Time Expired Software!

Dr. Rob Miller rmiller at house.med.und.ac.za
Mon Jan 20 06:13:23 EST 1997

On Fri, 17 Jan 1997, Susan Jane Hogarth wrote:
> > Susan Jane Hogarth wrote:
> > > Remember, we're not talking about _bread_ here, folks. We're talking
> > > about a *very* luxury item.
> > 
> > Absolutely !  Only the rich should be doing science anyway, the rest of
> > you go do some real work.
> <sigh> OK, if we're gonna ask for software to be supplied cheaply, let's
> ask those artists to start coming down on *their* prices, too. ;-)

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.

> 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 
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.

> > > Umm, what does "buy their own software" mean, exactly? Buy it
> > > *personally*? Or with grant money?
> > 
> > Yes, buy it *personally*.
> Lucky you. Maybe you could "share" your copy with everyone else...
> <*joking*>

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.


Robert T. Miller, Ph.D.                          rmiller at house.med.und.ac.za

Manager - Durban Satellite - South African National Bioinformatics Institute 

Faculty of Medicine / Dept of Virology / University of Natal 
Private Bag 7 / Congella 4013 / Durban / South Africa 
phone +27 (031) 3603743                     fax +27 (031) 3603744 or 2604441 

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