[clug] Your Best arguments please

Rod Ryan rodryan at pcug.org.au
Fri Aug 8 09:43:15 EST 2003

----- Original Message -----
From: "Carl Jackson" <carl at videohost.com.au>
To: "Canberra Linux Lovers Club" <linux at lists.samba.org>
Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2003 9:42 PM
Subject: [clug] Your Best arguments please

> Hi All,
>     I'm currently corresponding with an ACT MLA about OSS legislation
> and the MLA has challenged me with the article at the link below .  I
> would appreciate the input of the list Brains Trust on the best
> counter-arguments.  Any and all opinions welcome.  Give it your best -
> there is a vote hanging in the balance here...
> Carl Jackson
> > "<i>A Great Number of Servants</i>: The case against government
> software preferences"
> > http://www.acton.org/ppolicy/comment/article.php?id=150
> >
> >
> >
> >

David Sytsma makes statements and does little to support them. I hope my few
jottings might spur others.
Rod Ryan

**In light of the obvious success of open source software, some advocates -
whose passion for the technology could truly **be described as religious

This sounds facetious to me. If someone is enthusiastic and dedicated are
they religious. Or does he mean they are using the tactics of religion to
gain their way. I guess he should know:
'bringing theological reflection to bear upon current issues'

 **First, technological innovation for the most part has been, and will
continue to be, spurred on in the context of for-profit **entrepreneurial

** The protection of proprietary copyright law provides incentives for
continuing innovation via the market-based feedback of **the pricing system.

Innovation is more often created by a need. He offers no examples of his

**Conversely, OSS relies upon the mere goodwill of voluntary effort where
the consumer market provides minimal feedback but the producers (in this
case programmers) are virtually immune from market pressure.

This implies that market pressures create the right outcome. He does not
seem to take into account the amount of money and effort spent on
'marketing'. One harkens back to the beginning of video. Nearly everyone
accepts that Beta was a better format than VHS. Why did we end up with VHS?

**While those who develop software according to the OSS model make
significant contributions to the software community, **the obvious drawback
to this development model is that consumers do not have the last word in
either rewarding or **punishing software development according to actual
needs met.

If  the need is not met anyone has the right to change the source to meet
the need or hire someone to change it. The English language is 'Open
Source'. Perhaps we should change to some proprietary language.

**The "sweet spot" for entrepreneurial software development exists where the
product's features and consumer demand **coalesce over time.

Does this mean things get better over time- How is this different to Open

**There is simply no substitute for market-based proprietary software
development to ensure general long-term success in **technological

**The benefits of dispersed property ownership, expressed well by Thomas
Aquinas, is equally applicable to intellectual property:

**".every man is more careful to procure what is for himself alone than that
which is common to many or to all: since each one would shirk the labor and
leave to another that which concerns the community, as happens where there
is a great number of servants." Summa Theologiae, II-II, 66, a.2.

I am not into religion and knowing anything about Thomas Aquinas and what he
said, but I assume he was a follower of Christ. I think Christ said
something like
'It is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than a rich man
to get to heaven'!!!!!!!!!
Perhaps Christ was an Open Source advocate!!!!!!
You do not have to make money to succeed. The great men or women in our
society are remembered for what they achieved and not for how much money
they made. Did Ian Thorpe become a great swimmer to make money. Now he has
made enough money why does he continue to work so hard.

**Finally, if governments and school districts begin taking an active role
in promoting OSS under the veil of "software **neutrality," they will
necessarily bypass the market-based feedback that arises from consumer
preferences. Where **proprietary software would otherwise be a more
efficient solution, legislation will stand in the way. The result? The
growth **of successful proprietary software will be stunted, if not driven
out of business.

If it was driven out of business it wasnt good enough, it didnt offer value
for money.

**David Sytsma is Online Editor for the Acton Institute.

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