[Consortium] fao Paul White: Letter for publication

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To: <feedback@...>
Cc: <consortium@...>
Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 2:31 pm

Hello Paul,

In your July issue editorial, I think you've unintentionally
misrepresented the views of free software developers producing audio
and music applications for Linux and other platforms. There are
people who think software should be free, but they're not demanding
that proprietary software houses give away their creations.

Instead, they are writing their own software, and giving the source
code away - which of course they are perfectly entitled to do. It has
practical benefits because software needs active maintenance to
remain useful, so the more people who have access to the code, the
better.

The argument that software and physical property, such as the stuff in
your house, are equivalent will always fall on its face. At the end
of the day, software is just a bunch of numbers, and what's true for
software creators (marginal or zero cost copying) is just as true for
software users.

Proprietary software companies moan about so-called 'piracy', but in
truth they'd rather have an unpaid-for copy of their own software
running on your machine than a paid-for copy from their competitor.
It's how a particular application becomes a de-facto standard. Every
time someone passes a installer CD to their friend, they are
participating in viral marketing for that company.

Hardware prices have fallen dramatically, but proprietary music
software is as expensive as ever. I mean, £1450 for a single copy of
Nuendo, with known bugs? I'd resent having to pay for bug fix updates
too. Is it any wonder that students and musicians are writing their
own software?

Cheers!

Daniel James

63 School Green Road
Freshwater
Isle of Wight
PO40 9AT

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