The OSD and commercial use

John Cowan jcowan at
Sat Nov 23 15:44:10 UTC 2002

David Johnson scripsit:

> Imagine if you went to a store and say a display of chairs. Imagine the price 
> tag said "Non-commercial sitters: free; commercial sitters: $100". Imagine 
> going to a movie theater and seeing a sign that said "Children: $4; Adults: 
> $8; Company groups: $20 per employee".

I don't understand what the movie theatre is doing in this analogy.
Around here, at least, they do post different prices for adults and
children, and while company-group prices are not posted, I bet they're
lower, not higher.

> How's this example: I'll sell you a hammer for five dollars. If you use the 
> hammer to build a house, I demand a cut of the closing fee. After all, if you 
> use the hammer to make money, shouldn't the I be entitled to some of the 
> profit?

There is nothing inherently unjust in this: it's just the transaction
costs that make it hard.  "Sell high to the rich, low to the poor"
is a perfectly feasible strategy, but only if you can stop the poor
from buying wholesale and selling to the rich retail.

(My company, having the advantages of copyright in its product, does this
routinely.  The airlines do it too, there being no secondary market in
airline tickets for security reasons.)

Some people open all the Windows;       John Cowan
wise wives welcome the spring           jcowan at
by moving the Unix.           
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