[Speex-dev] Microsoft RTAudio

Erik de Castro Lopo mle+la at mega-nerd.com
Fri Aug 31 17:26:16 PDT 2007

B. Mitchell Loebel wrote:

Firstly when you talk about the main Speex developer, you 
should call him his proper name "Jean-Marc" rather than

> I now choose to probably not use the product 
> because I choose not to support anti free market thinking.

Choice is good.

>     * Free Market is not an American Capitalist 
> "buzz word" as you pejoratively and dismissively 
> put it. It is, in fact, the essential 
> characteristic of a very good system called Capitalism.

I agreed, IMO capitalism has its flaws but as a socio-
economic system it provides a better quality of life and 
more opportunity than any other socio-economic system we 
humans have come up with.

>     * You note that Xiph.Org Foundation is a 
> non-profit organization presumably to elevate its 
> agenda to some worldly wonderful purpose ... as 
> if to say "our work is so profoundly important to 
> humanity, that we forego profit". Non-profit is a 
> tax term meant to gain subsidy from governments 
> in the form of tax exemption. And we taxpayers 
> pay for that subsidy.

I think you will find that Xiph has an absolutley tiny
income, which is mostly spent on servers and bandwidth.
Xiph does not as far as I know have a single full time
paid employee. As such, Xiph costs (in terms of not 
paying tax) the tax payer close to nothing. It does 
however provide what I and very many other consider
very useful software.

> It is simply socialistically funded.

Rubbish! It is funded by donations. Those donations are
spent on servers and bandwidth. There is no profit to
tax even if Xiph wasn't a non-profit organisation.

Let me remind you, that most western governments choose 
to give churches and other religious organisations non-profit,
tax-free status as well. Are those "socialistically funded"?

I believe that Bill Gates has show a couple of billion 
dollars into non-profit organisations. Are they 
"socialistically funded"?

>     * Now let's deal with who pays for Open 
> Source because it is certainly not free. I 
> believe Jean (and you) do eat everyday and you 
> and he pay for living quarters. In fact, you do 
> get paid for your work as does he. You either are 
> recipients of grants or welfare (same thing), or 
> you do your work on "company time" while the boss 
> is not watching, or the boss knowingly pays for 
> your work and passes that expense onto his 
> customers (after all, he must make profit to pay
> his living expenses).

I don't want to speak for Jean-Marc, but I do know him
well enough to know that he works for a government funded
research organisation here in Australia. Part of that
work includes working on Speex. As an Australian tax-payer
I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with
is governement funded research being patented and locked
up for the exclusive use of some company.

>     * And finally ... how and why did Open Source 
> come to be?

In the beginning of the computer age, all software was
open source freely shared among users.

> I'm sure you must lament everyday the 
> notion that Microsoft is the epitome of 
> Capitalist success.

Like Jean-Marc says, Microsft has been convicted of anti-
competitive conduct (but received no more than a slap on
the wrist). Microsoft used its huge reserves of cash to
drive competitors out of business. This most certainly is
not a Free Market. A Free Market is where consumers can
choose a product form a number of competing vendors.

> Concomitantly, it must therefore be destroyed!

No. Microsoft must play within the rules of the Free Market. 
There is also some validity in the claim that Micorosoft 
should be punished for its previous bad behaviour which got
it to its current position.

Erik de Castro Lopo
"The very definition of hell is having to maintain someone
else's Perl code." -- Anonymous

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