Linked by David Adams on Tue 26th Oct 2004 16:30 UTC
Editorial The software industry is undergoing a gradual transformation, and consumer fatigue is at its root. The licensing model that has formed the basis for the modern software industry is facing challenges on many fronts, and the industry is scrambling to keep its footing. Where this period of change may lead software producers and consumers isn't quite clear, but some trends are emerging. Since the proliferation of the internet, unauthorized redistribution of digital goods has become rampant. But although software sharing probably won't kill the software industry, the reasoning behind it shares some pedigree with the customer revolt that promises to transform the way software is sold.
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Good article,
by Yamin on Tue 26th Oct 2004 18:02 UTC

Overall, I great article. Very nice and in depth with historical context.

A few points though. THe author ponders why good, 'honest' people decide to pirate software when they wouldn't do it normally. He then implies its because they feel justified, feeling they are over priced. Sometimes people just like getting stuff for free ;) I really do think that's the reason. I know people know its wrong, but generally speaking if a crime is easy to commit, has a net benefit to the criminal, they are not interfacing with their targets, and there is little chance of being caught...people will do the crime. Whether is software piracy, stealing cable, getting free pop from a broken pop machine, paying the plumber by cash to avoid taxes...

Yes, some people take the case that we should just stop trying to prevent this cheating. Others like MS and others are looking towards measures that will make it a bit harder to pirate or make enforcement easier. These too will have an impact.

That said, software is one of the few things you can actually buy from the producer itself. This, I think is the crux of the article. Why can't I get download the latest Windows straight from MS without support. The same goes for music and what not.

That said, I really don't think we'll ever truly get rid of the middle man. We'll cut down on it, but the retailer is a neccessity. Sometimes people like to browse and don't really know what they want to buy.