[Fsfe-ie] The cost of proprietary software

Harry Tormey slander at assassinationmedia.org
Fri Jan 21 11:02:16 CET 2005

Well you could still do some sort of study to illustrate how difficult
(expensive) it can be to extract data locked into a propritory system. I
will be doing something along these lines for my mothers company over
the summer.

I am sure their are lots of examples of big companies in Ireland having
to fork out an arm and a leg in order to move data off of their old
legacy systems. I think this is an area worth looking at.


On Fri, Jan 21, 2005 at 08:57:47AM +0000, Aidan Delaney wrote:
> 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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