crypto and public policy

“Monopolies are Good!” says SCO

Filed under: Free Software May 5, 2004 @ 4:36 pm

By now, it’s pretty clear to anyone with a clue (including the National Retail Federation) that SCO is up to no good with their bogus lawsuits claiming Linux violates their intellectual property.

What’s becoming clearer now is the bogus nature of their own understanding of what’s good for the customer. In their 5 reasons to choose Unix over Linux, reason #2 is:

SCO Unix® is backed by a single, experienced vendor

The emphasis on “single” is mine, not SCO’s, but it should be shocking to anyone with a basic understanding of what’s good for the customer.

Is it a good thing if there’s only one long distance phone company? Is it a good thing if there’s only one mechanic to call when your car breaks down? Is it a good thing if there’s only one movie theater in town and you’re subjected to the owner’s wacky movie taste?

Obviously not.

Choice is a good thing. And not just choice of products: products that need maintenance and upgrade (like software and cars) are incredibly inconvenient if said maintenance can only be performed by a single vendor. I wrote an article about this almost 4 years ago, and I guess I’m not surprised that some people are still stuck in the past: when it comes to software, people seem to forget that competition brings better, cheaper service.

Once again, here is proof that free software = free markets. A paradox? Not if you can think outside the software box and price tag.

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