, long time no speak! You are using an analogy that has been used many time when this subject gets debated, but I don't think it's a valid analogy
. I don't have a right to Windows source code, and there is no valid reason I could demand it. Because if I buy a copy of Windows I don't need the source code if I want to make an adjustment to my start menu, or install a new program, or buy a new computer and install it on that.
The source code we are talking about works much differently, if I buy a Crestron or AMX system (to name a few), I can't even change a DVD player without the source code. In that situation withholding the source code from a customer that doesn't realize they'll be helpless without it is wrong. It's also resulted in literally countless disasters over the years when dealers have gone under, and customers need to pay thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to have their systems reprogrammed when the dealer/code disappears.
The entire "source code is so valuable" argument is exposed for what it is (in this instance) by the fact that you will not find a single home automation dealer
who pays independent programmers that doesn't get the source code. Because knowledge is power in free markets, and dealers know better than to ever agree to pay an independent programmer to provide programming without getting a copy of it, and independent programmers therefore know they'd be laughed at if they even suggested they wouldn't release the source code. If it's so valuable why is it only dealers, but never the independent programmers doing the work for the dealers that refuse to provide the source code? After all, programming is literally the bread and butter for the independent programmer. The answer is because it's all about controlling the customer and forcing them to do business with you, and nothing about the source code having any great value other than for that customer. Of course some dealers love to convince themselves otherwise, but it's largely nonsense.
That said, I have NO issues with dealers charging a fair price for the source code, it's the lack of transparency on the issue that I find unethical, where the customer doesn't even know to ask for it and the dealer keeps it a secret that they can't do anything with the system without the code. I would also have no issues with home automation companies providing more robust development options for programmers, where certain "chunks" of code that truly involve a ton of work and have high value could be protected and not included as part of the code, as long as the customer is informed of that. This capability already exists to some extend, but it could be improved.
Good to see you!