Fanax: the Mycenaean term for "king"; pronounced "wanax". The funny initial letter, "F", is called digamma and shows up in Archaic Greek epigraphy (papyrus and tablet writings). The sound, if not the letter form, and its linguistic equivalent initially show up in the heiroglyphic writings (Linear B) of Bronze Age Greece both at Pylos, in the far west of Greece (Peloponnese), and at Knossos in north central Crete, the funny "F". Specifically, digamma shows up in the Greek of Homer's Iliad with the word "F"anax, but there it's a "rough breathing" in the form "(h)anax", where the term is linked to an important individual at Pylos. In Classical and Hellenistic Greek, the F continues in this aspirant, or "h" sound, form at the beginning of many Greek words.

Who owns software?

September 22, 2010 ·

Thoughts for the day:

"Software licensing agreements that say the user is only licensing the use of software rather than purchasing a copy are enforceable."

"So. You don’t own those copies of software that you thought you purchased. You just rent it from the vendor, on terms offered on a take-it-or-leave-it basis and subject to revision at will. All those disks sitting in all those cardboard albums sitting on a shelf in your office are really the property of Microsoft, Intuit, Activision, and Adobe. You don’t have to return them when the license expires, but you can’t transfer ownership of them to someone else because you don’t own them in the first place."

"The Vendor decision, in the end, isn’t really all that revolutionary. It just acknowledges in law what has already happened in the market. We don’t buy software. We pay for a service—whether by the month, or by the user, or by looking at ads, or by the amount of processing or storage or whatever we do with the service—and regardless of whether the software that implements the service runs on our computer or someone else’s, or, for that matter, everyone else’s."

"Work doesn’t need the incentives and protections we have afforded to novels and songs. And consumers can no more resell work than they can take home their seat from the movie theater after the show."

It's a fascinating situation, actually, made both more and less complex by the recent 9th Circuit Court decision in Vernor v Autodesk. Further reading and un-emotional analysis from The Technology Liberation Front this morning.

Tags: software development

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