From: OPE-L Administrator (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Nov 08 2002 - 07:06:18 EST
From: Paul Cockshot <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 08 Nov 2002 11:02:34 +0000 On Thu, 2002-11-07 at 14:19, Allin Cottrell wrote: > 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 > machines)" > > Allin Cottrell. > Would this be helped if one distinguished between the value of information and the value of a copy of information. The value of a program is then defined by the labour required to produce it. The value of a copy is then defined by the labour required to produce the cd and to write to it. The existence of the original is of course a precondition of the production of the copy, but that does not imply that it is necessarily involved in the transfer of value to the copy.
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