[ox-en] Free software entry on wiki
- From: Tom Chance <lists tomchance.org.uk>
- Date: Sat, 7 May 2005 16:55:46 +0100
Who wrote this ? Why is it so inaccurate and, at a guess, ideologically
For example, the section entitled 'Neither paid work nor subsistence' begins
with the sentence fragment: "Because the producers of free products are not
paid and usually don't want payment..." Where did that come from? According
to Lakhani & Wolf, 40% of free software hackers are in some way paid to
participate on their work . I'd guess that very few hackers would ever
*object* to being paid, so long as it didn't conflict with their (relative)
The second sentence claims that most GNU/Linux distributions cost little more
than the cost of production. Really? That's true of community-oriented
distributions, and of third-party resellers who just ship burnt CDRs. But
look at the major commercial distributors (Red Hat, Mandriva, Novell/SuSE,
etc.)... they're all selling box sets with considerable markups.
The section 'Neither exchange nor gift' subscribes to the myth that "Free
software and other free products are not objects of exchange". That's not
true. More accurate would be that free software isn't solely and always an
object of exchange; it often isn't produced as an object for exchange, but
may nonetheless become a commodity.
I would spend ages correcting it all, but then it may just revert back. Before
touching it, I'd prefer to know whether people in this community are serious
about research or serious about putting forward a distorted Marxist
interpretation of every aspect of free software theory?
 Pages 2, 9, http://opensource.mit.edu/papers/lakhaniwolf.pdf
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