On Jul 24, 2007, at 4:27 PM, Chad Perrin wrote:

> On Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 05:36:41AM +0900, John Joyce wrote:
>> On Jul 24, 2007, at 2:09 PM, Chad Perrin wrote:
>>> On Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 12:21:45AM +0900, Alex Young wrote:
>>>> John Joyce wrote:
>>>>> On Jul 24, 2007, at 5:04 AM, Brad Phelan wrote:
>>>>>> Chad Perrin wrote:
>>>>>>> On Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 06:49:59PM +0900, Brad Phelan wrote:
>>>>>>>> However it always stuns me when software geeks come with
>>>>>>>> arguments as previously posted because we are meant to be
>>>>>>>> abstract thinkers. However I keep hearing the same old argument
>>>>>>>> along the lines of `if I can't kick it, it has no value and
>>>>>>>> should be free.`
>>>>>>> I don't recall anyone saying anything of the sort.  Maybe I'm
>>>>>>> just not thinking abstractly enough to know where you got that.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> 'governmentally enforced artificial scarcity model where software
>>>>>> is treated as physical product units.'
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> What does this mean other than that software has no inherent
>>>>>> monetary sale value other than that artificially imposed by
>>>>>> government control?
>>>>>>
>>>>> Which is exactly the kind of half logic that would debunk all
>>>>> 'governmentally enforced' rights, property or otherwise.
>>>> I wouldn't call it "half logic".  If you accept that value is  
>>>> derived
>>>> from scarcity, and that bits can be copied arbitrarily easily (and
>>>> are
>>>> therefore by definition non-scarce and have *no* intrinsic value),
>>>> then
>>>> a government-enforced moratorium on copying bits under certain
>>>> circumstances is required to give those bits themselves scarcity  
>>>> and
>>>> therefore value.  Unless you have a different model for defining
>>>> intrinsic value, the logic is pretty solid...
>>>
>>> Actually . . . software has value.  Something doesn't have to have
>>> physical scarcity to have value.  In fact, one might say that  
>>> software
>>> *is a measure of value*, in that it is the symbolic  
>>> representation of
>>> work, hopefully with some kind of efficiencies built in that
>>> enhance the
>>> value of that work.
>>>
>>> The reason the software-as-units business model relies on artificial
>>> scarcity is that it's trying to derive market value from a non- 
>>> scarce
>>> part of the chain of creation, distribution, and use.  Ultimately,
>>> in its
>>> natural form, a software market would be a service industry rather
>>> than a
>>> product manufacturing industry.
>>>
>>> Of course, I think I may be violently agreeing with you, to some
>>> extent.
>>> You're probably using "software" in this case to refer to "copies of
>>> software", as a form of shorthand.  The copies themselves have no
>>> intrinsic value (though the media on which they're copied have at
>>> least
>>> some such value).
>>
>> 'natural form'?
>> Software and markets have no 'natural form' they are social
>> constructs period.
>> The non-human part of the world does not create nor exhibit such  
>> things.
>
> Actually, economic principles apply to "the non-human part of the  
> world"
> as well.  In any case, when I used the phrase "natural  
> form" (obviously
> somewhat loosely), I referred to economic markets absent external
> influences of authoritarian power structures.
>
>
>>
>> What you are describing is a fantasy that you subscribe to. There is
>> no artificial scarcity in software sales. It is impossible. Most
>> vendors sell via download anyway. They're simply charging what the
>> market will accept and pay. If sales slumped and customers blamed
>> pricing, you bet they'd have a price drop. The only scarcity in this
>> is the market for customers. There are a reasonable finite number of
>> customers for any product. If you happen to produce video editing
>> software, you charge what you can for it. You seem to think that all
>> software is the same. It's not. Many types of software don't have or
>> require much of a service sector to them. You simply offer an
>> interface or features that users want and are willing to pay for.
>> If people are willing to pay for something, then you have demand.
>> When you have demand, somebody WILL supply that demand. Drugs!
>> Software! Massages! Counselling! Manicure! Live Music! etc. ad  
>> infitum
>
> The statement that there is no artificial scarcity in "software  
> sales",
> assuming you mean under the current circumstances of per-unit sales of
> recorded copies of software with strong copyright law preventing
> additional copying and distribution, only betrays a lack of  
> understanding
> (or unwillingness to acknowledge) of the discussion points that have
> already been brought up.
>
> You seem unwilling or unable to recognize that the current  
> circumstances
> of copyright law are a significant market distortion applied to  
> "what the
> market will accept and pay".  You're affirming the consequent again,
> assuming that your desired conclusion is true within your premises.
>
> I'm not sure whether you're ignoring the foregoing explanation of the
> term "artificial scarcity" or failing to grasp it.  In case it wasn't
> clear, I'll try again:
>
> The term "artificial scarcity", in the context of economics, refers  
> to an
> imposition of additional costs to the acquisition of something via
> conscious choice rather than merely circumstantial facts.  One example
> would be hoarding a good.  Another is using law to prevent others from
> creating it.  The fact that such a circumstance is at play in the
> software industry is undeniable: copyright law is inserted into the
> software market to prevent possessors of software from duplicating it,
> thus imposing scarcity via a conscious, *artificial* decision.
> Reference:
>
>   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_scarcity
>
> That there is artificial scarcity in the (legal) US software market is
> almost a tautology.
>
> I have no idea where you get the idea that I "seem to think all  
> software
> is the same".  That strikes me as a complete non-sequitur.
>
> -- 
> CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
> W. Somerset Maugham: "The ability to quote is a serviceable  
> substitute for
> wit."
>
Seriously, this should go off list or something soon. It's turned  
into a SlashDot thread almost.
I'm not denying you the term 'artificial scarcity'
what I see is that markets are not necessarily about scarcity.
If we have a thousand lemons, one person who wants one lemon and you  
offer them for free and I sell it with a contract that says I  
guarantee or not this and that blah blah, and the person decides to  
buy mine, then it is entirely a freedom of choice on the consumer.  
Nobody is forced to purchase anything as there is no lemon monopoly.  
The consumer simply decides they want the one that they have to pay  
for. For whatever reasons they decide they want that one.
Open source comes with no more guarantees of support or viability or  
longevity than closed source. Consumers have a choice. Individuals or  
organizations. They make choices. You make a choice in your  
licensing, but don't force your license on others. If one company  
sells a packaged linux distro and another gives it away and people  
choose one or the other, that is where freedom is!