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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Very good article
by Metic on Wed 27th Oct 2004 01:41 UTC

Congrats for an excellent article! I would also recommend it as worthwhile reading for people like business and It managers & students too.

I would like to add to this discusion one thing that many readers of this site (with well-paid IT jobs) may not quite get: One of the main reasons for global software piracy is the simpole fact that commercial and proprietary software may just cost all to much to most people in this world.

We may even consider the rich western countries only, where people like students, the unemployed, or people just not having well paid jobs but lots of expenses instead, often just cannot afford to pay for something like an official copy of Microsoft Office. Luckily at least students may get cheaper student prices in some countries but not everywhere.

What can those thousands of people do to keep up with the personal computing and Internet revolution of the recent decade? Also, keep in mind that keeping up with the IT development is also more and more necessary especially in the rich western world in oder to maintain one's work competence, to pay the bills online (encouraged by the banks more and more too) etc. Often the only way to solve the problem is to get a pirated copy of MS Windows (and/or MS Office etc.) from a friend or a relative.

It is much cheaper to get old PC hardware than official versions of, for example, MS Windows and MS Office. In fact, it's perfectly legal and acceptable to get or donate a free PC with all possible hardware and peripherals. But - with all the legal mumbo jumbo of commercial software licenses - it's much more problematic even to know what might be acceptable copying, donating etc. of some commercial software, according to that legal mumbo jumbo, and what not.

Fortunately we have Open Office and other free alternatives now, but alternative operating systems (to Windows, and to some degree Mac OS) seem to be a bit too difficult choices still for the mainstream like home users - whether they've money to buy a legal copy of MS Windows or not.