3x11: The Most Evil MP3s

Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which there is seemingly a theme but it’s wholly coincidental, succulent flaky pastry is mentioned, and:

Come chat with us and the community in our Slack channel via https://badvoltage-slack.herokuapp.com/!

Download from https://badvoltage.org

News music: Long Live Blind Joe by Robbero, used with attribution.

Thank you to Marius Quabeck and NerdZoom Media for being our audio producers!

The interesting thing (well, to me) about the Stallman aside is that this result was entirely predictable and many people brought it to Stallman, who consistently insisted that the only problem that mattered was computers with command lines. It wasn’t until TiVo made a ton of money that the FSF suddenly realized that “appliances” were a threat to openness and the web is still technically someone else’s problem, since they haven’t rolled the AGPL ideas into a GPLv4. Looking forward, they still don’t really believe that the Four Freedoms should apply to art, hardware, or anything else, but they will warn us loudly against running JavaScript without a license.

More broadly, though, I always remember friends working at Microsoft in the early 2000s telling me that management’s plan was to turn Office into a subscription product, “just as soon as they can get the developers to stop laughing at the idea.” It squeezes out more money over time, evens out the revenue, and lets them cut the teams that make sure the program has only been installed a few times. Personally, my only subscriptions are for services (streaming and I guess my VPS counts), because I don’t like the idea of a long chain of points of failure (power and connectivity on all the nodes from here to there) between me and the work I might need to do.

Something missed from the Adobe argument is that they lock you in for an annual contract, so there’s no way to get out of paying for a full year without penalty. No “try and buy” available. For Creative Cloud All Apps, that’s a $636 commitment pre-tax to rent the software for a year. Not ideal for all users.

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I would like to know what @sil thinks about Jetbrains model of ‘software rent’.
If you are not familiar with that, after you pay for 1 year (or pay the year value at once), the current version your are using is yours to keep.

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Late to the party, but very interesting topic.

I remember reading an article (can’t find it back though) about Adobe Creative Cloud business model. Basically, at some point, Photoshop and them reach a status where all the features most people want are there, and less and less people are willing to pay for new versions of the software. This is when the software rent model kicks in.

Another point to take into account, and that was discussed a bit during the show, is that when you rent your software, you have to make sure you can export your data. I would go a step further and say you have to make sure your data is in an open format/standard.

To get back into the Adobe story, I worked in a startup where the creative team was blocked for 3 full days, because someone forgot to renew the rent, and all of a sudden the whole team was kicked out of Adobe software. Not only they couldn’t make changes to their existing files, they couldn’t even open them in order to export them into a format such as jpg or png in order to show them to our customers.

That’s interesting! I hadn’t seen that. I haven’t thought this through in superb detail, but on first sight it seems quite a nice way to strike a balance between software purchase and long term ownership…

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