[OPE-L:7954] Value of software (fwd)

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Date: Thu Nov 07 2002 - 09:19:27 EST

A fellow named Graham Seaman sent me the following question after 
taking a look at the OPE-L archive.  He asked if I might forward it to 
the list and since it seems on-topic I am doing so.

Graham's question is:

"I'm interested in the value of commercial software. This is a fairly
live issue among a small group of people I know, in which I am in the
minority position of arguing that commercial software can have no
(substantial) value, due to it's infinite reproducability at minimal
cost; the main counter-arguments are that if it's integrated in the
M-C-M' process, then in practice it has value; and that infinite
reproducability is a red herring since any given program is only
actually sold a finite number of times allowing us to retrospectively
know its value. I don't like a value which is only determined by
consumption, but maybe I'm misunderstanding Marx..  (note the question
is only about commercial software, eg. word;  not one-off commissioned
software, or software used directly in production (eg for CNC

Allin Cottrell.

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