Posted by: Anonymous Coward
on September 14, 2004 05:13 AM
Granted, I am about to make a big assumption based on inferences from your above statement. so, correct me if I am wrong. However, I am curious for your point of view.
Based on your statement, if Company B releases a closed product that competes directly with a closed product from Company A, for an equivalent price, this would be acceptable to you.
If Free Software Group B relases a Free Software product that competes directly with a closed product from Company A, this is not acceptable to you. This is bad.
What if Company B releases a closed product that competes directly with a closed product from Company A, for half the price, would that be acceptable to you? At what point is the cut-rate price of Company B low enough that it is not competition but unacceptablly "make[s] life tough for the commercial programmers" at Company A?
In other words, let's suppose you are selling lemonade for $0.50 a cup. Now, let's suppose my father owns a lemon tree grove so the lemons cost me nothing and I set up a stand next to yours. What artificially high price should I set for my lemonade to make sure I don't "make life tough" for you and your little business? $0.40? $0.25? What if I just want to help people quench their thurst so I give my lemonade away for no cost, am I just being mean? Do the people now getting the lemonade for no cost think I am mean? Are you saying it is somehow unethical to provide no cost goods to the public because I am putting you out of business? Since when is it MY job to maintain YOUR business model?
Go rent "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" starring Gary Cooper. (http://imdb.com/title/tt0027996/) It's a little movie about a simple guy that inherits a fortune and decides to give it all away to people suffering in the Great Depression. Greedy people then attempt to stop him from giving the money away because, well, he must be crazy.
If you were in that movie, you would not be cast in the role of Mr. Deeds.
PS The 2002 movie remake "Mr. Deeds" starring Adam Sandler is a poor representation of the original. Gary Cooper is a much better actor, besides.