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Re: Hey Terekhov: Wallace lost. Who'd guess.... ;)

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Hey Terekhov: Wallace lost. Who'd guess.... ;)
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2006 10:10:54 +0000
User-agent: tin/1.4.5-20010409 ("One More Nightmare") (UNIX) (Linux/2.0.35 (i686))

Alexander Terekhov <> wrote on Fri, 24 Mar 2006 22:42:13 +0100:

> Merijn de Weerd wrote:
> [...]
>> You have yet to show that setting a price at zero is predatory
>> pricing. 

> Wallace on predatory pricing:

> -------
> Predatory pricing

> The GPL establishes a predatory pricing scheme. Setting the maximum
> price of intellectual property ....

It's like Richard Stallman says - if you start using the vague, woolly,
almost meaningless abstraction "intellectual property" as though it had
some concrete meaning, you will confuse your listeners, and eventually
confuse yourself.

Your confuson here is that computer users don't buy "intellectual
property", and the pertinent market isn't one for "intellectual property"
- it's for computers, programs, operating systems, support services,
whatever, and it is these that users buy.  The GPL doesn't fix any
price for these things, and the FSF's philosopy explicitly states you are
free to sell a GPL'd program for any price you can get.  Companies can,
and do, sell GPL licensed programs at a non-zero price and they make a
good profit doing so.

[ .... ]

> Not only competitors are harmed by the GPL scheme. Consumers lose
> because a lack of competition removes not just product choice but
> without competitive reward the incentive to improve product quality
> disappears.

This is specious argumentation based on unfounded assumptions.  Or, in
plain English, a load of bollocks.  What is important is that product
quality improves, and in the case of major GPL'd products (like the Linux
kernel) it is clearly happening.  Partly, this is because Linux is in
competition with MS-Windows, which is also spurred to improvement by the

But it is also clear that competitive reward is not the only incentive to
improve the quality of a computer program.

[ .... ]

> alexander

Alan Mackenzie (Munich, Germany)
Email: aacm@muuc.dee; to decode, wherever there is a repeated letter
(like "aa"), remove half of them (leaving, say, "a").

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