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  1. #76
    SitePoint Zealot GOPalmer's Avatar
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    Theft is theft and it is illegal, however morally there are grey areas.

    As a developer I often need to purchase software licenses for client sites. There are occasions where I'll need to modify / extend said piece of software. Legally I must purchase the license first, however for numerous reasons this is not always an option. I may need to see the code-base before I can quote my client and to ensure the software is suitable.

    I'm sure I'm not alone with this, I could make noticeable losses if I didn't fully research the software.

    I also purchase a lot of books. Books are a little bit different. There a many reviews, samples and articles available to look at before purchasing any book (same goes for music, movies). The only thing I begrudge when It comes to buying books is paying extra for an ebook copy. I already own the book, why should I pay extra to read it on the train with my iphone?

    Best Regards, George

  2. #77
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    I don't think that the above statement is true in many cases. Are you saying that of the hundreds of thousands of people who downloaded and watched Avatar, not a single one of them would have seen the film in the theater if there was no other way to see it?

    All those users who download and pirate Photoshop - not a single one of them would buy it if it wasn't so easy to steal?
    Don't be that extremist. He's not saying that but it also true that some people download stuff just because they're curious and want to check out... but they will never be customers or potential buyers. Furthermore, some of them do finally come buyers.

    In the same way that there are people that download things because they will never pay for it if they can get it for free. And a whole rage of other types in between.

    There are all kind of people in the world, and you seem to be determinated to put everyone on the same boat

  3. #78
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    I'm having a hard time following your logic. I wasn't putting everyone in the same boat, I was disputing a comment made by another poster who asserted that "downloads do not equal lost sales, but downloads can lead to new fans who are then potential customers.".

    I felt that his statement was both unsupportable and didn't make a strong argument for unauthorized use of protected works, and I think I made that statement fairly clearly.

    I went on to remark that even if his statement were true, it doesn't answer the question about who gets to decide what terms are applied to the product that they produce and sell.

    Say I decide to write a piece of software and I decide to sell it for $1000, with no trial period at all. I hire an expensive market research person who tells me that my target audience is unlikely to steal the software, and that anyone who does steal the software is unlikely to pay for it. And, that consultant predicts that for this particular software package, a freeware or shareware model is not likely to be the most profitable for me.

    Let's say that I decide that I trust the marketing consultant and decide to price and protect my software accordingly. It's my software package, can't I decide how I want to sell it?

    Last month I had a huge plumbing job that I needed bids on. Out of 9 plumbers who I called, 2 or 3 of them wanted me to pay about $30 to have the job estimated and wouldn't come out for free. That is their choice, although in this case I didn't want to pay it.

    Should we apply this mentality to other fields? How about footwear? In NYC, a legitimate pair Nike sneakers costs much more than a counterfeit pair. Should we say that anyone who wants to should be able to produce, sell, or buy a pair of counterfeit Nike's because it's helping to drive the Nike brand? Whose decision is that?

    If you try to apply this mentality to tangible goods, or any kind of goods that aren't simply easy to steal, then it gets complicated and suddenly these ethical contortions become harder to swallow.

    How about iPhones? If I can make a working iPhone in my garage, can I start giving them away for free? That brings potential customers to Apple.

    How about linux? can I make unlimited copies of that and distribute them? Oh yea I can, because it's licensed that way intentionally.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShayneTilley View Post
    Piracy for a while was an internal conflict to me. The idea of sharing things like music, whilst wrong, was just so much as social norm, it didn't feel wrong. That all changed for me when I started at SitePoint and saw things from the producers perspective. Then I co-wrote my own book at it became much much more real for me. I've never tried to hide the fact that our books are scattered all over file sharing networks, nor was I ever happy about the DRM entanglements we had on our electronic products (long gone now), but I was a little shocked when I got this.

    We've be trialling PiracyGuards, to monitor our products on common piracy networks. We got our first report today and nearly 500 take down notices had been issued. I knew that our books were out there, but this shook me up a little.

    I'm interested to hear you're own thoughts on piracy, doesn't matter if it's from a consumer or a producers perspective.

    The reality is that more people pirate our books than buy them, I don't know to what ratio -- I probably don't want to know. And many many people have always claimed, the more that's pirated the more that sells, but I'm still not sure how to take that. Love to hear your input.
    my suggestion: save your money and don't pay for the lawyers and these companies that do nothing but send "take down" notices, they will rarely gain any results and from those you do you will then try to sue for what millions they don't have?

    being in the software business, my WinnerTweak program had been pirated many times, all I do is change the mechanism within the program making the keygens and cracks useless. Going around and suing people isn't really an answer. If you publish good quality work you will get paid and yes your work will be stolen by those who will never pay for it. So who cares? It doesn't hurt your sales.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    I'm having a hard time following your logic. I wasn't putting everyone in the same boat, I was disputing a comment made by another poster who asserted that "downloads do not equal lost sales, but downloads can lead to new fans who are then potential customers.".

    I felt that his statement was both unsupportable and didn't make a strong argument for unauthorized use of protected works, and I think I made that statement fairly clearly.

    I went on to remark that even if his statement were true, it doesn't answer the question about who gets to decide what terms are applied to the product that they produce and sell.

    Say I decide to write a piece of software and I decide to sell it for $1000, with no trial period at all. I hire an expensive market research person who tells me that my target audience is unlikely to steal the software, and that anyone who does steal the software is unlikely to pay for it. And, that consultant predicts that for this particular software package, a freeware or shareware model is not likely to be the most profitable for me.

    Let's say that I decide that I trust the marketing consultant and decide to price and protect my software accordingly. It's my software package, can't I decide how I want to sell it?

    Last month I had a huge plumbing job that I needed bids on. Out of 9 plumbers who I called, 2 or 3 of them wanted me to pay about $30 to have the job estimated and wouldn't come out for free. That is their choice, although in this case I didn't want to pay it.

    Should we apply this mentality to other fields? How about footwear? In NYC, a legitimate pair Nike sneakers costs much more than a counterfeit pair. Should we say that anyone who wants to should be able to produce, sell, or buy a pair of counterfeit Nike's because it's helping to drive the Nike brand? Whose decision is that?

    If you try to apply this mentality to tangible goods, or any kind of goods that aren't simply easy to steal, then it gets complicated and suddenly these ethical contortions become harder to swallow.

    How about iPhones? If I can make a working iPhone in my garage, can I start giving them away for free? That brings potential customers to Apple.

    How about linux? can I make unlimited copies of that and distribute them? Oh yea I can, because it's licensed that way intentionally.
    your logic is very faulty, you make incorrect comparisons and they don't add up. again with pirated works you don't get the full benefits. For example: I pirate a game, I can play it but I cannot play it online. You see? If i pirated the game and then play it and like it I say "ok its worth the money" and buy it, if i bought it and played and it and said "this game sucks" I couldn't return it.

    I am not in defense of piracy but I will say that those who pirate wouldn't buy your product otherwise.

  6. #81
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver163 View Post
    your logic is very faulty, you make incorrect comparisons and they don't add up. again with pirated works you don't get the full benefits. For example: I pirate a game, I can play it but I cannot play it online. You see? If i pirated the game and then play it and like it I say "ok its worth the money" and buy it, if i bought it and played and it and said "this game sucks" I couldn't return it.

    I am not in defense of piracy but I will say that those who pirate wouldn't buy your product otherwise.
    I'm trying to follow your logic so bear with me.

    If you pirate a game which enables you to play it but not play it online, you can still play it can't you? You are still benefiting from the game, possibly enjoying the game, and playing the game against the will (perhaps) of the author. What if you decide that you like the game, but don't need to play it online so you'll just stick with the stolen version?

    What about something like Photoshop? If you just take a copy from the Internet and get a serial number, you have just about the full benefit of the software. There isn't really any reason to buy it at that point, and you probably won't. Perhaps some users might say, 'oh this is great software I think I'll pony up for it after all', but I'm guessing that most won't do that.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  7. #82
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    What about something like Photoshop? If you just take a copy from the Internet and get a serial number, you have just about the full benefit of the software. There isn't really any reason to buy it at that point, and you probably won't. Perhaps some users might say, 'oh this is great software I think I'll pony up for it after all', but I'm guessing that most won't do that.
    Only time I see people buying something on par with PS after stealing a version (or keeping the student version in the cases I know), is when the newer-better-faster-stronger-harder version comes out, and the users are used to it and use the software regularly and want the newer version.

  8. #83
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    What if you decide that you like the game, but don't need to play it online so you'll just stick with the stolen version?
    What if instead of paying for cable I get a DVD and continuously play it over and over and and over? It gets dull, playing online keeps the game interesting. What if questions are useless you can make a What if question doesn't mean its realistic.

    What about something like Photoshop?
    nope, you can't get any updates or support on it.

    I'm guessing that most won't do that.
    and most who pirate the stuff wouldn't have bought it anyway.

  9. #84
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver163 View Post
    What if instead of paying for cable I get a DVD and continuously play it over and over and and over? It gets dull, playing online keeps the game interesting. What if questions are useless you can make a What if question doesn't mean its realistic.



    nope, you can't get any updates or support on it.



    and most who pirate the stuff wouldn't have bought it anyway.
    I think it's going to be hard for us to agree. Let's skip the 'what if' questions and move to a real example that I've been seeing for years.

    We'll stick the Photoshop example.

    I personally know lots of people who use pirated versions of Photoshop. My partner in a design firm did it for a while, until I bought him a license, and I know lots of others who do it. Those users are willing to skip the updates and access to support to avoid paying for the software.

    Some of them, I predict, never intend to pay for the software at any point. Many of them I am quite certain would never pay, as the've told me that it's too expensive and if necessary they'd go to a cheaper or free alternative.

    Many of them use it to design websites, tweak photos, etc. and make money doing it.

    So, I'm trying to get an understanding of your premise.

    Are you saying that those people, who apparently have no intention of ever buying Photoshop but continue to use it anyways in a commercial setting (usually a meager setting, agreed) are entitled to a copy of the software by merit of the fact that they wouldn't have bought it anyways?
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  10. #85
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    Yes it is stealing, it is the stealing of intellectual property. Period.
    You can't steal intellectual property, I can't walk into the patent office and then take control of ownership of the Microsoft brand by suddenly relinquishing them of their protected identity. Don't be silly, there's a REAL difference between theft (the taking of something which results in an actual loss) and the taking of something which doesn't result in a direct loss of earnings (the loss would be indirect, not at the loss of the produced product but at the lack of willing to pay for it).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    Say I decide to write a piece of software and I decide to sell it for $1000, with no trial period at all.
    This is one of the reasons why I sympathise with a lot of pirates, often the stuff they do steal are products that are either no longer in production, prohibitively expensive or don't give people a reasonable opportunity to know what looks like a good product is actually worth the label. Giving someone for example a 30 day trial of photoshop isn't conducive to the amount of time it requires for someone to get used to the environment and be able to work out whether it's what they need. When I first launched a product I went with a 30 day trial and that saw huge amounts of piracy... the second I decided that was a bad idea to force people to decide if they wanted what I offered in such a timeframe I turned to the model of a reduced functionality demo (so it worked perfectly but added extra features upon payment) and the return I got from the conversion (from those people who pirated initially) increased dramatically. Not saying this is going to be the same in every case but while it's your product and you can sell it how you want, like with web design you need to decide how best to approach your audience and convince them it's worth the money... drowning them with penalties, restrictions, spyware, DRM, activation protocols, crippling bloat and other junk don't work... yet all the big companies still follow this antiquated and rather fruitless model. I think the software and media industry REALLY need to rethink their strategy.

  11. #86
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver163
    What if instead of paying for cable I get a DVD and continuously play it over and over and and over? It gets dull, playing online keeps the game interesting. What if questions are useless you can make a What if question doesn't mean its realistic.
    ...
    nope, you can't get any updates or support on it.
    ...
    and most who pirate the stuff wouldn't have bought it anyway.
    That's like saying stealing a laptop is ethical if you don't get the charger that comes with it. Without the charger you dont get much use out of it - but that doesn't make up for the fact that you're breaking the law.

    Whether or not YOU believe you deserve something, is completely irrelevant. It's greedy, its selfish and you may as well spit in the face of the developers.

    Think about it this way. You're a professional photographer, right? So what if you saw an amazing landscape, and took a photo which you wanted to mass-produce. You sold a picture ONCE, and before you know it that same picture is being used on websites, magazines and is being shared all over the internet.

    [sarcasm]
    Oh, but you shouldn't complain. I mean, it's your work and all, but the image being shared is of a slightly lower quality, so they aren't getting benefit of it. Also without buying it legally they don't get it in a shiny frame, so it's fine for them to have it.
    [/sarcasm]

    Not a fantastic example, but hopefully you can relate to that.

    By pirating, you're stealing EARNED profit from the pockets of the people who work hard.
    Jake Arkinstall
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    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  12. #87
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    You can't steal intellectual property, I can't walk into the patent office and then take control of ownership of the Microsoft brand by suddenly relinquishing them of their protected identity. Don't be silly, there's a REAL difference between theft (the taking of something which results in an actual loss) and the taking of something which doesn't result in a direct loss of earnings (the loss would be indirect, not at the loss of the produced product but at the lack of willing to pay for it).
    I don't think it's that cut and dry. You can steal services, intellectual property, and other intangibles.

    http://www.justice.gov/criminal/cybercrime/

    Just because you don't think there are damages doesn't mean that it's not illegal.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    This is one of the reasons why I sympathise with a lot of pirates, often the stuff they do steal are products that are either no longer in production, prohibitively expensive or don't give people a reasonable opportunity to know what looks like a good product is actually worth the label. Giving someone for example a 30 day trial of photoshop isn't conducive to the amount of time it requires for someone to get used to the environment and be able to work out whether it's what they need.
    I understand that YOU may feel that my $1000 software should have a trial, and that YOU feel that my pricing structure is prohibitively expensive.

    But, what if I like the way I do business and prefer to cater to a smaller group of clients with deeper pockets. Do YOU have the right to decide if my product is overpriced, or do I?

    If you don't like how much Photoshop costs, can you just decide that it's prohibitively priced and pirate it? At what point is the pricing 'fair'? Who decides this?

    Why would such a premise be applied to non-tangible (easily stolen) things like software and not tangibles? For example, I can't believe how much they charge for movies, so I'm gonna sneak in and watch. Isn't that similar? If you sit in the aisle so that there's no seat being used, the theater has no immediate material damage in the form of lost ticket sales, etc. So, would you sympathize with the sneaker-in?
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  13. #88
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    You can't steal intellectual property, I can't walk into the patent office and then take control of ownership of the Microsoft brand by suddenly relinquishing them of their protected identity. Don't be silly, there's a REAL difference between theft (the taking of something which results in an actual loss) and the taking of something which doesn't result in a direct loss of earnings (the loss would be indirect, not at the loss of the produced product but at the lack of willing to pay for it).

    Oh yes you can. Intellectual property encompasses all that any person with a mind has created, even tangible properties, for tangible properties are acquired by the product of a person's mind. Money earned by using the mind/intellect. And do not call me silly by the way. That is not a rebuttal, it is an argument from intimidation
    Ulrike
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  14. #89
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    Just because you don't think there are damages doesn't mean that it's not illegal.
    Nor is it moral.
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  15. #90
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    But, what if I like the way I do business and prefer to cater to a smaller group of clients with deeper pockets. Do YOU have the right to decide if my product is overpriced, or do I?
    It's your choice to decide what the price is along with your audience, but if you are catering to people with deep pockets then surely it's a bit of a non-issue... the very nature that people with deep pockets to which the application is suitable to them and within their price range makes them likely to pay for it. Now I can understand if those people are pirating it (for the sake of not paying) why there would be bad feelings, but if some 14 year old kid who aspired to be in the position to have deep pockets and use your product regularly wanted to make use of it (who would be outside both the price bracket of being affordable and the audience your products aimed at), is there really any tangible loss occurring in what might have been a sale? Perhaps... but I would see it more as an opportunity for investing in future users of the product and securing yourself the potential for more legitimate customers. Don't get me wrong... I understand the issues of piracy from both sides of the fence (as I am one of the people affected by it), but I think having the frame of mind where one person sits up high and makes all the rules, sets all the restrictions and only those you condone use the product kinda goes against the grain of the Internet. It feels rather absurd to me that people impose all sorts of restrictions on their materials and feel "outdone" when people who don't meet that criteria feel compelled to be apart of the experience (it pretty much goes against the psychology of human behaviour). As for Photoshop, probably a bad example, I've major issues with Adobe on their deliberate international price hiking policy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    That is not an rebuttal, it is an argument from intimidation .
    It's not an argument from intimidation, I just think it's easy to throw down judgement on people when you have no empathy for circumstance.

    PS: Don't use "morels" in an position relating to legality please, morels are highly subjective and thereby conflict with logical arguments.

  16. #91
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    Circumstance is irrelevant.

    You know, a lumberjack who can't afford a chainsaw would start with an axe until he has earned enough to do so.

    It's easy make a functional website with nothing but notepad. If that's all you can afford, make the most of it.
    Jake Arkinstall
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    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  17. #92
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    If I write software that I only want to be used by a certain audience, don't I have the right to do that? If I make a movie that I only want to be seen be family members, do I have the right do do that?

    The software that I currently work with has a massive marketing team behind it (enterprise SDLC software). They are intent on making sure that their software is associated with huge, expensive software efforts because that is their focus and their market. This company attempts to specifically price-out smaller users, and those users don't benefit all that much from this type of software to begin with.

    Regardless, they feel that it could harm their brand if the software becomes associated with small shops, etc. Sort of like the way that Oracle is trying to brand themselves as rock-solid Enterprise software rather than 'database for everyone'. Doesn't the software manufacturer get to decide their price, or does anyone with a situation deserving of empathy get a break?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    I just think it's easy to throw down judgement on people when you have no empathy for circumstance.
    I think your whole argument is right there in that statement.

    The question is, who decides what kind of circumstances deserve empathy in the form of free services and products, and which don't.

    I would be curious to hear your reply to my question about how this concept is applied to intangibles but not to tangible goods.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  18. #93
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    PS: I think that the mention of morals is perfectly reasonable here. Morals and the law are certainly different things, but I wouldn't say they are 'conflictive' of logical arguments. Whole departments of universities do little else but discuss that!
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  19. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    I'm trying to follow your logic so bear with me.

    If you pirate a game which enables you to play it but not play it online, you can still play it can't you? You are still benefiting from the game, possibly enjoying the game, and playing the game against the will (perhaps) of the author. What if you decide that you like the game, but don't need to play it online so you'll just stick with the stolen version?

    What about something like Photoshop? If you just take a copy from the Internet and get a serial number, you have just about the full benefit of the software. There isn't really any reason to buy it at that point, and you probably won't. Perhaps some users might say, 'oh this is great software I think I'll pony up for it after all', but I'm guessing that most won't do that.
    First, let me apologise. I sounded too harsh but I didn't mean to be offensive. Second, I used a Spanish expression. Although that you've got the meaning quite well, not sure if there's something lost in translation.

    What I meant is that you treat everything a black or white, and there are not only grey areas but some in full color too.

    You have used Photoshop's example twice and I am not sure that it is a good example to use... because Photoshop is what it is now because it has been copied when they realeased from version 5.5... and got a bunch of new clients. That's one of the reasons Adobe didn't try to fight "piracy" till so late. Most of the people that download photoshop "ilegaly" (the quotes come because, hey, it is not ilegal everywhere) is for personal use, and would never buy the software because it is pricey and they will never benefit from it. Those are people that like photography and retouch their pictures but they will never be professionals, it is just a hobby.

    Some other group is a "jack of all trades" that doesn't earn enough money to buy the license, but still need to retouch the pictures from time to time... stand-alone webmasters, kind of new in the business or that simply don't make enough money.

    The jack of all trades will definately buy it at some point, if only to get the extras that Adobe gives you and which will make his life easier.

    The others will never be clients but do spread the word about how good photoshop is.

    Still, if they could afford it with ease, they would buy it becuase Photoshop does create brand evangelists... if people has the time to really use it. It is hard to even scratch the surface with a 30 day trial period.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing
    If you don't like how much Photoshop costs, can you just decide that it's prohibitively priced and pirate it? At what point is the pricing 'fair'? Who decides this?
    That's easy in the case of Photoshop! When you can pay it but you can still pay the rent and the electricity and maybe, just maybe, even get out one day with your friends. At €800 the license, that's not the case. Consider that the average salary here is €1200... and many, many people earn less than that...

    In the case of luxuries (music, DVDs, etc) it also depens on how much you have to spend (which, as you may guess, it is not much) and your circumstances (you may make good money but have people depending on you, this is especially true in this time of crisis but for some of us is always true ) but if I would really enjoy the movie or music and use it more than once. €20 for a music CD or a DVD (don't want to know what Blue-Ray cost) is really high if it turns out that I only like one song or I think that the movie is just OK. It will end up at the bottom of the drawer and I would consider that wasted money.

    Who decides that? Obviously, your market studies if you do them... or the company's bosses or whatever. On few occasions, possible-users-to-be get asked what price they would consider fair... and many will answer truly to the question without adding "but I can't pay it" and some others will lie.

    In the case of books, again that's even harder. If you're using books to learn new skills (like SQL), the problem is that you need to read 1000 books before you get a real good one. You will be able to buy one or two... but you will not be able to afford the 5-6 books that you need to find all the information you need.

    If it is a book for your own enjoyment, it falls in the case of music and DVDS and games.

    Quote Originally Posted by sagewing
    Say I decide to write a piece of software and I decide to sell it for $1000, with no trial period at all. I hire an expensive market research person who tells me that my target audience is unlikely to steal the software, and that anyone who does steal the software is unlikely to pay for it. And, that consultant predicts that for this particular software package, a freeware or shareware model is not likely to be the most profitable for me.
    I never questioned the owners' right to do whatevery they want with what they create, I simply stated that I don't think that you can't consider downloading as theft in all cases furthermore when you don't really know how much you lost/won.

    Answering this particular question, I would say that 90% of the time, I would say that you should be the one that set the rules regarding your own creation. There a few instances where I think that you don't have that particular right: when you keep information that would help a large community to a major improvement (let's say scientify data that proves that ET exists or whatever) and similar situations.
    Can you keep the secret to yourself? of course, nobody will know. Should you do it, even if you don't get paid for your book proving that ET exist? No, you shouldn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Arkinstall View Post
    By pirating, you're stealing EARNED profit from the pockets of the people who work hard.
    That's the problem. You can't say that because you don't know that. You can only estimate that you've lost profits and that's still questionable but in no case you earned them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Arkinstall View Post
    It's easy make a functional website with nothing but notepad. If that's all you can afford, make the most of it.
    I agree on that point, but if we're taking software, that isn't always an option... not everyone has the knowledge to be able to produce their own application which functions at the same level and there aren't always alternative products giving the same level of functionality required to achieve the goal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    The question is, who decides what kind of circumstances deserve empathy in the form of free services and products, and which don't.
    That is the question and I certainly don't have an answer as like many things it differs on everyone's point of view. All I'm doing is stating why I can understand the reasoning as to why people pro-actively choose to pirate software, I'm not in any way stating whether I'm for or against such behaviour (which is why I think it's rather funny people are getting so uptight about what I've said considering my position has been to remain neutral). Honestly I think these kind of threads occur over and over all around the Internet and achieve absolutely nothing (unless you account for people wanting a chance to make themselves feel better), no-ones going to change their opinions or anyone else's and it'll probably end up like what happens to all two sided debates online as a flame-war so I think I'll step aside at this point

    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    PS: I think that the mention of morals is perfectly reasonable here. Morals and the law are certainly different things, but I wouldn't say they are 'conflictive' of logical arguments. Whole departments of universities do little else but discuss that!
    I wouldn't agree, clearly this thread is proof enough that while some people think it's morally OK to infringe copyrights, others think it's morally wrong, the thing with morels are they are neither right or wrong, their just subjective like opinions as to peoples own points of view, thereby using them as some sort of engineered argument from authority (or as in most cases, a straw-man argument) seems pretty redundant and counter-intuitive.

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    SitePoint Guru risoknop's Avatar
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    I'm sure this has been already mentioned but downloading a pirated copy of your book/song/whatever doesn't necessarily mean a lost sale. In fact, most people that download illegal copies wouldn't buy your book if it weren't available for free. They just don't have money for that.

    Don't forget most countries in the world are not as wealthy as USA, UK, Australia etc. Most of the world population is very poor and every dollar makes a difference for them, they usually can't spare $50 to buy a book because that might be their weekly wage.

    So in the end, you are not loosing a cent and these people have a chance to read your books and educate themselves, possibly becoming more qualified and getting a better job, and there's a chance they will buy your book legally in the future.

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    Off Topic:

    Alex, twice now you've mentioned morels... aren't those some kind of fish?

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    SitePoint Guru risoknop's Avatar
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    If you pirate a game which enables you to play it but not play it online, you can still play it can't you? You are still benefiting from the game, possibly enjoying the game, and playing the game against the will (perhaps) of the author. What if you decide that you like the game, but don't need to play it online so you'll just stick with the stolen version?
    So where's the problem? Very probably the kid that "illegally" downloaded the game has no money and couldn't afford to buy the game. The game developer has not lost a single cent and the poor kid can have some fun.

    EDIT: Just to reiterate, I do think "ïllegal" downloading is wrong in some cases. If the kid could afford to buy the game, or the kid's parents could afford it, it would be right thing to do to buy it legally. Though that is not the case for majority of children around the world.

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    How many people around these parts haven't broken a copyright protection once? I'm serious, if someone can tell me that, for sure, at no point in his life, he has broken a copyright law, he deserves... What would this person deserve?


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