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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@Smartpatrol
by Michael Wassil on Tue 26th Oct 2004 22:09 UTC

Nice story but you're missing the point. If it was really just about "survival of the selfish" human beings would have gone extinct thousands of years ago. Patent and copyright theory and law is an order of magnitude or more removed from one hunter discovering a better stalking technique and keeping it to himself.

Society, in the form of laws, grants a limited monopoly to the inventor/artist to exploit his/her "work" for personal profit. Society does this to encourage the individual to develop ideas into new and useful "works" that will be of benefit to society as well as profitable to the individual. It is to the greater benefit of society that such monopoly be limited because someone else may come up with a better way to do it, that is cheaper, more efficient, more environmentally friendly, etc. Thus society takes away the monopoly as it deems most useful to its larger goals.

The real issue I am trying to make is that by granting monopoly rights to an idea (rather than specific "works"), society shoots itself in the foot because it thereby prevents other innovative individuals from developing alternative "works" that might be better than the original patented/copyright work.