[Fsfe-ie] The cost of proprietary software

Aidan Delaney adelaney at cs.may.ie
Fri Jan 21 09:57:47 CET 2005

On Thu, 2005-01-20 at 15:30 +0000, Malcolm Tyrrell wrote:
> Now I'm no economist, but an interesting thought just occured to me.
> How could one estimate the negative effect of proprietary software licensing
> to the Irish economy? 
> It would be interesting to be able to claim on a brochure that "Proprietary software costs the Irish ecomomy ??? Million Euros per year" or something.
I don't think that this is a good approach as it does not emphasise the
real advantages of Free Software.

The real advantages of Free Software are not the lack of an up-front
licencing fee but the fact that _you_, as an individual or company, own
your data.  The costs of proprietary software are not licences but the
cost of reclaiming the data in thirty years time from an undocumented
legacy format.

In fact it is probably legal to charge a "per-seat licence" for Free
Software.  RedHat provide a per-seat service if you don't copy their
software.  You are free to copy and distribute their software but they
then will not provide support to you.
Aidan Delaney   email: adelaney at cs.may.ie
                web:   http://www.cs.may.ie/~adelaney
                gpg:   http://www.cs.may.ie/~adelaney/public_key.asc
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