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Linux Magazine: From MP3s to Bottled Water: It's All Open Source

Jul 27, 2000, 18:36 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jason Compton)

[ Thanks to Robert McMillan for this link. ]

"When it comes right down to it, the open source software market and the music biz in the Napster era bear a remarkable resemblance to the market for bottled water."

"In all three places, a commercial enterprise markets an essential product. ... In all three markets, the commercial ventures attach prestige to their product, with an implicit or explicit promise or guarantee that their product is superior to the freely distributed alternative... And all three types of companies face the very real threat that if their product is unavailable, unobtainable, or not up to spec, consumers have a freely available alternative that they can switch to almost instantly. Broadband may never be as pervasive as running water, but you see my point."

"The real difference, of course, is that the bottled water and open source marketing companies more or less knew what they were getting into, had no legal basis to assume the world should work any other way, and accepted the risks and conditions necessary to do business in their chosen fields. None of these things are true for the music industry. ... Unlike water, where it is the Nayas and Aquafinas in the world entering a market controlled by the municipal "open source" bodies, for the music industry it is the open distribution network coming late to the party."

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