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August 18, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 12:23:44AM +0100, Jb wrote:
> I wish you'd put that paragraph first and then I wouldnt have spent 30 
> minutes responding to all your utopian copyright free wet dreams.
> 
> ;-)

Heh, yes, I do tend to ramble. (One reason why I generally lurk rather
than post...)

> 
> I do think you overstate what copyright actualy does. It doesnt prevent 
> sharing of ideas and information. It just prevent copying of (usualy) 
> artistic works.

The bits that make up that artistic work is information!

If I take a screenshot of a computer program, that is considered copyright
infringement (in the US anyway, as I understand it. Disclaimer: I'm no lawyer,
so I might be wrong, but I don't think so.)

I'm not copying the work - I'm providing a detailed description
of a portion of it (its user interface).

If I write a piece of fan fiction starring Captain Kirk and the starship
Enterprise, I'm technically infringing on Paramount Picture's copyright,
since my book would be considered a derivative work of Star Trek.

That is the worst case - I would have copied no actual words, just the
abstract information of Kirk's characterisation. Yet, technically, the
law says I can't do that without Paramount's permission.


I'm sure that, at the very least, we can agree that several aspects of
copyright law are absurd, even if you accepted the rest of it.

But that is definitely information about the work that I cannot copy
under the law.


One could easily argue that transmitting something like source code
down the Internet is sending a very detailed description of the product
(product == the compiled executable) rather than copying the work.

I didn't copy the executable itself - I sent a detailed description of it.
This description just happens to be detailed enough for the compiler to create
a perfect copy from it.


The only difference between that description and a verbal description
of the program is the resolution of detail. In both cases, I am spreading
information about it.

> Actualy without copyright the chances of finding that library would be 
> greatly diminished. For a start if people want to they can already create 
> software and release with no restrictions. This option already exists.

Yes, indeed, and many people do (or something very close to no restrictions,
like the licenses in Phobos).

And there's an interesting question: why do people write software with
few restrictions now, when they could possibly make more money off
keeping it restricted? If copyright didn't exist, would those reasons
suddenly disappear? I say no:

> All that would happen if you killed copyright is the people who write and 
> release software in order to make a living would likely go out of business 
> and end up doing somthing else.

Maybe. Maybe not. Lots of existing free software is written for the
author's own personal use (hence their generally poor user interfaces...).

This stuff wouldn't go away. The demand is still present.

Demand is what drives commercial software too. Demand for something like
tax software wouldn't disappear without copyright, so tax software shouldn't
disappear either.

The payment model would probably switch to pay in advance. Someone
(more likely a group than individuals) would hire developers to write
the software so they can use it for themselves. Everyone else would then
use it as a kind of collateral damage. Damage isn't a good word to use here,
since no one is getting hurt, but I can't think of a better term.

A similar example to the concept I have in mind is in politics. The United
States Navy patrols the oceans of the world to protect American trade and
national interests. In doing so, other countries get to benefit from this
too - fighting piracy (the kind on the seas) benefits other countries,
since those pirate ships would attack anyone from any country and do their
damage, not just Americans. The other countries get this benefit without
them having to pay for it. Of course, again, the US doesn't do this for
benefit of other nations - it does it for itself. But, regardless, the job
is still done and everyone can still benefit from it.

Software would become similar. Everyone looks out for his own interests,
and other people can come along for the free ride without hurting anyone.

> So the idea that art / software production would flourish without copyright 
> is plain false, it's so false it's almost absurd.

How then do you explain the wealth of art that was created before copyright
was around? Or the vast amounts of free (or close to free) software on the
Web now?

-- 
Adam D. Ruppe
http://arsdnet.net
August 18, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
"Adam D. Ruppe" wrote
> If I take a screenshot of a computer program, that is considered copyright
> infringement (in the US anyway, as I understand it. Disclaimer: I'm no 
> lawyer,
> so I might be wrong, but I don't think so.)
>
> I'm not copying the work - I'm providing a detailed description
> of a portion of it (its user interface).

Nope.  The original author of the software cannot possibly copyright all 
possible screenshots.  Copyrights only apply to a specific piece of media, 
and since you were the creator of that media, you can copyright it.

However, it may contain trademarked elements, such as a logo.  However, it 
is possible to have trademarked material as long as you are critiquing 
something, and you represent who the owner of the trademark is properly.

Even if there was some possible way to copyright the UI, this should fall 
under fair use as you are presenting a 'clip' of a copyrighted piece of 
media for critique.

> If I write a piece of fan fiction starring Captain Kirk and the starship
> Enterprise, I'm technically infringing on Paramount Picture's copyright,
> since my book would be considered a derivative work of Star Trek.

Nope, but you are infringing on the trademark names of 'Captain Kirk' and 
the starship 'Enterprise'.  I think there is probably some restriction on 
making money from the trademark.

If you wrote a book with 'Captian Jerk' and the starship 'Doorprize', then 
you would have no problem :)

> That is the worst case - I would have copied no actual words, just the
> abstract information of Kirk's characterisation. Yet, technically, the
> law says I can't do that without Paramount's permission.

Because you would be using Paramount's trademarks in order to make money. 
There is a huge amount of weight behind those simple words, and most likely, 
you would enjoy Paramount's ability to sell anything that is star trek 
related, without having created the original idea.  That is why trademark 
law exists.

> One could easily argue that transmitting something like source code
> down the Internet is sending a very detailed description of the product
> (product == the compiled executable) rather than copying the work.

The source code is also copyrighted.  Copyright is inherently assigned to 
the author (even if he doesn't label it as such).  He can assign the 
copyright to someone else if he wants.

> I didn't copy the executable itself - I sent a detailed description of it.
> This description just happens to be detailed enough for the compiler to 
> create
> a perfect copy from it.

If you sent a detailed description of the source code (i.e. an english 
description of how it works), this is not a violation of copyright, as you 
cannot copyright ideas.  Many companies use 'clean room' techniques where 
one team disassembles code, figures out how it works, then describes that to 
another team which writes a compatible piece of software.  They are not 
infringing on copyright because the developers have not seen any of the 
original code.

In some countries, however, you can patent software 'business methods', i.e. 
ideas (which to me is absurd for software).

> The only difference between that description and a verbal description
> of the program is the resolution of detail. In both cases, I am spreading
> information about it.

No, the difference is that the code is copyrighted.  If you build the code 
from reverse engineering, it is a derivative work.  The verbal description 
is a description of the ideas, which are not copyrightable.

-Steve
August 18, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
"Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator@gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:mailman.9.1219031970.19733.digitalmars-d@puremagic.com...
> On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 12:23:44AM +0100, Jb wrote:
>
>> I do think you overstate what copyright actualy does. It doesnt prevent
>> sharing of ideas and information. It just prevent copying of (usualy)
>> artistic works.
>
> The bits that make up that artistic work is information!
>
> If I take a screenshot of a computer program, that is considered copyright
> infringement (in the US anyway, as I understand it. Disclaimer: I'm no 
> lawyer,
> so I might be wrong, but I don't think so.)

If i remember correctly this came up when someone got a pre release screen 
shot of one of the new versiosn of MacOS, they published this online. And 
Apple decided to sue them for breach of copyright as they wanted to keep it 
secret untill the big unveiling. Breach of copyright was the only avenue 
open to them iirc, and i dont know how it turned out but the point is moot.

That is an absurd abuse of copyright. It is not the norm.

So yes current copyright laws do sometimes produce undesirable results. And 
they are not perfect. And I agree that fair use should be expanded, and 
copyright lengths reduced.



>> Actualy without copyright the chances of finding that library would be
>> greatly diminished. For a start if people want to they can already create
>> software and release with no restrictions. This option already exists.
>
> Yes, indeed, and many people do (or something very close to no 
> restrictions,
> like the licenses in Phobos).
>
> And there's an interesting question: why do people write software with
> few restrictions now, when they could possibly make more money off
> keeping it restricted? If copyright didn't exist, would those reasons
> suddenly disappear? I say no:

This is my point. Those people who want to can already work with free and 
open licences.

Disolving copyright wont change that.


>> So the idea that art / software production would flourish without 
>> copyright
>> is plain false, it's so false it's almost absurd.
>
> How then do you explain the wealth of art that was created before 
> copyright
> was around? Or the vast amounts of free (or close to free) software on the
> Web now?

It's not that art or software would not be produced if we disolved 
copyright. It's that far far less of it would.

The amount of art produced prior to the 20th centuary is miniscule compared 
to what was produced during it. There have been millions of songs, books, 
and films that have made in the last 100 years.

If you compared that to what was made in just one of the centurarys of the 
Renaisence it would be like comparing mountain to a mole hill.

The simple fact is that the "patronage" system that was in use before hand 
is incredibly inneficient. It just doesnt work that well.

And your supposed ideas of how it could work just emphasise the point. The 
problem is that getting a 100 people together, and getting them to agree on 
what they want, and how much they will pay, and then finding someone who 
will do the work, is just absurd. You are insane if you think that system 
will be more efficient and more productive than the current copyright / 
capatilist one.

Free market, and free trade, will always batter such a system into the 
ground.

It's why you see very little art comming out of Comunist countrys in 
comparison to capatilist ones.

It's why capalism works. It's pragmatic rather than idealistic.
August 18, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 10:01:41AM -0400, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
>  snip trademark explanation

Conceded.

> No, the difference is that the code is copyrighted.  If you build the code 
> from reverse engineering, it is a derivative work.  The verbal description 
> is a description of the ideas, which are not copyrightable.

Would it be fair to say information about the ideas is fine to spread,
but information about the specific implementation isn't?

> 
> -Steve 
> 

-- 
Adam D. Ruppe
http://arsdnet.net
August 18, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
"Adam D. Ruppe" wrote
> On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 10:01:41AM -0400, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
>>  snip trademark explanation
>
> Conceded.
>
>> No, the difference is that the code is copyrighted.  If you build the 
>> code
>> from reverse engineering, it is a derivative work.  The verbal 
>> description
>> is a description of the ideas, which are not copyrightable.
>
> Would it be fair to say information about the ideas is fine to spread,
> but information about the specific implementation isn't?

Hm... depending on the information about the specific implementation, that 
might be debatable.  For example, if you wanted to have a competing library 
that used the exact same API (i.e. a swappable replacement), I'm not sure 
that would be considered infringement, as there is no way to create a binary 
compatible API without copying exactly (e.g. Lesstif).  Most likely, this 
API is described in a document, so you could potentially write a new header 
file that had the same function names, but that wasn't a copy of the 
original header file.  But surely, if you describe the exact implementation, 
it is infringement.

Description of the concepts behind the implementation should be fine.

Please note, I am not a lawyer, so don't take this as legal advice ;)

-Steve
August 18, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
Steven Schveighoffer wrote:

> "Adam D. Ruppe" wrote
>> On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 10:01:41AM -0400, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
>>>  snip trademark explanation
>>
>> Conceded.
>>
>>> No, the difference is that the code is copyrighted.  If you build the
>>> code
>>> from reverse engineering, it is a derivative work.  The verbal
>>> description
>>> is a description of the ideas, which are not copyrightable.
>>
>> Would it be fair to say information about the ideas is fine to spread,
>> but information about the specific implementation isn't?
> 
> Hm... depending on the information about the specific implementation, that
> might be debatable.  For example, if you wanted to have a competing
> library that used the exact same API (i.e. a swappable replacement), I'm
> not sure that would be considered infringement, as there is no way to
> create a binary
> compatible API without copying exactly (e.g. Lesstif).  Most likely, this
> API is described in a document, so you could potentially write a new
> header file that had the same function names, but that wasn't a copy of
> the
> original header file.  But surely, if you describe the exact
> implementation, it is infringement.
> 
> Description of the concepts behind the implementation should be fine.
> 
> Please note, I am not a lawyer, so don't take this as legal advice ;)

I have seen commercial libraries implement exact same API as other
commercial libraries, and only been considered as healthy competition - it
is the same with Wine and their re-implementation of Windows API's - it
isn't possible to copyright or otherwise restrict the "use" of API's for
such a purpose - you cannot just copy the headers the API is described in
though - ref the MinGW windows header project.

-- 
Lars Ivar Igesund
blog at http://larsivi.net
DSource, #d.tango & #D: larsivi
Dancing the Tango
August 18, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 04:12:18PM +0100, Jb wrote:
> So yes current copyright laws do sometimes produce undesirable results. And 
> they are not perfect. And I agree that fair use should be expanded, and 
> copyright lengths reduced.

Agreed.

> The amount of art produced prior to the 20th centuary is miniscule compared 
> to what was produced during it. There have been millions of songs, books, 
> and films that have made in the last 100 years.

This isn't because of copyright. Copyright has been around since about 1700;
it didn't suddenly come to existence in 1900, so you can't say it is
the cause of the explosion of new stuff around that time.

What did change around 1900 is an explosion of industry, an explosion
of human population, and just a general explosion of wealth.

World population today is 4x bigger than it was in 1900, so all other
things being equal, it makes sense to see 4x more stuff created.

World population in 1800 was about 2/3 that of 1900.

[My source for the above numbers is Wikipedia:
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population>]

It makes sense that the 20th century saw more stuff created than previous
centuries based on population growth alone. Similar situations exist in
general wealth factors - the average person today is much richer than the
average person 100 years ago, giving him more time to devote to stuff like
art.


Higher technology is also a significant factor. Thirty years ago, it is
unlikely someone like me would have been able to become a computer programmer
at all - I simply couldn't afford it. But now, computers are so cheap, and
the necessary programs so easy to get, that random high school students 
can pick it up and start making stuff.
(Thanks to Digital Mars here; I first learned C++ on the free download of dmc.)

And thanks to the Internet, those random students and look at a wealth of
existing stuff to learn from and release their own stuff with trivial ease.


Similar things exist in other fields. Anyone can now publish his own writings,
amateurs can create and publish images and animation.

Copyright might take some credit for this. I'm sure it does, as
without it, something like Digital Mars might not exist at all. But it
can't anything near to all the credit, and now since this situation already
exists, removing copyright isn't going to suddenly erase what is already
done.

> And your supposed ideas of how it could work just emphasise the point. The 
> problem is that getting a 100 people together, and getting them to agree on 
> what they want, and how much they will pay, and then finding someone who 
> will do the work, is just absurd.

Nonsense.

Create a website with a donation system. Someone looking for the software
you are about to have written can find this website and decide if he wants
to help pay the developer to write it or if he simply doesn't want it to
get done.

The donation system wouldn't be just a donation system, it would be entering
into a contract to get what you paid for - if the developer doesn't deliver,
you get your money back.

Furthermore, since you are paying into the contract, you get a say in
what you want. Perhaps shareholders can vote on acceptance tests or
on must have features to write into the contract.


Exactly like they would when buying packaged software, except here they
pay first then get the software made rather than the other way around. 

> You are insane if you think that system 
> will be more efficient and more productive than the current copyright / 
> capatilist one.

This /is/ a capitalist system. People invest in a product to suit their
own needs - that's the very definition of capitalism.

Even the obvious downside of the above plan: someone chooses not to invest
hoping that someone else will and he still benefits, is purely capitalist.
He is looking out for his own interests, trying to get the most product
for the least amount of money. The counterbalance to this is that if he
doesn't invest in it, he might not get what he wants, or it might not be
created at all. So he has to make a decision.

If I was a software developer in such a world, I'd keep the current list
of shareholders and amount of money I've been paid a secret. Then
someone looking at the website doesn't know if he has to invest or not
to get the product, so hopefully, he will, meaning I get a bit more
profit.

The customer is safe in donating to me, even if I don't get enough
capital to make the product, since if I don't deliver, he can sue me for
his money back.


That is pure, unrestrained and safe competition in a wholly capitalist system.

-- 
Adam D. Ruppe
http://arsdnet.net
August 18, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
"Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator@gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:mailman.13.1219076519.19733.digitalmars-d@puremagic.com...
>
>> And your supposed ideas of how it could work just emphasise the point. 
>> The
>> problem is that getting a 100 people together, and getting them to agree 
>> on
>> what they want, and how much they will pay, and then finding someone who
>> will do the work, is just absurd.
>
> Nonsense.
>
> Create a website with a donation system. Someone looking for the software
> you are about to have written can find this website and decide if he wants
> to help pay the developer to write it or if he simply doesn't want it to
> get done.
>
> The donation system wouldn't be just a donation system, it would be 
> entering
> into a contract to get what you paid for - if the developer doesn't 
> deliver,
> you get your money back.

I know people who have done things like this. They get 1000s of downloads 
and accaisionaly someone donates 5 bucks.

It doesnt work.

The vast majority of people will not pay if they dont have to.

One guy i know who actualy releases his plugins as donationware got so 
little money he had to shut his website down because he couldnt afford the 
hosting costs. Yes he got a 10 page thread full of people saying "oh no 
thats so sad, your plugins are great, hope you get back online soon".

But in spite of all those people, of all the thousands of downloads, people 
didnt donate enough for him to pay for the bandwidth to run his website.

Really, it does not work.

It may work for massive projects, with tens or hundreds of thousands of 
users, but for small to medium size enterprize it will never work. At least 
not for anything but a handful of developers.


> Furthermore, since you are paying into the contract, you get a say in
> what you want. Perhaps shareholders can vote on acceptance tests or
> on must have features to write into the contract.

It's hard enough getting half a dozen people to decide on what features to 
include in a prjoect they are all working on without having a couple of 
hundred "investors" arguing over it as well.

The problem is firstly "too many cooks" and secondly "too much 
administration".

It's absurd.

And actualy, if I had to bend to the whim of my customers on every single 
thing my product would actualy be worse for it. It would be the worst case 
of design by commitee ever.

So not only would your scheme stiffle creativity in general. It would also 
stiffle individual creativity.


> Exactly like they would when buying packaged software, except here they
> pay first then get the software made rather than the other way around.
>
>> You are insane if you think that system
>> will be more efficient and more productive than the current copyright /
>> capatilist one.
>
> This /is/ a capitalist system. People invest in a product to suit their
> own needs - that's the very definition of capitalism.

If I dont own the product I am producing then no it's not a capatilist 
system. The fundamental mechanism in capatilism is private ownership, 
whether of physical or intellectual property.


> Even the obvious downside of the above plan: someone chooses not to invest
> hoping that someone else will and he still benefits, is purely capitalist.
> He is looking out for his own interests, trying to get the most product
> for the least amount of money.

Another obvious downside is that people dont like having to wait. They want 
the product now.

So not only is it crippled by the problems of "design by commitiee", and the 
problems of "excesive administration", it's also crippled by the fact that 
consumers dont want to have to wait 12 months to get what they paid for.


> The counterbalance to this is that if he
> doesn't invest in it, he might not get what he wants, or it might not be
> created at all. So he has to make a decision.

So you expect customers are going to wander around the interent, investing 
money in lots of different projects that might or might not give them what 
they want in 6 months time?

And then when half these schemes fail they are going to go chasing the 
developers up to get their money back?

CUCKOO!


> If I was a software developer in such a world, I'd keep the current list
> of shareholders and amount of money I've been paid a secret. Then
> someone looking at the website doesn't know if he has to invest or not
> to get the product, so hopefully, he will, meaning I get a bit more
> profit.
>
> The customer is safe in donating to me, even if I don't get enough
> capital to make the product, since if I don't deliver, he can sue me for
> his money back.
>
> That is pure, unrestrained and safe competition in a wholly capitalist 
> system.

Look there's been nothing stopping businesses operating like that for 
decades, maybe even centuaries. If it did work, if it was so much better 
than the current system, we'd be talking about the multitude of businesses 
that do actualy work that way.

And yet we're not.
August 18, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 06:28:57PM +0100, Jb wrote:
> I know people who have done things like this. They get 1000s of downloads 
> and accaisionaly someone donates 5 bucks.

That's not the same. What I'm proposing is that the software plain
isn't written if you don't get enough money up front.

Downloading it isn't an option at all until the money is already paid,
because before then, the software doesn't exist yet.

> The vast majority of people will not pay if they dont have to.

Right, so the trick is to make it so they think they have to. Tax season
is coming up, and you really wish you had a program up to date with 
this year's tax code to help you out. Uh oh, no program exists, but there
is a development company saying they'll make one if they get a total
of $100,000 in investments.

Someone else might pay for it, but everyone would think that, so the
rational person has to assume that no one is going to pay for it, thus,
the software will never be written and he won't be able to use it.

Since he wants to use it, he must buy into the company. Of course, he can't
afford $100k up front, and even if he could, it isn't worth that much to him,
so he puts in a fraction of the total and hopes other people think the same
way.

If they do, good, they all get the product. If they don't, he can demand
his money back, since the development company didn't deliver the product.

> It may work for massive projects, with tens or hundreds of thousands of 
> users, but for small to medium size enterprize it will never work. At least 
> not for anything but a handful of developers.

Valid: I could see it being very hard for someone with a poor reputation
to get started, but that's again where the satisfaction guaranteed or your
money back clause comes in. Potential investors have very little risk
giving a new guy a chance, since they have little to lose if he fails.

> It's hard enough getting half a dozen people to decide on what features to 
> include in a prjoect they are all working on without having a couple of 
> hundred "investors" arguing over it as well.

Put a price on each feature.

If you want feature A, you have to pay an additional $1000 total.
Feature B is an additional $500.

An investor says "well, feature A is worth $20 to me, so I'll buy it." If
50 other investors feel the same way, then feature A gets implemented -
they paid for it, so they should get it.

If not, then it doesn't happen.

Adding a direct price up front for features is an easy way to keep them
limited. You set the prices so features that you really don't think are
a good idea cost more, to discourage people from buying them.

Then if they do buy it, you still win, since you get more money.

> And actualy, if I had to bend to the whim of my customers on every single 
> thing my product would actualy be worse for it. It would be the worst case 
> of design by commitee ever.

Well, it is still your product, so you can always do it a different way.
This is just a suggestion, just like copyright restrictions are a
suggestion on how to make money.


> If I dont own the product I am producing then no it's not a capatilist 
> system. The fundamental mechanism in capatilism is private ownership, 
> whether of physical or intellectual property.

So construction contractors aren't capitalists? They don't own the building
they were hired to build either. They do own their time and skill though,
just like a software developer working as a contractor.

> Another obvious downside is that people dont like having to wait. They want 
> the product now.

Good point, and businesses could specialize in this.

Someone could put up an offer saying that the software is already
written, and if we receive X dollars, we'll release it. If not, we'll
delete the whole thing.

It is like selling the software, but doing so in such a way that piracy
is impossible. By the time the program is out in the open so it can be pirated,
the company already has their money and doesn't care anymore.

> So you expect customers are going to wander around the interent, investing 
> money in lots of different projects that might or might not give them what 
> they want in 6 months time?

So you expect customers are going to wander around the Internet, investing
money in lots of different projects that might nor might not give them
what they want when the download is complete?

That's what copyrighted software as the product does and people are willing
to do it.

> And then when half these schemes fail they are going to go chasing the 
> developers up to get their money back?
> 
> CUCKOO!

It's their money, if they want to throw it away, fine. But if you invested
money in something and you didn't get that something, you'd probably want
your money back too, and since you have a contract (again, this
isn't just a donation button I'm talking about), you can prove that you
deserve it back to a court of law.

> Look there's been nothing stopping businesses operating like that for 
> decades, maybe even centuaries.

Yes, and things have been done that way for centuries. This isn't an original
idea.

How are buildings designed, constructed and maintained? One option there
is a building as a product - you build it and wait for someone to come and
buy it. I think that is how Donald Trump made his money.

The other option is you wait for someone to hire you to build it to their
specifications. This is how most construction companies and architecture
firms make their money.


-- 
Adam D. Ruppe
http://arsdnet.net
August 18, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
Adam D. Ruppe wrote:
> Downloading it isn't an option at all until the money is already paid,
> because before then, the software doesn't exist yet.
> 
>> The vast majority of people will not pay if they dont have to.
> 
> Right, so the trick is to make it so they think they have to. Tax season
> is coming up, and you really wish you had a program up to date with 
> this year's tax code to help you out. Uh oh, no program exists, but there
> is a development company saying they'll make one if they get a total
> of $100,000 in investments.
> 
> Someone else might pay for it, but everyone would think that, so the
> rational person has to assume that no one is going to pay for it, thus,
> the software will never be written and he won't be able to use it.

Adam, you have some mind-bogglingly weird ideas about software 
development, creativity, sociology, economics, etc, etc.

Last year, I downloaded TurboTax on April 14th. For about $25. Without 
joining a co-op or voting or features or pledging to pay for the future 
delivery of undeveloped software or anything like that. It was easier 
than buying a candy bar, and took less time.

--benji
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