of the conversation, but about the tone of the comments. They’re full of snark, name-calling, and bringing-irrelevant-details.”

Irrelevant details? Seriously, I think either of us alone has brought up more relevant details in this entry than Adam in the entirety of this site.

And if your idea of “civil” is to present a fringe opinion as if it’s a generally accepted fact and expect not a single snarky remark in return, you are delirious.

#26 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 2, 2011 2:51 PM

ImgX64,

To be fair you are talking about the biggest f**kups on this site.

JoeMonco was apparently annoying enough to be disowned by all the other Winbreds on Linsux. People typically call him JoeMongoloid.

DrLoser well, I still can’t rarely understand anything he rants about. But what I gather is I think he hates me or something. Can you decipher?

#27 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 2, 2011 3:24 PM

Linsuxoid,

Your first two paragraphs were brilliant. Not sure how you went downhill from there.

#28 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 2, 2011 3:47 PM

@Adam:

I think the word you’re searching for is “despise.” I reserve hatred for people who actually matter in life.

You were actually progressing nicely on that Copyright discussion — I enjoyed talking to a civilised human being for once.

Shame you regressed to the standard Troll setting.

#29 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 2, 2011 3:51 PM

Oh look, DrLoser is here. How unsurprising.

#30 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 2, 2011 4:13 PM

I’m sorry, Adam, I hadn’t realised that you had copyrighted this particular bridge to sit under.

I’ll move on, now. As, in so many ways, should you…

#31 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 2, 2011 4:25 PM

Sure thing boss.

If anyone wants some JQuery code to ignore people on this site, here you go:

$('a[title*=DrLoser]’).parent().parent().hide();$('a[href*=DrLoser]’).parent().parent().hide();

It works like a charm. Although maybe TM “JQueryFanatic” Repository man can optimize it, I’m no JQuery expert.

#32 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 2, 2011 4:46 PM

And a slight improvement:

function ignoreIdiots(idiots) { for (var idiot in idiots) { $('a[href*=’ + idiots[idiot] + '],a[title*=’ + idiots[idiot] + ']’).parent().parent().hide(); } }

This lets you do stuff like:

ignoreIdiots(['DrLoser’, 'JoeMonoco’]);

#33 Posted by jerkface on Nov 2, 2011 5:05 PM

Adam King shut up you retarded waste of flesh. You deserved to be run through with a thousand rusty knives.

#34 Posted by JoeMonco on Nov 2, 2011 5:38 PM

“Then why do we have things like DMCA and E-PARASITE (formerly PROTECT IP)? If they want to protect their copyright, then fine, let them do it, but don’t make the lives of everyone online harder along with it.”

I apologize for not noticing this earlier.

DMCA makes people’s lives harder? If anything at all, it actually makes the life of whoever hosting your content easier. Besides, a DMCA takedown has practically no legal consequences in your part unless you go and lie about the content genuinely being yours in your counter-notice. And, seriously, do you even know what a “counter-notice” is?

Oh, and that “E-PARASITE” thing… Well, we shall talk about that if it actually becomes law.

#35 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 2, 2011 5:44 PM

I’ve actually lost count of the number of times that I have pointed out that a Bill is not an Act. Somehow this inconvenient fact escapes the mighty sword of Truth and Queefery.

It’s a shame really, because for the only time I can remember in four years or so (he must be about up to shaving age by now), Adam was making a quite coherent argument.

Clue, Adam: you don’t have to be right, and you don’t have to get us to agree with you (although I did, twice).

The secret of a decent discussion is actually treating your opposite number with a degree of respect. On the all too rare occasions that you do this, I’m more than happy to reciprocate.

#36 Posted by Linsuxoid on Nov 2, 2011 6:34 PM

> Your first two paragraphs were brilliant. Not sure how you went downhill from there.

Assuming that you agree on that time of the talented developers is a scarce resource (it’s been in one of those two “brilliant” paragraphs) and they need a way to exchange it for other limited resources, what are your suggestions on how to redistribute this scarce resource?

You don’t suggest developers to give their time away for free, do you?

I can either see “pay everything upfront and hope something comes out in future” or “give everything away to the govt including any hope you probably still have”.

So even though software does not directly obey economic laws, it’s just most convenient way for everyone to put developers’ time into economy. Software itself comes as indirect representation of developers’ time.

#37 Posted by JoeMonco on Nov 2, 2011 6:45 PM

“Software itself comes as indirect representation of developers’ time.”

And whatever resources required to assist them in the production of software.

#38 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 2, 2011 6:50 PM

@Linsuxoid:

You’re being too limiting. You’re taking this copyright excuse way too seriously. What about configuration and system administration? Those should be free at the point of access, too. After all, it’s just a stream of bits…

Excuse me, that reminds me. I patented '1’ at one point in the dot com boom, but now we’re at Web 2.0, it’s imperative that I patent '0’.

All your base belong to meh!

#39 Posted by administrator on Nov 2, 2011 6:52 PM

Which includes time spent researching. I spend more time spinning in my chair thinking about solutions to problem than I do actually writing code that solves the problems.

Any good developer is a problem solver and writing code is just the means of putting that solution into practice.

#40 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 2, 2011 7:16 PM

Apparently I spelled JoeMonco wrong. Much better now.

#41 Posted by Linsuxoid on Nov 2, 2011 7:25 PM

> What about configuration and system administration?
Those are not copyable and thus are under direct control of economic laws. Copyright is a mean to indirectly control other resource by the same laws. Not because it’s so awesome, but merely because everything else is much worse.

#42 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 2, 2011 7:30 PM

Not true!

If I change an ini file, I am replacing one set of bits with another set of bits. (Believe me, I know. It’s a large part of my job.)

Why should I deny other people the freedom of those bits?

I’m quite serious here. It’s the same argument. Let me put it (theoretically) this way:

Here I am, editing my http.ini config (or whatever Apache calls it; mercifully, I forget), and I create something magical and useful. I can now support mod-Blub!

Isn’t that nice? But nobody else will be able to support mod-Blub unless I publish the modifications.

Free teh bitz!

#43 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 2, 2011 7:31 PM

Assuming that you agree on that time of the talented developers is a scarce resource (it’s been in one of those two “brilliant” paragraphs) and they need a way to exchange it for other limited resources, what are your suggestions on how to redistribute this scarce resource?
—-

Sure, I agree with this. It’s the software that is not a scarce resource (as you brilliantly suggested, I’m not being sarcastic).

—-
You don’t suggest developers to give their time away for free, do you?
—-

Nope. I sure don’t.

—-
I can either see “pay everything upfront and hope something comes out in future” or “give everything away to the govt including any hope you probably still have”.
—-

Sounds about right.

—-
So even though software does not directly obey economic laws, it’s just most convenient way for everyone to put developers’ time into economy. Software itself comes as indirect representation of developers’ time.
—-

You seem to understand the economics of software pretty well, so why not take a step back and see what the current system amounts to is software developers profiteering by making their software less useful than it could be? (Either by artificial restrictions on distribution or use). It’s sustainable in the economic sense, but I don’t think it’s leading to sustained progress in Computer Science. Consider that many different companies have different pieces of the puzzle, but because it’s not in their business interest to share, the puzzle never gets completed. Imagine what the scientific community would be if no scientific papers were ever published outside of the University the originated from. It would be the Dark Ages. But because the government funds University research they don’t have to do this. So why not software?

#44 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 2, 2011 7:39 PM

And before you go saying “that’s just Dr Loser off his nut again,” it’s pretty much the problem I had five years ago with httpd.ini (I may have it right this time) and configuring something like FCGI++ — again, I mercifully forget the details, but it was basically an Apache pipeline to the equivalent of a lighttp for C++.

It was not pretty and it was not trivial and it was not particularly discoverable.

It’s hard to see why “teh software” is entitled to be any more free than this sort of random unintelligible badly designed gibberish.

#45 Posted by Linsuxoid on Nov 2, 2011 7:39 PM

Configuration and administration are processes and could be copied (yet). And value is in process itself (e.g., if something breaks, you should apply “same” process over and over). Yes, one can try to devalue this particular resource but it’s direct devaluation.

In case of copyright, results of someone else’s efforts could be easily copied. So by devaluation of results you indirectly devalue those efforts. There are only so many people who understand indirection (even for as supposedly smart people as software developers pointers are sometimes uncrackable nut) that’s why we have loons whining about software liberty (assuming developers’ enslavement).

#46 Posted by Linsuxoid on Nov 2, 2011 7:42 PM

s/are processes and could be copied/are processes and couldn’t be copied/

#47 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 2, 2011 7:46 PM

In case of copyright, results of someone else’s efforts could be easily copied. So by devaluation of results
you indirectly devalue those efforts.
——-

If a software engineer is paid $100k/yr to work on open source versus $100k/yr to work on proprietary software is there any real difference to the software engineer? Is the money any less real? Obviously not.

But that open source project can now be used by anyone and built on to of.

Your point which I understand is that $100k has to come from somewhere. And I claim it can come from the government, because of experience with the government funding computer science projects have always been fruitful (the Internet, WWW, DARPA Grand Challenge, etc.). The government might suck at running McDonalds but they are pretty good at funding science.

——
There are only so many people who understand indirection (even for as supposedly smart people as software developers pointers are sometimes uncrackable nut) that’s why we have loons whining about software liberty (assuming developers’ enslavement).
——

Right well there are stupid people who think software liberty means developers enslavement, when it really means developer empowerment. Now as I developer I could build on top of anyone’s work. If I want to improve the latest robotics research I should be able to, instead of having to start from scratch. That’s the fundamental basis of science (building on the existing work) and SHOULD apply to software as well.

#48 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 2, 2011 7:50 PM

Speaking of robotics, it’s a pretty good example of an entire field that is seriously harmed by proprietary development. Robotics teams come up, build something cool and often disband, their ideas going in the black hole.

Now any future team that wants to advance the state of robotics has no shoulders to stand on, they start from scratch. It’s disturbing.

#49 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 2, 2011 7:58 PM

@Adam:

Back to an actual discussion, I’m glad to see.

Now, about this “available to be built off” thing, and let’s ignore everything else for a moment. (You can come back to it if you wish.)

Take Microsoft. There are roughly 20,000 programmers working for Microsoft at any given time. With a bit of hoop-jumping and silly security registration (all of which, I might add, is only relevant because of freetardism and piracy), every single one of those 20,000 professional programmers have access to the code.

Every single one has the Four Freedoms, and is in a position to exercise those freedoms. For all Microsoft software.

Now let’s take the Linux desktop.

There’s something like 7 billion people who have the Four Freedoms on the Linux desktop, and you know what? Only about a couple of hundred exercise those freedoms. And, out of that couple of hundred, maybe twenty or thirty are professional enough to stand a chance of getting it right.

Of course, those twenty or thirty are doomed, in any case, because they don’t have Microsoft’s (you can substitute Oracle or Apple or even Google if you want) vast array of backup power. Testing, testing, testing, etc. All they’ve got is a bunch of disputatious downstream ignorant clods who will wreck any possible improvement they make.

So now. You tell me. Which model is more useful to mankind?

The one with massive resources that takes the care to get things right, because they are paid to get things right?

Or the one with three and a half twits in a German basement (I forget where CentOS is based) or 250 delusional fools in turtle-necked sweaters living the tax-free life on the Isle of Man?

It’s hardly a difficult question, is it?

#50 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 2, 2011 8:00 PM

Aaaand … we’re back to pure-D ignorance.

Care to name any robotics teams in particular?

Because I can name one. Willow Garage. OpenCV.

They’re rather good, if FOSS can stomach the BSD license.

#51 Posted by Linsuxoid on Nov 2, 2011 8:01 PM

Science is way more commercialized, than you can think. Most progress is done in the areas where direct (but maybe delayed) payback is foreseeable.

Economy is just more effective way to make resources work in a way majority expects. And it’s not about McDonalds. Government sucked at pretty much everything from basic needs like food (do you think bread and sugar could be a deficit?), clothes (if you can get Levi’s – you’ll be the coolest guy in a district) and place to live to “luxury” like cars or furniture. Seriously, we should move toward decentralization and degovernmetization and not giving fastest evolving sphere to guys who have no clue.

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sovsport.ru%2Fgazeta%2Farticle-item%2F69515&act=url

#52 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 2, 2011 8:02 PM

Adam:

Is there any single subject where you have the faintest clue what you’re talking about?

Netball?

Grouting?

I mean, you can’t possibly have wasted your entire life so far.

Singularities? Nope, that would be cosmological physics.

A lube job?

I’[m genuinely curious.

#53 Posted by ReverseControllerSE on Nov 2, 2011 8:16 PM

“Now as I developer I could build on top of anyone’s work. If I want to improve the latest robotics research I should be able to, instead of having to start from scratch. That’s the fundamental basis of science (building on the existing work) and SHOULD apply to software as well.”

Sharing isn’t the basis of science, most of the research is kept strictly private, since it’s done by corporate employees and it remains within the institution that created it.

This academia free for all communist bullsh*t is patently false.

—————————————

Even when you take into consideration the actual scientific discoveries made in government funded institutions, scientific data still should not be made public.

Why?

Because that would mean foreign entities (that do not pay taxes and may be hostile) would be subsidised by the state, or rather, its citizens – now just why exactly would anyone (in any country) want that?!

#54 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 2, 2011 8:32 PM

Yes but the government does really well with very large engineering projects which is what software is. Science and big public works projects basically describe software.

#55 Posted by ReverseControllerSE on Nov 2, 2011 8:44 PM

“Your point which I understand is that $100k has to come from somewhere. And I claim it can come from the government, because of experience with the government funding computer science projects have always been fruitful (the Internet, WWW, DARPA Grand Challenge, etc.). The government might suck at running McDonalds but they are pretty good at funding science.”

Except that the government is hyper inefficient at everything, including science projects.

I don’t know how many more dollars they need to spend, per one dollar of private investment, to achieve the same thing, but the military programs that ran during the cold war ate trillions (to get us internet and the likes), in comparison, Microsoft represents an almost unnoticeable financial burden to the society, whilst producing far, far more value than all of the crazy government programs ever did.

You need to stop believing in crazy communist nonsense; government run science, you see, is just as non-efficient as government run companies are.

——————————————

The reason, by the way, why communists wanted the government to run everything was control, not efficiency.

The reason western communists want everything to be run by government is… ...wait for it… ...control (surprise!).

You see communists can’t stand freedom, because they obsess about what might people do, or worse what might private enterprise do.

And so they do everything in their power to stop any private initiative, including code theft and lengthy public manipulation campaigns that Stallman and his ilk are doing to this very day.

#56 Posted by ReverseControllerSE on Nov 2, 2011 8:50 PM

By the by, I consider communism to be a type of idiocy that fits autism like a glove fits a hand – I would not be surprised if it came out that Marx and his (future) supporters were autistic (and, possibly, afflicted by many additional conditions) or just plain crazy.

Oh, wait…

#57 Posted by imgx64 on Nov 3, 2011 9:29 AM

I almost agree with both Adam and DrLoser here. Almost.

——
I disagree with Adam that the money should come from governments. There are multiple problems with that, but I think the biggest one is deciding who to get the money.

Can a random thief claim to be a free software developer, take the money, and produce nothing significant? You bet.

Can a genuinely good-intended developer take the money and produce a horrible piece of software? I’m sure of it.

And so on.

That’s why I think companies are beneficial to open source. And I’m not talking just about companies that open source almost everything they develop, such as Red Hat and Canonical. Even “evil” companies that make almost all of their money from proprietary software (sometimes even built on top of open source), such as Google, Apple and Oracle, are beneficial to open source. Even Microsoft contributes to some open source software (JQuery, etc), although it’s at a much smaller scale than, say, Google.

So yes, I think proprietary software has its place, and sometimes it can help open source in the long term. It’s not pure evil and enslavement as Stallman claims.

——
I disagree with DrLoser that it has to be a proprietary company to be successful. I know I shouldn’t mention Red Hat, and Canonical is not profitable, but there are other companies. Take MySQL for example, they made billions from developing GPL software (They were bought by Sun, which means they succeeded. No one buys a company with no future (except AOL)). And yes, it’s harder, much harder to create a successful open source company, but it’s possible.

I also disagree that volunteers with no company backing them are doomed and have no chance of creating good software, and the example are abundant. Python and jQuery to name a few.

#58 Posted by kurkosdr on Nov 3, 2011 9:53 AM

All this “ everything should be proprietary because proprietary is more useful to mankind” or “everything should be open source because open source is more useful to mankind” is discussion for the sake of discussion. Everyone is (and should be) free to select whether he wants to release something as proprietary or open source. Then, let the users (aka the market) decide.

Stallman can dream of “benelovent democracies” were people are obliged to open source everything they release as much he wants, and the CEOs can call the GPL a “cancer” and an “attempt at price fixing all software to zero” all they want, but ultimately the market will decide.

So, if by chance open source suits your needs and you have a viable business plan, should you go with proprietary some people call it “more useful to mankind”? If proprietary suits your needs, should you go with open source so because some people call proprietary “unethical”.

#59 Posted by kurkosdr on Nov 3, 2011 9:55 AM

OFFTOPIC: What does a man have to do to get an edit button for the comments?

#60 Posted by kurkosdr on Nov 3, 2011 9:57 AM

benelovent democracies = benelovent dictatorships

#61 Posted by Gesh on Nov 3, 2011 10:04 AM

“ Take MySQL for example, they made billions from developing GPL software (They were bought by Sun, which means they succeeded.”

Yes, and look how far Sun got! Here is a nice video for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5r3JSciJf5M

The problem (at least to me) when you are making open source software is that you are not making money with the software, you are making money with the support, services, adds, etc. Say, you are building a house and then you are not making money selling flats, but cleaning the windows and mowing the lawn. Otherwise I agree in general with your post.

#62 Posted by kurkosdr on Nov 3, 2011 10:43 AM

“The problem (at least to me) when you are making open source software is that you are not making money with the software, you are making money with the support, services, adds, etc. Say, you are building a house and then you are not making money selling flats, but cleaning the windows and mowing the lawn. Otherwise I agree in general with your post”

Yeah but on the other hand can use existing GPL code, which can the reduce work you have to do. Whether that code is worth it is something you 'll have to find out yourself per case and factor it in your business plan.

#63 Posted by imgx64 on Nov 3, 2011 11:31 AM

“The problem (at least to me)”

And why is that a problem?

Carriers/video game companies/printer manufacturers sell phones/consoles/printers at a loss, but make money selling monthly subscriptions/games(and licenses to companies)/ink. Is that a problem for them too?

#64 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 3, 2011 12:03 PM

Kurkos and IMGX64:

Any reason to suppose that we’re disagreeing?

When I use the phrase “more useful to mankind” there is no implication that the alternative model proposed, or indeed any other alternative model is “utterly useless to mankind.” In fact I could be talking a 51/49 percentage split (although my personal estimate is rather more skewed).

You’d have to wilfully misrepresent what I said to see it as an insistence that nobody should ever use the open source model. In fact, you’d have to wilfully ignore the post I made just a little further on, where I praised Willow Garage and pointed out that I use it.

I’m contrasting the obvious benefits of proprietary software, which Adam considers as effectively zero, against the obvious flaws of the Million Eye model.

And I’m not discussing support revenue, advertising revenue, or any other sort of revenue. I’m discussing software, pure and simple.

#65 Posted by imgx64 on Nov 3, 2011 12:53 PM

I see. Sorry for misunderstanding you. These bits probably threw me off; they make it sound like you think all open source is like that:

“Of course, those twenty or thirty are doomed”

“Or the one with three and a half twits in a German basement”

But yes, I guess there isn’t much disagreement after all.

And by the way, I think the file you’re looking for is “.htaccess”.

#66 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 3, 2011 1:14 PM

@IMGX64:

No worries, I do the same thing all the time. (And I clearly need to be a little more restrained when advancing a proposition. One at a time, I think.)

It is, of course, a human trait to make assumptions about what somebody is saying, based on what you think you know of them. Since this is the netz, you don’t even remotely know what you think you know … if you see what I mean … which makes matters even worse.

A depressing thought, that. If true, it means that we’re far better equipped to understand trolls than we are to understand normal people.

#67 Posted by Gesh on Nov 3, 2011 1:20 PM

“Carriers/video game companies/printer manufacturers sell phones/consoles/printers at a loss, but make money selling monthly subscriptions/games(and licenses to companies)/ink. Is that a problem for them too?”

I speak of the case, where you dont have a factory in China, making shiny iStuff, but you have a decent software product, which you are trying to sell. The problem as I see it is this – you are either in the business of software or you are not – and if you stick with GPL, you are 99% not. In the cases you pointed out you are in the business of phones/consoles/printers, etc. Moreover, how much of the this software is under GPL? Especially when it comes to games? In all those cases the software is actually the value-added, not the product, please correct me if I’m wrong.

Of the examples, you provided, I come to think of TiVo, where the software was GPLéd and look what happend – Stallman vomited GPL++.

I see you are trying to bring F2P games, ok, lets skip the comparisson of the income of – say – Blizzard (who sell their games + charge subs for WoW) and – say – Turbine (authors of the F2P LoTRO and DDO), how much of them are GPL’ed?

Maybe the word 'problem’ is a poorly chosen one, but I dont really care.

Would you care to provide more examples for selling products at a loss – except Kindle + PS3 (PS3 recently surpassed its developement cost)?

#68 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 3, 2011 3:03 PM

I disagree with Adam that the money should come from governments. There are multiple problems with that, but I think the biggest one is deciding who to get the money.

Can a random thief claim to be a free software developer, take the money, and produce nothing significant? You bet.

Can a genuinely good-intended developer take the money and produce a horrible piece of software? I’m sure of it.

And so on.

——

It’s a problem yes, but I don’t understand how it’s a problem exclusive to government. For example, Microsoft’s KIN was a $1 billion dollar waste of time. Large corporations are just as incompetent and poorly managed as government agencies are, their blunders just tend to not be as public.

Some people will say corporations have profit incentive and government does not. But profit incentive doesn’t always lead to great products that benefit consumers. DRM for instance, is a direct result of profit incentive.

There are certainly industries that benefit from privatisation. But the amount of benefit is almost always correlated to how the profit incentive helps or harms people. Two industries where I can say it genuinely harms people most of the time is healthcare and software. Healthcare because the profit incentive comes from people who are sick – the industry does not profit from the healthy. Thus there is a economic interest to ensure people are sick, and that can lead to bad things.

Software is similar in that the profit incentive is squarely in making the software less useful in some way, either by restricting its use or producing anti-features that “encourages” payouts.

But only healthcare is socialized in most of the world. Software is still privatised.

#69 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 3, 2011 3:21 PM

All this “ everything should be proprietary because proprietary is more useful to mankind” or “everything should be open source because open source is more useful to mankind” is discussion for the sake of discussion. Everyone is (and should be) free to select whether he wants to release something as proprietary or open source. Then, let the users (aka the market) decide.
—-

Fine get rid of the DMCA and revert copyright to 14 years and let the market decide.

Oh wait, you thought the government wasn’t taking sides? E-PARASITE, DMCA, copyright extensions, those are all examples of taking sides.

It’s self encouraging behavior. If you make it easy to make money with proprietary software, people will make proprietary software. If you reduce these incentives they will make less proprietary software.

If you make it easy to make money with FOSS, eg. by increasing the amount of money budgeted towards it, people will make more FOSS.

#70 Posted by Linsuxoid on Nov 3, 2011 3:36 PM

> Carriers/video game companies/printer manufacturers sell phones/consoles/printers at a loss, but make money selling monthly subscriptions/games(and licenses to companies)/ink. Is that a problem for them too?

As has been already pointed out, if you only make money from support, you can easily increase your support by shipping crappy product in first place.

> Fine get rid of the DMCA and revert copyright to 14 years and let the market decide
You don’t read what I’m writing do you? DMCA/DRM is the the only thing that CREATES a market for software development. Get rid of it and you first devalue developers’ time and then lose all software.

Before demolition of the current system you should come up with something that will produce better (not even same) results to justify migration.

#71 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 3, 2011 3:42 PM

See forth paragraph.

#72 Posted by Linsuxoid on Nov 3, 2011 6:19 PM

> See forth paragraph.
I asked for something that actually WORKS – not this “let’s all stay hand-in-hand, because when you hold someone’s hand you cannot hold weapon” nonsense.

Every single example in the history shows that private companies do their job better than governments. Even natural monopolies work better if privately owned (still it’s better to have government to oversee those guys, but in no case govt should do the job by itself).

We even have a whole bunch of now independent states, that tried and failed miserably to implement what you’re suggesting. Any specific reason why you thing that THIS TIME is would work?

#73 Posted by Linsuxoid on Nov 3, 2011 7:45 PM

Also, Adam, is following correct:
You want to replace mythical MicrosoftTax™ with real one, replace mythical Microsoft monopoly with real one (and keep in mind that THIS monopoly actually has its army, its police and its intelligence), replace management process that provably works with one that provably doesn’t. All that just out of sheer hatred to the company whose efforts brought affordable computers to “every desk in every house”.

#74 Posted by imgx64 on Nov 4, 2011 3:01 AM

“The problem as I see it is this – you are either in the business of software or you are not”

I still don’t see why that matters. Is HP in the printers business or in the ink business? They’re in both, but they lose money per printer sold (at least inkjet, I don’t know about laser). Does that mean they’re not in the printers business?

——
“Moreover, how much of the this software is under GPL? Especially when it comes to games? In all those cases the software is actually the value-added, not the product”

My point is not about the GPL or software. I meant that losing money in one business in order to make money in another is a viable business model. There’s nothing more to it.

——
“I see you are trying to bring F2P games”

I am?

——
“Would you care to provide more examples for selling products at a loss – except Kindle + PS3 (PS3 recently surpassed its developement cost)?”

The internet. Is Engadget in the journalism business or the advertisement business?

#75 Posted by JoeMonco on Nov 4, 2011 3:07 AM

“Yes but the government does really well with very large engineering projects which is what software is. Science and big public works projects basically describe software.”

Sure, Mr. Six Figure.

Ever heard of these mythical creatures called “contractors”? Whenever an engineering project – big or small – takes place, these are the actual ones doing the planning and the building – not the government.

Most researches that can be considered “scientific” and are funded by governments are ones that have either no apparent applications or are just embarrassingly unlikely to be used in any practical way. Among those, some are just complete duds done at universities or by dubious start-ups that lead to absolutely nowhere, while some are simply large-scale gather-arounds like the Euratom Nuclear Research (http://ec.europa.eu/research/energy/euratom/fusion/at-a-glance/index_en.htm) for commercial entities to test out their new superconductive magnets or whatever. If you think governments are the ones to look up to for engineering useful software, you obviously have no idea what you are talking about.

So much for being a hot-shot that knows jack all about an environment that he is supposed to be familiar with, eh?

#76 Posted by JoeMonco on Nov 4, 2011 3:13 AM

“The internet. Is Engadget in the journalism business or the advertisement business?”

Advertising. Call me cynical but that’s pretty much how “journalism” in IT is done these days.

#77 Posted by imgx64 on Nov 4, 2011 4:06 AM

“It’s a problem yes, but I don’t understand how it’s a problem exclusive to government. For example, Microsoft’s KIN was a $1 billion dollar waste of time. Large corporations are just as incompetent and poorly managed as government agencies are, their blunders just tend to not be as public.”

Yes, and that’s the whole point.

When Microsoft loses $1 billion, that’s money lost from people who knew the risk, and took it with their own money.

When a government loses $1 billion, everyone loses. Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to take such risks. And worse, they don’t even chose what kind of product to spend their money on; some government employee will make that decision for them.

——
“Some people will say corporations have profit incentive and government does not. But profit incentive doesn’t always lead to great products that benefit consumers.”

True, but it usually does.

When, say, a venture capitalist spends $10 million on a new product, he’s going to be very careful to make sure that product is viable.

When the above mentioned government employee approves spending $10 million, he simply won’t care. He’s just doing his job.

——
DRM for instance, is a direct result of profit incentive.”

There are negatives to the current model, but I still think it’s better than government-sponsored software development.

Plus, as you say, the market could make a decision. DRM for music failed miserably and now even iTunes sells non-DRM files.

——
“Two industries where I can say it genuinely harms people most of the time is healthcare and software.”

The difference is that most sick people don’t have the privilege of making a decision, but people using software usually do. If a company releases an anti-feature, customers who are genuinely harmed by it will choose another software, provided that:

1) They are genuinely harmed by it
2) There are alternatives

Most actual consumers don’t perceive the lack of source code an actual harm, because they can’t modify it. And sadly, open source software hasn’t demonstrated the benefit from having the source code available. Stallman and his people spend all their time and money on telling people how “evil” proprietary software is, without doing anything to show end-users how FOSS can be useful to them.

#78 Posted by imgx64 on Nov 4, 2011 4:06 AM

“Fine get rid of the DMCA and revert copyright to 14 years and let the market decide.

Oh wait, you thought the government wasn’t taking sides? E-PARASITE, DMCA, copyright extensions, those are all examples of taking sides.”

Ah, you bring up very good points, and I agree (although I’m not sure about the arbitrary 14 years. Why not 10? 15?). But look at the government that you just criticized. Why did they let DMCA become a law? Because sadly, in governments, money controls everything (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKhXxvT9iak ).

Now, do you really expect such government to be good decision makers for producing open source software? Let’s say that the “open source software tax” is created. How do you guarantee that big companies won’t lobby it to become a useless tax where most of the money goes to them? I think it’s impossible. A free market where proprietary and open source software are treated equally, and the decision is left to the market seems better to me.

——
“It’s self encouraging behavior. If you make it easy to make money with proprietary software, people will make proprietary software. If you reduce these incentives they will make less proprietary software.”

What incentives? DMCA? Yes, similar laws should have never been created in the first place.

——
“If you make it easy to make money with FOSS, eg. by increasing the amount of money budgeted towards it, people will make more FOSS.”

Maybe, but as I already said, I don’t think a tax is the right solution.

#79 Posted by Gesh on Nov 4, 2011 5:02 AM

“I still don’t see why that matters. “

Then there is no point in arguing with you.

“ Is HP in the printers business or in the ink business? “

How this relates to the software?

“My point is not about the GPL or software. I meant that losing money in one business in order to make money in another is a viable business model. There’s nothing more to it.”

Well, MY point is about GPL. Obviously we are talking about different things.

““I see you are trying to bring F2P games”

I am?

At this point I have no freaking idea what are you talking about, so now Im not sure.

“The internet.”

Care to elaborate a bit?

“Is Engadget … blah blah”

I should do some googling on Engadget, mkey?

Plus, I still dont see how any of your arguments counters the point that when software is the product and not the value-added, open source/GPL (generally) sucks ass. Yes, I agree with you, that there are business models, where the software can be value-added, mkey? But that is not my point. We are speaking of the case, when you are trying to sell something like 3DS/AutoCAD, etc, etc. Do you see any printers here?

#80 Posted by kurkosdr on Nov 4, 2011 5:32 AM

The DMCA and software patents are indeed examples of the government takes sides. “You mean I just purchased this BackToTheFuture DVD (one of the very few I puchased), and I can’t make an app that rips the scene were the Delorean takes off and put it my smartphone, even though the law allows backup copies?” “Yup you are not allowed, you must the whole thing again from iTunes, if your phone has iTunes support”. Funny thing is that this disc was the only time I had to deal with DRM. I never had to deal with DRM when I was really pirating stuff, aka when downloading MKVs and AVIs. Video is just there in pure unencrypted form.

Back on topic, I hate to break it to you, but he US, like any other government, always takes sides. Think of how Germany gave ridiculously small penalties to Daimler AG for the bribing scandal in Eastern Europe, or how the US designed the Cash4Clunkers program as to allow the purchase of light tracks and SUVs under that program, in order to benefit Detroit. You could literally give your 19MPG beater and get a subsidized shiny new truck or SUV that gets 12MPG, all for the good of the environment. A similar Cash4Clunkers program that took place in Japan did have an MPG requirement on the new car being purchased, which of course was Japan’s way of helping their domestic manufacturers. Governments only do good by accident.

I don’t know about you, but I always vote for the Green Ecologists Party (it’s like your Green Party), because it’s the only party that has the potential of changing anything (think of how Germany’s green party convinced Merkel to retire nuclear factories earlier). People who don’t go to vote are slugheads.

#81 Posted by imgx64 on Nov 4, 2011 6:18 AM

“How this relates to the software?”

If you want a software example, there is MySQL.

I was giving non-software examples as examples of other businesses where the “main product” is not what brings the money.

Is there anything else that is unclear?

#82 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 4, 2011 7:06 AM

@IMGX64:

One thing that’s unclear is why you ignored a specific request to discuss software in the first place. Your example of HP printers is fatally flawed.

See, I can use free software without choosing to use the complementary product of “support,” which is the one that makes money. I can even use “support” offered by this HP-like company’s DIRECT COMPETITION, because the software is free and can be stolen at will. Providing free marketing to your direct competition is not usually considered a reasonable business model.

If I buy an HP printer then I buy HP ink. I can buy sub-standard, cut-price ink from elsewhere, but in general (not least because of the faff of hauling empty cartridges around) I will buy HP ink.

See, the software business just does not work that way.

It’s hard to think of an example other than MySQL, btw, although there are probably a dozen or so sold at a price of a magnitude less (still a very good price). Now ask yourself these two questions:

(1) Did Monty W luck out when the twit with the pony-tail decided to pay a billion for what he could get for free?
(2) Would MySQL have been as successful, more successful, or less successful if it had been a proprietary company (although arguably the commercial licensing side already was one)?

Point 2 is actually an interesting discussion, either way. Point 1 just underlines the probability that your argument is hokum.

#83 Posted by Gesh on Nov 4, 2011 7:10 AM

yes, I saw your example of MySQL and now Sun is gone (therefore the video about Schwartz outsourcing his pony tail). I dont see how MySQL helped them. I dont see how outsourcing (almost) all of their products saved them.

And its not clear to me, why do you give me 'non-software’ examples, when you trying (perhaps) to counter my point, where Im strictly speaking of software.

#84 Posted by Gesh on Nov 4, 2011 7:11 AM

outsourcing = open sourcing.

#85 Posted by JoeMonco on Nov 4, 2011 11:10 AM

“What incentives? DMCA? Yes, similar laws should have never been created in the first place.”

Again, you are completely ignoring other people’s request (particularly Linsuxoid’s) to come up with a provably better alternative and instead just keeps on droning about how DMCA shouldn’t have existed in the first place as though you had any recollection of what actually happened 14 years ago as a child.

I have even pointed out one obviously fact that DMCA offers a legally recognized process that allows whoever hosting your content to disclaim responsibility from what’s actually belongs to you. Of course, all that is just ebil and a result of some tin-foil hat conspiracy involving unscrupulous lobby groups with bags of money and nothing else.

Seriously, I think it’s about time for you step up to the plate and address all these obvious holes in your arguments instead of calling everyone frustrated with you “uncivil” and waving your arms as though you were offering any more than hollow opinions.

#86 Posted by DigitalAtheist on Nov 4, 2011 11:13 AM

@Linsuxoid

“Every single example in the history shows that private companies do their job better than governments.”

I keep seeing this piece of “wisdom” pop up all over the net. And I will say now what I’ve said to others in the past: it is complete and utter bull$#!+. Do you really believe that it would be better to turn over total control to companies such services as fire, rescue, police, military? Believe me at some point in time each of these has been under corporate/company control and has failed miserably. There is a reason why for the most part these are all government controlled entities: a company is beholding to the bottom line on the ledger and ONLY the bottom line on the ledger. Trust me, you do NOT want your neighbor to have a house protected by company A and yours by company B. His house catches fire Co. A has no legal obligation to protect your house too… although for a fee they might.

And despite what Blackwater and other mercenary groups my say in public, they have no obligation to work only for the side that hires them. Are you sure that a company owned and ran military is how you want to go? I know I don’t. So, no more of this Gubmint is stoopud and Corporations/Companies can run it all better. It ain’t perxactly so.

#87 Posted by JoeMonco on Nov 4, 2011 11:24 AM

“Do you really believe that it would be better to turn over total control to companies such services as fire, rescue, police, military?”

I don’t think anyone here has made such a claim about “turn[ing] over total control to companies”. After all, we are all here to talk about software, not public services that are obviously unprofitable unless done in ways conflicting with public interests.

#88 Posted by DigitalAtheist on Nov 4, 2011 1:49 PM

“Every single example in the history shows that private companies do their job better than governments.”

Let me repost:
“Every single example in the history shows that private companies do their job better than governments.”

I’m just refuting a bull$#!+ statement. As regards software, no I don’t believe in the tax users and make all software writers government employees. To me it seems the market for software is working pretty well. I can choose the software I care to run, based on my cash/ideology/needs. However it is STILL a mistaken belief to think that a software company could always do the job better than a government run group could. Seriously.

#89 Posted by Linsuxoid on Nov 4, 2011 1:54 PM

> Do you really believe that it would be better to turn over total control to companies such services as fire, rescue, police, military?

Read again that “natural monopoly” part, I’ve mentioned. Yes, I really believe that those would be more efficient if not directly controlled by government (and again I have a benefit of originating from Eastern Europe, where all those are pretty much dead and rotten). And NOTHING prevents natural monopoly to be controlled privately: you see, in most post-USSR countries all utilities are provided by government (and they suck), in USA there are semi-private organizations that cover one-two specific utilities in one-two (maybe more – I didn’t check all of them) states.

And yes, as JoeMonco told, efficiency is not always the only concern. And yes, those would operate better if all operation/execution is privately held (ever thought why private medicine, education, etc are on average provide better services then public ones for those who can afford?) and government has close eye on these guys so they don’t go against public interest.

#90 Posted by DigitalAtheist on Nov 4, 2011 2:00 PM

Go for it then.

#91 Posted by Linsuxoid on Nov 4, 2011 2:12 PM

Go for what? I can’t change things globally. I just random guy on the Internet with my opinions. So far, you’ve provided arguments for natural monopolies – not for government control. I didn’t even think to argue that competition between companies is always good (though, having competition inside monopoly would prevent it from government-ish inefficiency). Heck, some countries even have hired armies, and I bet if that army goes as far downhill as one in my own country – they’ll just lose their contract. Actual abilities of those armies is something that could be argued about, but I doubt it’s lower per-capita if compared to Russian or Ukrainian.

#92 Posted by Linsuxoid on Nov 4, 2011 2:24 PM

@DigitalAtheist
Let me repost for reference (without cutting off in convenient place):

“Every single example in the history shows that private companies do their job better than governments. Even natural monopolies work better if privately owned (still it’s better to have government to oversee those guys, but in no case govt should do the job by itself).”

You see, I’ve already addressed natural monopolies AND public interest in the original post. Not sure why you’ve started to argue.

#93 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 4, 2011 3:09 PM

“Maybe, but as I already said, I don’t think a tax is the right solution.”
—-

Well I do. That’s really the jist of it. And it’s not about adding special funding for FOSS, FOSS is already funded by government entities. It’s just a matter of increasing it. I also support increasing funding for all science-related organizations, in a manner Obama promised once upon a time.

#94 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 4, 2011 3:17 PM

Oh yes and Linuxoid “government fails at everything” is a flawed argument.

One that easily falls apart when you consider how much the private healthcare industry costs in the USA versus socialist medicine in pretty much every other country with a functioning government on the f|_|cking planet.

Fact of the matter is private industry and public industry are made out of things called “people” and people can be competent or incompetent, but it’s not a natural trait of organizations.

#95 Posted by Linsuxoid on Nov 4, 2011 4:16 PM

> One that easily falls apart when you consider how much the private healthcare industry costs in the USA versus socialist medicine in pretty much every other country with a functioning government on the f|_|cking planet.

Again, it’s an argument FOR monopolies (is it the monopoly thing in general that you don’t like or just one particular company that is not even a monopoly?). You can lower margins and get all your profit from volumes. Also, public healthcare sucks (I’ve used to live in Canada) – physicians are not only useless, they sometimes make things worse (and yes, I have several anecdotes about it).

#96 Posted by Linsuxoid on Nov 4, 2011 4:18 PM

> Fact of the matter is private industry and public industry are made out of things called “people” and people can be competent or incompetent, but it’s not a natural trait of organizations.

Oh, it’s not about “people”, it’s about feedback loops. Don’t have feedback in the system? Just wait till it breaks apart.

#97 Posted by ReverseControllerSE on Nov 4, 2011 5:33 PM

There are two separate things we are talking about here – control and execution.

Government is all about control.

Industry is all about execution.

Giving control to the industry brings about a criminal state – robber barons, monopolies and indeed even mafia are all examples of that.

————————————————

Trying to get the government to execute various projects will very likely lead to huge overspending, or rather, low efficiency (which also causes low quality).

Why?

Because the government is already in control, there are no good mechanisms to force gov. employees to shape up.

———————————————-

When it comes to control mechanisms that need to be executed – government has to do it; if they outsource it, they lose power, so police, military, etc., will always be a government business, no way around it.

This does not mean that every service and product is so essential that only the government can manage it however.

You see, most services and products can be handled by private enterprise reasonably well, provided that there is appropriate government oversight.

#98 Posted by ReverseControllerSE on Nov 4, 2011 5:36 PM

And software products and services are doing perfectly well, there is no need for any government to step in and start “fixing” things.

And no, ABMers hating on Microsoft do not constitute a problem that needs to be taken care of by the government.

———————————————-

Farcically, if Adam got what he wanted – a communist totalitarian state where the government would step in and take charge – the results would be exactly opposite to what he wants; an unyielding monopoly would be set up (Ministry of Operating Systems and Software), a monopoly that would not only disregard users’ needs and wants, but would institute rules, regulations and methods that would actively harm them (also, hating on said monopolist in public would land you in jail).

#99 Posted by ReverseControllerSE on Nov 4, 2011 5:53 PM

“Also, public healthcare sucks (I’ve used to live in Canada) – physicians are not only useless, they sometimes make things worse (and yes, I have several anecdotes about it).”

Yeah? We could start sharing those; I know of a couple of gruesome ones.

#100 Posted by imgx64 on Nov 4, 2011 11:00 PM

“See, I can use free software without choosing to use the complementary product of “support,” which is the one that makes money. I can even use “support” offered by this HP-like company’s DIRECT COMPETITION, because the software is free and can be stolen at will. Providing free marketing to your direct competition is not usually considered a reasonable business model.”

Someone could argue that this is an unfair advantage, and that with this model, the company is forced to keep its service better than the competition instead of slacking because its customers are locked in. To paraphrase Google, “competition is one contract away”.

But not me. I don’t think it’s unfair. I already said that:

1- Such model is possible. And if I remember my classes right, it only takes one example to disprove that “something does not exist” (in other words, to disprove that “successful companies using such model do not exist”). But if you insist, should I mention Red Hat?
2- Such model is very hard to be successful, much harder than others. This is apparently your argument all along.

Other than that, is there anything else that is still unclear?

#101 Posted by imgx64 on Nov 4, 2011 11:19 PM

“I have even pointed out one obviously fact that DMCA offers a legally recognized process that allows whoever hosting your content to disclaim responsibility from what’s actually belongs to you. Of course, all that is just ebil and a result of some tin-foil hat conspiracy involving unscrupulous lobby groups with bags of money and nothing else.”

I guess I should’ve been more explicit. My problem with DMCA is that breaking DRM is a criminal offense. If I buy a DRM song, I can become a criminal for wanting a backup of that song, or wanting to listen to it on a different device. I become a criminal even if no actual copyright infringement actually happens. What happened to presumption of innocence?

Oh, and that didn’t stop the pirates one bit. If a pirate is already breaking one law, he won’t care if he breaks others. The only people actually harmed are well-behaving people.

So, do you think that law is good for the general public?

I realize that E-PARASITE and SOPA are not laws yet (and I hope they never do), but I’ll mention them because that’s what I mean by “similar laws”.

With E-PARASITE and SOPA, a website can be shut down without a trial. If someone thinks that you’re infringing on his copyright, he has the right to shut down your website, and you have to prove that you’re not in fact infringing. And let’s not start with the prison sentence for streaming copyrighted material.

All that is done in the name of protecting copyright. To restate what I already said, I don’t have a problem with protecting copyright, but don’t make the lives of everyone else harder because of it.

#102 Posted by Adam_King on Nov 5, 2011 11:09 AM

Again, it’s an argument FOR monopolies (is it the monopoly thing in general that you don’t like or just one particular company that is not even a monopoly?).
—-
What the difference between a private company monopoly and a public company monopoly other than the public company actually has to reinvest profits back into the company?

#103 Posted by DrLoser on Nov 5, 2011 11:48 AM

@Adam:

Entirely off-topic, but that’s the way the thread is drifting.

This “reinvestment” necessity. Would you care to give examples of where it works for a public monopoly and not for a private monopoly?

I mean, it’s difficult enough to come up with an example of a monopoly in the first place. But let’s not split hairs. Just one example of each, please.

#104 Posted by JoeMonco on Nov 5, 2011 12:20 PM

“Yeah? We could start sharing those; I know of a couple of gruesome ones.”

Yeah, I can totally imagine people walking into a hospital and then coming out being part of a human centipede. But until that actually happens, could you guys please just stop dwelling on this irrelevant tangent?

“Someone could argue that this is an unfair advantage”

Again, define “unfair”. It just seems like one of those things people yammer about because they don’t have what it takes to compete in the industry.

Oh, and I heard MS had a patent on double-click (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn5072-microsoft-gains-doubleclicking-patent.html). Does anyone still care about that or what?

“I guess I should’ve been more explicit. My problem with DMCA is that breaking DRM is a criminal offense. If I buy a DRM song, I can become a criminal for wanting a backup of that song, or wanting to listen to it on a different device. I become a criminal even if no actual copyright infringement actually happens. What happened to presumption of innocence?”

Have you reviewed the recent court rulings on the matter? (http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/07/23/29099.htm) Or the exemptions as granted by Library of Congress? (http://www.copyright.gov/1201/) Seriously, you sound like you are complaining about this particular use of legally licensed materials as though these two mechanisms did not exist at all.

#105 Posted by imgx64 on Nov 6, 2011 2:54 PM

“Again, define “unfair”. It just seems like one of those things people yammer about because they don’t have what it takes to compete in the industry.”

Seriously? And you were complaining that people don’t read beyond the first sentence?

——
“Have you reviewed the recent court rulings on the matter? (http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/07/23/29099.htm) Or the exemptions as granted by Library of Congress? (http://www.copyright.gov/1201/)”

That’s great!

Now, can you tell me why is such law necessary to protect copyright?

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