Hey, Don't Forget About Software Pirates

from the it's-all-piracy dept

It seems the folks at the BSA are getting jealous of all the attention their counterparts at the RIAA and MPAA are getting for screaming loudly about “internet piracy!”. That used to be the sole domain of the folks at the BSA. So, now they’re coming back with a vengeance and reminding us of all the billions and billions of dollars and jobs lost due to those evil people who download commercial software, install it on multiple machines and (gasp) never pay. Again, they have a very odd view of what “theft” is. If they could somehow force everyone who had the software to pay or stop using it – most of those who got the software illegally simply would stop using it – as they couldn’t afford the ridiculous prices being charged. There’s no money lost in those cases – yet the BSA is sure to count every penny. Furthermore, the BSA likes to translate every one of those pennies into “lost jobs” while there’s no proof that more software sales necessarily means a corresponding increase in employees. Many software products (including Microsoft’s) became popular because of people sharing the products, and they certainly built a viable business. Someone needs to take all of these industry association folks and teach them some basic economics.

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Comments on “Hey, Don't Forget About Software Pirates”

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LittleW0lf says:

Software Pirates, or Misunderstood Software Licens

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) said today that a new survey based on interviews with more than 1,000 Internet users suggests that nearly half of America’s online population has downloaded commercial software, but as many as 81 percent have not always paid for every copy they made – perhaps installing software licensed for a single user on multiple office PCs.

Or maybe it is more along the lines that since the licenses for most commercial products are written in a way that most lawyers have a hard time understanding them, that people are confused about what the license does or does not allow them to do with the software.

I have a number of software tools which I purchased one copy of, but have installed on two or more machines. And I am not your average pirate…I follow licenses to a tee, and have checked the licenses carefully. Since the software is only going to be used on one machine at a time, these software tools are perfectly within the letter and intent of the licensing agreement the software vendor and I entered into when I purchased their software, which specifically said the software can only be USED on one machine at a time, but can be installed on any machine. I even have some software whose license says that no matter how many of my own machines (at my house or place of business) I install them on, so long as I have a valid license, I am legal.

So, apparently BSA’s data is limited to how BSA, or more specifically, how Microsoft licenses their product, and not how the rest of the world chooses to do so. I am perfectly legal within many of my vendor’s licenses to do what I do, even though Microsoft doesn’t necessarily agree. So I can clearly understand why the BSA got the conclusions they got, based on their flawed, and misunderstood understanding of how the real world works…Typical Microsoft if you ask me.

Steve says:

Another annoying rant from a thief

Ah, another example of a thief who thinks it’s ok to download free files from the Net! Gee, haven’t heard insights these good since the college kids were using ‘free speech’ to justify their Napster downloads. Why don’t you stop boring us with your ramblings and get back to your Morpheus downloads, ok?

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Another annoying rant from a thief

Yeah, you can make any assumption you want without any knowledge of the truth.

So, for the record:

(1) I have no illegal downloaded software on my computer. I have never downloaded a “cracked” software product or anything like that.

(2) I don’t use morpheus or any other file sharing programs currently.

(3) I have no MP3s that were not ripped from CDs I already owned.

So… tell me again how I’m a thief?

However, having said all that, I haven’t seen you come up with an actual response to any of the actual economic points I’ve made. You just call me a thief. I’m still waiting for your real argument…

I’ve tried to make my economic points clearly. If you think they’re boring ramblings, then why do you come here? The fact of the matter is that ECONOMICALLY speaking, these companies should be looking to take advantage of this great distribution mechanism (the greatest ever invented). Instead, they’re shooting themselves in the foot by trying to kill what’s probably the biggest opportunity ever handed to them.

And yet your response is to call me names…

And you say that I’m the immature one here?

pasi says:

Re: Re: it aint very complicated

I work on electronic music, mainly on software applications. The softs used for making music could be divided into three categories: 1.sequensers (arrange notes, controls sound sources) 2.instruments (synths, samplers) 3.effects

The underlying rules these sofwares work by do not change that radically, expecially concerning the most important and expensive softs, the sequencers. The crushial factor in choosing your softwares is in 99% of cases is ease of use, ie. which interface is prefered. With every major sequenser you can create any composition you are able to visualize.

To buy every interesting music software and try them out would cost tens of thousands of dollars, an amount most bedroom musicians are not willing to invest.
I am involved with a few record lables, and the general trend for modern electronic musicians seems to be setteling down with a legal setup when publishing their first album. If these kids could not access cracked wares they would most probably learn to live using freewares, which most often get the job done, only with less intuitive interfaces.

Rumor is, that a large music software house contacted the main musicsoftware crackers asking that this or that software would not be cracked.. the wild boys said ok, only to be later contacted by the same software house, who had experienced extremely bad sales. The software house contacted them asking that they crack the program, becouse otherwize nobody trys it out, and it sells very poorly.

LittleW0lf says:

Re: Re: Another annoying rant from a thief

Mike, I have a funny feeling this “yahoo.com” user was talking to me…but you said everything that I would have said. (I thought Morpheus was Lawrence Fishborne’s character’s name on the Matrix, apparently it is now the name of some piece of junk spy-ware p2p package.)

What is funny is that this guy is showing the same level of ignorance that the BSA and Microsoft are showing towards licensing arrangements by other software vendors. To him, anyone who is in argument with the BSA’s study is a criminal, a “Pirate”. Never mind the fact that the science behind the study was flawed, and the sample size (1000 people) was very small and not random (obtained via an online survey, but no explination on where the survey was located or how people were made aware of it,) if you don’t believe the results, you’re obviously hiding something.

Sound familiar…hmmm…Microsoft has this same attitude about their users; “if you don’t upgrade your software at $300 a pop every six months, you must be a criminal.” Or even better, “if you use an open-source operating system, you are a criminal cause you aren’t paying us for it.” Or RIAA, “all music on the internet is illegal.” Or MPAA, “VCR Recording will be our undoing…” As you have said before, this ignorance of basic economy is frightening, and shows that we are on a downhill slope to a Corporate Dictatorship, where the government has no more control and the Corporations rule our life…. Blade Runner anyone?

sean johnson says:

Re: Re: Another annoying rant from a thief

Sean Johnson
American Issues
Topic: Lead fishing
Article #1

The state of Wisconsin has a controversial subject on whether fisherman should be able to use lead equipment or not. A Conservation Congress meeting will be held in April to vote on the use of lead equipment during fishing. Thos voting may give their opinion on whether the DNR should set up a pilot program promoting voluntary sale of non-toxic sinkers and jigs for fishing in Wisconsin. The problem is that lead is toxic and waterfowl and other animals sometimes eat it.

Man states have already banned the use of lead fishing equipment. The DNR website has shown hat lead sinkers and jigs are potential health threat to waterfowl, especially loons. Also, the DNR website gives practical and affordable alternatives to lead equipment. However, some fisherman may not be able to afford getting all new equipment. This is the main drawback of taking away lead form fisherman. Banning lead means the buying of all new equipment will rise and most likely be more expensive. Still, Dave Gehrke thinks if lead is banned, fisherman will still buy new equipment for the love of the sport.

The authors of this article dosen?t really seem to pick a side on this particular topic. He gives evidence of the drawbacks for each situation. If I had to pick the opinion of him, it would be to ban the lead use of fishing, because he gives evidence of researching alternative ways of lead on the DNR website. Also, he seems to understand the negative consequences that the environment pays for.

My opinion is to ban the use of lead for all fishermen. I do love to fish, but waterfowl are dying over the toxic jigs and sinkers. Even though it will be more expensive for fisherman, the loss of waterfowl is not necessary. Personally, whenever my dad walks into a bait store, he always has to buy a new jig. Jigs and sinkers are constantly being lost, which makes fishermen have to buy more. Therefore, I don?t see it as a major problem to ban the use of lead fishing in Wisconsin.

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