Chad Perrin wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 12:21:45AM +0900, Alex Young wrote:
>> John Joyce wrote:
>>> On Jul 24, 2007, at 5:04 AM, Brad Phelan wrote:
>>>> Chad Perrin wrote:
>>>>> On Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 06:49:59PM +0900, Brad Phelan wrote:
>>>>>> However it always stuns me when software geeks come with
>>>>>> arguments as previously posted because we are meant to be
>>>>>> abstract thinkers. However I keep hearing the same old argument
>>>>>> along the lines of `if I can't kick it, it has no value and
>>>>>> should be free.`
>>>>> I don't recall anyone saying anything of the sort.  Maybe I'm
>>>>> just not thinking abstractly enough to know where you got that.
>>>> 'governmentally enforced artificial scarcity model where software
>>>> is treated as physical product units.'
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> What does this mean other than that software has no inherent 
>>>> monetary sale value other than that artificially imposed by
>>>> government control?
>>>>
>>> Which is exactly the kind of half logic that would debunk all 
>>> 'governmentally enforced' rights, property or otherwise.
>> I wouldn't call it "half logic".  If you accept that value is derived 
>> from scarcity, and that bits can be copied arbitrarily easily (and are 
>> therefore by definition non-scarce and have *no* intrinsic value), then 
>> a government-enforced moratorium on copying bits under certain 
>> circumstances is required to give those bits themselves scarcity and 
>> therefore value.  Unless you have a different model for defining 
>> intrinsic value, the logic is pretty solid...
> 
> Actually . . . software has value.  Something doesn't have to have
> physical scarcity to have value.  In fact, one might say that software
> *is a measure of value*, in that it is the symbolic representation of
> work, hopefully with some kind of efficiencies built in that enhance the
> value of that work.
> 
> The reason the software-as-units business model relies on artificial
> scarcity is that it's trying to derive market value from a non-scarce
> part of the chain of creation, distribution, and use.  Ultimately, in its
> natural form, a software market would be a service industry rather than a
> product manufacturing industry.
That's pretty much my thinking.

> Of course, I think I may be violently agreeing with you, to some extent.
> You're probably using "software" in this case to refer to "copies of
> software", as a form of shorthand.  The copies themselves have no
> intrinsic value (though the media on which they're copied have at least
> some such value).
Precisely - I should have been a little clearer :-)

With that, I'm ducking out of this thread.  We're way OT, and I don't 
think there's much more I can add to what's gone before.

-- 
Alex