Court Finds That “Buy” Means to Buy

The consequences of this ruling are indeed significant, imagine a world where all those unused enterprise software licenses actually have residual value in a secondary market.

Let’s say you didn’t use 30,000 Oracle database seats or 15,000 SAP CRM seats and now you can go out and sell them to another company at a discount. That would certainly put a wrinkle in the business models of major enterprise software companies, as well as create an entirely new class of brokers who comprise this new market.

If Jones’s ruling is upheld on appeal, it will have important consequences for the software industry, where the legal fiction that software is merely licensed is widely employed. In addition to discouraging the market for used software, software firms have also attempted to use the “licensed, not sold” theory to enforce restrictions on reverse engineering that would otherwise be fair use under copyright law. If software is sold, rather than licensed, then no license is required to install and use the software, and the terms of shrink-wrap licenses may not be legally binding.

[From Court smacks Autodesk, affirms right to sell used software]

Markets are Communities

This is a very smart move by Babble Soft, the military family market is huge and word of mouth is potent, both ways. I can’t think of a better time to launch this promotion than the Memorial Day weekend.

For those of you interested in trivia, Memorial Day was first observed in 1866 to commemorate the Civil War soldiers who died, but it wasn’t until 101 years later that the observance became a Federal holiday. The tradition of honoring those who have died in war actually goes back to the ancient Athenians, with elaborate processions for the war dead are described by Thucydides. Interestingly enough, if Thucydides were here today and visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., he likely would have referred to it as a “casualty list” that was an integral part of the Athenian tradition.

Since Trish had gone through the hardship of being away from her husband when her first child was born, we both thought it would be a great idea to join forces to offer members of her non-profit organization, eMail Our Military free subscriptions to Babble Soft applications as well as access to a discount code for 20% off purchases for non-active military and friends.

[From Memorial Day – Babies and Our Military | entrepreMusings]

NYTimes Reader

The NYTimes Reader is available for the Mac.

Great but I don’t get this entire initiative at any level. They position it as a way to enhance the reader experience but from my perspective it appears to be nothing more than a vehicle through which they can control access and charge a monthly fee.

Has a web-based experience been an obstacle for accessing NYTimes content? No, if anything the primary obstacles for the NYTimes have been self-imposed, their pay-wall and the now defunct Times Select program. The Times Reader is a technology exercise that reflects the NYTimes persistent view that people should have to pay for NYTimes content, in the face of declining subscription readership and overwhelming trend data to the contrary in the broader newspaper industry.

A lot of commenters are up in arms about the NYTimes use of Silverlight for the Mac version. This is something that the chattering classes will be up in arms about but the broader market will skip over, besides, Silverlight is actually pretty cool. The Mac community is interesting in this regard, we tend to value competition except when it comes from Microsoft, or put another way, would the Mac space really be better off if only Adobe were providing this essential technology? Would Adobe have open sourced Flash were it not for Microsoft?

This initiative will ultimately fail for the following reasons:

1) it’s something they have to maintain and enhance, e.g. lack of copy-and-paste.

2) they will have to incur a support cost associated with downloadable products, both in the customer acquisition phase and on an ongoing basis

3) the monthly subscription model is self-limiting in the long run because it limits your options on other platforms, such as mobile.

4) doesn’t do anything for you in your SEO efforts and monetization through search traffic