Do people still buy ringtones?
i was just thinking about how maybe the history of ringtones may be an indicator of how software/os may go in the future. I'm assuming people don't buy them anymore, so please correct me if I'm wrong.
At one point, ringtones were a very big booming industry. Then phones got more sophisticated operating systems, and people eventually are now able to put whatever sound they wish on their phone, for free and very easily. And it was a relatively short industry cycle, so that's why i thought of it. Maybe all software and OSs will go that way, it just will be a longer cycle. I still find it mentally difficult to equate software and OS's with physical things you pay for or services people provide. I'm not saying software shouldn't be compensated, i'm just saying there's something different there. Just fundamentally speaking, there's something weird about paying for something that can be duplicated exactly without anything decreasing somewhere else. That's different from a physical product or a service, which is a one time thing.
I can see something like this in a distant future:
If someone wants software, that person pays for it. But once it's out there, it's out there. It's free for everyone else. Not fair you say? Well, I sort of disagree. It would be nice to have a system in place where someone who can afford it pays for it, but then it's released into the wild (unless it's classified or something). So let's say I'm a millionaire...someone working ons ome project who doesn't have much money just has to convince me to pay for it. It's no big deal for me, so I say fine. now everyone has it. It makes good economic sense, it's practical, and avoids the complications with copyright and stuff we are currently experiencing. Being able to copy something exactly is a totally different game than anything in past times (I think).