Ethics and law in New Media – Week 10

  • What could the software licensing landscape look like in 2015? Write a short (blogged) predictive analysis.
  • Write a short analysis about applicability of copying restrictions – whether you consider them useful, in which cases exceptions should be made etc.

The main perspective seems to go along the line of commercial proprietary software. The steps taken in that field to fight and overcome the impetuous piracy and misuse of proprietary software are different and often cripple the software itself. I see this as the only real way to fight the use of pirated software. Although the WGA recieved a lot of opposition, it was indeed a valid and easy way to check the validity of licenses (also easily avoided if wanted). But since we do believe in, and want to uphold the privacy of our computer devices and software, that we use, the way of controlling the legality of different software is quite hard and limited. Still, as the proprietary software is made, keeping in ming the ease and beauty of use, it will remain the main way in the software industry. I am not arguing or putting one above the other, but freeware and software do not have the ease of use to them, to be able to appeal to masses just yet(unfortunately). In the recent times it has become easier to obtain and share software without actually having to go through the licensing affair and that also for the „noobs“ (torrent, P2P, Rapidshare etc.). It is as easy as copy-pasting and in some occasions the actual user of the software might not be aware of the licensing fees while using the software. It is unlikely but it can happen, I’m sure.

To sum up, I see the future with many different crippleware programs, and as some examples show, online confirmation requirements often make it too much of a hassle for end users to use pirated software. Although the free for all approach is a good thought also, I do not see it breaking through, when we have good working software available at quite a reasonable price(depends on the pouch size of course).

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