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Author Topic: Piracy
maximile

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Icon 1 posted February 17, 2006 05:14      Profile for maximile   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Confession: I used to steal a lot of software.

I think it was for convenience, rather than money. I'd download a shareware game, and automatically open Serial Surfer or SBox without thinking of the developer at all.

My new year's resolution was to avoid software piracy where possible. Having actually chatted with software developers in small companies (some via GC), it seemed about time that I did. And I've stuck to it so far... registering copies of all my favourite games etc.

But I still have a copy of SBox on my computer, and pirated versions of many large applications from major companies.

My justification is this: I'm at college doing a fairly technical course; I need to learn certain applications. Having a copy of the software on my computer will help this process, and there's no way I could afford to buy it. But perhaps in a few years I'll be in a position to suggest to a company what software to buy. That's when the software company gets its money.

Am I wrong? What are your views on software piracy?

Posts: 1085 | From: London, UK (Powys, UK in hols) | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
littlefish
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Icon 1 posted February 17, 2006 06:44      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think you are wrong, but that is my opinion.

If you truly need these apps for your course, they should be provided by your school. I would guess they are, but you are too lazy to go there to do your work.

Also, I have found that it is rare for there to be only one application that can do a job, and often there is a free (as in beer) alternative.

Having said that, I have used pirated software before, but never very much. Whilst I do think it is wrong, I don't think it is very wrong.

It is antisocial, like parking in a disabled space (if you are not), or eating all of the best snacks at a party.

Posts: 2421 | From: That London | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tom- geeking around

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Icon 1 posted February 17, 2006 08:42      Profile for Tom- geeking around   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree to a certain extent with littlefish...
BUT, where I do not agree with him is, that not every school can provide legal (and affordable) licenses of the applications you need.
And maybe your school is one of these, otherwise you would know about the "special student's deal" on expensive software...

It is wrong, yeah.
I agree with you Maximile, that stealing from small companies is even more wrong that stealing from big companies..
While, it still is stealing, the little companies feel the impact the harder.
It might be human's nature to take from the rich and give it to the poor - applied in the software sense. But maybe it is, that big companies earn our discredit and the little programmers our sympathy?`

However... I have stolen software - expensive software- which I needed for education and I couldn't get a license for legally.
I do feel sorry, yes... But for education, I believe most companies don't mind the piracy, because the students will be able to use their software and therefore prefer it (when they are working) over other products- and make companies buy it, or buy it themselves.. That is my theory behind it..

Anyways, how ok it is to steal is up to your own sense of justice.

Thomas

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Pizza and ginormous jugs is what I need!

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Dr Watson
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Icon 1 posted February 27, 2006 17:33      Profile for Dr Watson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I used to use pirated Windows and antivirus. Then came the pirated MS Office, photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc. I was fortunate and found linux, and all the free apps that are available for it. Again, I still consider myself fortunate because it suits all of my computing needs, for many people it doesn't. As for school... I configure routers, all I need for that is minicom and/or web browser.

That doesn't mean I quit cold turkey with pirating, I use Limewire for Linux... [Razz]

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Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 27, 2006 18:03      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There was a story in the news a few days ago, UK authorities were very upset at someone for selling pirated copies of Firefox !

(for the uninitiated, Firefox is free software)

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Chesty
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Icon 1 posted February 27, 2006 18:21      Profile for Chesty         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I know what you mean, I go to Barnes and Noble with a lead foil bag and just sneak out all the books I want. After all, I just need the information in the book for my education. I shouldn't have to pay for that, should I?
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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2006 05:09      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I used always have justification for the pirated software I had. In college it was that I didn't have the money so I wasn't really stealing becuase I wouldn't be able to buy the software anyways. I was always saying to myself I'll buy the software I like when I graduate. Afer graduation I just kept using my pirated software, but not pirating any more. You can always think up some justification. That doesn't make it right.

In all honesty it took me a long time (the process is still going) for me to stop using all of my pirated software. One Day I was like well no more , from now on I will start buying everything and I have been using and slowly switching out all my software. This takes time though. Can't put all those expenses into one month.

I guess the most ethical way would be to go cold turkeytwould be to go cold turkey. I guess I just don't have the will power.

On a side note I had a friend in college that went cold turkey on his pirated software one day. He just started nuking piles of CD's in his microwave. It's fun!

Right now I really just have XP that I didn't pay for. SHHH! I justify this with the fact that I'm waiting for Vista. But in the back of my head I know this is wrong.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2006 05:45      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Right now I really just have XP that I didn't pay for. SHHH! I justify this with the fact that I'm waiting for Vista. But in the back of my head I know this is wrong.
So, so wrong. Windows? ::shudder::
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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2006 06:16      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
don't be that way. [ohwell] Windows is not my only OS.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2006 06:42      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Chesty:
I know what you mean, I go to Barnes and Noble with a lead foil bag and just sneak out all the books I want. After all, I just need the information in the book for my education. I shouldn't have to pay for that, should I?

Apples and oranges.

I'm not saying it's OK, but you're not even close to the issue at-hand, here.

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GMx

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Icon 12 posted February 28, 2006 07:45      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Chesty:
I know what you mean, I go to Barnes and Noble with a lead foil bag and just sneak out all the books I want. After all, I just need the information in the book for my education. I shouldn't have to pay for that, should I?

Thanks for the tip. [evil]
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RScottV

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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2006 08:31      Profile for RScottV     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Stealing is stealing. If you take a 300$ bike from a bike store, how is that different than ripping off a 300$ program? People code for thousands of hours at low pay to make software. When you use pirated stuff, you slap them all in the face.

You can often buy used versions of software on ebay very inexpensively. When a new version of something comes out, people unload perfectly good old stuff online. There are often inexpensive or even free versions of major software such as "Think Free Office", "Mariner Write", "NVU", and "GIMP." Here at U of M they have site licenses for many programs-- your school may have the same deal.

I know that some software companies rake in the bucks for crap code, but that doesn't make it right to steal from them. A better strategy is to find a less expensive or open source alternative.

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2006 09:05      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I decided quite a while back that I wasn't going to get into software piracy. It's tempting, but I have two problems with doing that.

First and foremost, it's just like any other theft; it's taking something that doesn't belong to you.

The second problem I have is that developers are going to need funds in order to continue to produce. If they aren't getting paid, their is rarely much initiative to improve and expand on the product. It's the same thing with music and movie piracy. I'm not giving them much of a reason to make more of that kind of product if I'm stealing it. Capitalism is like a democracy, and you vote with your dollar (or whatever currency you happen to be using).

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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Jace Raven

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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2006 11:37      Profile for Jace Raven         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There are only two situations in which I will pirate software.

1) It is a small "home-made" app that I want to try before buying. Because a lot of these apps are useless, I would prefer not to waste my money.

2) I loose a serial for a game or something and there is no possible way to recover info like that after a box is whiped.


Working as a System Admin for the government we get a lot of really good software like solar winds, whats up gold, and all of the microsoft 2k3 server shit including oracle and SQl server. The liscences that we get for these are not per seat and we are authorized to use them on personal machines. I have legit copies of Macromedia studios 2004, Photoshop 7.0 through CS and all sorts of other shit that has greatly increased productivity and as long as I'm in the Marine Corps I dont have to worry about legit software. We have everything.

In all reality, Piracy is VERY wrong.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2006 11:38      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by RScottV:
Stealing is stealing. If you take a 300$ bike from a bike store, how is that different than ripping off a 300$ program?

<captain-obvious>
Because when you steal a bike, the bike's not there any more !
</captain-obvious>

The content (software, music, movies) providers have run a very successful propaganda campaign to convince the public that illegal copying is 'theft', but it's not.

The law (in England, most English-speaking countries are similar) defines theft as "...the dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the the owner of it". There's a whole other (and lesser) offence for "borrowing or using without permission".


People code for thousands of hours at low pay to make software. When you use pirated stuff, you slap them all in the face.

You can often buy used versions of software on ebay very inexpensively. When a new version of something comes out, people unload perfectly good old stuff online.

And how does buying second hand software help put food on the table for starving programmers?

Personally, I think you should pay for the commercial software you use (especially shareware), as someone who makes a living developing software I'm keenly aware of the need to pay programmers salaries. I'm also keenly aware of the real practical risks of downloading pirated software (it's a prime opportunity for bad guys to install all manner of malware on your machine).

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2006 11:54      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by RScottV:
Stealing is stealing. If you take a 300$ bike from a bike store, how is that different than ripping off a 300$ program?

If you take a $300 bike from a bike store, it's difficult to make copies for all your friends. [evil]

But seriously, whether you call it theft or copyright infringement, if you are supposed to pay for something and you choose not to, that's wrong.

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2006 13:30      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Once upon a time, I used pirated software. Dreamweaver and alike, the stuff every young kid uses to make websites etc. Then I realised three things:

a) I'd hate it if there were people out there stealing my intellectual property
b) There's lots of nice people making free (as in speech and beer) software that does the job just as well, if not better
c) Most instiutions have free or discounted software anyway, and if not, the majority of manufacturers offer student discounts

In short, I no longer use pirated software, nor have for many years, as there is no need for it. I even buy my games (on eBay, for the cheapness [Wink] ), at least, the non free ones. Recently I wanted GPS maps for the UK, and was tempted into pirating Garmin's highly expensive European maps (~300), but instead hunted out free topo and road maps for the areas I want. I felt quite good about this.

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2006 14:05      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Copyright infrengment isn't theft. They are covered by different laws, and they have different reasons and effects.

Copyright is a limited monopoly on an idea or processes that was granted by the government for a defined period of time, so as to promote the development of science and useful arts. Read: "We know monopolies are bad, but we want companies to create the things we love. We encourage this by creating a legal monopoly that lets no one else enter copy an idea or processes."

The book anology is wrong, it would be like making a photocopy in the bookstore and returning the orginal book in perfect condition back to shelf. Does the bookstore lose money? Well, in theory they lost your sale, but they can still that book to someone else.

Theft deprives someone of an item, copyright infringment doesn't. There is a HUGE disconnect. As RMS said, anyone who talks about "Intellectual Property" is either confused or malicous.

I believe that software copyright is something needed. That said, extending the life on a copyright that already exsists doesn't promote the sciences or useful arts, it stiffles them. It stops things from entering their true natural copyable state. Copyrights that last after a product isn't being devloped and sold are counter to the intent of copyright; and this happens because the life of copyrights are too long.

The only copyright violations I'm RECENTLY guilty of involve circumventing copyprotection tequines on music and video so as to exercise my right to fair use. Oh, and giving a friend of mine (in military training, preparing to ship) a DVD of mpg files I recoreded off of regular cable TV. Though, I did have a illegal copy Flash a few years ago. I think that's all my "sins."

Patents are a completly different story. In the cases of life saving medicine and software, patents shouldn't be allowed... period.

In regard to patents, I am in violation of having the gif support installed in GIMP in the USA.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2006 14:09      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:

In regard to patents, I am in violation of having the gif support installed in GIMP in the USA.

The GIF patent expired in 2003 I'm pretty sure.
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ChildeRoland
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Icon 1 posted February 28, 2006 14:16      Profile for ChildeRoland     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by RScottV:
Stealing is stealing. If you take a 300$ bike from a bike store, how is that different than ripping off a 300$ program?

Because, you are stealing $300 from the bike store. If you pirate a $300 program, you are just stealing the $50 or whatever that the software company gets after the retailers and distributers get their cut. These guys aren't losing money because they aren't losing a sellable product.

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