Is This Copyright Protection?

Platform as roach motel

Brewster Kahle is a bit of a software legend. He created the first search engine, the Wide Area Information Server (WAIS), sold it, founded another search company, Alexa, sold it, and then decided to spend the rest of his life running the Internet Archive (archive. org), an amazing public library for the Internet. Brewster tells a famous story about life in the shadow of Microsoft during the heyday of the packaged-software industry, when all software was sold in boxes hanging from pegs in software stores.

Back in those days, Microsoft owned 95 percent of the operating-system market, and spent a lot of time extolling the virtues of its “platform” (Windows) to its “partners”—the software creators who wrote Windows programs. The software vendors’ associations also spent a lot of time warning programmers about the risks of piracy, and the problems they’d have if their customers decided to copy them into the poorhouse. This served to drive still more creators to the Windows platform, which was meant to provide a shield against this threat.

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