Once, to get my dander up, The Artist Formerly Known As The Guy With Blue Hair provided me this bit of commentary, which he found in some XML source to an introduction to Python (which apparently is not “(A*A) + (B*B) = (C*C)”):
As I write this, the year is 2000, and the Internet is a battleground of intellectual property disputes. Some people would like you to believe that, without proper financial incentives, music, literature, and computer software would disappear. After all, who would make music if they can’t make money on it? Who would write? Who would program?
I know the answer. The answer is that musicians will make music, not because they can make money, but because musicians are the people who can’t not make music. Writers will write because they can’t not write. I’ve been programming for 16 years, writing free software for 8. I can’t imagine not doing this. If you can imagine yourself not doing what you’re doing, do something else. Do whatever it is that you can’t not do.
To which I responded, vigorously:
Truly written from the perspective of an enlightened software developer whose day job is probably some $80,000 a year or more IT position.
I’m sure the garage band lyricist and songwriter checking this guy out at the 7-11 would differ, or the writer who has to teach three sections of undergrad English while he writes nearly-free (paid in contributor’s copies) for unread literary magazines.
I assume by “appreciate” you DID mean “get your dander up.”
Sure, writers and artists will always create; however, it would be nice to get some sort of market value for it, and not get screwed over by cosmopolitan open-source pinheads.
Hey, buddy, it’s 2003, and the deflated IT industry’s droopled all over the floor. How’s that free software working out for you now?