43 Syracuse L. Rev. 1321 (1992)
When More is Less: Controlling the Market for Computer Software Enhancements

handle is hein.journals/syrlr43 and id is 1335 raw text is: WHEN MORE IS LESS: CONTROLLING THE
Darren J. Carrollt
Shortly after taking my present job as head of Bell Labs' research
organization in late 1981, I asked one of my colleagues, Phil An-
derson, to think about the most important long-term targets that
the people in our organization might pursue. Phil is one of the
world's great theoretical physicists, so I naturally expected his sug-
gestions to emphasize the physical sciences. But he surprised me.
Instead of starting with new methods for probing the limits of
quantum mechanics or the study of individual atoms on crystal-
line surfaces... he started off with: Let's face it. Unless you
solve the software problem, nothing else matters.'
Arno Penzias, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, soon learned
that the software problem could be simply - and deceptively -
stated. The problem centers on the unquenchable demand for
software that's easier to understand, modify, and reuse in a different
application.2 Indeed, software has been deemed the Achilles heel
of the computer and communications industries.3 Software develop-
ers must first overcome myriad technical barriers, only to face a
daunting array of legal and economic hurdles. And as software
changes form in the hands of users, new questions arise concerning
the nature, ownership, and value of the transformed property. The
answers to these questions may retard or advance the progress of
software development.
t A.B., Syracuse University, 1983. M.P.A., Syracuse University, 1987. J.D., Syra-
cuse University College of Law, 1993. Mr. Carroll is employed as an associate attorney
in the Syracuse, New York office of Bond, Schoeneck & King. Research on this Note was
supported by a fellowship from the Licensing Executives Society (U.S.A. and Canada).
2. Id.
SOFTWARE 16 (1991) [hereinafter NRC]. According to Lewis Branscomb of Harvard
University, software is responsible for more shipment delays, cost overruns and user
frustrations - by a mile. Id.


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