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Re: Where from to download ViaVoice outloud

>>>>> "Robert" == Robert J Chassell <bob@rattlesnake.com> writes:

 Robert>    ... I don't think anyone here is prepared to state that
 Robert> Microsoft doesn't sell commercial software.

 Robert> My apologies: I was not clear.  I was asking whether ViaVoice
 Robert> is commercial restricted software or commercial free
 Robert> software?  If IBM abandons ViaVoice, could someone else take
 Robert> up the project, or is all that work lost?

Under your definition, Viavoice would be considered commercial
restricted software. The source code has never been released and
probably never will as they are still developing it for the mac and
widnows platforms. 

I still find the term 'commercial free' a contradiction - but I think
I understand what you are referring to and it is what I would refer to
as open source. Software can be released as open source either as
commercial software (you pay for it) or made freely available (you can
just download it). 

 Robert> Microsoft sells commercial restricted software.  We all agree
 Robert> on that.

 Robert> Tim Cross <tcross@pobox.une.edu.au> says,

 Robert>     I don't agree with your definition of commercial
 Robert> software. Any software which is paid for in my opinion is by
 Robert> definition commercial.

 Robert> I agree with that.  I disagree with Tim following statement,

 Robert>     Just for the record, I don't consider things like RedHat,
 Robert> SuSE and other Linux distributions as commercial
 Robert> software. These companies are not selling the software, they
 Robert> are selling the process of assembling the software into a
 Robert> distribution, support and other value added services.  ....

 Robert> It is certainly true that in addition to selling the service
 Robert> of transferring a copy to you, they are selling "the process
 Robert> of assembling the software into a distribution" and so on.
 Robert> Clearly, if you call these sales "commercial transactions",
 Robert> then they are associated with selling services, as well as
 Robert> with selling CDs with software on them.

I don't deny companies like Redhat are commercial companies selling a
commercial service. I just don't believe you can refer to the software
as being commercial - getting very much into semantics and hair
splitting here. 

 Robert> Is "commercial" the right term to use?

Possibly not

 Robert> Historically, the word commerce referred especially to the
 Robert> buying and selling of commodities over long distances, as
 Robert> traders did in the Middle Ages.

 Robert> You could say that no lawyer or plumber who sells his
 Robert> services is engaged in commerce, and restrict the notion of
 Robert> commerce to the sale of hard goods, like computers and CDs
 Robert> with software on them.  But among the people I talk with, the
 Robert> notion of the word commerce is not so limited.

 Robert> Indeed, investors, accountants, and tax authorities all think
 Robert> of companies such as HP and IBM, as well as Red Hat and SuSE,
 Robert> as being engaged in commerce.  When one of them sells a
 Robert> package, regardless whether that package is a piece of
 Robert> hardware, like a CD or computer, or a promise to provide some
 Robert> sort of service, that sale is considered a commercial
 Robert> transaction.

No argument about the act being considered commercial - but don't
necessarily agree that makes the thing being sold commercial -
semantics again.

 Robert>     Simply because you purchase something in a free
 Robert> competitive market does not allow you to copy it or
 Robert> redistribute it, or even modify it.

 Robert> That does not make sense: how can a competive entrepeneur
 Robert> have freedom to enter such a market unless he is permitted to
 Robert> manufacture and sell the product?  It is not a free market if
 Robert> he cannot or may not enter.

Read what I wrote - there is a big difference between the provider and
the consumer. I was talking about the consumer (e.g. the purchaser),
not the provider (e.g. the seller). I made no reference at all to
restrictions on being able to enter the market as a seller. What I
was pointing out was the act of purchasing a product dows not give you
any rights to copy, modify or re-distribute that item. This was in
response to your claim that if you purchased a product in a free open
market you could copy, modify and redistribute it. 

 Robert> Copyrights, patents, and other such governmentally specified
 Robert> restrictions determine whether an entrepeneur may sell a CD
 Robert> with a song on it.  These restrictions reduce the freedom of
 Robert> competitors to enter a market.

No, they restrict the freedom of competitors to take advantage of the
work done by others without due compensation. You are still allowed
full freedom to enter the market to sell a music CD, but with your own
artist not with someone elses. 

 Robert>     Just because you pay for something does not give you its
 Robert> copyrights, which means your ownership comes with
 Robert> restrictions.

 Robert> Yes, very true: as lawyers say, ownership consists of a
 Robert> "bundle of rights", with different bundles for different
 Robert> entities.

 Robert> People argue over which bundles are just.

 Robert> A friend of mine recently pointed out a conflict that is
 Robert> distant from software, but illustrates the legal issues: in
 Robert> the western US some landowners own the surface rights to
 Robert> their land but not the subsurface rights.  They argue that
 Robert> they should have a different "bundle of rights" than the
 Robert> courts say.

 Robert> This is because the owners of the subsurface mineral rights
 Robert> (often oil companies) have a right of access which can mean
 Robert> that the surface of the land is torn up when wells are
 Robert> drilled.  The surface landowners think their bundle of rights
 Robert> should include a right to compensation when the subsurface
 Robert> owners damage the fields.  The subsurface owners disagree.

At one level, you could say the land owners have a valid argument. On
the other hand, they are also free to purchase the sub-level/mineral
rights to their land. Personally, I find the notion of a division
between land rights and mineral rights to be very artificial and

Tim Cross
Senior Analyst/Programmer
Applications Group - Information Technology
University of New England
 Phone: +61 2 6773 3210
   Fax: +61 2 6773 3424
E-Mail: tcross@pobox.une.edu.au
   Web: http://www.une.edu.au/itd/systems/systems.html
Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?"

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