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Re: Attorney fees

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Attorney fees
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2008 09:42:17 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

Hyman Rosen <> writes:

> David Kastrup wrote:
>> As far as I remember, Daniel Wallace actually tried some "all the way"
>> approach in the U.S., and it was thrown out in the end because his
>> theories did not even amount to a recognizable complaint.
> He doesn't count. First of all, he did it pro se, and you can't expect
> to succeed in such a complicated area without being or having a
> lawyer. Second of all, he was suing on antitrust terms, while
> naturally being unable to show any damages to the public.
> He appeared to be under the impression that antitrust law means to
> protect competitors, not the public. He was wrong. Because of the
> licensing terms of free software, it is impossible for its price to be
> raised after competitors are driven out of business.

I don't see why.  If you are the sole distributor, you can put on any
price tag you want on the media.  And if you are the sole _author_, you
can put on any licensing terms you want on subsequent versions.  So most
certainly you could drive competitors out of business first and then
raise prices as long as you are the sole person with immediate rights on
the software (which is the standard situation for proprietary software).

Wallace's theory mostly breaks down because in the indicated case, the
rights were distributed among so many uncoordinated parties with
differing interests that the conspiracy theory was just stupid, and the
price-raising scenario pretty much absurd.

For other products, like, say, OpenOffice, where there is mostly a
single copyright holder with licensing change power (if I remember
correctly, but not being interested in office software I have not
followed the situation too closely), the situation might be different.
Once they achieve monopoly status, of course.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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