Software piracy

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Silverhawk060
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Software piracy

Post by Silverhawk060 »

Now most of us here at some point in their life have used pirated software. I would like to ask what is your take on software piracy?

do you think it helps a business maintain a higher market share of their software?
do you think the copy protection being employed is only annoying legit users?
what do you think can be done to curb piracy.. besides a much lower pricing scheme :P

I also read somewhere that software companies treat software as physical property or intellectual property depending on the situation that benefits them. Anyone know of any examples of such cases?

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Post by DDemonguy »

Software piracy is everywhere. I would say that the main focus of major software companies is to prevent a business from using their software illegally, and merely making it more difficult or discouraging for personal use.

In my eyes pirated software is helping the company grow. As it is I would not be able to purchase any one piece of software, so I am either going to use it illegally, or not at all, either way the companies do not get money from me for their software, this goes the same for movies, music, games etc..

However when I have an extra 50 bucks lying around I quite often find myself making a software purchase, sometimes something I already have, simply because i don't want to have to deal w/the stress and trouble of hacked software being buggy, or having viruses or spyware included in the installation.

to answer your question regarding market share, piracy has nothing to do w/market share. This is more based on the quality of the software, and how well known the company is. Everyone still wants the best whether its paid for or not.

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Post by Darth Wong »

If you can afford to pay for software, you tend to pay for it. You get manuals, support, etc. If you can't afford to pay for it, you usually don't. That's why students will have computers which are 100% filled with pirated software, adults will tend to have a mixture of purchased and pirated software, and corporations tend to buy everything.

The argument put forth by vendors is that people won't pay for it if they can pirate it, which makes sense, but it also makes sense that people who can't afford it would never pay for it regardless.

The real debate is not whether piracy is unethical (it clearly is), but whether the draconian measures intended to combat piracy are ethical. And to a larger extent, whether perpetual copyright for software is reasonable. Technology patents expire after 17 years; why should software be protected by perpetual copyright? Does a man who invents a cure for cancer deserve less duration of royalties than a man who writes a computer game?
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Post by mannythehamster »

I think piracys justified.

But you get what you pay for, buying the software ensures virus/spyware free software that either runs fine or there's a garuntee/help line.

With pirate software (especially downloaded from the 'net) you could be getting anything. And you have no comeback if it destroys your machine.
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Post by fumbalah »

I'm not really all that sure where i stand on piracy. I have a problem with it becasue it's illegal, but at the same time, is it really hurting larger companies(such as microsoft). Piracy will always hurt the little guy alot more than it will the big guy. In the long run, piracy could possibly hurt the economy, but not anytime I can see in the near future

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Post by Techie-Micheal »

mannythehamster wrote: I think piracys justified.
Why? Is it okay to steal a candy bar from a grocery store just because you don't to pay for it? Certainly not. So why is it okay to pirate software? If you can't pay for it, then you really don't need it, now do you? Or you don't like the company, so you decide to pirate their software. Hrm. Wouldn't a better solution be to boycott the company? A much more effective and legal way.
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Post by A_Jelly_Doughnut »

Looks to me like Manny's argument is that if you pirate, you may think you get Microsoft Office, but really get netski.

If you can't afford a candy bar, then you either go without or go to the soup kitchen. In the Office example, there are several soup kitchens which can satisfy the need. But for others, such as AutoCAD, the only alternative to piracy is AutoCAD LT. Which is still sold at a crazy cost, IMO.
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Post by Darth Wong »

A_Jelly_Doughnut wrote: Looks to me like Manny's argument is that if you pirate, you may think you get Microsoft Office, but really get netski.

If you can't afford a candy bar, then you either go without or go to the soup kitchen. In the Office example, there are several soup kitchens which can satisfy the need. But for others, such as AutoCAD, the only alternative to piracy is AutoCAD LT. Which is still sold at a crazy cost, IMO.

Obviously, you have never tried pricing out CATIA or EDS-Unigraphics. AutoCAD LT is pocket change for an engineering design firm. If you want something that's cheap and surprisingly powerful (much more powerful than AutoCAD LT), look at Rhino. Nine hundred bucks may sound like a lot to a student, but it's very cheap on the scale of engineering software.

The concept of the free-enterprise system is that if prices are too high, a competitor will come along and make something that does the same thing for cheaper. This works as long as you don't have proprietary standards locking out competitors, such as the ones Microsoft relies on in order to control the market. The CAD market currently has no such proprietary standards, at least not for 3D data. Nobody else can import DXF files the way AutoCAD can, but that's their own crappy standard and drawings aren't that important because formatting issues can be fixed and the whole thing is hardcopy anyway. It's 3D data which you really need importers for.
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Post by Darth Wong »

Techie-Micheal wrote:
mannythehamster wrote:I think piracys justified.
Why? Is it okay to steal a candy bar from a grocery store just because you don't to pay for it? Certainly not. So why is it okay to pirate software? If you can't pay for it, then you really don't need it, now do you? Or you don't like the company, so you decide to pirate their software. Hrm. Wouldn't a better solution be to boycott the company? A much more effective and legal way.

While I agree that manny's statement is unjustified, your analogy doesn't really work either. You can't equate software piracy to physical commodity theft; it is a concept unique to intellectual property and does not really fit such analogies well at all.

It is more analogous to stealing blueprints to a new car from Toyota.
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Post by mannythehamster »

Techie-Micheal wrote: Why? Is it okay to steal a candy bar from a grocery store just because you don't to pay for it? Certainly not. So why is it okay to pirate software? If you can't pay for it, then you really don't need it, now do you? Or you don't like the company, so you decide to pirate their software. Hrm. Wouldn't a better solution be to boycott the company? A much more effective and legal way.


Consider the prices of software though.

I'm a music student and there's bits of software that I use (e.g. Cubase SX) that's literally hundreds of pounds. That's a ridiculous price. There is cheaper, but seeing as we (the students) have to fit in with what college uses it means we're stuffed.

Also my take is slightly different as (like I said before) I'm a music student. Admittedly you can't really compare the two because ripping off a song or two doesn't generally affect album sales (not in the way that people would like you to think anyway) but a piece of software ripped off leaves nothing to sell.

Although I think that judging by the prices of a lot of software (it does depend on the software and the price) it is far too expensive, hence people ripping it off.
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Post by Techie-Micheal »

Darth Wong wrote:
Techie-Micheal wrote:
mannythehamster wrote:I think piracys justified.
Why? Is it okay to steal a candy bar from a grocery store just because you don't to pay for it? Certainly not. So why is it okay to pirate software? If you can't pay for it, then you really don't need it, now do you? Or you don't like the company, so you decide to pirate their software. Hrm. Wouldn't a better solution be to boycott the company? A much more effective and legal way.

While I agree that manny's statement is unjustified, your analogy doesn't really work either. You can't equate software piracy to physical commodity theft; it is a concept unique to intellectual property and does not really fit such analogies well at all.

It is more analogous to stealing blueprints to a new car from Toyota.
I see your point Darth, but my point was that stealing is stealing, regardless of what it is.

manny: I'm security "technician." There's software (and hardware, such as the UnityOne 400 from TippingPoint or a Cisco PIX 515E) out there that I would love to get my hands on. Yes, I have access to it (it being the expensive hardware and software) at work, and that is part of my responsibility, but nothing beats having your own lab. ^_^ Software and harware that costs a lot more than my student budget can handle. But, I've found cheaper (or heck, even free in some cases) alternatives that meet my needs until I can afford the more expensive products. I don't need to go pirating software. And yes, I know where you are coming from. I'm a trumpet player and a piano player. I'd love to get my hands on some of the composition programs out there. However, like the security software, I've found cheaper or free alternatives. You just have to know where to look. Instead of putting yourself in a legal limbo and possibly risk the company making an example out of you, why not make an example out of the company by using the cheaper/free alternatives? Then you can say, "I'd like to use your software, why not offer a student discount or something?" Hey, anything can happen.
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Post by mannythehamster »

That's what I try to do. There's a lot of examples where I use free/cheap alternatives but in some cases it's just not possible.

I admit I do try to avoid piracy and it is pretty immoral but it is usually justified by the extreme price of the software.

And you're blanketing a bit with "stealing is stealing". Technically it is, but then a PC's a PC. I'm sure you'll agree that there's a massive difference between PCs.

In the same way there's a big difference between stealing. The big one for me is Music Piracy. It's actually beneficial to the artist half the time. There's a lot of bands I havn't heard until my mates have sent me songs over the internet. If I like the song then I'll go out and buy the album (as would most people I know) if I don't then they wouldn't have got any money out of me anyway.

Obviously that's completely different to software, technically both are stealing but they both have totally different effects on the consumer, the company/artist and the economy of the buisness.

:) Good discussion, as a music studen piracy's always a favourite :lol:

BTW, I have to add, that's my version of piracy, I do realise there are a few twats who just live off pirated stuff, that's wrong and there's no reason for it. A few expensive bits is ok if you can't afford it, things like a whole CD collection or a whole harddrive is definately very bad.
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Post by Pit »

Techie-Micheal wrote: I see your point Darth, but my point was that stealing is stealing, regardless of what it is.

Stealing is stealing, and violence is violence; however, murder is worse than hitting someone with a wet fish. When you pirate software, you are denying the company revenue they would have acquired if you had bought it; when you steal a car, you are denying someone all access to their own property. They are both stealing and they are both a crime, but the nature of the crime is very different.
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Post by ZoliveR »

Pit wrote:
Techie-Micheal wrote:I see your point Darth, but my point was that stealing is stealing, regardless of what it is.

Stealing is stealing, and violence is violence; however, murder is worse than hitting someone with a wet fish. When you pirate software, you are denying the company revenue they would have acquired if you had bought it; when you steal a car, you are denying someone all access to their own property. They are both stealing and they are both a crime, but the nature of the crime is very different.


+1
I agree with you. Stealing a software and stealing a candy bar is quite the same... Yes the ways and the method are different... But it's quite the same, even if it's different in the fact that there is not a million of people that can steal a same car for use it them at the same time. But the million of people that steal a software, just because they use illegal ways for using it for free and at anytime, it's a loss of win for the entreprises, most often a bigger loss when it's little companies that they try to win what they invest on. But it's also a loss in the fact than as Office, Winzip and other well known software, they are the most pirated, and the most used, and the others are falling down, ignored just because they are not "the top", or because they are for unknown companies, or also because if they are shareware/demos, ways to use these unknown soft free are more limited than well known, and so the well known are the most used, and so have the monopole of use... Well i don't deny that i use also pirated software... But i'm not those that download 36.000 softs just coz there are the top. But if i download a soft it's mainly for what it can bring for my personal use...
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Post by Tors Cove »

Store has 50 candy bars, robber takes 1, Store has 49 remaining

Store has 50 copies of Windows, person downloads Windows, Store still has 50 copies of Windows.

Doesn't look the same to me...

More like if your friend and you read the same newspaper. The newspaper company would have just lost a customer, since if you read your friend's newspaper, you won't want to buy a newspaper.

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