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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About piracy et al.
by Maynard on Tue 26th Oct 2004 19:34 UTC

I think the reason people copy software/music so much is because there is this feeling that they are not really depriving anyone of anything when they do. If you run up the 'value' of the software/music some people have on their computers, it would be shockingly high. If some people can have as much as 100GB of music, that translates to some 25000 odd songs, and really no one is going to spend that much to get all the music in the world whose value decreases with the amount you actualyl have. Really, 25000 mp3s times 4 minutes an mp3 translates to about 100000 minutes of listening, which at 8 hours listening a day would mean you play each one once in 208 days. Yet at the going rate, that collection of music represents an required investment of just under $25000. There is something seriously wrong with the pricing model here.

If for example, they could give you unlimited downloads for a year in exchange for a monthly fee, say $100, you would see more people actually buying music because lets face it, Ther is only so much you can find of other people's collections, and the quality varies from the very good to the very suspect. If you got 10 million customers you would then have $1 billion in revenue, and the only costs would be bandwidth and equipment as a music seller.

The same could be said for software. If someone could provide a subscription for say $200 p.a. for access to a software bank, and you could download any software from there, you would kill a lot of piracy, at least in the USA for example. The problem is that some people will have $5000 worth of software on their PCs, and there is no way they are going to spend that much. This is where Linux and other solution could fill the void.

But there are some people who prefer to make their abnormal profits, and according to economic theory, these are not sustainable in the long run. Not that they are not trying, they are legislating to create a new class of felonies and classify a whole group of people criminals. Time will tell who will win.