Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
How about demand scarcity verses supply scarcity? The classic argument is that proprietary software uses artificial scarcity to maintain high prices. To fund the development of software with limited demand projected prices must be set high enough to justify the cost of building it.
True the bits don't cost anything and copying is unlimited but resources to develop don't become unlimited as well.
That's correct. Therefore a funding model for software without introducing artificial scarcity relies, as I see it, on directly funding those development resources. E.g., I've been working on the Free Pascal Compiler (FPC) as a hobby project since 1997, but the last couple of years I've been approached by several companies to implement certain features and extensions to it, and I've done so from time to time on a self-employed basis. Another funding model that's been making inroads lately is crowdfunding.
Note that I'm not saying that these models are easier than one whereby you introduce artificial scarcity, especially if you have a general end-user or business application as opposed to a fairly niche developer tool like FPC. More scarcity at a similar level of demand = more income, that's an economic given. However, as a result I don't think there is anything wrong with the statement that selling proprietary software licenses is an economic model based on introducing artificial scarcity (maybe as a proxy for a real scarcity, but possibly in a way that values this first scarcity higher than its "intrinsic worth" -- similarly to how monopolies result in higher prices).
Every time I read an RMS opinion, it seems to start at a good position and consistently attempts to be more and more idealistic to the point that he seems to be arguing a strawman.
RMS definitely is radical, but I've never known him to use strawman arguments.
I know he defines Malware differently from the common way (he considers DRM as malware, for example),
I guess he's also talking about backdoors for law enforcement (aka "legal interception") and other purposes.
but democratic values are less likely to be transmitted if I use Office? Proprietary developers want to punish students? I guess he means the corporations
His explanation indicates why he does mean proprietary developers rather than just corporations: e.g. in the US definition of core democratic values, there are aspects like personal freedom (e.g., modifying software) and the common good (e.g., sharing things with others). Note that he's not arguing here that it should be illegal for others to write proprietary software, i.e., he's not arguing to impinge on other people's liberty.
- and again, they don't generally give their source for modification, so they might be preventing students from modifying other people's work. Is that punishing them?
It limits the possibilities for expressing their creativity. Schools should be places where encouraging creativity is one of the highest valued goals. I know that is generally not the case right now (amazing video, btw), but this is a (small) way in which the situation can be improved.
I won't even claim to understand what the social mission of schools are supposed to be - prepare students for functioning in society?
I'm obviously not RMS, but I'd argue they should be prepared for functioning in society, for critically thinking about that same society (and anything else), and for contributing to a society that they consider to be better than what it is today.
Prepare them for jobs? Prepare them for college? Prepare them to develop free software?
I'd say: prepare them to become the best they can be. That can include a particular kind of job, being an artist, college (about which you can have very similar discussions as about school), developing free software or any combination of the above and many more things.
Prepare them for ignoring copyrights?
Now that last part is a great a strawman on your part: encouraging students to use Free Software, which they can share and modify freely according to the copyright license terms of that same software, is by no means the same as preparing them for ignoring copyright. It mainly teaches them that there are also alternatives to software whose business model depends on artificial scarcity. They will get to know MS Office and other popular products anyway, and if you can work with OpenOffice or LibreOffice, the jump isn't that great in any case. Maybe one of the primary things schools should teach are transferable skills (of which creative thinking is probably the "übervariant").
As long as Apple still signs the older iOS version, you should be able to downgrade (even via iTunes). See e.g. http://www.iphonehacks.com/2013/06/downgrade-ios-7-to-ios-6.html . You could call it a hack, but since it's standard iTunes functionality I don't think it really is.
Probably because of Apple's extremely annoying policy that you cannot downgrade iOS anymore a couple of days after they release a new version. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHSH_Blob for more details. The ability to downgrade to iOS 6.1.3/6.1.4 was disabled around 22 September.
Since iOS 7 was only released recently, there are probably still quite a few devices with iOS 6.1.3/6.1.4 in the channel, and that person probably got such a device in exchange for his iOS 7 "upgraded" one.
2. Modified organisms have a significant survival disadvantage because the seed companies breed them so that they can't breed successive generations.
That is incorrect. The so-called terminator genes were never commercialised because of vehement opposition by many different groups. Breeding successive generations is only stopped by patent lawsuits.
I've discovered over the years that most people that are anti-GM take that stance because it was the politically correct thing to do. Once they start to examine the facts their opposition typically drops as unfounded.
You might want to look at your own facts.
but it seems much more sane to me than allowing politicians to be legally bought.
Sanity in politics? Be still, my heart.
I realise that being cynical is so much easier: no chance to be disappointed, easy to look down on other people, feel smug about your oh so original snarky comments. However, you'll never achieve anything of worth (unless you only think in terms of monetary outcomes) on the given subject with that attitude.
I was involved in the fight against the fight against the software patent directive in the EU, and the only reason basically a bunch of students won the fight about that particular directive against a multimillion euro campaign by the giants of the electronics and software industry was that we weren't aware in advance that we couldn't win and that we didn't already "know" that all (or even most) politicians are useful idiots that only care about their image and paycheck, and instead kept bombarding them with facts and academic studies (even organising a couple of conferences ourselves). And having gone through the entire process and a few ones later too (some of which we lost), I still don't "know" that all/most politics is a sham.
I stand by my point (yes, the AC was me too) that politics without legalised bribery is far more sane.
He is merely wrong by law, not by morality. If I might remind the slashdot crowd: authority is doing what you are told, regardless of what is right; morality is doing what is right, regardless of what you are told.
Being an independent thinker, I side with morality, and therefore he is a hero.
To quote the excellent Rap News 19: Whistleblower:
Some praise these acts as heroic, worthy of mimicking
Others condemn them as illegal and prohibited
But, can't both be equally applicative?
To be good humans we're sometimes
called upon to be bad citizens.
Some nations were even born by
breaking laws of the tyrannous.
Do you support heroes from days of yore
who in order to cause reforms disobeyed the law?
Then what about those in the present
who heed the same call?
The last link should point to the actual candid interview.
And there's a "to" too many in the second sentence: "they aim to to demonstrate "
How do you suggest an independent or freelance software developer would ensure that the code (s)he writes does not infringe on any patent? Or more generally: how do you see a solution for the legal uncertainty caused by software patents for software developers? (any software developers really, since it's not like large companies check for infringements -- after all, it opens them up to treble damages for willful infringement in case they considered a patent and wrongfully concluded it didn't apply).
In case you would want to answer that this applies to any branch of industry, does that mean that you do not believe that independent software development should continue to thrive? Most other branches of industry require huge capital investments, but software development is one of the few high tech fields where an individual has no need for anything beyond a computer and an internet connection to run a successful business -- as long as (s)he is not confronted by threats of patent infringement.
What would your opinion be on a system whereby patent applicants would have to pledge a certain amount of money (possibly via escrow) that is paid out to anyone (either the patent office or a third party) that finds prior art that invalidates the patent? The amount of money would rise as more and/or broader claims are added to the patent application.
Right now, potential victims of invalid patents have to choose between ignoring the patent and hoping they'll never get sued/threatened, or preemptively have to spend (less than in case it would come to a court case) time and money on finding evidence to invalidate patents that should not be or have been granted in the first place. It's a lose/lose situation.
Good thing "software patents" don't actually claim software per se but rather methods of programming or using physical computing devices.
Yes, because that makes all the difference. After all, almost nobody would ever think of running software on a computer. Instead, they generally prefer to interpret it in their head, or execute it using a pen and paper.
There is no practical limitation by claiming software as executed by a computer vs software per se, other than possibly in terms of direct vs contributory infringement (and even that has been covered by claiming software stored on a carrier). Hence, for all practical intents and purposes, they are in fact claiming software per se.
It's like arguing that mental processes as such should not be patentable, but mental processes performed using pen and paper or using a chemical device colloquially known as "the human brain" should be claimable, because then they are no longer abstract and are actually performed using physical, real world means and hence improvements can result in better resource usage.