Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 22nd May 2012 09:51 UTC
In the News "Over half of PC users worldwide have admitted to using pirate software last year, according to a study by the trade group Business Software Alliance. BSA's ninth annual Global Software Piracy Study has shown a sharp increase in software piracy, especially among emerging economies. In the UK, more than one in four programs users installed in 2011 were unlicensed." If people decide en masse not to adhere to a law, said law is worth about as much as the paper it's written on. Laws become functional not because of the Queen's signature, but because the people decide to adhere to it. It's becoming ever clearer that as far as digital goods go, the law is not functional - for better or worse.
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by kokara4a on Tue 22nd May 2012 11:52 UTC
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I don't believe that it's half the PCs worldwide. I think it's much more. I live in a country where vast majority of home-owned PCs run entirely on pirated software. And when it's pirated, the tendency is to have as much as can fit on your hard disk. I have friends that have 3D Studio installed without being used at all. Or Photoshop being used only for image rescaling. And games, lots of them.

However, the biggest fallacy is to think that if there was no way to avoid paying for software they would buy every application that they pirated. I mean, software is fucking expensive even for a first world country (and mine isn't). MS Office Professional alone is more than the average monthly salary. If you make a living you could justify the cost even if it's many month's salary, but not for home use.

Our government buys expensive licenses for MS software, many more that are actually needed and at prices that are higher that if you go to a computer shop and buy individual license. It's fucking disgusting. I guess that's the price we pay for having widespread piracy outside of government. And for having corrupt and self-serving politicians.

In any case, I think this is a missed opportunity for free software. Pirated software is free and usually works better for most people (not for me - I use only free software although I can pirate commercial software, but unfortunately I'm not a majority). If pirated software was difficult to obtain or could put you in jail, free software would have a big advantage.

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