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Old Feb 5, 2004, 03:01 AM   #1
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The Difference Between Piracy and Stealing


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Link: The Difference Between Piracy and Stealing

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Old Feb 5, 2004, 03:25 AM   #2
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um..

One you do on dry land?

and the other is what happens when you install your OSX on yer mates 'puter who lives on a house boat?

and has a parrot?
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 03:44 AM   #3
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Good article, I hope the software companies read it and use its ideas.

Now I just need to try to decipher kettle's comment...
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 03:45 AM   #4
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Originally posted by Nermal
Good article, I hope the software companies read it and use its ideas.

Now I just need to try to decipher kettle's comment...
Yeah, kettle's comment has me baffled as well.
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 07:41 AM   #5
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Re: um..

Quote:
Originally posted by kettle
One you do on dry land?

and the other is what happens when you install your OSX on yer mates 'puter who lives on a house boat?

and has a parrot?
Hey ho ship mate, very droll.

(Sanctimonious) I don't happen to think there is any justification for piracy or stealing or borrowing permanently, or whatever shade of grey is being spun, it is the way I was brought up, but, anyway, (/Sanctimonious)

The writer has some good points and there are creative ways of marketing software that would fit into the new age of broadband. And the marketing has to be creative enough to change minds. The internet world owes nobody a living, but at the same time, not anything digital should be free by rights.

Someone suggested a good idea, quoting Dreamweaver as an example. You could pay a quarter of the full price for a limit on the time you can use it.

For instance, you get 30 days free trial as now from a nice secure Macromedia server- not 5 days downloading off of Kazaa. After 30 days, DW either expires, or you pay full price, as per conventional approach -or you take this quarter price option. ie You own Dreamweaver forever in its full version, but it is only usable for say 8 hours a week.

That way hobbyists who would never need more than a day a week pratting about with web design get to use pro software, and they contribute to Macromedia so the company can actually keep on designing ever better stuff. But if they started getting into it, they could upgrade to the full price - which would work out a little more than if they had bought it outright after 30 days of free use - which is what serious web designers earning money from using the software should do - in accordance with the old fashioned idea of fair play.
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 09:46 AM   #6
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Since the pirate wasn't going to buy the software anyway, there was no loss of sales or cost to the company?

We've seen that justification here, over and over.

You still can't take what isn't yours. If you don't want to buy it, then don't use it.

It's not just about teens without money. Adults pirate on a regular basis. I knew someone who was part of a software club. Each month, they put money into buying another piece of software they would all share.

How can people with a supposedly strong moral compass use software that doesn't belong to them? Maybe the bible should be re-written to say "Thou shalt not steal or download software from file sharing services or borrow and copy."

Anyway, have a nice day.
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 09:56 AM   #7
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Here's a major flaw in the argument. The writer claims that copying software is different from stealing physical goods because it doesn't cost the company anything. In fact, MOST physical goods cost very little to produce. Your $100 Nikes were manufactured for $2 in Vietnam. Your $25 novel was printed for $1.25. What's expensive is marketing, advertising, distribution, and, yes, the thought that went into designing the product. It's not much different for software or physical goods. We don't say that someone stealing a pair of Nikes only stole $2 worth of goods.

That said, I think the U.S. copyright laws are atrocious. A nearly perpetual copyright term is not only bad for individuals, it's bad for business, because business can't build on the ideas of others.
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 10:05 AM   #8
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Re: Re: um..

Quote:
Originally posted by billyboy
Hey ho ship mate, very droll.

(Sanctimonious) I don't happen to think there is any justification for piracy or stealing or borrowing permanently, or whatever shade of grey is being spun, it is the way I was brought up, but, anyway, (/Sanctimonious)
That's the point I think, It depends on how you were brought up. I had a dodgy copy of Jaguar but found it very difficult to use until I had got myself a legit' copy of OS X. I know Apple don't have a serial number activation thing, but I'm pretty sure that the have ways to collect data from individual computers just for statistical purposes even if they would never want to enforce the licence system.

I think they'll let the OS get a better foothold before they start doing a M$.

Sorry about the Pirate mumbo, just messing with a serious point. ie there isn't much difference between the two. Think burglary and shoplifting, they're both forms of theft. sanctimonious but true, plus you wouldn't want someone saying that burglary is worse than shoplifting if it was your shop that got done over.
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 12:51 PM   #9
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Originally posted by bousozoku
Since the pirate wasn't going to buy the software anyway, there was no loss of sales or cost to the company?

We've seen that justification here, over and over.

You still can't take what isn't yours. If you don't want to buy it, then don't use it.

It's not just about teens without money. Adults pirate on a regular basis. I knew someone who was part of a software club. Each month, they put money into buying another piece of software they would all share.

How can people with a supposedly strong moral compass use software that doesn't belong to them? Maybe the bible should be re-written to say "Thou shalt not steal or download software from file sharing services or borrow and copy."

Anyway, have a nice day.
*sigh* Please read the article:

Quote:
quoted from the article
That does not mean that piracy is morally acceptable, however. Indeed, piracy is not right, since you are using the good or service originally provided by the company without legitimately paying for it. Just as stealing is wrong, piracy is wrong, too.
Being the author, I'm not advocating piracy. I'm suggesting a more SUCCESSFUL way of combatting it, which is to make your product more valuable to consumers so they are more likely to buy it. Why do people have to construe my words as saying that piracy is OK? It's not! It's just that piracy and stealing are entirely different things, and so there's an entirely different way of dealing with piracy than there is with stealing!

Quote:
Originally posted by wordmunger
Here's a major flaw in the argument. The writer claims that copying software is different from stealing physical goods because it doesn't cost the company anything. In fact, MOST physical goods cost very little to produce. Your $100 Nikes were manufactured for $2 in Vietnam. Your $25 novel was printed for $1.25. What's expensive is marketing, advertising, distribution, and, yes, the thought that went into designing the product. It's not much different for software or physical goods. We don't say that someone stealing a pair of Nikes only stole $2 worth of goods.
The same amount of money is going to be spent on marketing and advertising whether or not pirates download full versions of the software or not. It's a constant. It doesn't vary with the number of people downloading the product without authorization.

Similarly, there are no distribution costs when pirates download the software. The cost of distribution is for physical goods, and since the pirate is not taking any physical goods, there's no loss of revenue here either.

Finally, the thought that went into designing the product is also a constant. The cost of the development time doesn't magically increase with the number of people pirating the software. Once it's developed, most of the sales of the software is pretty much pure revenue because the only other costs are distribution and packaging.

So no, pirates don't cost a company a penny.
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 01:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by simX
Being the author, I'm not advocating piracy. I'm suggesting a more SUCCESSFUL way of combatting it, which is to make your product more valuable to consumers so they are more likely to buy it. Why do people have to construe my words as saying that piracy is OK? It's not! It's just that piracy and stealing are entirely different things, and so there's an entirely different way of dealing with piracy than there is with stealing!
I'm not disputing any of this. I'm just saying that piracy is less different from "stealing" than the article claims.

Quote:
The same amount of money is going to be spent on marketing and advertising whether or not pirates download full versions of the software or not. It's a constant. It doesn't vary with the number of people downloading the product without authorization.
This is true with both "piracy" and "stealing"--which was exactly my point.
Quote:
Similarly, there are no distribution costs when pirates download the software. The cost of distribution is for physical goods, and since the pirate is not taking any physical goods, there's no loss of revenue here either.
There are many aspects of distribution including logistics, negotiation with vendors, sales, and legal issues; physical delivery of a product is among the least costly, and is still a factor for most software sales. Again, the cost of distribution is largely fixed and is not dependent on how much piracy/theft occurs.
Quote:
Finally, the thought that went into designing the product is also a constant. The cost of the development time doesn't magically increase with the number of people pirating the software. Once it's developed, most of the sales of the software is pretty much pure revenue because the only other costs are distribution and packaging.
Again, this is equally true for both software and tangible goods
Quote:
So no, pirates don't cost a company a penny.
My point was that "thieves" don't "cost" companies very much either. Take a hypothetical example: Software A costs $100, Nike Shoes cost $100.

Let's assume that the "actual" cost to the software company is zero when software is pirated. They still have the potential of a lost sale, which would cost them $100.

Now consider Nike. The cost of manufacturing the shoe is $2, the cost of delivering it to market might be another $2 (remember, they are shipped in bulk. It's not like Fedex is charging them $20 a pop). Everything else is "fixed" costs, and the "actual" cost to Nike is $4. Much more important to Nike, however, is the same dilemma the software company faces: the loss of a potential $96 in profit.

So the difference between theft and piracy in this case is a $4 loss versus a potential $96 profit,

or a $0 loss versus a potential $100 profit.

Now, I understand that it's much easier to pirate software than to shoplift, and therefore more people do it, and therefore software companies might combat it differently than they combat theft, but the point still remains: these "fixed" costs constitute the bulk of the expenses for any company.

I think it's rather pointless to argue that piracy doesn't hurt a company just as much as theft. In fact it hurts software companies more than it does tangible goods companies, because the scale of the problem is so much larger. Imagine if 50 percent of the shoes Nike made were stolen from the factory and distributed for free on the streets. What would that do to the sales of "legitimate" shoes?
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 01:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by wordmunger
Let's assume that the "actual" cost to the software company is zero when software is pirated. They still have the potential of a lost sale, which would cost them $100.

Now consider Nike. The cost of manufacturing the shoe is $2, the cost of delivering it to market might be another $2 (remember, they are shipped in bulk. It's not like Fedex is charging them $20 a pop). Everything else is "fixed" costs, and the "actual" cost to Nike is $4. Much more important to Nike, however, is the same dilemma the software company faces: the loss of a potential $96 in profit.

So the difference between theft and piracy in this case is a $4 loss versus a potential $96 profit, or a $0 loss versus a potential $100 profit.

Now, I understand that it's much easier to pirate software than to shoplift, and therefore more people do it, and therefore software companies might combat it differently than they combat theft, but the point still remains: these "fixed" costs constitute the bulk of the expenses for any company.

I think it's rather pointless to argue that piracy doesn't hurt a company just as much as theft. In fact it hurts software companies more than it does tangible goods companies, because the scale of the problem is so much larger. Imagine if 50 percent of the shoes Nike made were stolen from the factory and distributed for free on the streets. What would that do to the sales of "legitimate" shoes?
Point taken about the distribution costs being constant. I misunderstood your point a bit, so I guess we're on the same page, there.

But like I said in the article, there still is a major difference between stealing and piracy, and that's because that stealing (which involves taking a physical product off a shelf) constitutes a loss in revenue because that product is no longer on the shelf, so a customer intending to buy the product at that store won't be able to.

Contrast this with piracy, where downloading the software doesn't preclude anybody else from legitimately acquiring the software. So the company doesn't lose any revenue, because the actual customer intending to buy the product can still go to the store and buy it. The pirate was never intending to be a customer, so there was no "lost sale".

That means when someone steals a piece of software, the company loses $104 -- $100 for the price of the software because of the lost sale of a customer INTENDING TO BUY THE PRODUCT. When pirating, the company loses nothing -- or you could say they lose just $4 if you count the product still sitting on the store shelf. That's the difference -- piracy constitutes no lost sale.

An analogy with Nike is invalid, because the shoe is always a tangible product -- you can't download a shoe (although that would be really cool). Therefore there's always a lost sale when you steal it because someone else can't buy that shoe. With digital software pirating, you're simply COPYING 1s and 0s off of someone else's computer, so someone else can still go and buy the product that you pirated.

Stealing is an entirely different problem than piracy, and therefore needs to be dealt with differently. Instead of using a dubious argument and blaming piracy for dwindling sales, software manufacturers need to look at exactly WHY people are pirating, and it's not simply because it's easier to pirate than to steal. The product may not have enough value to justify the cost, it might be a great software product and just cost too much, or it could have other problems like not allow broad use of the product. That's what I'm saying -- too many software companies are quick to just lay all their problems on piracy, when in reality piracy is an effect, not a cause.
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 02:14 PM   #12
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An analogy with Nike is invalid, because the shoe is always a tangible product -- you can't download a shoe (although that would be really cool). Therefore there's always a lost sale when you steal it because someone else can't buy that shoe. With digital software pirating, you're simply COPYING 1s and 0s off of someone else's computer, so someone else can still go and buy the product that you pirated.
The "on the shelf" argument sounds compelling, but it doesn't hold up. If Nike had a really huge theft problem, they would just make more shoes, at $4 for manufacturing and shipping. Again, in this scenario, the "cost" of theft is trivial for Nike. The primary difference between theft and piracy is the scale of the problem, not the economic impact of an individual act on the company.

I'm a strong advocate of open content and open source. I just think we need to be careful when we claim piracy doesn't really hurt a company.
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 04:23 PM   #13
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Whatever solution is found, and it will be, (probably by Apple ), it will have to be something special because the current state of affairs - stealing or pirating - is sadly the norm for millions of internet savvy users. And I guess the majority of them are grown up, in inverted commas, which doesn't help.

Perhaps some freelance piracy whackers could step forward on behalf of the software houses. No guns, just a threat of some really pernicious virus that will just trawl the web like an out of control RIAA agent, making P2P a complete lottery, so dangerous to use that it really isnt worth the risk of tuning in any more.

micro payments is the way to go, but not via the internet. Remember those guys who are out in all weathers, called a postie. How much nouse does it take to tell your P2P subscribers to post you an envelope with a couple of dollar bills per software title. They then forward $2 a head to Macromedia with an anonymous letter saying thanks for 300,000 copies of Dreamweaver, $600,000 is all they can afford.
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 05:34 PM   #14
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to me there just isn't a difference and they are just two words pointing at the same thing. regardless if you went to a store and grabbed it off the shelf, or dl'd it from p2p networks, you still didn't pay for the right to use that software.

the only way i see piracy being stopped (or slowed at best) will be the op sys manufacturer such as apple, to work with the developers to create a system wide copy protection scheme. something in the systems core that can't be broken by the average joe.
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 06:18 PM   #15
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Originally posted by simX
*sigh* Please read the article:

Being the author, I'm not advocating piracy. I'm suggesting a more SUCCESSFUL way of combatting it, which is to make your product more valuable to consumers so they are more likely to buy it. Why do people have to construe my words as saying that piracy is OK? It's not! It's just that piracy and stealing are entirely different things, and so there's an entirely different way of dealing with piracy than there is with stealing!

So no, pirates don't cost a company a penny.
I read the article but it still comes across as a justification for piracy, even though you have insisted that it is not.

Photoshop and Lightwave are two of the most pirated applications. How can they be made more valuable that will convince people to buy them? I hate copy protection and authorisation schemes but I would certainly be willing to put something into my own software to make it a pain to steal.

Of course, the shoe analogy doesn't work. However, going into a Borders or Barnes & Noble, I see another that does work. People sip coffee and eat cheesecake and do research. The authors have (usually) worked diligently on their book and it certainly does not sit idle on the bookshelf, even though it's never been bought at retail. You could say the same thing about magazines but they're more likely to be shredded and used as recycled materials.

As far as piracy not costing the company money, it seems a bit like saying that shoplifting doesn't cost a company any money. Several companies keep people in their employ to combat piracy.
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 07:51 PM   #16
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Originally posted by bousozoku
I read the article but it still comes across as a justification for piracy, even though you have insisted that it is not.

Photoshop and Lightwave are two of the most pirated applications. How can they be made more valuable that will convince people to buy them? I hate copy protection and authorisation schemes but I would certainly be willing to put something into my own software to make it a pain to steal.

Of course, the shoe analogy doesn't work. However, going into a Borders or Barnes & Noble, I see another that does work. People sip coffee and eat cheesecake and do research. The authors have (usually) worked diligently on their book and it certainly does not sit idle on the bookshelf, even though it's never been bought at retail. You could say the same thing about magazines but they're more likely to be shredded and used as recycled materials.

As far as piracy not costing the company money, it seems a bit like saying that shoplifting doesn't cost a company any money. Several companies keep people in their employ to combat piracy.
So I suggest how to combat piracy in seven different ways, and I get slammed as justifying piracy. Great.

Oh, yeah, and we've already dealt with the piracy vs. shoplifting question. (That was ALSO dealt with in the article and in my previous responses to this thread.)

Taking your book analogy, I think we should lock up display books behind bars until you pay for the book, because heaven forbid that you should read a couple paragraphs of the book before putting it down and checking out something else! I know, I know! We could even implement "borrow protection" in books that shocks the reader every time they try to open the book if they don't have the right fingerprint, to prevent unauthorized people from reading the book.

Or..... maybe you just make sure the quality of the book is up to par so that people will buy your book.

Which is the easier way to deal with things?

It's the same thing with piracy. Software makers blame piracy over and over for their loss in sales, when it's really just passing on the blame to something that is actually the effect of the real problem.

While Photoshop is somewhat of a special case because of the ubiquity of the product, their still is room for Adobe to combat piracy. They can offer a product that's a middle ground between Photoshop Elements and Photoshop CS, somewhat like Final Cut Express in between iMovie and Final Cut Pro. That way customers who aren't novices but don't need all the high end features can get a program suitable for their needs at not such a high price. Paying a couple hundred dollars for a program to manipulate images is a bit intimidating for some people, even if it is probably worth the value.

Furthermore, Photoshop could use a real makeover in terms of ease of use. I'm no technophobe, but it's a real chore for me to learn how to just make a circle in a Photoshop document (you have to use the circular selection tool, and then choose "Stroke".... and that makes sense HOW?). I swear when I first tried to do that in Photoshop it took me 30 minutes, because I'm used to how easily you can do it in AppleWorks.

I would think that if Adobe thought their product over and rebuilt the interface from scratch, it would increase their sales a great deal because then more people would be able to use it easily and would see the value in buying it. I realize that Photoshop is not intended for the computer user who only uses e-mail, but to require a manual or another person with experience to use it means that there's a big problem with their interface.

Or, taking our case example of Halo from MacSoft, it's not really a surprise that there is so much piracy. The software has RIDICULOUS software requirements even on the low settings (800 MHz G4 minimum, 1 GHz recommended). That means you have to have a Mac from the past 2 years (or a PowerMac from late 2001). That's not a great pool of users to choose from. Halo is obviously going to have some backlash because of the Bungie buyout and the 4-year hype that accompanied the product. Halo doesn't provide a demo to try out the software, so people like me won't buy it until MacSoft DOES put out a demo or has somewhere like the Apple Store or MWSF to go and try it out very briefly. They only allow you to install it on one computer (so you can't play a network game within your own house without buying multiple copies). And then to add insult to injury, with the 1.0.3 update, they require the CD to be inserted into the drive in order to play Halo.

Does MacSoft REALLY believe that requiring the CD is going to stop all the rampant piracy? Pirated software usually gets distributed on a disk image, and a disk image can be burned. So the CD requirement goes right out the window and doesn't do anything to stop pirates, while legitimate users have to live with the requirement and be hassled by it.

And then MacSoft wonders why everyone is pirating their software.

The whole article was about a few simple steps that software companies can take to avoid the backlash of problematic software, overhyping, and the multitude of other factors that actually cause piracy. The point is to add value to your product, not to add copy protection to it (even though a limited amount is acceptable, as long as you don't shackle your legitimate customers). You'd be surprised at how many people are willing to pay for a very high quality product (e.g.: NetNewsWire, Transmit, iLife '04).

Quote:
The "on the shelf" argument sounds compelling, but it doesn't hold up. If Nike had a really huge theft problem, they would just make more shoes, at $4 for manufacturing and shipping. Again, in this scenario, the "cost" of theft is trivial for Nike. The primary difference between theft and piracy is the scale of the problem, not the economic impact of an individual act on the company.

I'm a strong advocate of open content and open source. I just think we need to be careful when we claim piracy doesn't really hurt a company.
If Nike had a huge theft problem, they wouldn't just manufacture more. You do realize that their products have to be bought in order to realize a profit, and $4 times a million pairs of shoes is a lot of money lost if a bunch of shoes get stolen. You'd better believe that Nike would be all over shoe stores to beef up their security if there was a theft problem.
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 09:25 PM   #17
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Originally posted by simX
So I suggest how to combat piracy in seven different ways, and I get slammed as justifying piracy. Great.
...
It's the same thing with piracy. Software makers blame piracy over and over for their loss in sales, when it's really just passing on the blame to something that is actually the effect of the real problem.
...
Furthermore, Photoshop could use a real makeover in terms of ease of use. I'm no technophobe, but it's a real chore for me to learn how to just make a circle in a Photoshop document (you have to use the circular selection tool, and then choose "Stroke".... and that makes sense HOW?). I swear when I first tried to do that in Photoshop it took me 30 minutes, because I'm used to how easily you can do it in AppleWorks.

I would think that if Adobe thought their product over and rebuilt the interface from scratch, it would increase their sales a great deal because then more people would be able to use it easily and would see the value in buying it. I realize that Photoshop is not intended for the computer user who only uses e-mail, but to require a manual or another person with experience to use it means that there's a big problem with their interface.

Or, taking our case example of Halo from MacSoft, it's not really a surprise that there is so much piracy.
...
Does MacSoft REALLY believe that requiring the CD is going to stop all the rampant piracy? Pirated software usually gets distributed on a disk image, and a disk image can be burned. So the CD requirement goes right out the window and doesn't do anything to stop pirates, while legitimate users have to live with the requirement and be hassled by it.

And then MacSoft wonders why everyone is pirating their software.

The whole article was about a few simple steps that software companies can take to avoid the backlash of problematic software, overhyping, and the multitude of other factors that actually cause piracy. The point is to add value to your product, not to add copy protection to it (even though a limited amount is acceptable, as long as you don't shackle your legitimate customers). You'd be surprised at how many people are willing to pay for a very high quality product (e.g.: NetNewsWire, Transmit, iLife '04).
...
I'm not slamming you. I would be more direct about that.

Halo is such a pig, as you mentioned, that it almost cries to be pirated. I am also not condoning piracy here. I want to see a version made from the original 604e code. It's funny that the CD requirement was removed from UT2003 as it was applied to Halo.

Photoshop is also a pig. It does work in a way that isn't so different from most artists (decide to create a circle; pick a tool; pick the thickness; pick the colour), but certainly is tough without proper training for the average person. I'm not sure that Adobe needs middle ground. They might just end up raising the price of Photoshop to compensate for any middle application. It's obvious that they have the market and won't have much of a revolt. Photoshop Elements is quite good for consumers and, for the price, excellent.

It is to the foresight of the original designers of Mac OS that AppleWorks should get such respect for everlasting ease of use. MacDraw was quite a piece of work, of which a little piece remains.
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Old Feb 6, 2004, 01:41 AM   #18
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600 bucks for illustrator? puhleez.
600 bucks for photoshop? wtf.

seriously though, software companies (ESPECIALLY ADOBE) need to lower their prices a LOT if they want people to stop pirating. Seriously though, i am a designer and i can name about 5 print shops that pirate some of their software. why do they do it? They have no choice, if they were to buy a copy of each piece of software, it would cost them at least 2k+, and the only way to make that money is by having clients give you jobs. The only way to get jobs from the clients is to have that program, or else you cant print or make changes to it.

Im sure sales would go way up if they had illustrator or whatever for say 50 - 100 bucks.
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Old Feb 6, 2004, 02:14 AM   #19
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Originally posted by Mehmet
600 bucks for illustrator? puhleez.
600 bucks for photoshop? wtf.

Im sure sales would go way up if they had illustrator or whatever for say 50 - 100 bucks.
First: A program as complex and powerful as illustrator and photoshop requires quite a bit of investment of time and resources. The reason its costs alot to consumers is because it costs alot to produce.

Second: If you don't want to pay for the the full versions of those programs, there alternatives available, including GIMP which is free.

Third: In my experience a large percentage of the people who pirate software wouldn't pay for it regardless of price. They simply use the high cost as a means to attempt to justify piracy.
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Old Feb 6, 2004, 02:40 AM   #20
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I do like that you acknowledged the fact that piracy is wrong whatever the justification, but I must say I don't agree with your proposed solutions


Quote:

1. Offer software at a reasonable price.
Two problems with this one, how do we define reasonable and will pirates see this as an incentive to purchase it.

While I'm sure that some software could be cheaper the same could be said of automobiles, tvs, etc. Software companies, like all other companies are trying to balance costs with profits. Making software isn't an easy undertaking, it takes man hours (the number one expense in most any buisness is personel) as well as equipment, testing, marketing, research, etc. None of these are cheap, not to mention they have to fund further support of the product after release.

As I pointed out in my other post, most people I know who pirate software will pirate it whether it costs $10 or $100. They don't care. They feel that they are entitled to free software just because.

Quote:

2. Provide an easy, effortless way to buy and access the software.
While digital downloads are a viable option for small products, you must understand that these two require resources to maintain just like producing the software in the first place. Bandwidth, ecommerce systems, technical support, and servers all cost money as well. For large products it can simply be logistically pointless to offer downloads (iDVD is a prime example). In addition should something happen to the machine you have to go through the whole process again, rather than just installing from a CD, which I might add are significantly faster transfer mediums than the internet even at the highest connections

[QUOTE]
3. Provide a tryout version of the software, releasing it concurrently with the full version.
[QUOTE]
Writing demo software isn't as simple as taking a product and just cutting out parts of it. The software must be trimmed down to a reasonable size for download, while maintaining a significant set of features to be a good demonstration of the product. In many cases it is simply not economically feasible for a small company to spend the resources making a demo, if they can spend them elsewhere working on another new project

Quote:

4. Integrate reasonable copy protection that doesn't get in the way of legitimate users.
Again, how do we determine reasonable? What you as a user feel is reasonable may not be adequate in terms of protection for the company to invest time and money implementing. And while it can be a hassle to have to carry around a CD with you, there are such things as CD wallets for that specific purpose. A CD is a small lightweight medium and I don't think its unreasonable to have to carry one around for highly pirated software.

Quote:

5. Allow broad use of a legitimately purchased product.
The Starcraft example is a decent one, and was in some cases succesful, but is not applicable in many situations. Anything outside of the gaming industry seems to immediately fall outside this purvue. How do you justify a spawn copy of Illustrator?

Quote:

6. Don't hype your software.
I'm going to suggest for your sake that you never go into buisness. If you don't market your product its alot harder to sell it. Time has proven that a well marketed product can even outsell a technically superior one (Microsoft anyone). Telling a ccompany not to hype their software is like telling a pro athlete not to excercise in the off season. Yes some people might steal a product because it is well hyped, just like an athlete might have a career ending injurty in the off season, but if you don't market your product you won't sell it, and if you don't work out you won't be ready to perform.

Quote:

7. Finally, make sure that the quality of your products is up to par.
I can just about gaurentee that NOT making quality products is the easiest way to avoid piracy. Seriously. Who wants to steal a crappy product when there is a better one out there. People aren't making much of an effort to pirate some cheap $20 photo editing program, they are going to steal the big bertha, Photoshop itself. Thats like robbing a bank and only taking $100. If you are going to rob the thing you might as well get the most money possible.
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Old Feb 6, 2004, 05:59 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Krizoitz
Two problems with this one, how do we define reasonable and will pirates see this as an incentive to purchase it.

While I'm sure that some software could be cheaper the same could be said of automobiles, tvs, etc. Software companies, like all other companies are trying to balance costs with profits. Making software isn't an easy undertaking, it takes man hours (the number one expense in most any buisness is personel) as well as equipment, testing, marketing, research, etc. None of these are cheap, not to mention they have to fund further support of the product after release.

As I pointed out in my other post, most people I know who pirate software will pirate it whether it costs $10 or $100. They don't care. They feel that they are entitled to free software just because.
Agreed, many pirates will pirate regardless of price. But keeping prices down helps establish a reputation of charging a reasonable amount of money for good products. While obviously I can't define reasonable for everyone, obviously lowering the price will increase sales, and some of those sales may be to potential pirates.

Quote:
While digital downloads are a viable option for small products, you must understand that these two require resources to maintain just like producing the software in the first place. Bandwidth, ecommerce systems, technical support, and servers all cost money as well. For large products it can simply be logistically pointless to offer downloads (iDVD is a prime example). In addition should something happen to the machine you have to go through the whole process again, rather than just installing from a CD, which I might add are significantly faster transfer mediums than the internet even at the highest connections
That is very true. But the thing is that software companies are unwilling to think outside the box (pardon the pun, if you will). One possible example of defraying the bandwidth costs of digital downloads is to use BitTorrent. Torrent forces downloaders to also upload, so that everyone who is downloading is also distributing the content at the same time. Of course, this most likely has other logistical problems (like the bandwidth costs on the downloader's side), but it's a potential idea nonetheless.

Another possible way to increase the "instant gratification" is to offer an interim download while the product is shipping -- let the user download a limited version of the full product so they can get started on playing the game right away, and then when they get the CD they can continue with the rest. That way only part of the product needs to be downloaded, so the bandwidth costs won't be nearly as high.

The software industry seems to be in a stage where it's resembling (ever so slightly) the music industry -- it's basically just churning out the same stuff and not willing to look any further.

Quote:
Again, how do we determine reasonable? What you as a user feel is reasonable may not be adequate in terms of protection for the company to invest time and money implementing. And while it can be a hassle to have to carry around a CD with you, there are such things as CD wallets for that specific purpose. A CD is a small lightweight medium and I don't think its unreasonable to have to carry one around for highly pirated software.
So tell me, do you really believe that the CD requirement prevents piracy? I buy the product, I make a disk image of the software CD. Then I put it up on the internet, someone else downloads it, and they then burn the disk image to CD. Now they can install it, and they have a physical CD to negate the CD requirement.

How exactly does that prevent piracy? It doesn't, period. It just shackles legitimate users to their CDs.

This is a clear-cut case of copy protection technology going overboard, because it does next to nothing to stop piracy. "Reasonable" is defined as something that stops more pirates than it shackles legitimate users, and I think it's safe to say that a CD requirement is not one of them. Software manufacturers like MacSoft need to think this through before they implement idiotic "features" like that.


Quote:
The Starcraft example is a decent one, and was in some cases succesful, but is not applicable in many situations. Anything outside of the gaming industry seems to immediately fall outside this purvue. How do you justify a spawn copy of Illustrator?
Agreed, spawn installs aren't necessarily applicable to all places. But again, it signifies an unwillingness to think outside of traditional uses of software. How about the suggestion of allowing a limited amount of use per week for a lower cost?

Quote:
I'm going to suggest for your sake that you never go into buisness. If you don't market your product its alot harder to sell it. Time has proven that a well marketed product can even outsell a technically superior one (Microsoft anyone). Telling a ccompany not to hype their software is like telling a pro athlete not to excercise in the off season. Yes some people might steal a product because it is well hyped, just like an athlete might have a career ending injurty in the off season, but if you don't market your product you won't sell it, and if you don't work out you won't be ready to perform.
Hype is different from marketing. Marketing is sound advertising that informs and excites users about a product when it's nearly ready to ship (i.e.: a few months). Hype is idiotic advertising that excites users for years on end and then the final product ends up disappointing them. Halo was hyped for 4 years. And then it has sky-high system requirements even though the graphics aren't that great when compared to UT2003 (or perhaps even UT2004). That's where hype can cause backlash, and it's different from advertising.

Quote:
I can just about gaurentee that NOT making quality products is the easiest way to avoid piracy. Seriously. Who wants to steal a crappy product when there is a better one out there. People aren't making much of an effort to pirate some cheap $20 photo editing program, they are going to steal the big bertha, Photoshop itself. Thats like robbing a bank and only taking $100. If you are going to rob the thing you might as well get the most money possible.
Haha, so you're going to tell software makers to create crappier software to stop piracy? That's a great, sound argument you have there.

When you make sure the quality of your products are up to par, you impress consumers and you show them that you're committed to making good products and that you know what good products are. You increase the value of your products to your consumers, you increase their loyalty, and in turn, they give you sales. When software manufacturers get into that middle ground where it's OK or good but not excellent, that's when piracy is at it's highest, because people want the software but don't find it good enough to pay for it.
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