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Old 03-07-2008, 11:57 AM   #31
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Let's say I get an eBook from a publisher for free. I read this eBook and enjoy it and it turns out to be the first book in a series of say three books. That would get me to go and purchase the other 2 since I did enjoy the first book. Now if the first book had not been given to me for free, most likely I'd never have purchased the others. So while book one is a loss for the publisher and the author, overall it is a winner as I purchased two books I would not have otherwise and I might tell others about it and that may generate more sales. So overall the giving away of free books can be a good thing to the publisher.

There are people who subscribe to the webscription just because BAEN is such a nice company.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:09 PM   #32
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Excuse me, are you saying that people who don't pay for things they get for "free" are motivated by greed?
I think he meant that tongue-in-cheek, balok.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:25 PM   #33
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Excuse me, are you saying that people who don't pay for things they get for "free" are motivated by greed?
You said "Consumers won't buy things they can get for free, or pay higher prices voluntarily." Quite plainly some people will. Those who get something for nothing and don't give anything back even though they could, when doing so would benefit the writers whose work they are enjoying, are being greedy by my definition. It's the assumption of a lot of companies that people will always take and never give back that leads to things like DRM.

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Good point. I agree there exists a non market economy, which is good. However, I disapprove of basing this alternate economy on guilt trips or attaching to the use of "free" products the condition that the user pay a fee. In that case, the product is no longer free. Open source software developers, for example, don't expect people to give them money if they like the product, although they do accept donations. That's why it's open source and not shareware. You may offer money graciously to authors or developers whom you appreciate, but you're doing that out of kindness, not out of obligation. If it were an obligation, even just a moral one, you could expect it to be expressed in the licence agreement.
Actually, open source developers are entitled to charge as much as they like for open source software -- the only legal obligation is that if they've based their software on someone else's code, they must release their own code for others to use.

But that aside, you seem to be implying that if someone gives you something for free, you would never dream of giving them anything in return unless it was written into a licence agreement? That the only morals that are worth following are the ones that are written down? Earlier you said "Just because you may have been _____ enough to buy the paper book for sentimental reasons, you don't have to feel jealous that others aren't losing money the same way." We don't know what that blank signifies (stupid? kind?) but it implies that you think less of people who would give money to an author out of a sense of moral obligation rather than contractual necessity.
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Old 03-07-2008, 02:05 PM   #34
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Those who get something for nothing and don't give anything back even though they could, when doing so would benefit the writers whose work they are enjoying, are being greedy by my definition. It's the assumption of a lot of companies that people will always take and never give back that leads to things like DRM.
Or the writer is greedy that want money for his pleasure activities like producing art. He can take a boring job like anybody else. And if he want me to read his art he can pay for my time.

I think your definition of greedy is not so useful and not at all consistent with people intuition about the concept.

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Actually, open source developers are entitled to charge as much as they like for open source software -- the only legal obligation is that if they've based their software on someone else's code, they must release their own code for others to use.
And it they produce open source they have to distribute the source and then anybody can distribute it so it is a bit hard to sell the source.

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But that aside, you seem to be implying that if someone gives you something for free, you would never dream of giving them anything in return unless it was written into a licence agreement? That the only morals that are worth following are the ones that are written down? Earlier you said "Just because you may have been _____ enough to buy the paper book for sentimental reasons, you don't have to feel jealous that others aren't losing money the same way." We don't know what that blank signifies (stupid? kind?) but it implies that you think less of people who would give money to an author out of a sense of moral obligation rather than contractual necessity.
I must say that if things are given with the expectation of something in return than they are not given for free. Actually I would feel bad paying for something that was free. It is like I do not trust the person that says it is free and I think he is lying or something. So I would never pay for something that was free. But i might donate money to the writer to be used for future work but that is something totally different.
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:07 PM   #35
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Or the writer is greedy that want money for his pleasure activities like producing art. He can take a boring job like anybody else. And if he want me to read his art he can pay for my time.
Actually, writing can be pretty boring too; 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration, as they say.

But that's not really a good argument because people read for pleasure, not payment (unless they're book reviewers, of course). In the traditional bookselling model you pay for a book then read it, and might find it wasn't worth it. If you get the book for free, you can decide whether it was worth paying for after you've read it. If you read it all the way to the end, it probably was.

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I think your definition of greedy is not so useful and not at all consistent with people intuition about the concept.
I think different people have different intuitions.

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And it they produce open source they have to distribute the source and then anybody can distribute it so it is a bit hard to sell the source.
Doesn't seem to stop Red Hat, Suse, Mandriva, etc., making a lot of money on it.

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I must say that if things are given with the expectation of something in return than they are not given for free. Actually I would feel bad paying for something that was free. It is like I do not trust the person that says it is free and I think he is lying or something. So I would never pay for something that was free. But i might donate money to the writer to be used for future work but that is something totally different.
We obviously interact with people in very different ways, or move in different social circles or something. But hey, if everyone thought the same, the world would be a very dull place. If you give money to writers for books they haven't written yet, and I give money to writers for books I've read but haven't paid for yet, the end result should be more or less the same!
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:14 PM   #36
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Red Hat does not make money from people paying for something they have got for free.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:12 PM   #37
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Does anyone have books they would recommend from the Baen Free library? I'm always looking for a new series to get into, but I'm a nervous buyer and would love to try a first book from the BFL.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:18 PM   #38
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Does anyone have books they would recommend from the Baen Free library? I'm always looking for a new series to get into, but I'm a nervous buyer and would love to try a first book from the BFL.
All the James H. Schmitz books. A personal favorite is the first Telzey book The Universe Against Her. A lot of people seems to like The Witches of Karres best but i prefer the Telzey and Trigger stories.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:37 PM   #39
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Does anyone have books they would recommend from the Baen Free library? I'm always looking for a new series to get into, but I'm a nervous buyer and would love to try a first book from the BFL.
Name some authors you like, so we can suggest someone similar.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:47 PM   #40
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Name some authors you like, so we can suggest someone similar.
I like a pretty diverse field of stuff that includes pretty much every fiction genre, but I find that I usually have favorite individual books rather than favorite authors. As far as fantasy series' go my favorite authors are probably George RR Martin and Steven Erikson.

In general the books I enjoy the most have strong character development, and often clever or unexpected plots (if that helps).

Thanks for the suggestion btw tompe I've dled the first book and will give it a try. On a side note, don't you just hate most fantasy book covers? They're often one of the biggest deterrents when I'm looking at new books to try :P
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:47 PM   #41
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Does anyone have books they would recommend from the Baen Free library? I'm always looking for a new series to get into, but I'm a nervous buyer and would love to try a first book from the BFL.
Binzer, if you appreciate alternate histories, try the Belisaurius series (first book is called "An oblique approach"). You can get a couple in the Free Library and a few more on one of the CDs in the Fifth Imperium. But the latest book in the series is not free. Another popular alternate history is the Ring of Fire series (first book: "1632").
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:51 PM   #42
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Where did you find The Universe Against Her? Don't see it on either the free or for-pay site, and a search doesn't come up with it, either.

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Old 03-07-2008, 08:55 PM   #43
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David Weber is one of my favorite authors. I'd heartily recommend him if you like milscifi at all.

And I strongly second balok's Belisarius recommendation.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:58 PM   #44
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Where did you find The Universe Against Her? Don't see it on either the free or for-pay site, and a search doesn't come up with it, either.
I see know that the two stories in The Universe Against Her is the first two stories in Baen's Telzey Amberdon ("Novice" and "Undercurrents").
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:14 PM   #45
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Thanks for the info; I'll try it. Really enjoyed The Witches of Karres, though it's been a long time since I've read it.
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