This is the letter I sent to the petition organiser to try and get apple’s final cut reinstated.
Dear Andrew Landini,
I read with great interest the petition of a great many creative people who have built their work around the Final Cut product line. Of course, I feel your pain and wish to offer my sympathies.
But I also wish to share with you what I have learned about software and the importance of ownership and control. It is true that there are a great number of good, solid software packages being made by companies like Adobe and Apple which artists and businesses regularly use to get their work done in the best way possible.
The problem with these packages is that they take away effective ownership and with that any sense of control over the direction of the development of the tools in use. These programs are known as proprietary software, because they use trade secretes to hide their source code, strong copyright to sell products in a box and even go so far as to implement anti-features to ensure stratification of their market money earning potential.
This isn’t necessarily at issue, but it does put users (and more importantly businesses) at a huge disadvantage. Instead of investing into an ecosystem that requires it take control away from your business, I would like to propose supporting Free and Open Source business models for the furthering of creative tools.
This new way of creating software doesn’t require programmers keep secretes from their users. Development is done in the open, multiple different parties generally pay into development of the same features and we end up with free software that every participant gets full rights to use, modify, and basically do with as they wish for their own business needs.
Tools such as Gimp, Inkscape and Blender are not always first with features or even the best technical tool at the moment. But what they offer is something far more important, they give every user Freedom, Ownership and Control to take the software and fully define how they want to see the software developed further. They require no loyalty to any one set of developers, there is no one company you must go to for support. Despite marginal investment from the creative industry, these tools are already quite powerful.
With most artists and creative businesses understanding and supporting Free and Open Source as a good business strategy, I think we can prevent, in the future, ever having to write an petition begging a mischievous company from putting small creative businesses out of work because they decided to develop for the lowest common denominator.
Best Regards, Martin Owens (Artist, Programmer, Teacher)