Re: [ba-ohs-talk] Re: Rethinking Licensing
I don't see the issue. What about the system makes it more
domination-prone than other alternatives? What alternatives
do you suggest? (01)
Most importantly, if I google "gui toolkit" today, none of the
considerations below necessarily result in MS being the only
alternative I see -- or even the first alternative I see. (02)
Tell me how the kinds of the user-rated sorted we've discussed
previously on this list would not completely obviate your concerns. (03)
And finally, there is no one who would begrudge MS total
domination of the market, to the extent that is earned. Certainly
not I. If the functions I need consistently work better, faster, and
more reliability with software they provide, then they are more
than welcome to make a buck on any unit I sell. (04)
Nor have you addressed the possibility of limiting revenue streams
to a pre-determined percentage of a sales price. Such a move
prevents some "monstor" from owning 99% of the revenues for
anything you write, doesn't it? (05)
What exactly is the problem? (06)
Paul Fernhout wrote: (07)
> Eric Armstrong wrote:
> > The risks you allude to may be real, but I don't yet see them.
> > How is it that a MS could come to dominate in such a system?
> * US$40 billion cash in the bank.
> * Monopoly dominance on the desktop.
> * Historically effective marketing to senior executives.
> * Brand name recognition.
> * A proven "success".
> * MSDN subscription service for easy delivery of Microsoft code and
> * Loyal developer network who knows VB, VC++, and MFC and can be easily
> * Extensive and successful experience declawing the U.S. criminal
> justice system.
> * If all else fails, hiring you for $1 million a year plus three months
> vacation to start. :-) But seriously, they did this to Borland
> engineers -- led to a law suit.
> From: http://www.borland.com/about/mssuit.html
> > Borland brings this action to stop Microsoft from systematically targeting
> > and raiding Borland's employees. In the last two weeks, three Borland
> > employees have been targeted and seduced away by Microsoft.
> > Moreover, Microsoft has systematically engaged in a plan and a
> > concerted course of action to unfairly compete with Borland in the
> > software development tools ("tools") business by targeting and
> > recruiting more than 34 of Borland's engineering and marketing
> > employees over the last 30 months. Microsoft's actions were taken
> > with the intent to deprive Borland of the resources Borland needs
> > to successfully remain as the only significant competitor to Microsoft
> > in the tools business.
> You also wrote:
> > Especially if, say,
> > a) Royalties were capped at 10 or 15% of a product's price.
> > (So percentages would be the norm, rather than a flat fee.)
> > b) The warehouse of code suppliers had everyone's stuff
> > side by side, so even if MS's routine to do X were there,
> > your routine would be right next to it, with pricing and
> > user ratings, as well. So if your routine cost less, had a
> > smaller footprint, and better ratings from users, why
> > wouldn't I use it?
> There already is a warehouse of code on the internet (and in product
> catalogs) and has been for some time. Most people are writing in Visual
> Basic (and a little Visual C++) because it is from Microsoft and works
> well in Microsoft Office. Maybe they can write a little SQL to go with
> Microsoft access. That is the reality of (guessing) 80%+ of
> non-mainframe data processing today. That is the powerful platform
> Microsoft can leverage into their next big success. They are already
> doing so, with .Net. So, they might patch your system on top of .Net
> using Passport & such for the financial part. By various marketing
> schemes (such as bundling a license to use all their code for one fee,
> and otherwise threatening a code audit) they may succeed. Yes, a few
> independent developers might make some real money for show. The rest of
> us may feed off a few crumbs, if we can find work at all.
> One option for countering this? Friends help. A big company like IBM
> (hardware&services) [or Intel (hardware) or even Sun
> (hardware&services?)] allying with small developers through open source
> and free software to level the playing field by creating a mostly free
> infrastructure. Their strategies have been in this direction (Linux,
> Java) with some success but may still need some more refining. Sun kind
> of missed its chance to prevent something like Microsoft .Net with Java
> by trying to hold it too tightly (just like ParcPlace messed up with
> Smalltalk for similar reasons). Why will a company like IBM help?
> Frankly, if all software was GPL, J.P. Morgan Chase would still hire IBM
> to outsource their IT infrastructure over randomly trying to recruit you
> or I; that's just how that sort of thing works. IBM knows this. But if
> Microsoft owns the field, Microsoft will be better able to call these
> shots and perhaps develop a more extensive service arm with a
> competitive advantage, like Microsoft Office had a competitive advantage
> from close coupling with the OS.
> The problem the last decade in software development for every business
> plan has been -- "yeah it will work, but what do we do if Microsoft
> That's what it means to be a monopoly, and that is why they are so bad.
> Listen to Microsoft -- right now the only thing scaring it is the GPL.
> You want quick adoption and your name in the press as a technical wizard
> -- do a proprietary thing like you outline and let Microsoft buy it.
> You want to be called crazy and likely someday risk jail time as the
> laws change for trying to help people, go with the the GPL or free
> software approach.
> Look, John Deneen quotes Doug just now:
> > "Difficulties with knowledge governance. - As another example of our
> > still relatively primitive ability to deal with information exchange
> > among groups, consider the chaotic and increasingly frightening
> > direction of new laws regarding knowledge governance - most notably
> > reflected in laws regarding copyright. Because it is generally
> > technically advanced, one might think that my country, the United
> > States, would be representative of leading edge capability to deal with
> > knowledge governance and knowledge sharing. But, instead, we are
> > passing increasingly draconian laws to protect the economic value of
> > copies of information. In the US, we are even contemplating laws that
> > would require hardware manufacturers to take steps to encrypt and
> > protect copies (ref. 2).
> > We are doing this while entering a digital era in which the marginal
> > cost of a copy is zero - at a time where the very meaning and
> > significance of the notion of "copy" has changed. It is as if we are
> > trying to erect dikes, using laws, to keep the future from flooding in..
> > The immediate effect of all this is to enable a dramatic shift in
> > control to the owners of information, away from the users of information
> > (ref. 3) - a strategy which will almost certainly fail in the long run
> > and that has confusing and probably damaging economic consequences in
> > the short run.
> I've been listening on and off to the Kenneth C. Davis CD series "Don't
> Know Much About the Civil War" and it is a real eye opener.
> It turns out, the same thing happened before the U.S. Civil War. With
> much of the population of the U.S. was against slavery, increasingly
> draconian laws were still passed supporting slavery including finally
> the fugitive slave act of 1850
> requiring people to turn in fugitive slaves or themselves got to jail.
> Things kept getting worse for slaves until ultimately people had to take
> sides in a bloody conflict. The rhetoric of slave holders of that period
> sounds very similar to the justification for increasing copyrights and
> patents such as promoting commerce and a strong U.S. and further,
> ironically, a call to support the human rights of slaveholders to do as
> they wished with private property (slaves). And for those who think it
> is disrespectful to equate aspects of current copyrights and patents
> with the immorality of slavery, well, millions of people are dying from
> drug patents in Africa, so there is the immorality and the body count
> written large.
> Software patents are starting to deter innovation in the public commons,
> which inhibits the creation of tools that may help every human gain
> access to a common heritage of stories and information, which might
> lengthen their individual life spans and increase the enjoyment they get
> out of life. Perhaps the more I am drawn into all this the more I see
> that ultimately this will be a moral, not economic, choice.
> In any case, I'm not going to stop you from making a proprietary system.
> But, I did come to this forum from the start to make a "open source" OHS
> and I still think that is worth pursuing if "permission to use" issue,
> itself part of the legacy the OHS may be about resolving, can be
> -Paul Fernhout
> Kurtz-Fernhout Software
> Developers of custom software and educational simulations
> Creators of the Garden with Insight(TM) garden simulator
> http://www.kurtz-fernhout.com (08)