[oclug] Linux kernel development loses BitKeeper
wisq-oclug at wisq.net
Sun Apr 17 00:09:38 EDT 2005
On Sat, Apr 16, 2005 at 11:49:57PM -0400, miden wrote:
> >This is arguable. With no IP laws, there would be less reason
> >to create (reduced economic incentive); and probably less
> >creative works.
Less vs. fewer thing aside, I disagree. See below.
> Painters, sculptors, craftsmen of all kinds, dancers etc. etc. have
> always worked without IP laws.
But they're different fields with different rules from the computer
industry. In the art world, a good original painting by a good artist
will net tons of cash, while a replica won't. Further, you can't cut
out a section of that painting, affix it to your own, and boost the
value of your own painting.
With software, you can steal tons and make plenty of money. Our
favourite multi-billionaire's company proves that.
However, AFAICT, whoever does it *first* will get the initial market
share, but whoever does it *right* (or convinces people they've done
it right) will get the long-term market share.
Hence, there will always be some short-term economic incentive, but
also some long-term benefit to the consumers... provided 'first'
doesn't also mean 'only' (and 'last').
Competition helps consumers. Artificial monopolies don't.
Commercial innovators will still get rewarded for their efforts, but
they just have to work a little harder to ensure that they do it
first *and* do it right.
Of course, it's a lot easier to do it right when everyone else is
playing catch-up... but if you falter, someone overtakes you. That's
how business works, and it's the only thing fair to the people.
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