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Tutorial Doctor

The Subscription Model needs to be adjusted.

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alh420    5995


Even if it were a monthly fee, the buyer should retain ownership of a product they buy.

 

Thats your "problem" right there. Software is not, and has never been "a product you buy"

It's an immaterial service that you buy a license to use.

You never own any of the software you have licensed, even if it was just a one time license fee.

 

You might get a nice box, some medium and a manual included in your license fee, but you still did not buy the software.

Just a license to use it.

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Nathan2222_old    395

Even if it were a monthly fee, the buyer should retain ownership of a product they buy.

 
Thats your "problem" right there. Software is not, and has never been "a product you buy"
It's an immaterial service that you buy a license to use.
You never own any of the software you have licensed, even if it was just a one time license fee.
 
You might get a nice box, some medium and a manual included in your license fee, but you still did not buy the software.
Just a license to use it.
That makes sense because if i bought it and the price was $2,500, it would be a blessing. Autodesk bought Maya from its original creators, right?

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Bacterius    13165

I do know software can be bought, because Trimble bought Sketchup as Google bought it from its original creators. But in the sense we are talking, yeah I understand.

 

There's a difference between buying a license to use the software (which is what you get when you buy software as a user, you may not like it but that's what you agreed tp when you rushed through the EULA screen and clicked "install") and, on the other hand, acquiring the copyright and intellectual property associated with a given piece of software. The two are on completely different levels.

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mdwh    1108

 

I do know software can be bought, because Trimble bought Sketchup as Google bought it from its original creators. But in the sense we are talking, yeah I understand.

 

There's a difference between buying a license to use the software (which is what you get when you buy software as a user, you may not like it but that's what you agreed tp when you rushed through the EULA screen and clicked "install") and, on the other hand, acquiring the copyright and intellectual property associated with a given piece of software. The two are on completely different levels.

 

Generally I've already bought the software, by the time it tries to thrust a EUL onto me. So I don't think in any sense I can be said to have agreed to something when I bought it. I might as well say "If you reply to this post, it means yesterday you agreed to send me some money". :)

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Ravyne    14300

Any kind of intangible good isn't really owned in the same sense that physical goods are owned -- rather than the thing itself, you own instead its means of conveyance (whether a physical disc, a file, or a stack of papers bound in leather or cheap cardboard), and in that means of conveyance is some kind of agreement or license (either implied or implicit) to use that content.

 

The terms of that agreement differs from content to content or owner to owner, and is sometimes overruled by regional laws. For example, in the US, courts typically hold that you have a right to use the content as-is, but not to modify it -- e.g. you can use or copy a digital file, but you can't change the bits without being in violation of the agreement (which isn't considered illegal in and of itself, but releases the other party to the agreement from having to continue giving you the things they promised). In the EU, courts there typically have held that you own your own copy of the content and can modify for your own use as you like.

 

The distinction between material and immaterial goods is necessary, but I would prefer we had a more EU-like understanding of this in the states combined with a consumer's right of sale (which we generally have in the US, but has come somewhat under attack lately).

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wfrye2005    452

Software is not, and has never been "a product you buy"

It's an immaterial service that you buy a license to use.

You never own any of the software you have licensed, even if it was just a one time license fee.

 

I'll never accept that as an ethical business practice. It's an awful concept that takes far too much power away from the individual. Worse, it keeps lawyers and MBA's employed. That thought alone should be enough to drive us all to open source alternatives.

 

Besides, I can't think of any software I'd use that's actually a service. Photoshop certainly isn't a service--they're not shopping my photos for me. It's a tool, one with which I may shop my own photos as I see fit. Let's see the hardware store try to get away with attaching EULAs and annual subscription fees to -every- hammer. That'd go over well, right? For a big, expensive, specialized tool you only need to use once? Sure, a brief rental's reasonable. But -every- tool? Tools you intend to use often, and for many years? No option to buy, and hence no ability to own property? We let that slide, we're on the road to serfdom. We don't want to go there.

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Mouser9169    401

 

Software is not, and has never been "a product you buy"

It's an immaterial service that you buy a license to use.

You never own any of the software you have licensed, even if it was just a one time license fee.

 

I'll never accept that as an ethical business practice. It's an awful concept that takes far too much power away from the individual. Worse, it keeps lawyers and MBA's employed. That thought alone should be enough to drive us all to open source alternatives.

 

When "open source" and "free software" proponents can come up with a way for programmers/developers to write software and still put food on the table (especially in the gaming segment) I'll start 'driving there'. Other than a relatively few people employed by corporations to work on open source projects like Apache and the Linux kernel, there's no way to make any money writing the stuff.

 

Oh, and as for lawyers and MBA's, 'open source' has got plenty of them: ever hear of the ESF?

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JohnnyCode    1046

 

A for-profit business of any kind has one job: make money. When those businesses have shareholders that translates to doing whatever makes the shareholders happy -- e.g. make them money. Its actually illegal for a company to not act in the best interest of their shareholders.

 

This is true to prevent corupted deeds of members of a company. While on the other hand, it is true that making something extremly cheap does not corrupt a company, but actualy , very often, gives a too extreme benefit to company. It is illegal for companies to perform this in order to compete with other companies. I believe it is called "dumping prices" (maybe -in english?).

 

Also, a creator, author, owner or producer of something, can decide themself how much they will earn, unless they have duties to shareholders, or has any shareholders that do not agree upon what company does. And what company does is decided by halfcrossing majority, and if the majority or executives screw up company by will, they have commited a serious crime.

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ChaosEngine    5185


I'll never accept that as an ethical business practice. It's an awful concept that takes far too much power away from the individual. Worse, it keeps lawyers and MBA's employed. That thought alone should be enough to drive us all to open source alternatives.

 

Whether you accept it or not is irrelevant. It is the reality of the situation. 

 

Feel free to give away your work. My time is valuable and I expect to be compensated for it.

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Tutorial Doctor    2573
Engine, i think it is less about you being compensated for your work, as we all want compensation for our work, but good business practice should be practiced.

I am not saying it is bad business practice (or maybe I am) but such a practice makes me wonder if it is justifyable (and when I wonder, I try to consider every angle.) I like a fair price myself, (all things considered).

Here is a case I consider. Are Apple products over priced? To me it seemed that after all of the people who worked on the iPod touch, which was no cost to me, were paid, Apple is only making an extra 30$ on the iPod touch which retailed at $329, but is now $300.

So, when the kindle fire came out it was about $200 and the larger iPad was $500. I believe the iPad two was on the market then.

The quality of the camera in the iPad2 was the quality of a point and shoot camera, which averaged about $90 minimum.

So now the value is down to $450. I don't care about the size of the screen, I care about the speed. How much would I pay for a faster computer? About $100 if it was significantly faster. So now the price is down to $350.

Most of the other value was from it's convenience. I have actually saved tripple the amount of money I spent on an iPad, using the iPad to do things faster for me (and I am sure it is much more than that).

Also, I think how much it costs to buy a desktop and laptop computer today, and depending what a persons needs are, a tablet might be more suitable, and a better buy.

I personally don't want something for nothing, but I would like a fair price. And if someone rented an iPad to me in this day and age, I would be highly upset at the arrogance of it.

I understand that usually it is people with no money that complain about high prices, but that doesn't mean that the high prices are fair prices all the time.

And by the way, I don't have a lot of money, but I bought an iPad because it would save me more money than I spent on it. And in some cases, it has helped me make more money. It's a tool.

I also see photoshp as a tool, because as was noted, Adobe isn't making stuff for you. But I understand that people are working to give updates, but what if I don't need an update? Why am I paying residual? If they gave me a progress report every year about what features they are working on, and promised a useful update, then perhaps I migh pay residual, but as a lot of people are doing, they will stick with the latest version of Photoshop that wasn't subscription and use that.

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ChaosEngine    5185


Engine, i think it is less about you being compensated for your work, as we all want compensation for our work, but good business practice should be practiced.

I am not saying it is bad business practice (or maybe I am) but such a practice makes me wonder if it is justifyable (and when I wonder, I try to consider every angle.) I like a fair price myself, (all things considered).

 

Of course "good business practice should be practiced". The debate is about what constitutes good practice, both ethically and financially.

TheSasquatch claimed that software as a licence vs ownership is unethical, which is nonsense. It's neither unethical nor bad business practice. As Ravyne pointed out, "any kind of intangible good isn't really owned in the same sense that physical goods are owned".

 

I absolutely agree that the user should have certain rights with regard to software protected by law, and there is an ongoing debate as to how far these rights should extend, but to make a blanket statement like TheSasquatch made is absurd.

 

As for the the price, it's irrelevant. That is set by what the market will bear. If Adobe want to charge $50k a seat or start charging per gb of ram the user has installed, that's up to them. If their product still has value, people will pay it. If not a competitor will undercut them. Unless we're talking about monopolistic practices, which I agree are unfair.

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Tutorial Doctor    2573

Unless we're talking about monopolistic practices, which I agree are unfair

 

I think that is the part people are afraid of. Main reason I keep one foot in open-source. Because, as far as I know, there isn't much around to compete with Adobe, and for such a large and used company to just go subscription like that, it would seem that they knew they would have sign-ups because of the foothold they have in that market. 

 

Truly, the only way I would be able to judge if it is unethical or not, or even unfair or not is if I had more education on business and the financial side of what it takes to be a company as large as Adobe. 

 

My post wasn't really about the moral side of it, I just assume that in most businesses, the higher up you get, the more unethical you become anyhow (as far as businesses for profit go). It is hard for a business all about making money to not be unethical. But one thing that gets me is when businesses play hardball. When they use strong-arm tactics which are more like indirect strong-arm tactics to control others. 

 

I believe a business can be unethical and fair at the same time. Perhaps unethical in other parts of the business, but fair in their pricing. 

 

The old "false balances and divers weights", which still happens today, is the issue. 

Edited by Tutorial Doctor

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Mouser9169    401


Engine, i think it is less about you being compensated for your work, as we all want compensation for our work, but good business practice should be practiced.

I am not saying it is bad business practice (or maybe I am) but such a practice makes me wonder if it is justifyable (and when I wonder, I try to consider every angle.) I like a fair price myself, (all things considered).

Here is a case I consider. Are Apple products over priced? To me it seemed that after all of the people who worked on the iPod touch, which was no cost to me, were paid, Apple is only making an extra 30$ on the iPod touch which retailed at $329, but is now $300.

 

Snipped the last part as it followed the same line:

 

You're making a case for 'open source', but then using hardware as an example of developers being compensated. Of course hardware makers are compensated - you can't just duplicate an iPad and give one to all your friends like you can with software. That's where open source breaks down as a business model for the most part (there are exceptions).

 

"Free" software is worse, as there's a total disconnect between the 'freedoms' that the FSF espouses and what users actually give a rat's behind about. "Freedom to inspect and modify the code." Sounds good on the surface. If there's a feature missing in Gimp, you could add one - except you can't. Gimp users are graphics artists, not computer scientists or software developers. If there's a feature missing, the software is "broken", so they move to Photoshop, since it "works". Providing 90% of a user's needs is worthless if some other product meets 100% of their needs.

 

Back to the question of compensation: if you put in some time improving Gimp - making your own fork and adding all the features Photoshop has. Your version is user-friendly, powerful, it could even do everything Photoshop does plus more new features that you thought up after talking with a bunch of Photoshop users and asking what they wished the software could do. How would you make sure you're compensated for all that time, while keeping your fork 'open source' (which you'd have to under the Gimp license)?

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Tutorial Doctor    2573
Great question. I am an artist who is learning to program so that I can make my own tools to make making art faster and more efficient. In this case I would be profiting from my art which the software helps me to perform. I'd be selling the art I made with the software, not the software itself. I stand to profit from the art.

This model can keep the software open sourced, while I still take profit off of my own individual art made with the software. My brother just told me of a gig where I could make 3d models for these two games and sell them for use in the game. People have been making thousands of dollars doing this. Profiting from their artwork, where the programming skill of another provided an easy and straightforward way to do such a thing.

I could give you a hammer or I could build you a house. I'd profit if you didn't know how to build a house, but the hammer I could give to you for free. It is a tool. But the work to do something with the tool is another thing.

There is a profit to be gained in giving information on how to do a task, but for some reason there is even more profit to be gained in doing something for someone. Some people just don't have the skills to do it, or the patience, or the money perhaps.

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Mouser9169    401

Great question. I am an artist who is learning to program so that I can make my own tools to make making art faster and more efficient. In this case I would be profiting from my art which the software helps me to perform. I'd be selling the art I made with the software, not the software itself. I stand to profit from the art.

This model can keep the software open sourced, while I still take profit off of my own individual art made with the software. My brother just told me of a gig where I could make 3d models for these two games and sell them for use in the game. People have been making thousands of dollars doing this. Profiting from their artwork, where the programming skill of another provided an easy and straightforward way to do such a thing.

I could give you a hammer or I could build you a house. I'd profit if you didn't know how to build a house, but the hammer I could give to you for free. It is a tool. But the work to do something with the tool is another thing.

There is a profit to be gained in giving information on how to do a task, but for some reason there is even more profit to be gained in doing something for someone. Some people just don't have the skills to do it, or the patience, or the money perhaps.

 

Stanley and Craftsman make their money making tools like hammers for people to build with.

 

Your model works, but it requires artists to suddenly get the desire and invest the time (which means time they're not making money as artists) to become software developers so they can make better art. This is also ignoring the fact that not all artists have the skills to become software developers to begin with (the right brain/left brain thing).

 

The artist that really profits though is again, the 2nd guy who gets the "tool" for free, while that tool - the software - cost the first guy, you in this case, a bundle to make: the price of all the artwork you didn't sell while you were learning to code and making shiny new tools. Opportunity costs are very easy to miss when figuring out what something costs you personally - but realizing that they are real and how much they are can make all the difference in the world between being profitable or never managing to make any money and never realizing why.

 

Of course, you don't have to distribute the tools, and honestly, I can't think of any reason why you would. You need every competitive advantage you can find if you plan on holding your own in a very fierce marketplace. In that case, you may end up coming out nicely ahead of where you would have been otherwise.

Edited by Mouser9169

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Tutorial Doctor    2573


You need every competitive advantage you can find if you plan on holding your own in a very fierce marketplace. In that case, you may end up coming out nicely ahead of where you would have been otherwise.

 

Hehe. I used that example, because it is very close to what I am actually doing. I am an art guy, who is learning program to make better art. I would have no problem releasing the tool I make for free. But I could indeed charge for it. I use other tools meanwhile. 

 
I do have a business model that could crush all competition, but it can be considered either ludicrous or brilliant given a slight change in the intent of the business. (yeah, I typed this before in another post.) 
 
I have told people about it, and they go from calling me insane to "wow, that is a brilliant idea" when I tell them the alternate motive for the business. It is a real revelation. 

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Mouser9169    401

 


Any kind of intangible good isn't really owned in the same sense that physical goods are owned

 

Yeah, that is why I don't get the concept of intellectual property. 

 

 

Read Atlas Shrugged, or watch the movies (has the 3rd one come out yet?)

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AoS    935

Don't read Atlas Shrugged. Its cool as a story but sadly its jam packed with Manifesto. Its like HPMOR but even more obnoxious.

 

 

The problem with open source is that its the product of already high class people pretending to live out their ideal to make themselves feel good. The vast majority of humans do not have the advantages necessary to make contributing to open source viable. And there are some terrible stories of open source programmers having their project forked and then becoming obsolete. I'm currently programming an open source game but it was a choice I made due to necessity. I didn't have the time or skills or motivation when I started to create an engine and an entire series of art assets from scratch.

 

Actually a good comparison to open source is sandbox MMOs. They seem incredible when you are young and have lots of free time and idealism about gaming. But as you get older they become a massive grind that you couldn't fit into your schedule, even if you wanted to.

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Hodgman    51224

Any kind of intangible good isn't really owned in the same sense that physical goods are owned

Yeah, that is why I don't get the concept of intellectual property.
It doesn't have to make sense. Paper money doesn't make sense either, but both "IP" and fiat currency are just necessary conventions that we all go along with in order to make capitalism work.

I hate IP laws, but, in the economy I was born into, if I want to make a living writing software, I've got to play that game.
If I was born into a commune where I was fed and sheltered regardless of how many people played my games, then for sure I would open source them. In reality though, I'll starve and be evicted if I don't monetize my software, through selling binary copies, running closed-source online servers, etc, etc.
Some companies like Red Hat make money by providing services surrounding open source software, but this business model doesn't translate well to games.

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Mouser9169    401


Don't read Atlas Shrugged. Its cool as a story but sadly its jam packed with Manifesto. Its like HPMOR but even more obnoxious.

 

The 'manifesto' is why I recommended it cool.png

 

Ayn Rand was a very vocal proponent of capitalism, and the book is very relevant to the question of FOSS software development.

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Hodgman    51224
Don't read Atlas Shrugged. Its cool as a story but sadly its jam packed with Manifesto. Its like HPMOR but even more obnoxious.

The 'manifesto' is why I recommended it cool.png

Ayn Rand was a very vocal proponent of capitalism, and the book is very relevant to the question of FOSS software development.

Not just any capitalism, Laissez-faire capitalism - the "greed is good", no social bond, no government, Corporatocracy type of capitalism.

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AoS    935

 


Don't read Atlas Shrugged. Its cool as a story but sadly its jam packed with Manifesto. Its like HPMOR but even more obnoxious.

 

The 'manifesto' is why I recommended it cool.png

 

Ayn Rand was a very vocal proponent of capitalism, and the book is very relevant to the question of FOSS software development.

 

Objectivism ranks in the top 5 most atrocious libertarian philosophies. Have you heard the famous lotr/atlas shrugged quote? So clever.

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Talroth    3247

 

Some companies like Red Hat make money by providing services surrounding open source software, but this business model doesn't translate well to games.

 

 

Crowd funding might be an interesting take on this issue however. Pre-sell your milestones, and generate a revenue stream from a fan base, then release the end product as open source. Depending on where you live such a plan may not only be viable, but highly effective.

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