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[ox-en] Re: Importance of price

Hi Stefan,

I do agree that it is very hard to do justice to such a complex topic
in so little time.

Stefan Merten wrote:

Unfortunately you - as others - did say nothing about the really
interesting and partially new thoughts about the relationship between
Free Software and art :-( .

How could I ? Reading your mail I'm not even sure we mean the same thing
when using these terms.

* The actual product is gratis

  However: Price plays a role, but is not crucial
Given how confused most people still are about this
free-as-in-speech-vs.-free-as-in-beer ambiguity, I find the above point
not very helpful. What is "the product",

As long as we talk about Free Software there is a very easy answer:
the Free Software. I.e. the deliverables which are installed on my,
your, Yuwei's, ... computer. No doubt.

And Free Software is certainly a product because it is not given to us
by nature - instead it is produced by someone. Again no doubt.

Really: I can not see what your question is here.

It is, as I tried to explain, about the 'gratis' point. I'm not sure what
you are trying to say. (You may be thinking about some form of value, and
how Free Software (as well as Art) don't easily 'fit' into a 'market economy',
but your statements are much to vague to let me to such a conclusion.)

and what is gratis about it ?

It is gratis when I can obtain it without paying money. Meanwhile this
is even literally true because I got a DSL flat rate so internet
connection meanwhile is part of the general preconditions of life.
Indeed for the Kubuntu I installed lately I paid exactly nothing.
Stop! I payed for one CD-R as a boot CD. But that's it.

For me this is gratis. No doubt.

That's rather superficial. The developer / artist has to live, too.
Pretending that he makes a living elsewhere and produces his work
in his spare time is superficial and dishonest (at the least, it
is even wrong in most cases, I dare to claim).

It may have been best to skip this point, or simply stating that the issue
is in fact about freedom, not price.

That is the FSF ideology coined by RMS. This ideology is based on a
left-liberal, US-centric mind set. This ideology is important to sell
Free Software to the US (intellectual) mainstream where these concepts
are important parts of the general weltanschauung.

I don't understand your claim. I'm not interested into the question of
whether this ideology left-liberal or US-centric, but I'm interested in
why you believe this is merely an ideological question.
I think it is a very practical one: Some people claim that Free Software
gets adopted because it is cheaper than its commercial / proprietary
conterpart. Others say it is because, because it comes with certain
freedoms (which you cite), it gives important advantages to its users.
I'm a strong supporter of the latter, in case this hasn't become clear yet.

However, the Oekonux perspective - and I say perspective instead of
ideology on purpose - is different. On purpose because Oekonux is not
selling something - even not Free Software. More important than the
freedom as spelled out by the US left-liberal mind set is an analysis
of capitalism. And if you analyze capitalism you can not ignore money
/ labor - simply because these are the things capitalism is based on.

And from this perspective it is of utmost importance that Free
Software has no price. And though non-existing Free Software may have
a price existing and published Free Software regularly has none. This
is of utmost importance because it is an important hint that the mode
of production works *beyond* the logic of money / labor - which is one
of the central messages of Oekonux.

Yes, the mode of production is certainly a central point. We very much
agree on this. However, your claim that developers work on Free Software
in their spare time is not the answer to this question.

Is there *a* mode of production, really ?
(I think the answer to this is a clear and unambiguous "No !")

Again you are getting lost in the details.

Well, you claim that

"Developers finance themselves by other means

  Similar to other hobbies"

which I find a very unsatisfying statement (speaking of Political Economy
and all that). Here again, I disagree strongly that the issues I raise
are 'details'. They may not fit into your oversimplistic ideology (yes,
sorry, that's how I call it), but I would hope you take them seriously.



      ...ich hab' noch einen Koffer in Berlin...
Contact: projekt

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