[OPE-L:7969] Re: Value of software

From: OPE-L Administrator (ope-admin@ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu)
Date: Fri Nov 08 2002 - 07:06:18 EST

From: Paul Cockshot <wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk>
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.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Nov 09 2002 - 00:00:00 EST