The concept of software owner is complementary to that of Free software. A software owner is defined as being a nonfree software. In the case more running, the purchaser of a software owner must accept a License agreement end user (CLUF) which gives him only the right to use a single specimen of the software.
Software and royaltyThe conditions of use of a software raise of the Royalty because the software is a Création of the spirit, even if many laws of the royalty treat the software like a particular case.
Consequently, a user can use a software only in the respect of the royalty of the software. In the majority of the cases, the author of the software remains owner of the software. When the authors are paid, the rights are directly reserved for the company by the law (the employer does not need to be made them yield).
The software owners and the majority of the free software have an owner and are covered by the Royalty. Only the software in the public domain does not have an owner.
DefinitionThe " term; Propriétaire" refers to the fact that the author of the software remains owner of the property rights and use of his software.
According to the principle of property of the softwareAll terms relative to concepts of sale or purchase of a software says “Owner” mean " Transfer of rights of use of the software " and do not mean " Transfer of property of the software ". Consequently, the software owner which is placed at the disposal of a user remains the property of his author, natural person or moral person (undertaken) and the author preserves the rights granted by the Royalty, in particular the monopoly of the copy.
The author entrusts his software to the user so that this one makes of it an agreed use with the author and requires of the user to give up studying the operation of the software (Retro-engineering). The renouncement of this right requires an explicit agreement; therefore one speaks about a " Contract of license" rather than of simple a license.
The user of a software owner avoids copying whole or part of the software and also transcribing it in another language.
By exception to this general scheme, certain national laws authorize the retro-engineering and the creation of a Backup copy ( backup ).
By comparison with the free softwareIn opposition to the Free software, a software owner does not guarantee all four freedom of the software libre :
- right to use the software for any use;
- the possibility of studying the software (for that, it is necessary to have access to the Source code);
- right to copy or redistribute the software;
- right to modify and distribute modified versions of the software.
Consequently, the author of a software owner can prohibit with the user:
- to use the software for other uses that those for which it acquired the rights; or
- studied the source code; or
- to copy and redistribute copies of the software; or
- to modify the software.
In general, the access to the Source code of a software says owner is very protected. However, the only provision of this code does not make free a software owner.
License agreementThe license agreement is the contract which binds the author to the user. For a software owner, this license agreement defines the usual terms of the software which the author authorizes.
A contract of License of software owner limits the right of use, for example by prohibiting the remote use or that by several users simultaneously.
HistoryThe Informatique such as it today is defined appeared about the middle of the 20th century. At that time, data processing was a science which still remained in the field of research: the goal was to progress, to share and diffuse knowledge. The publication of the software thus was opened and shared in the scientific world, and the only brake with their propagation was the diffusion by post way, the network Internet not having been born yet.
The scientists shared the source code then and mutually improved the software placed at their disposal, in an open and not-restrictive way, with an aim of sharing and of diffusing knowledge.
Thereafter, in the Years 1960 and 1970, data processing became enough ripe to be applied to various fields. It is at that time that appeared the software publishers and of this fact restrictions of the software owner. The concept of software owner appeared with the first marketings in the Années 1960 and 1970.
The concept of free software, although it informellement is informellement used in the beginnings of the software then in phase of research, was formalized in the Années 1980 by Richard Stallman with the public License general GNU, the Projet GNU and the Fondation for the free software (FSF). The license public License general GNU gives to all the right to copy, study, modify and redistribute the modified versions of the software which they received.
Advantages and Limits
Advantages of the software ownerThe statute of software owner gets advantages with his author:
- Guaranteed Royalty: the author of a software owner protects his invention against the copy and more generally against any form from use for which the user did not remunerate the author.
- Protection of the innovations: the model owner guarantees the protection of the innovations best and makes it possible to longer keep an competitive advantage which would be related to a new method or algorithm. The software owner at least requiring a Dismantling and a study by Retro-engineering, long, complex and sometimes illegal process.
- direct Remuneration of the author (S): the software owners makes it possible to remunerate the authors directly.
The statute of software owner gets advantages with the user:
- Responsibility for the editor: the source code being controlled by a single person receiving benefits, his editor, the responsibility for nonconformity for the software to its specifications is clearly identified; it is the editor and him only which with the obligation to modify the product to make it in conformity.
- Clearness of the versions: the contents of the various versions of the software are established by a single and identified actor, the editor, who can engage on the contents of a version.
- potential Protection against the pirates: as the Source code is not accessible, the security breaches are less easy to find for the hackers; it is the “Sécurité by the darkness”. This mode of protection is rather effective on a project of small or average scale. On large projects, the cryptologists consider that the public opening of the code makes it possible to better evaluate the safety of the algorithms.
- In the complex fields which do not require only competences in data processing, like the Automatic translation of text, the model owner seems ready to engage the means necessary to the writing of a software.
Limits of the software ownerThe software constrained owner the user with the wills of the author:
- subjected Use to the conditions of the author and thus to a trade negociation
- Prohibition to carry out certain copies, sometimes in violation of the laws on the right to the private copy
- Source code inaccessible or accessible in a restrictive way, leaving the user enters the hands of the supplier for the correction of the bugs
- Difficulté of adaptation to the specific needs of the user
- Difficulté of integration and interworking because of the languages and of the protocols used by the author, often owners
- Lack of transparency of the license agreements and complexity of the control mechanisms of licenses
- Free software
- Graticiel (freeware) : software free owner
- Partagiciel (shareware) : software whose distribution is authorized but of which the use is limited and requires to pay Redevance S
- Enfermement owner
- Protocole owner
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