a bit too lumpy

May 31st, 2001

Brent’s Potato Salad License (PSL)

You are hereby licensed to build, use and distribute Brent’s Potato Salad (the SALAD) according to the following rules:

If the SALAD is to be distributed, you must announce the following to your guests:

Portions of this meal were created using Brent’s Potato Salad Recipe.

Your guests must be made aware that the recipe is available to them without charge. You must supply photocopies of the recipe on demand.

If you include the SALAD as part of a paid catering gig, you are required to license the entire catered affair under the PSL, making complete recipes for all appetizers, entrees and desserts available at no charge to all guests.

Any derivative recipes based on the SALAD inherit full protection under the PSL.

“… Damn, if he’d only chosen the LPSL, we could have used this for the Schmolsky wedding. Looks like we’ll have to come up with our own …”

Microsoft plans to impose a software subscription model, whereby they provide you with software as long as you pay them…

Dan Gillmor has this to say about it:

Microsoft is steering customers toward software rentals, the idea of paying an annual subscription fee. When that system is the standard, will there be a version of the software that — as is standard today — allows customers to buy once and keep using the product indefinitely even if they decide to jump off the upgrade merry-go-round? Don’t bet on it.

As usual, my friend Greg Vincent pointed out some issues and got me thinking about various scenarios:

  • Internal Memo: Due to the postal strike, Microsoft didn’t receive our cheque in time, so nobody can use Word or Excel or Powerpoint until this is resolved. Please stand by at your cubicles.
  • Dear Customer: the provider of our DBMS software has been purchased by XYZ corp, who is discontinuing this product, so we can’t use it any more. We will be down for a month while we integrate another provider’s solution.
  • Please Note: The significant price increase on this invoice is due to increased overhead. Our critical internal systems depend on software for which the subscription price has suddenly doubled, slashing our profit margin to zero.

What remedies will need to be in place for dispute resolution?

The landlord can’t double your rent or evict you without due process.

The gas company can’t turn off your heat in the winter.

This new model cries out for some legislative framework.

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