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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8016/firefox-3/

Firefox 3

April 11, 2008 by

A very impressive beta release, which runs stable with all plugins on my machine.


Curt Howland April 11, 2008 at 4:10 pm

It’s amazing to me how many people still think the Free Software idea is short-lived, or communist, or such silly things.

Some time one of the Mises.org folks aught to do an article on how Microsoft has destroyed the ISO standards body, the US patent system, all desperately trying to defend their single-user computer software hegemony. The recent OOXML insanity deserves an article or two by itself.

I’m very glad that FireFox rose from the ashes of Netscape, who were crushed by Microsoft’s marketing department.

Jayel Aheram April 11, 2008 at 9:28 pm

Open-source is the most compatible with the free-market. Proprietary softwares require government intervention to be proprietary.

It is just a shame that most of the copyfight movement are leftists.

Sasha Radeta April 12, 2008 at 7:59 am

“It is just a shame that most of the copyfight movement are leftists.”

What a surprise… Leftists are advocating violations of free market agreements on terms of use, just like they advocate violations of all free market contracts.

Firefox has every right to provide its product at zero nominal price and to use it as a marketing tool in order to make money… just as my late friend, who suffered from quadripelegia, had every right copyright his book and to support his family without any government’s charity.

Open-source and copyright would both exist in a perfectly free market and they are not mutually exclusive. Some artists have an incentive to distribute free copies of their work, in order to obtain recognition and to make money from their concerts, lectures, etc. Some people do not have those capabilities and they must rely on sale of limited use of their property, such as books and CDs… As an anarcho-capitalist, I see no problem with either marketing strategy, and neither did Rothbard, Mises, or other great minds who were anything but statists.

Panarchy April 13, 2008 at 7:25 am

I am currently beta-testing FF3 (been since the pre-alphas) and I think that there program has been very non-capitalist (correct me if I’m wrong).

Do you agree?

As the FF programmer didn’t make the browser for profit, they made it for… um… fun?

As did the original linux kernel coder.

Anyways, feedback would be appreciated.


jc April 13, 2008 at 12:09 pm

Panarchy -

Anarchocapitalism or free-market capitalism/anarchism isn’t so much about making a profit as it is about non-agression.

We’re talking more about a free-market society than an actual business model where you seek to make money. Try to think both economic AND social sides to the political compass.

Opensource is very compatible with the free-market in that it is: self-regulated, doesn’t force itself on anyone else, is completely voluntary in every way (those who choose to work on it, those who choose to use it) and involves no coercion from the government in most cases (software patents, government forcing people to use certain software, government protecting huge corporations through regulation that keeps other businesses down).

jc April 13, 2008 at 12:19 pm

It should also be noted that while the Mozilla Foundation *is* a non-profit, non-profits are *not* about not making money. Plenty of people inside non-profits make good money and it is a common misconception that there is no money involved whatsoever.

Mozilla Foundation revenue for 2006: $66.8 million.

Curt Howland April 13, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Panarchy, Free and Open Source software is in no way anti-capitalist. Every programmer who has put their work into FireFox, Linux, OpenOffice, Postgres or any other project retains full ownership of their work. Capitalism.

What has happened is to recognize two aspects of computer software that the “industry” hasn’t fully caught up with: Non-scarcity and commodity.

The simple fact is that software is non-scarce. Produced once, copied unlimited times without any degradation. It works for you, for me, and works just as well if used by one than by one billion.

A physical object does not have this property.

Software, early on, was a commodity. It was the _hardware_ that was expensive. Microsoft turned that around, and built a titanic business by licensing the _use_ of their software, rather than selling the software itself.

In 2001, IBM (who will call them anti-capitalist?) made a huge investment in Linux and other F/OSS. IBM has always known that to make the most money, sell what people really need: Support. Their $billion investment was made back in new business in less than a year, without selling software at all.

One doesn’t make money selling air. One makes money selling liquified air, filters, particular gasses. F/OSS turns basic software into a commodity just like air: Everyone can have it.

If Microsoft were smart, they would, like IBM, realize that their old way of doing business has been commoditized. They would focus on service, on custom work, on making an inexpensive product that does what people need (such as a Windows compatibility shell, that really works, on Linux, Mac, BSD and etc.) and would give up trying to make big bucks selling MS-Windows and MS-Office which have been made obsolete.

Oh well. If their actions with the International Standards Organization are any indication, MS is going to go down on their Titanic rather than change. So Be It.

Panarchy April 18, 2008 at 2:05 am

Woh… thanks for the replies guys, never knew that!

That just added a whole new aspect to my way of thinking!

Thanks guys,


North April 30, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Panarchy (I may be joining this conversation too late but will comment anyway).

Aside from the business model, there is on issue that arises if you were talk about “free market” in a way that means no IP rights (or at least no copyright or patents).

The Mozilla Public License restricts what you can do with the code:
“3.2. Availability of Source Code.
Any Modification which You create or to which You contribute must be made available in Source Code form under the terms of this License either on the same media as an Executable version or via an accepted Electronic Distribution Mechanism to anyone to whom you made an Executable version available; and if made available via Electronic Distribution Mechanism, must remain available for at least twelve (12) months after the date it initially became available, or at least six (6) months after a subsequent version of that particular Modification has been made available to such recipients. You are responsible for ensuring that the Source Code version remains available even if the Electronic Distribution Mechanism is maintained by a third party.”
Excerpt from: http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/MPL-1.1-annotated.html

The “freest” License that I know of is the shortened BSD license http://www.opensource.org/licenses/bsd-license.php

The only thing that stops this BSD license from being completely “free” (as in freedom) is that you have to cite the original copyright from the original work in your fine print (not a tough pill to swallow by any stretch, but nonetheless falls just shy of absolutely free to use)

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