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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by Archangel on Tue 26th Oct 2004 21:14 UTC

Jason: I agree with the original poster. In the example he gave the vendor hasn't really been deprived of anything - they were never going to sell their product to that individual regardless of whether they pirate it or not. It's sort of a victimless crime - still a crime, but no-one's made less by it. Whereas if you steal a Porsche the dealer now has to get another, which ultimately has to be manufactured and paid for.
What this comes down to is that software is free to copy, whereas you can't copy and paste a Porsche.
And yes, the Model T was the first example of mass production.

Smartpatrol: Calm down. He's absolutely right in that point - that an Oracle license costing $5000 is overkill for many cases, where mySQL is quite adequate. There are a lot of cases where Oracle will be required over mySQL still.
He didn't say "open source is good and closed source is bad", he just said that many free (as in beer) products are good enough to replace commercial alternatives in a lot of instances.

KadyMae: I agree - when you start looking at full retail prices of Windows/Office/etc it's just ridiculous. Windows XP Pro is about NZ$700, Office is over $1000. This gives you one computer of each - meanwhile students get to pay $200 and get a copy of Office which can be installed on 3 machines.
Imagine if you went to Ford, and they said "Well this Focus is $35,000, but if you can show us your student ID we'll let you have it for $10,000". It's just nonsensical.
I'm not suggesting that students shouldn't get discounts - I think it's great we do - but it does go a long way towards explaining why people aren't too happy about paying the top price for software.