Tuesday, August 16, 2005

What is it about software copyright that makes people's brains freeze up?

What is copyright supposed to do? In my head, it's there to stop other people making money out of your work. So someone who designs a beautiful graphics program that designers around the world can use to make a living, clearly wants to protect their interests. You don't want designers ripping off the CDs and handing them out for nothing. So dongles, licence agreements, CD keys etc have a place there.

You design a brilliant computer game that everyone wants to play, you deserve the profits from providing great entertainment, just like writers and singers and artists.

But how's this for complete lunacy?!?

I have a little program called MediaFace 4.0. Anyone from MediaFace reading this? I hope so.
What does this program do? It allows me to design CD labels that ONLY print onto particular stationery made by the same company that makes MediaFace. So the more people who have MediaFace, which is a one-off utility designed to sell label stationery, the more label stationery they will sell.

So what do they do to encourage this? They have a fucking CD key! And a licence agreement that says you can only install it on one computer! Do they want to sell programs or do they want to sell label stationery?

If I had known in advance when I bought the CD label kit - and there were other brands to choose from, I would NEVER have wasted money on this complete idiocy. On principle. If I were in charge of MediaFace marketing I would GIVE away copies of the stupid software so that people would load up on my brand of CD labels. Please feel free to make copies and give it to your friends. Do not fork out money for a program like SureThing which supports all the competing brands of labels too.

It's not like it's even particularly wonderful software, or that you can use it to make professional CD labels. All it's good for is making something better than handwritten scrawl that says "Backup 16 August 2005". And I certainly don't want to support their brainless paper marketing efforts by giving their software to anyone I know. They don't deserve to sell CD labels!

It's time, I think, to buy a different brand of CD label. Or get a printer that prints direct onto the CD and dispenses with labels altogether.

Though I doubt they'll wake up to the lost opportunity.