Re: Expensive Software - CHEAP

Subject: Re: Expensive Software - CHEAP
From: Charles Fisher <decrsc!charles -at- UUNET -dot- UU -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1993 18:04:49 -0500

> An ethical question arises--should a student who buys an educational
> version at a discount go on to make money on contract using the software?

Usually, you're not getting a "special" educational version of the software,
you're getting an educational discount based on the potential volume that
the institution could give to the vendor (as well as the potential
sales to graduates who used those packages while in school). These prices
are usually hashed out between the institution and the vendor based on
the buying power of the institution, then made available to students and
staff. I used to work for an office that was a research division of Virginia
Tech, and it operated more like a small business than a school. Yet we still
bought our hardware and software at the eduacational discount prices and
used them to "make money" (so to speak). The bottom line is that if students
BUY the software, then they can do what they want with it. If they use the copy
of the software on the lab's PCs, then the ethical problems surface because the
software doesn't belong to them. Also, they run the risk of not having
the software available to them when they need to meet a deadline....

Charles Fisher
Senior Documentation Specialist
Program Manager/President-Elect, STC Washington DC Chapter

Datatel, Inc.
4375 Fair Lakes Court
Fairfax, VA 22033
(703) 968-4588 (voice)
(703) 968-4625 (FAX)
charles -at- datatel -dot- com

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