Home

Feature Article:

How To Stop Spam
Special Report: How to Stop Spam I imagine you have seen, heard about, or already know what spam is. But just in case you donít, it is unsolicited and unwanted emails that arrive in your email inbox from a person or company that you donít...
...Read More


PC owners - the largest criminal gang ever?

Additional Reading



The year is 1981. IBM has just released the Personal Computer; a low cost machine it hopes will create a winning brand. Several models are produced in quick succession accompanied by an ad campaign featuring a Charlie Chaplin figure. The message is clear: Itís cheap and itís cheerful.

The growth vector for the product turns out to be a software application called a spreadsheet. Its many early forms - VisiCalc, Multiplan, Lotus 1-2-3, along with WordStar word-processing and of course games all help drive hardware sales.

Nobody seems to question the rapid and promiscuous spread of these programs by copying onto 5.25Ē floppy disks and passing them from person to person.

That was then. This is now. Harsh fines and jail sentences are threatened to anyone involved in doing what came naturally back in the early Ď80s. Itís a Very Bad Thing to copy software without having a license to do so. They say Ďthis stuff is ours, we want to be paid for ití, and of course theyíre right.

But here is a problem. Softwareís binary information is a kind of digital DNA, always wanting to replicate. Itís what has made and sustained the digital revolution. When transmitting information, whether from one disk to another or over the Internet, errors can be corrected, faint signals regenerated as new, and even lost portions of messages recreated. This is the essence of the digital world, and replication is its big trick.

One of the things most of us did with our first computer was to copy something. In our early PC vocabulary COPY was the most popular word. Doing it was so easy and so immediately rewarding. It did nobody any harm Ė did it? The user got the software and the manufacturer got their product widely distributed.

But a company has to make money, not just gain market share, and at some point in time a shift occurred. Itís as if the manufacturers decided to play the soccer off-side rule and grab the high moral ground at the same time - nearly every PC owner in the world was suddenly wrong-footed. And no one after all can disagree with their position. But how will they play catch-up on their lost revenues? How can they now make all their customers compliant?

A London analyst who specialises in intellectual rights issues says "the paradigm we have at present where the license chases the product doesn't seem to be an effective mechanism for compliance by itself."

In other words trying to push a license into everywhere the software has gone without the ease with which the software got there in the first place will prove difficult. But thatís not all.

An account manager for a hardware firm in the US says "It can be difficult to keep the licensing nailed down. The hardware changes, the software moves on, departments, even companies, merge. The picture is always changing"

Demand has always fuelled innovation in Information Technology. Fluid, dynamic, competitive, the elements of IT constantly move. Suppliers apply different strategies at different times for different reasons: Market share, volume shipments, profit. Licensing is a big weapon in their arsenal. Then new technologies emerge, legislation changes, big players go bust and others are created. Itís hard to see how a static and legalistic document can cover all this.

There are also the licensing arrangements that software manufacturers employ. Licenses may be priced according to whether they are academic, charity, large volume, product upgrade, competitive upgrade, client server, thin-client, or one of several other types. On top of that there are the popular service add-ons of maintenance and technical support.

Of course if we all started afresh that would make things easier. But as thatís impossible we must do two things; look at new software in terms of correct quantity and correct type of license. Thatís the easy part. The not so easy part is to look at what your company already has and see what licenses, if any, are missing or incorrect.

ĎThe biggest criminal gang in historyí is about to be disbanded.

©2003 Jamie Plenderleith


Microsoft Certified Licensing Specialist


Chief Developer - Whaddayagot Pro Asset Management Suite

Jamie is a software design engineer with Everyman Technologies of Dublin Ireland. He attends Trinity College Dublin part time and is a Sci-Fi fan.


jamie@everyman.ie

 

More Reading:


Opt In is NOT an Option

The Benefits of the New Firefox Browser

Confessions and Tips from a Top Web Hosting Salesman

How to succeed with the Search Engines

Web Hosting Web Development Understand and Create Great Websites

 
Find a Best Dog Friend Online

11 Ways to Quickly Build Your List

Ezine Article Advertising Marketing Blunders

Chat Rooms Are A Great Place To Discuss Ideas And Beliefs But Is Our Next Generation Missing The Point Of The Technology

Microsoft Great Plains as ERP and Microsoft CRM as CRM


Web Blogs, Defined, Explained and Understood
What are Blogs? Having heard the term previously but not having paid much attention most are just to afraid to show their ignorance and ask the question, what is a blog? Lets face it; the term blog does not conjure pleasant images. Blogs...
...Read More

Why WAP isnítÖ as bad as people say
Its unlucky that the acronym for Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) has such an unfortunate rhyme! Even more unlucky for WAP, it burst onto the mobile communication scene with lavish promises from the Mobile Operators (you know who you are) of...
...Read More

Computer Cases: The Basics
A computer case (also known as the computer chassis, box or housing) is the enclosure that contains the main components of a computer. Cases are usually contructed from steel, aluminum or plastic although other materials (such as wood and perspex)...
...Read More

What You Should Know About Installing Screensavers
Do you remember that frustrating feeling when you find an interesting screensaver and can't install it on your computer? This article will help you to never have it again. Back to when Windows 95 started to find its home on many computers...
...Read More

How To Quickly Fix Nagging DVD Drive Problems
You really enjoy those dvd movies and games and the last thing you need or want is to experience problems with your dvd drive. To prepare for the possibility of having your dvd drive leaving you out in the cold one morning,we will dicuss...
...Read More