DigitalCan the current licensing structures around software, etc actually make it impossible to improve your lot in life without risking HUGE fines? The following is an extract from a post on The GripeLine by Ed Foster.
“A few decades ago, a man could still ‘pull himself up by his bootstraps’ — meaning all it took was some hard work and determination to improve your lot in life. If you already had money and means, you could easily afford the tools and education that it required to move from one station in life to another. If you didn’t have the tools or the education, you could legally obtain them by borrowing them from a neighbor. Even the government was more than willing to give you a hand-up in doing what needed done.
Today it is not necessarily the case, especially in a digital world.

The argument of pirating software needed for business and productivity is a valid one, in my opinion. When the Software Age started there was no copy protection, and while businesses may not have liked you pirating their software out of need in order to learn how to use it and become productive with it, they did appreciate it because eventually you would reach a point where you could afford to purchase the software and, more importantly, afford the support that the purchase provided.
Today that is not the case EULAs restrict when, where, how and even how often you use the software. Oftentimes you’re not permitted to share it with a friend or a co-worker, even if you wanted to try to win them over to the software. Our jobs require us to use computers more and more, especially at home. Even our children are facing the fact that they need a computer at home in order to complete assignments. The government is not handing out free computers and software, nor even lending it. A few private and non-profit ventures have tried to fill this gap, but they often lack the resources to make this a successful task beyond small communities or specially classified individuals. Sure you can turn to library resources, if they are even available, and you also see a severe lack of services available including sufficient computers and sufficient software.
How does a modern man in the digital age who has nothing ‘pull himself up by the bootstraps’ in order to do what needs done to improve himself? His neighbor is now legally barred by the courts from helping him. Government refuses to do anything. And the private companies that provide all of these resources are most assuredly out to punish you even if you are a good user and follow their policies to the tee. I believe that you will find the answer when we can find the way to close the so-called ‘digital divide’ and you make access to these modern tools equal to everybody. Until then, the only reasonable method that I can see to get to this point is piracy. It’s not the best method, but for many it is going to be the only method.”
For the full post visit Gripelog

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