Since I work in the software industry, I am very conscious of software licensing. All of the software on all of my computers is properly licensed to me, and all of the software on my work computer is licensed to my employer. I take great care when I install new software. For example, before I install a program on two computers, I check whether the license agreement allows me to install it on multiple computers. If I only need a particular tool for low-priority projects, I look for open source or freeware alternatives.
Yet I am still surprised by how many people freely copy programs. Last week, a friend told me about sharing a particular computer program. What surprised me is that my friend has a similar position in the software industry, so he certainly understands the importance of license agreements.
For home use, I do like the approach for Apple products. Most Apple consumer software is sold with either a single-user or a family license. Many other Mac software publishers have followed Apple’s lead. I applaud this, and I have recently purchased a number of family licenses.
It is much easier with physical products. For all practical purposes, two people cannot share the same drinking glass or chair.