rembrandt wrote:I think Patents are the biggest chunk in the pie.
Not really. Biggest problem with patents is using them. Standard + hidden patents effective. Patents with no force for people to use the patented method are basically worthless since people can just find other ways of doing the same thing.
Working long enough with others to be come the defacto standard then fork off killing the others off is the most effective way to make a monopolies. Microsoft has done this many times.
Patents are effective way to make money from Standards if people don't demand standards that are not patent encumbered. Yes greater than copyright but way less than the defacto standard trick. Basically patents is the trick to pull out when it looks like you are going to lose a monopolies.
Copyrights are tail of the hunt. When it comes to programs basically not worth worrying about. If standards exists there will be clones. So price stays good even better if price is too high open source could clone.
If you are worrying about Copyrights on software to get something done. This tells you major things have gone wrong competition in the market is not working. Standards are normally missing and someone like MS has nicked the lunch.
By the way MS did the fake standard stunt using RTF on office suits to get its Office suit as the defacto standard. Then IE and its broken HTML. Outlook and Exchange secret protocols. List goes on and on. Result is a completely screwed up market today.