From:
"Seth! Leary" <email@sethleary.com>
Sent: 6/25/2007 8:15:20 PM
To:
gpsstash@yahoogroups.com
Cc:
Bcc:
Subject:

RE: [GPSstash] Re: Geooglecaching


All:

I find the comparisons that are getting tossed about quite interesting.

Running a web site like geocaching.com is not at all analogous to creating
software. Software (Firefox, IE, Linux, Windows) is a single product that
gets replicated thousands of times. Nobody comes back to the well until you
build a new version. A large website is an organic product that gets used
directly (not replicated) by thousands of users daily. That places a much
larger burden on the web site's host/owner if the site is getting used as
much as geocaching.com is used.

Thus, the open-source argument holds little water. If Groundspeak were to
give away the database, what would happen? The only thing possible; another
commercial entity would spring up. If I spend 1,000 hours writing a piece of
software and I choose to give it away, it doesn't matter whether I give away
one copy or a million; it still cost me 1,000 hours to make and I am out no
more and no less. But if I (or Groundspeak) create a web site, it makes a
huge difference whether one person hits it per month or a million. Look at
wikipedia. It does not have advertising but it would sink if it were not
funded by vast numbers of donation dollars. The money has to come from
somewhere.

The Bell break-up has already been mentioned. I think it's worth pointing
out that this is much more comparable than software. Those of us old enough
to remember the good old days of Ma Bell will recall that the break-up was a
debacle and is still a nightmare. No matter how you slice it, there can
really only be one REAL phone company in any given region and everyone else
has to rent that company's wires. It's all smoke and mirrors. But perhaps I
digress.

You can't convince me that Groundspeak could have made an 'admirable' choice
(by either keeping the site ad-free and membership-free or giving away the
database) and it would still be alive and well and as robust as it is now
unless you can show me a truly comparable example. Firefox is not the
example and I don't think that there is one out there.

I'm also curious about this remark from Scout: "[Jeremy] had lawyers to
threaten lawsuits against others with a different vision for the hobby."

Is this a reference to an actual event or just speculation? I don't recall
this happening.

Seth!


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