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Old 27th May 2009 | Show parent
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Originally Posted by Agreed ➡️
You're completely misunderstanding me. First, I'm not advocating piracy or trying to say in any way that software engineers aren't putting in work for which they deserve compensation. That would be ludicrous and frankly I wonder if you read the post to which I was responding, then my post fully before replying, that you should have come to such an apparent non sequitur of a conclusion.

When you buy software, you don't own it, you are using it under license from the company. What you've bought is the license. Surely you're aware that there is a significant distinction between owning property, and licensing the use of something. You buy a Fender Strat, you own it. You buy a copy of Cubase, you don't - you have a license. Many products today have eschewed the physical trappings of a box copy altogether and offer totally digital downloads, a significant point only in that it rather drives home the distinction between physical property that can entirely change hands in normal transactions, and an intangible licensing agreement which entitles you to the usage of software under specific conditions.

The iLok is weird because it is a physical device to which your licenses become tied, and if something happens to it, there's a real question as to whether or not you still have your licenses. It alters our relationship to our licenses in a funny way because it makes them all of a sudden physical. This wouldn't be odd except then the companies start treating them weirdly like physical things, too, and you can be out far more than the $40 an iLok costs if yours is lost or stolen, because not every company is willing to replace the license under those circumstances. In my opinion this is a bad thing, because now you have all of the risks of physical property but you're still under the restrictive conditions of having purchased only a license to use something. You have the worst of both worlds, but this is just the industry standard. I think this is a good venue to consider whether that really is the best thing for everyone.

Nothing about that says anything at all about stealing. I don't know where you got that.
You have to understand that owning a license to use intellectual property has the same value as owning physical object. Bother are things that hold a value, only one is physical and one is not. Just like your work you do for your clients holds as much of a value as any physical objects you own. Your clients don't say "Eh, well he doesn't actually lose anything physically when he does work for me, my guitar is a real thing that I own, and I don't own the work he puts in to me".

So the difference is that they can't be protected in the same way, not that one has less value because it has less mass. The physical stuff has a copy protection built in. And the downside is that if you lose it you lose it. With intellectual property you have more options here and more protections. And it's not intangible, it just lacks mass. Not protecting it and piracy do just as much damage as stealing a physical object. If your clients don't pay you, it's damaging even though you don't lose any physical property.

I think part of the education program that needs to be instilled is teaching people that intellectual property has just as much value and rights as physical property. There's this notion that it has less value because it's not physical and because someone doesn't own the actual source code (which would be absurd).

With the ilok you can have those licenses backed up so if you lose that physical device which contains them, you can restore them. You can't do that with any physical property. Also, like physical property, you can insure them. You can have homeowners insurance. If you lose your physical property you can't expect anyone to just give you a new one. But intellectual property here has more options. It seems many people want the benefits of physical property and none of the responsibilities.

There's down sides to every option. This seems to be by far the best one. I am sure the developers are more than open to suggestions of better ways to do it though. So far no one has been able to offer better solutions. Getting rid of protection is not a solution and as a customer, I would feel threatened by a company that got rid of their copy protection. I too would love more convenience as anyone would for anything. Do you have any suggestions? I'm sure in time we'll come up with better ways, but I can't think of any right now.

I do know I can get insurance and a no down time option which ensures that no matter what happens I am covered. I can't say the same for any physical property I won.