Re: [linux-audio-user] Finale for Linux

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Subject: Re: [linux-audio-user] Finale for Linux
From: Chris Pickett (
Date: Tue Jul 13 2004 - 20:06:38 EEST

RickTaylor_AT_Speakeasy.Net wrote:
> On 12-Jul-2004 Chris Pickett wrote:
> } Just a clarification: everything is copyrighted, unless it is explicitly
> } released into the public domain. That's why these licenses work.
> I'm familiar with copyrights. :} Artists have been using them since, maybe,
> before programmers.

You did say, "linux audio... copyrighted stuff to
pretty much excluded," and later, "Much of that software is
copyrighted," so I don't think that was particularly unfair.

> } The truncated paragraph said:
> }
> } "However, non-free software companies often want to create vendor
> } lock-in, and they've shown a good way to do this is to decrease
> } interoperability between programs and flexibility in the system. They
> } allow for only one box per program, and furthermore make one subscribe
> } to their whole subsystem of boxes to get something usable. It's like
> } when Lego started making wall pieces instead of just individual blocks
> } to build them."
> You mean like the idea that Jack works with only a select set of programs?

I wasn't aware that Jack not operating with all programs was a
competitive thing, and involved money or patents or nasty licensing at
all ... I thought it was because other apps simply hadn't caught up yet.
  I guess I'll have to read about it a bit.

> It's actually sort of funny to watch all of the obvious manipulations and
> games that get played in the commercial arena. {It would be funnier if my
> wallet didn't feel the effects} It would genuinely suck to see that sort of
> thing get started in linux. Linux has always been about as open as it's
> possible to get... that's why it's an interesting system and why, I think, so
> many folk have been drawn too it.

So, I'm glad you recognize that ...

> } I realize the Lego analogy is a little broken.
> }
> } Anyway, at the end of the day, if Linux Audio started to need non-free
> } stuff to be good, I'd just buy a Mac. For me, the core of what makes
> Linux has always included a large number of non-free programs. If you're
> obsessive like I am and run around checking out every available program that
> a given platform has to offer... Linux can include a very large number of
> traditionally copyrighted and commercial programs. I think linux needs to
> include a number of large commercial offerings like those solutions provided by
> Oracle and IBM. {Money... and all of the benefits that might be derived from
> it.}

I think those kind of things can help corporations who have more money
than time to throw at a problem, but am unclear as to the benefit that
the ordinary user derives from them, although it probably exists.

> To me... the variety of choices available on linux is much more important than
> the open source thing... The copyleft idea strikes me as a really usable and
> actually somewhat noble alternative to a traditional corporate structure... The
> idea of an entirely open source strikes me as a bit dillettante and maybe a bit
> too high minded and idealistic to be practical. It's simply too open to
> politics, cliquishness and similar sorts of abuse {even racism... see Elvis} to
> be practical. {:} 'Course I sometimes feel this way about the internet itself.
> I'm probably wrong in those feelings. I don't think I am in my feelings about
> "open source".}

To my knowledge, my system is entirely open source, with the exception
of acroread and flash, and it runs well. On the desktop, I think
paid-for corporate involvement can help with unification efforts,
packaging, and hardware support issues, but that it's better if the
changes are freed eventually.

> } the whole thing tick and even worth using at all (ignoring the wonderful
> } unix-y benefits that Macs now have too) is that it's free. I think the
> } reaction, "Everyone else is releasing free stuff, you can bloody well
> } release free stuff too!" isn't entirely unjustified. As for music
> I think it's totally unjustified and that it's that very attitude that is at
> the heart of the problem I described above.

I give away free time to F/OSS, and have made less-than-profitable
career choices (i.e. grad school) so that I could hack on free software,
why should I be expected to receive with open arms people who want to
build upon this free base and not give back, let alone _pay_ for it?

> } shareware developers, frankly I think they'd have a better time writing
> } for OS X anyway, as a real shareware community actually exists.
> Then they should just go away?

I think corporations are the only ones really willing to pay for
individual applications on Linux. I'm personally not shelling out for
shareware when I can read, test, and contribute to free software. Time
is money, I guess, and that's how I'd like to pay, even if it costs me
more after the conversion (which indicates "libre" is more important
than "gratis" to me). I think other people feel the same way.

So, yes, from a business perspective, shareware developers for Linux
should go away and target OS X instead. From an ethical perspective, as
long as I'm not forced to use it and there always exist alternatives, I
guess I don't mind. I start to mind when everybody just uses the
non-free stuff and this results in the death of otherwise good free

Like Tim just said, I think we're just gonna have to agree to disagree,
since I'm not likely to convince you that 100% free is a good and
realistic thing, and you're not likely to convince me otherwise (I know
_I'm_ starting to repeat myself). I hope at least we can see a little
where the other is coming from now :)


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