Skip navigation

People often seem to think that software is a commodity – something you buy from a retailer which you then own and use. But in actual fact, with software, you license, not purchase it. Why? Well, when you license the software, the primary value comes not from an object (such as the disk it is stored on) but instead from the knowledge of the people who wrote the software – the ‘cleverness’, if you like. You can’t own that knowledge, you merely acquire a limited right to use it. Put simply, software is intellectual property.

It’s tricky to define or identify the value of intellectual property and thus, such things are copyrighted (copyrights, trademarks, and patents). This allows whoever owns the material, in this case, software to define who can access and use their property, protecting it from unauthorized use. This is in an attempt to define the value of the software.

In this line, a software license provides the legal right to install, use, access, display, run, or otherwise interact with a software program. This doesn’t always include right to media, manuals, or support. Remember checking the ‘I agree’ box whenever you install something? That is you agreeing to the terms of use of the software.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: