Presumably this is vaguely criminal ?

Peter Alcibiades palcibiades-first at
Tue Oct 28 06:29:08 EDT 2008

I'm not quite sure why it would be criminal.  They're not violating
copyright.  They are just downloading two freely available packages, not
even hacking or modifying them, simply using them.  Admittedly to
interesting effect, but is it much different than discovering you can use
Excel as a (bad) database?  The worst they could be doing is violate a
license condition on one or both of the packages, which would be a civil
contractual matter. Its a question whether a prohibition on use of this sort
would be enforceable in court though. Could someone really be prohibited
from using OpenOffice to generate Excel spreadsheets and play them with a MS
Office player?  Doubt it.

Free players are an interesting business strategy problem. Suspect they only
work commercially when there are serious barriers to making alternate means
of creating what they play.  As with Word and PPT players. And its quite
hard to quantify the benefits they deliver.  One suspects with MS Office the
main motivation is to have a defence against the accusation of lockin.  The
really useful application for a Rev player for some customers would be to
play Studio programs without the receiver having to buy Studio.  

But that's where you start to see the downside of course.  I think this came
up with Stackrunner in the past?
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