By Tod Hayen
Now, software and music are intellectual property, so you never really owned them, which meant you couldn’t replicate them and sell them yourself (or give them away). Because of the past simplicity of the world back a couple of years it wasn’t possible to duplicate these things easily. People certainly tried: software hacking, music duplication (remember Napster?)
These attempts were so prominent people thought that stealing intellectual property was just the way you got this stuff if you were smart and didn’t want to pay a fortune for it. But before you could do such things, you still had the convenience of owning the material it was embedded in. If you didn’t duplicate it illegally, you could still give away a vinyl record, or a CD (remember them?) or a book.
You had the right to keep the material forever, to keep it in an old box, or on a bookshelf, always there and ready to pull down and listen to, read, or fire up on your computer. No one but you controlled what you paid good money for. Not anymore. You never owned the copyright, but now you don’t even own the packaging the software or music, or whatever, comes in.