> Robert, nobody is disagreeing with this part of the discussion, that I
> hear Larry saying is that this process isn't producing innovations, it is
> almost exclusivly producing copies.
Does that claim stand up though?
If you work from Robert White's economic premise and hence include
all software that was 'innovated' through backing of resources where
the commercial sale of that software was not the reason for the
allocation of those resources (ie the same economic conditions under
which 'free software' is developed), and then examine Larry's claim,
does it hold up?
I'd say it doesnt. the fact that we can have this discussion via
electronic email over an internet should demonstrate that fact
surely? One could even include the development of Unix as one of
those innovations -> AT&T were precluded from selling software. that
later on other companies were able to commercialise what was
originally free software does not diminish that its original
development took place under conditions where it had no direct
commercial value, at least not from sale of the software itself.
I do think is Larry correct though in that the commercial model is
the most attractive model for development, under the /current/
legislative conditions -> ie artificial monopoly via copyright law.
I wouldnt think its the best model though. If there were no copyright
law, and source had to be provided to software, software development
would still be funded. Its just its funding would have to be
justified by means other than "we can sell it". Just because it could
not be sold would not though mean that funding would not be
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