8.4 Research and Discussion Issues

8.4 Research and Discussion Issues

  1. Should software share identical property rights (e.g., term) with other types of inventions? Or should software be subject to special rules, taking into account the characteristics of this industry? If so, how would the rules be modified? Perhaps the protection period should be variable with associated fees?

  2. What constitutes fair use of copyrighted information in the digital age? Should this definition be adjusted in light of special challenges of digital representations and the limitations of technology?

  3. What new licensing terms and conditions may be possible (or desirable) in light of new technologies like network monitoring of usage, Web services, components, or software portability?

  4. What is the tension between maintaining control over software technology through intellectual property laws and maintaining control through standardization? What are trade-offs between maintaining individual firm control and collective industry control?

  5. With traditional literary goods protected by copyright it is possible to change ownership (e.g., used in-book stores), temporarily lend works to others, and so on. What modifications to rights management systems would be required to support such traditional (and arguably acceptable) forms of use?

  6. Discuss the controversy between those who assert that copy protection can never work and therefore information and software suppliers should define new business models, and those who advocate copy protection as a way to preserve traditional business models.

  7. Discuss the usability effect of copy protection and the restrictions it may impose on legitimate uses protected under the copyright laws. Are these issues damaging to copy protection as an antipiracy measure?

  8. Consider the differences between willful but incidental sharing of copyrighted material and wide-scale piracy. What is the appropriate role of copy protection and other legal protections for these two cases?

  9. Suppose that watermarking were completely effective, secure, and foolproof. What would be its appropriate uses in deterring or punishing the infringement of copyright rights? Would copy protection and other measures still be necessary?

  10. Considering different types of market failure mechanisms, such as direct network effects or the indirect network effect of applications and infrastructure (see section 7.4), what are some legitimate government roles in ensuring a vibrant software industry?

  11. Discuss the complementary roles of end-users and operators, insurers, software suppliers, and government in ensuring effective security. Repeat for privacy.

  12. Debate both sides of the issue: Should software be protected speech, or not?

  13. Thus far the antitrust laws have not been adjusted to special conditions in the software industry. Is this appropriate, or should this industry operate under different rules?

  14. Software research outside large corporations is increasingly affected by the size and complexity of today's systems. Learning from other engineering disciplines, new models may need to be found to encourage deeper interaction between research and education at universities and industrial R&D. What would be the software equivalent of the common approach in electronics, where students design chips that can be prototyped in industrial facilities?

Software Ecosystems(c) Understanding an Indispensable Technology and Industry
Software Ecosystem: Understanding an Indispensable Technology and Industry
ISBN: 0262633310
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 145

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