Law Enforcement Fails To Combat Software Piracy

from the try-competition dept

Last week, the software industry made some predictable noises about wanting China to enforce piracy laws. The problem with this approach is that software piracy isn't a legal issue, it's an economic one. No amount of legal pressure will convince someone to spend a couple months' salary on upgrading their operating system. Trying to crack down on sales will only push software more into the black market, hurting the legitimate partners within the country. If the industry actually wants to do something about piracy, it needs to look at ways of competing with pirates. Since additional copies of a program hardly cost anything to produce, why not give them out for free, or next to it. This helps to create a relationship with the user, while increasing the likelihood that they'll come back for more software or support in the future. Eventually, as China becomes wealthier the economics will favor legitimate software, as it has everywhere else in the world. When that happens, it will really pay off to have some goodwill in the market.
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  • identicon
    anonymous coward, 14 Apr 2006 @ 12:29pm

    free is for commies and dirty stinkin hippies. americans buy and sell stuff with hard-earned money. get a clue.

    and first!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pope III, 14 Apr 2006 @ 1:41pm

    well

    What does this have to do with condoms?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2006 @ 1:51pm

    To combat Movie piracy, hasn't Universal Pictures already started to release "poor copies"/VCD versions of their movies within weeks of their initial release to the movie theaters in Russia?

    Mike wrote up that story last week...
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20060407/174244.shtml

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2006 @ 1:55pm

    "Software pricing needs to be commensurate with local market conditions" Great, then I can ask my Chinese e-penpal to send me a nice cheap legal & copy of Windows. Or maybe I'll pick one up on vacation. That'll encourage tourism.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ben, 14 Apr 2006 @ 1:58pm

    re: free is for free

    "free is for commies and dirty stinkin hippies. americans buy and sell stuff with hard-earned money. get a clue. "

    LOL - You sound like Red Foreman.

    Free is just another way of doing business, as stated, you can have software for free, and then you might sell your services regarding that software, etc. You also have the right to charge for it if you want.

    Just thought it was such a funny comment. Very well thought out. Americans actually I believe have traditionally stolen and pillaged, but I could be wrong. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2006 @ 2:03pm

    "Since additional copies of a program hardly cost anything to produce, why not give them out for free, or next to it."

    This is an extremely misinformed statement, in general. If you are talking about newly released software, then the creator requires 'n' number of copies to be sold in order to make back the investment that went in to the product. I highly doubt anyone is pirating software where the company has already made their ROI ... like who is pirating Windows 98?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jezsik, 14 Apr 2006 @ 2:29pm

      Re: Who's pirating Win98?

      First off, the creator does not require a certain number be purchased, only that a certain amount of money be collected. Some organizations believe that selling one copy for a hundred bucks is better than selling ten copies for ten bucks. (There are other factors, granted, but the point is made.)

      As far as windows 98 goes, I have seen pirate copies in Third World countries who are using ten year old computers (many of them cast off from New World and Old World nations). Which brings up a good question, why isn't Microsoft giving away Windows 98 for free? I would never have purchased XP if I didn't own 2000 (and would not have bought that without owning 98). Why isn't MS giving away old razors so they can eventually sell new blades?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Denfro Bodacious, 14 Apr 2006 @ 3:48pm

    Notepad

    I just downloaded a pirated copy of Notepad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DJ Twiztid, 15 Apr 2006 @ 7:47am

    Hacking programs is 31337

    I just hacked MS Paint!!!!!!!! w00t! Sky's the limit now man. Look out graphics world. Next on the hacking list is Linux!


    ROFLMAO

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    B.G., 16 Apr 2006 @ 5:38am

    I've downloaded lots of free trial versions of stuff, and later bought it. I think that if the big boys like Microsoft would get more into this, and bring prices down, they would sell more, but noooooooo the smaller companies are the ones giving stuff away.

    Actually, if you're smart, you can outfit your whole pc for free, down to the OS.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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