When product capabilities come without any marginal costs, markets provide perverse incentives to companies to deliberately break some of their finished products to offer a price-differentiated spectrum of products to their customers.
Why perverse? Without incentives to increase profit, the product wouldn’t be available in the first place.
And frankly, I appreciate price discrimination.
First, Cory didn’t want me to fly (discount tickets with lousy seating are evil), and now he doesn’t want me to be able to buy the cheap versions of certain goods (discount versions of zero MP goods are evil). Hell, I needed that Intel processor with the FP unit disabled, and no way in hell could I have afforded the full version.
Look, I get I don’t have enough money (by North American standards) for the good quality stuff. (The ‘cheapest’ Tesla is way out of my league.) But these posts castigating companies for serving my market segment are getting me down.
What’s next? It’s immoral for drug companies or textbook suppliers to sell low cost versions to third world countries?
Like everything else, I get how DMCA and others can and are abused. But Cory keeps picking on practices that make it possible to price discriminate in order to serve markets like mine (and those much poorer than myself) that would be shut out altogether.
From a human welfare perspective, I sometimes feel like he’s fighting for philosophical correctness that benefits a small number of rich Westerners over the messy and sometimes abused compromises that have brought some form of gains to almost the entire world.