The debate between whether a software should be open or closed–often represented by the battle between Linux and Windows, although there are many other examples–has been going on for decades, ever since the first concept of “software” came up. Software was not a physical entity–it was comprised of data, loads and loads of information of 1 and 0. Therefore, it could be copied.
The idea that you could sell and buy “information” must have been revolutionary at the time; however, it does take a human effort to create a software, and every human being wants credit for his or her own work. This is where the conflict arised.
The current trend seems to be leaning towards “closed” software, as gigantic companies like adobe put a $500 price tag on their software. Computer ethics has stably took its place in peoples’ minds, and people are willing to pay for it. The various app stores for both desktop and handheld devices are running well.
Yet the truth is more disturbing than it seems, at least in the eyes of software developers. Probably more people are using pirated photoshop than legal ones. Android developers almost gave up putting price tags on their apps, because as Android is an open source software in itself, it’s so easy to download pirated software on it. BitTorrent sharing websites such as ThePirateBay are growing faster than ever before due to the rising internet access in previously developing regions.
My opinion is that open-source is an undeniable future of software development.
These days, it seems to be trendy for people to say that Apple is failing. When asked why, people would almost always respond that iOS would slowly fall behind the open source Android. But iOS was one of the only OS to successfully prevent pirating!
As the founder of The Pirate Bay Gottfrid Svartholm said, free software is an inevitable flow of history, as it gets easier and easier to get free softwares. Whether developers would like it or not, they would have to face it. jJust like how the ordinary people had to face the concept of “copyright” in the 19C.