Linked by David Adams on Tue 26th Oct 2004 16:30 UTC
Editorial The software industry is undergoing a gradual transformation, and consumer fatigue is at its root. The licensing model that has formed the basis for the modern software industry is facing challenges on many fronts, and the industry is scrambling to keep its footing. Where this period of change may lead software producers and consumers isn't quite clear, but some trends are emerging. Since the proliferation of the internet, unauthorized redistribution of digital goods has become rampant. But although software sharing probably won't kill the software industry, the reasoning behind it shares some pedigree with the customer revolt that promises to transform the way software is sold.
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Like my father always said..
by Chris on Tue 26th Oct 2004 20:22 UTC

"Locks don't exist to stop thieves, they exist to keep honest people honest."
Course, the rest of that becomes a defense of the second ammendment; but that's a complete aside to this discussion.

A lot of people believe things are only wrong if you get caught. But I think the author is right in that many people do not buy because they see it as a rip off. I'm one of them, I appreciate the idea of buying something over getting a free copy. But I refuse to pay $18 for 40 minutes of music that the artist didn't even create (no one credits the orchestra that first played Beethoven, but we credit the performer and ignore the writers). I actually view it as a moral wrong to pay too much for a product, or to pay for an inferior product. And to me, supporting those who rip off their customers is a greater wrong than stealing from them. Now usually, I just live without the product, but for others this isn't always an option. Think of it like stealing from a thief; not like "stealing from the rich." The moral question is a very hard one, but the legal question is very simple.
With software though, you can easily live without it and you probably shouldn't use it if you don't want to pay for it. And the reason is this:
By stealing product X that you hate the producer of, you steal from their competition who makes product Y at possibly a lower price or even free. In software, piracy is damaging to competition.
This is why it angers me to see pirated copies of Windows used to check e-mail. Use Linux or BSD for this, it's the same price you paid; likely the same effort considering that piracy requires some technical adeptness, and it's legal!