Monday, December 12, 2011

How we pay for software

Friends complain about Facebook and the way it treats their personal data. They feel violated, robbed and cheated.
Fair enough! They also use their Facebook pages to let the world know just how appalled they are with this practice.
Good! Free speech, democracy in action! The consumers fight back....
Hmmmm.... Is this so clear cut, really?
Facebook is a medium, a platform that one voluntarily joins (still) even if it is a bit harder to leave.
It offers hundreds of services to millions of people at no direct cost to users.

Does ‘a free lunch’ exist after all?
Not really. The time has come that we face up to the fact that everything we get, we pay for one way or other. Or we should.
And when we think we are not, we still are.

For years the story around the AEC had been that Autodesk ‘willingly’ tolerated piracy of its software, furthermore thanks to this practice AutoCAD became the ‘standard’ toolset of the industry.
Even if Autodesk had done OK despite (or because of) millions of crack AutoCAD packages in action, the industry suffered long term from this, I’m certain.

I’ve been a stickler about having properly licensed and up-to-date software in my office most of my career, to an extent that was often a huge burden for my little enterprise to stay afloat.

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