To whom does this belong?

Last week something happened that did not make big news, but it should have.

Timothy Vernor, an eBay vendor, won a court case in the state of Washington against Autodesk, the makers of AutoCAD.

Verner was selling used versions, not copies, of AutoCAD in his eBay store. Autodesk contended that because software is licensed by users and not owned, that Vernor had no right to sell the software to a third party.

The court ruled against Autodesk, saying that by calling the purchase transaction a lease does not make it one. The court said that the purchase of software is a purchase and the owner, the buyer, has the right to resell the item.

This court ruling could have very far flung implications within the software market. Charging ridiculous amounts of money and using licensing agreements instead of transferring ownership are how the software industry makes money. If I actually own the software on my computer, I should be free to copy it for my personal use or sell the item once I am done with it.

The Rochester house is dealing with some software issues at the moment. Mr. R is building a computer and wants to run Windows 7 as the OS. Unfortunately, only the upgrade version of Windows 7 is sold at an educational discount. This means we can not get the drastically cheaper educational version and use it on a clean hardrive. Mr. R has determined that we will have to pay for a full version of Windows for our new PC. Frankly, I would love to just use Linux and be done with it, but then we would not have a gaming PC.

Because of some issues I have been having with my laptop, I am going to, soon and very soon, wipe it clean and install all open source software. Goodbye Windows. Goodbye IE. Goodbye Office. Farewell Windows Media player. Good riddance to you all.

–Jane, who owns this?