BSD Mall : to hell

Miguel Lopes Santos Ramos miguel at
Fri Feb 24 12:54:36 PST 2006

> Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2006 12:12:14 -0800 (PST)
> From: "Jeremy C. Reed" <reed at>
> To: Miguel Lopes Santos Ramos <miguel at>
> cc: algould at, advocacy at
> Subject: Re: BSD Mall : to hell
> On Fri, 24 Feb 2006, Miguel Lopes Santos Ramos wrote:
> > > 3. Red Hat employs many open source developers, many of whom work on
> > > projects other than Linux (postgresql, for example).
> > 
> > I don't think this argument applies. It's a bit like saying that Bill Gates
> > getting richer and richer is good, since he gives a third of his fortune to
> > charity.
> Then your alternative is to pay the developers directly instead.
> Do you use gcc?
>  Jeremy C. Reed


So, I now understand that the real reason why RedHat is more expensive than
Debian is because it gives more money to open source projects...
I just keep not understanding why the price of CDs sold unofficially in
many stores that don't contribute to the projects is the same of those that
do contribute...

However funny it might seem, perhaps funding directly projects of which one
depends directly would be better...

Fact is that RedHat is a profit-driven company, traded in the stock market.
Like every company, it must increase its revenues as much as possible and
reduce its expenses as much as possible. It is a good thing for RedHat that
most of the its prime matter it's free.
Of course, RedHat funds several projects, but if it is a rational economic
agent it will only do so in the measure that: a) is absolutely required to
keep a project evolving to meet its clients needs, and b) it allows it
to continue publicizing that it funds open source projects.

Let's take gcc for example, how much of RedHat's money goes to gcc?
Well, gcc was there long before RedHat existed, and it has evolved to meet
RedHat's clients needs long ago (why should the quality of the compiler matter
to RedHat back when Microsoft's compiler was very bad comparatively?), so
I don't think gcc receives a lot because of a), and because of b) I suspect
it receives only a quota of a global amount given to FSF. I'm really convinced
that gcc owes very little of its existance to RedHat or similar fundings. But
I'm just guessing, perhaps RedHat is more into Philanthropy.


More information about the freebsd-advocacy mailing list