From: Adam J. Richter (
Date: 11/30/92

From: (Adam J. Richter)
Subject: Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Alpha Linux/GNU/X  && Windows/NT SDK/DDK
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1992 18:51:13 GMT

In article <> (merlin) writes:
>I would agree the price was reasonable if the distributor either wrote the
>code or could show some kind of proof of ownership. In the absence of any
>lawfull claim of ownership then I suspect we ought to be thinking more in
>terms of compensating him for distribution costs -- and for no other costs.

        On the one hand, I don't agree with your reasoning. Neither
the production effort, nor the capital needed, nor the value to the
customer are necessarily proportional to "distribution costs."
By the way, there are plenty of other reasons for the $99
price, which have to do with reseller channels and someday buying
advertising. Consider, for example, that a full page magazine ad
typically runs from three to ten cents per reader.

        On the other hand, I accept your right to decide the
principles by which you will make your purchase decision. I'm
currently looking at a marginal cost of $35.70 to fill each
alpha/beta/1st-production subscription. Remember, I'm not just
selling one CD; I'm selling three CD's, six floppies, and three
manuals distributed across three shipments. If I were to distribute
the fixed production costs over 200 individual subscriptions, then the
average cost to fill a subscription would be $53.70, and the fixed
production costs are more than matched by the operating costs of the
company. Of course, I will find ways to lower the production costs,
such as by having the release notes printed rather than photocopied
and looking for better deals in a number of areas such as shrink
wrapping or reasonably fast shipping. Also, it's fair to say that my
marginal production costs would drop significantly if I were to
produce in higher quantities. Even so, at $99 + $5 S&H I have to sell
more subscriptions than you might think.

Adam J. Richter                         409 Evelyn Avenue, Apt. 312
Yggdrasil Computing, Incorporated       Albany, CA 94706
PO Box 8418, Berkeley CA 94707-8418
(510) 526-7531, fax: (510) 528-8508     (510) 528-3209
Another member of the League for Programming Freedom (