Time Expired Software!

Susan Jane Hogarth sjhogart at unity.ncsu.edu
Fri Jan 24 00:21:37 EST 1997

Dr. Rob Miller wrote:

> mine is free (www.biochem.ucl.ac.uk), others in that lab at least make
> it free for academic use.  Remember that a great deal (most ?)
> of bioscience software is developed with grant funding.

The stuff people are bellyaching about paying 3000$ for is developed
with grant funding? As lots of people have pointed out, there is lots of
_excellent_ academic software for free (e.g. NIH Image).
> > Does anybody remember what this thread was originally *about*? Some guy
> > wants to _defeat_ the protection on copyrighted software. It may be well
> > for aus to remember that; I suppose that we can all agree that software
> > piracy is  _wrong_, no matter how bad we think "price-gouging" by
> > software companies is.
> It's also wrong for microsoft to be the de facto standard for pc
> software, and for them to engage in anti-competitive practices.  There's
> not much the average user can do to fight that except pirate, but

Are we talking about Microsoft? What scientific software do they
produce? I'd prefer not to open that can of worms. The high cost of
*some* academic software isn't the result of MS's "anti-competitive
practices", but of supply/demand dynamics (IMO).

> we were talking about *scientific* software.  I think we need to remember
> the contribution that academics make to the scientific software
> industry, both directly and indirectly.

Yup - academics write lots of nice programs, and give 'em away. I think
this is great - it's how things *should* work. So I guess we agree, eh?
But then if some guy wants to try and market similar software privately
for 3000$, and people are *paying* for it, what's to stop him?

> I very rarely buy software, and work almost exclusively under unix
> (linux) where there is a great deal of freely available software.
> My point above was actually referring to my graduate advisor, who
> frequently did buy software for lab/student use out of his own
> pocket.  Funding for students and academics is bad enough already.

So stick to Linux - it's a great system.

Listen, I am *really* not trying to piss anyone off. I think we agree on
most things - actually, I'm not sure exactly how we *dis*agree...


Suzuki GS page: http://homepage.cistron.nl/~peterh/gsresources/

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