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Re: <nettime> GNU bitterness
Brett Shand on Fri, 24 Oct 2003 14:02:23 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> GNU bitterness


On Sun, 19 Oct 2003 22:42:53 +0100, Benjamin Geer wrote:

> august wrote:

>> I can't really think of a good example where a commercial venture
>> has successfully exploited the work of a free software project.

Yikes! Really!?

> IBM claims to be generating immense revenue ($1 billion in 2002[1])
> from selling Linux-based software, hardware and services.  (The
> 'IBM HTTP Server' which is sold with their WebSphere product is...
> guess what... Apache.)  IBM is actually a good example of a company
> that spends huge amounts of money contributing to free software
> projects, and apparently gets a sizeable return on its investment.

and it's not just the corporations ... what about:

1. all the graphics, for example, companies that have Linux servers
whirring in the machine room. Here in NZ I think of Weta Digital
(making "Lord of the Rings") that runs almost entirely on Linux.

2. all the research companies running Beowulf clusters on BSD. Their
investment is in the hundreds of thousands rather than the tens(?) of
millions for hardware. Surely that's a form of successful 
exploitation.

3. all the web hosting/data storage services running on
Linux/Apache/etc.

4. all the smaller tech businesses, such as ISPs such like my old
company that ran (and still does) entirely on Linux and Apache etc.

5. and the work that free software is doing in developing countires?

I don't know the numbers for other countries, but here in NZ 80% of
the workforce is employed by businesses with less than twelve
employees, and I suspect that will not be atypical. Free software is
allowing many of them to compete more successfully.

I mean how many millions of dollars of income and thousands of people
in work are we talking about? All this is not to be sneezed at, is it?

Brett

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