What happens if you buy pirated software...

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Rhys, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    Ok. I see the other thread was closed before I could put my reply and I'm afraid I'm going to be fairly lengthy....

    When I was in college in the 1980s/1990s even my college was pirating software. I remember they threw a fit when the discovered I'd copied their pirated software. I recall being threatened with expulsion and all I had to say was "fine. I'll pass this to the company" and the threat was rescinded. They tried all manner of bribes but for that year I was untouchable. They did wrong and knew they were doing wrong which is an attitude that to this day still baffles me.

    Some friends of mine bought pirated software. I recall seeing it and how awful it was. One friend had a pirated version of Windows 2000 that came with all manner of viruses. Another had a pirated version of Norton Utilities and that had its fair share of problems - notably that all the menus were screwed up.

    Now let's move on to my software...

    I used to write shareware. I would write some then put it online and watch people trying it. I wrote a ton of software and put it online. I did my best and put keylocks into it and all sorts of things. It didn't do much good. Software I'd taken months to write would be cracked and the crack would be freely available as would cracked versions within a week or two of my releasing the software. Basically things got so bad I had to give up writing software. That was my job - it's what put clothes on my back and food in my belly. I had to turn to fixing computers instead of writing software as fixing computers made money. Writing software was useless as it all got pirated. Once it was pirated I made no money because everybody used the pirated version. I hated fixing computers!

    Let's move on a bit now. After I moved to the US, I took a job fixing computers with a local mom & pop shop. They used a lot of Linux utilities which was fine. What was not so good was that the owner wanted all his staff to use and install a cracked copy of Nod 32 antivirus and to use cracked registry-fixing software (can't remember which one now but I know the guy who wrote it is in Romania). I challenged him on this and he said "I prefer not to think of it as cracked. I prefer to think of it as activated". Needless to say next payday I slapped my resignation on his desk. I did contact all the bodies interested in software piracy and the software authors but as the authors were in other countries they could do little. I never heard back from the bodies interested in software piracy. I rather suspect my reports were quietly filed and forgotten.

    I don't use pirated software. I don't particularly feel like buying a copy of the latest photoshop so I stick with Photoshop Elements 2 that came with my Nikon 3100 several years ago and DPP that came with my 30D. I can't recommend any of the free software - I tried it and it was awful (the gimp). I could buy more software but most of the windows software I've tried has been so awful that I'm just not buying any until I get my Mac. As for my business software - I use Open Office which is free and for the internet Mozilla and Firefox.

    I have seen piracy from both sides. I have wanted software that I haven't been able to afford and have simply got by without it. I certainly don't feel that Photoshop CS is worth the money that Adobe is charging BUT you have to remember that every copy that Adobe sells pays for 10 pirated copies. They have to make their money somewhere. If there were no software piracy, software would be a fraction of its current price.

    What can you do as an honest human being? Simple... buy the software you actually use and report anybody you see using pirated software. It's possible to report most piracy anonymously BUT there's a greater chance of the guy being convicted if you're willing to testify. Make a stand!
     
  2. nicfargo

    nicfargo TPF Noob!

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    I agree that piracy is not a good thing...I don't like doing it myself. I think businesses using pirated software should be fined. However, students just trying to learn the software I feel a little more ok with. When they start making money off of it they should pay for it...but until then I think there should be student licenses. Students can't afford programs like CS3, Mya, etc. We shouldn't hold back learning something just because the software in a commercial sense is so God-awful expensive.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Adobe is particularly aware of students and they have student versions of their software. The discounts are often quite large. In some cases, it's actually cheaper to buy a student version and then the professional upgrade...than to just buy the full version. Of course, this hinges on you actually being a student.

    Also, there are other ways to legally get discounts. I bought a Wacom Tablet that came with a coupon for $250 or $300 off of Photoshop.
     
  4. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

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    I've got an ad in my inbox now offering 50% off the full price of CS3 - the ad was courtesy of being a registered user of Elements 5.0
     
  5. eravedesigns

    eravedesigns TPF Noob!

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    I think its ok for individuals to pirate software because for most people they are just doing a hobby and trying to get better but I agree that if you are profiting and substantial amount you should pay for a license.
     
  6. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    That's the same as saying it's OK for poor people to rob banks because they need money to buy food!
     
  7. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Photoshop CS3 is about $300 for a student, which is substantially cheaper than for a non-student. However; $300 is about a whole term worth of ramen noodles, wonder bread, and government cheese, so for a starving college student, $300 goes a long way. That certainly makes pirated software look pretty appetizing for a college student.

    On a different note, I have a cousin who was just sentenced to 4 years in the state pen. for selling pirated software. I actually didn't know him all that well, all I know is he seemed like a pretty upstanding guy and then I heard through the grapevine that he's doing pretty hard time. I think if your profiting off of the hard work and millions in R&D that somebody else has had to put in, then you deserve to go to "Federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison", but if your a student who can barely afford to eat, there should be something a little more accessible. It's pretty hard to work full-time and take over 16 credits a term, of not impossible.
     
  8. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Using pirated software is no different than using cameras stolen off of the Nikon or Canon factory loading docks.

    No different whatever.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Also, students should have access to software...at their school. If you are taking a Photoshop class, then you should have a classroom with computers and registered education versions of the software.

    A lot of students my want their own versions of software for their own computers...but that's a privilege, not a right.
     
  10. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    Exactly - every course I have ever done has allowed me access to computers owned by each institution in which I was a student. I had computer access in my college, my Institute of Higher Education, my university and when I was at a distance-learning university they even had computers one could borrow for the year!

    Software piracy is theft. Theft, like rape or murder is a crime!
     
  11. patrickt

    patrickt TPF Noob!

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    I not only buy my photo editing software but I've bought my camera and lenses, too.
     
  12. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    May I borrow your car? I just want to ride around and I promise not to use it as a taxi.
     

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