About the calculus for the project
Posted Feb 3, 2012 11:50 UTC (Fri) by dwmw2
In reply to: About the calculus for the project
Parent article: A tempest in a toybox
"Imagine if you were mayor of a town of 300,000 people, and you had to pay a million dollar fine if someone was caught stealing. You have implemented a set of policies to prevent stealing, and to encourage people not to steal. Could you guarantee that no one ever stole? As mayor, would you pay $1,000 for an insurance policy against the fine? That's similar to the cost/benefit calculus for this project, for large enterprises. It's not that executives are unwilling to enforce compliance, or are actively undermining the license of the code their company ships. They just want to reduce risk."
This makes perfect sense to me (ignoring the scale of the numbers). But the analogy is slightly incomplete. In fact there is only one
shopkeeper who is making complaints about the theft, and who is causing you to pay those fines. And your insurance policy only covers that one
There are plenty of other shopkeepers who have been stolen from. And so far, the stuff that's been stolen from them has been returned after that one guy has gone to the police and the thieves have been caught.
So yes, you can silence that one guy, but you are taking a gamble that none of the others will start to stand up for themselves, now that he's gone.
There are all kinds of other discussions going on in this thread, about how the mayor is evil for "encouraging" stealing, which I don't believe. And how the one shopkeeper is evil for demanding that the thieves return all the stuff they stole, rather than only the stuff they stole from him.
All of those other discussions miss the point, as far as I'm concerned. The point is that this "insurance", which shuts up the one guy who's been calling the police and getting stuff returned for all his friends, is not going to work.
Someone else is just going to call the police instead. It's a PITA for them and it distracts them from the shopkeeping that they prefer to do — but if their friend can't do it any more, they'll just have to do it themselves.
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