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.
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Information wants to be free
by Tyr on Wed 27th Oct 2004 16:05 UTC

The 'abnormal' situation isn't the copying of information but rather the looking at it as a good. You cannot prevent th copying of information (wether it's music, a painting or source code) because of the very nature of the thing.

Every time I look at a picture or hear a piece of music it gets copied into my internal memory. People intuitively understand the nature of information which is why it doesn't 'feel' wrong to copy a song, the rationalization is treating it as a good which imposes sociatal values on something where for reasons of practicality it doesn't apply.

Note that this dichotomy is relatively new and only really came to the fore in the latter half of the last century. The classic view of information (that it is to be distributed freely) survives in institutions like libraries where you can freely access cds, books and yes even software.