Re: ECON: Intellectual Property Again

Max M (
Sun, 31 May 1998 00:16:02 +0200

Grant Sparks wrote:

> 2) To quote Gary Larson, "On the internet, no one knows you're a dog." The
> only way I can think of where you could possibly ensure that you can catch
> the customer who broke your contract and began distributing pirate copies is
> if you took physical biometric data from each one of them and encoded it
> into the software at the time of purchase. Needless to say this rules out
> any selling of your software on the internet, and is not very useful if you
> are looking for something to keep the cost of IP enforcement down. Also not
> something I'd like to see a libertarian arguing in favour of :-)

Well that's only if we keep viewing programs as finished blocks of code
like it is now. If instead we view it as evolving systems, which
upgrades/updates in realtime. Then there's suddenly a very god
possibility of copy protection of software. What if you made some
software that people really wants which upgrades via the net by the use
of a serial number. Then there would be good reasons to "subscribe" to
the software. It would be easy to close down a number that updated too
many times and from too many places.

Also it would be both possible and wise to rent out this kind of
software more inexpensively than software currently is. As any good
bussinesman can tell you. The easiest customer to get is a return
customer. This would furthermore discourage from pirating due to the low

I think there is far to much emphasis on open source, and the free
software on the net. Of course theres Linux, but it's still a fringe
product, And the few good examples of open source doesn't make for a
complete change in the way of the world. Netscape btw. still has to
prove that their open way of doing things is better than Microsofts.
Naturally distribution systems and pricing will change, but most of our
software will still cost money. We will might not buy it in big dead
lumps like today but more like a flexible subscription.

Freeware, and open source will coexist together with traditional
of-the-shelf products, and any other way we can concieve selling and
distributing software.

New Media Director & Multimedia Artist

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