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Buggy Forever


Buggy Forever

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Buggy Forever

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Chris Harshman
Chris Harshman
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Unlike physical goods where the customer can manufacture their own replacement parts when the product is no longer supported, software is bound with a license that doesn't allow the customer to produce their own patches. I would like to see end of lifed software available to customers as part of an escrow process that allows them to build their own patches if they are needed.


This sounds alot like the philosophy behind open source software, to allow the customer to customize or change a product to meet their needs or fix some problem. With commercial software though, there's too much value given to the intellectual property of the code. The model expects that all things have a finite lifespan, a planned obsolescence, so that the company can sell more product. Companies sometimes donate their end-of-life products to open source community or similar efforts but this still seems to the the exception more than the rule.
GSquared
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I was going to comment about open source software being user-patchable, but I was beaten to the punch on that.

There are other drawbacks to OSS, but that is one of the advantages. The product is never "end of life" till you no longer need it.

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Steve Jones
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I don't really want to OSS this stuff, and I'm not sure OSS works everywhere. I like FOSS/OSS software, but I think commercial software has a place as well.

What I don't like is commercial vendors abandoning software because of money, and leaving customers with only a partial product. Even de-compiling it wouldn't be legal, which I do think is wrong. If someone has purchased it, they should own it.

We need to come to some legal agreement on this whole buy/rent/own/lease of digital assets at some point.

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john barnett
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Steve - you don't buy the software. What you buy is a license to use the software in accordance with the terms and conditions in the accompanying license agreement.
The software is not yours to own.
GSquared
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john barnett (4/24/2012)
Steve - you don't buy the software. What you buy is a license to use the software in accordance with the terms and conditions in the accompanying license agreement.
The software is not yours to own.


Unless it's OSS. Then you do buy it, and can do whatever you want to with it (except claim it as your own, of course).

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Steve Jones
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john barnett (4/24/2012)
Steve - you don't buy the software. What you buy is a license to use the software in accordance with the terms and conditions in the accompanying license agreement.
The software is not yours to own.


I think that's a problem. The software industry has some up with this "license" concept, and I'm not sure our laws are adequate to deal with it. I'm not sure I agree that software can only be licensed, first sale laws don't apply, products can be abandoned, etc. I don't know quite how I'd change things, but I do think there are loopholes in the law and poorly developed implicit contracts in use by many vendors that need some clarification so that both sides understand their rights.

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john barnett
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The best non computing analogy I can think of is a book - you own the copy of it - whether paperback, hardback or ebook form, but you don't own the right to sell modify the content and give away copies or resell duplicates of it for personal gain.
However even then there are parts that fall down - some software licenses try tp prevent transfer (and I include DRM enabled ebooks in that since in the UK ebooks are classified as computer software) whereas there is nothing preventing donation or sale of a paperback copy. Many charity shops would have nothing to sell if there is no way of legally transferring ownership of printed books or other items such as board games/clothing/jigsaw puzzles.
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