You’ve made your point extremely clear and consice. Thank you. And I have to say that I totally agree with you. If I were the software companies then I wouldn’t lower prices if people stoped pirating and started buying ~ more money for my aleady overflowing pocket
Software piracy is totally, completely, wrong. No one should ever even consider buying a pirated program.
Because 99 times out of 99.5, there’s some terrible flaw that badly hampers the usefulness of the program or even makes it completely unusuable in a few days. Because pirated programs very often do not come with any instructions. Because they are often inferior or bug-laden versions (which often mean the same thing). Because they are not supported. Because you cannot get a replacement copy.
Remember, people, it’s REAL-LIFE CONCERNS which make consumers to do the right thing. Not laws, morals, virtues, or anything else. (Are you listening, record executives? ;))
I’m sorry I left you out of the list. But since your post included ‘Then again, I’m an amoral sociopath.’, I assumed you were either witty , or errrr :o .
And now a new euphemism entry:
“I have several progs that I didn’t buy, but I only got them because they sounded nifty.”
You posted ‘The theft of material goods analogy is flawed. If I download an application, the software company does not lose any material possessions. But you already knew that.’
The software company loses money. But you already knew that. :wally
You posted ‘Do you think that Microsoft would lower their prices if piracy ceased to exist and they sold twice as many copies of Windows? Hell no! They’d probably raise them!’
That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in 20 years :rolleyes:(since I studied Economics).
I remember something like: ‘If a market is very profitable, other producers will be attracted…Competition will drive prices down until profit margins return to typical business levels.’
I will add (to be fair)‘A Monopoly usually distorts the market…It may be necessary for Government regulation before normal competition is restored.’
Which helps explain the court action against Microsoft.
Pheebee + Caldazar
the above also answers your respective points of
‘If I were the software companies then I wouldn’t lower prices if people stopped pirating and started buying - more money for my already overflowing pocket.’
‘Now, if everyone suddenly agreed that’d they be upright and never pirate another piece of software ever again, I question whether this would lead to a corresponding reduction in prices.’
now see what you made me do - I messed up my smilies! :eek:
Of course my rant should have read:
'That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in 20 years :rolleyes: (since I studied Economics).
I didn’t say it was right, I said I didn’t feel bad about it, and I don’t. If you base your morals on this matter on what actually hurts a company or individuals, then it should be far more acceptable to steal from a rich company than a poor one.
I just want to point out that shinkage does not mean shoplifting. Employees steal far, far more from retail stores than customers do. (I did Loss Prevention for a large retail chain long ago.) This analogy doesn’t fit here.
I am fairly certain that Microsoft does not adjust prices on their OSes because of piracy. The part of their OS business that might be hurt by piracy on an individual scale is insignificant compared to OEM sales. Now, piracy by a business is a different matter, and MS occasionally does intermittant audits on companies to check for unpaid-for software. Mostly what they really do is threaten companies with those audits to keep 'em straight.
Smaller companies (game publishers for example, because games are a huge piracy target) can’t afford to raise their prices because of piracy. The margin of these products is small enough already, so they have to walk a fine line between a decent margin and pricing their product too high (compared to console titles) and discouraging sales.
So, I guess my point is that yes, it is ok to steal from a rich company, compared to stealing from a small one. Like I said in my first post, I will not ever pirate a game.
You know what’s really cool? You can subsitute “Microsoft” for “pirated” above and it still makes sense!!!
In answer to my ‘So it’s all right to steal from rich companies?’
you posted ‘I didn’t say it was right, I said I didn’t feel bad about it, and I don’t.’
Why don’t you feel bad about committing a crime?
You posted ‘If you base your morals on this matter on what actually hurts a company or individuals, then it should be far more acceptable to steal from a rich company than a poor one.’
That system of morals suggests that e.g. bank fraud is OK.
Is that what you mean?
Anyway, what happened to ‘thou shalt not steal’?
You posted ‘I just want to point out that shrinkage does not mean shoplifting. Employees steal far, far more from retail stores than customers do.’
Yes, you’re right. I should have said shoplifting etc. But one of the amazing things about this thread is the euphemisms people use for ‘stealing’. (Your one is ‘unpaid-for software’). :rolleyes:
‘Shrinkage’ also sounds harmless, but, as we both know, it’s a major problem for stores.
You posted ‘This analogy (shrinkage) doesn’t fit here.’
Let’s see. People stealing from stores has nothing to do with people stealing from software companies? No, it still seems connected to me!
In my younger days I pirated a lot of games, simply because I couldn’t afford them. These days I’m happy to pay the programmers for there effort, and pay for the few games I buy today. The strange case comes from really expensive software packages. There are decent 3d graphics programs out there from 500 bucks for True Space to $120,000 for Maya. I own copies of all the expensive packages that I pirated. I use them as a self-appointed demo version, to see what things are like, and to mess around. However if I am doing anything that I personally plan to profit from, like annimations I’m being payed for, or even portfolio builders that don’t pay money, I will only use something I bought and registered. I know having those on my hard drive in illegal, but I’m happy with my moral decision. But I would love for anybody to say how I’m hurting anybody, because I will never spend 100g for Maya. Hell, my knowledge of Maya almost got them an additional sale, when somebody asked me what I thought of it I was able to give specific answers on what it did and didn’t do. They didn’t end up getting it, but they considered it much more after I talked to them about it.
P.S. Microsoft is a special case. I will rob, cheat, steal, and hurt MS as much as possible because of what they illegally did to destroy companies that made much better products, So I cackle as I destribute as much of their stuff as possible, hoping that if enough people do it those greedy bastards will go broke.
Uh, hello? If I wasn’t going to give the company any money in the first place, how are they losing money because of my piracy? I don’t have any money to buy software. I stated as much in my post.
Am I walking into Microsoft headquarters, snagging a copy of Windows, and running for the hills? I don’t think so. I’ll say it slowly so you can understand : If I wasn’t going to pay for it in the first place, and I’m not paying for it now, how are they losing money because of me? You could say the same thing about stealing something from the store that I wasn’t planning to buy anyway, but that’s different. If I hadn’t stolen it (hypothetical, of course. I don’t shoplift), somebody else would have bought the product and the store would have made money. Of course, this is not the case with warez.
This doesn’t apply for software, or at least to operating systems. Why? Well, there are no other “producers” who can make Windows. If they developed a different OS, it would likely fail for lack of software support.
LMacG - LMAO! Good one, good one!
For the record, I was speaking mostly from my experience with bootleg PC games, but dammit, you’re right. (Don’t ever get me started on Windows '95…)
neutron star: From a monetary standpoint, I believe the initial analogy between stealing material property and intellectual property is indeed flawed, since, as you pointed out, the software company does not lose money if someone pirates their software. However, from a moral standpoint, the analogy still holds; it’s still stealing.
glee: Your refutation of my argument assumes a market with perfect competition. This condition is not met when dealing with intellectual property. You theorize that ‘If a market is very profitable, other producers will be attracted…Competition will drive prices down until profit margins return to typical business levels.’ This does not hold true with software, since software products are, in general, unique. If Microsoft’s Windows operating system is wildly popular, Novell cannot simply enter the market, develop a new operating system, and market it as a substitute for Windows. The two products cannot be substitutes for one another. If Novell ever did release a Windows substitute, they would quickly be sued by Microsoft for copyright infringement. Perfect competition cannot be achieved.
And it’s bben my understanding that, at least in the Microsoft case, the courts do not have the power to regulate Microsoft’s pricing of their products. All the talk has not been about breaking up Microsoft’s monopoly over operating systems, but rather separating Microsoft into a monopolistic Windows company and a company devoted to it’s other applications. So I still side with Manda JO in that piracy does not lead to reduced profits for the software company, nor does it lead to artificially high prices. Software companies charge the highest possible price that leads to a maximization of profits regardless of whether or not people pirate their software.
you posted ‘I don’t have any money to buy software.’
I’ll add it to my list of euphemisms (along with ‘I pirated a lot of games, simply because I couldn’t afford them’ and ‘bootleg PC games’).
You posted ‘If I wasn’t going to give the company any money in the first place, how are they losing money because of my piracy?’
Well some of us save up for things we want and then buy them. I’ll say it slowly so you can understand it’s called honesty.
(And here I can also answer Caldazar, who said ‘From a monetary standpoint, I believe the initial analogy between stealing material property and intellectual property is indeed flawed, since, as you pointed out, the software company does not lose money if someone pirates their software.’)
If you didn’t steal it ( :eek: no euphemism), presumably your desire for it would eventually lead you to pay the company money (Homer voice ‘mmmmm - money!’).
You posted ‘You could say the same thing about stealing something from the store that I wasn’t planning to buy anyway, but that’s different. If I hadn’t stolen it (hypothetical, of course. I don’t shoplift), somebody else would have bought the product and the store would have made money’.
Is ‘not planning to buy’ yet another euphemism?
Why don’t you shoplift? (just interested).
The cost of most store goods is quite small, compared to the other costs (salaries, buildings, advertising, premises etc.). Replacing the goods doesn’t lose the company as much money, as your refusal to pay them does.
As Manda JO said ‘Software vendors are already charging what the market will bear.
Neither Shrinkage nor piracy cause raised profits. They do cause businesses to fail to make a profit and to go out of business.’
Caldazar, please read above again! Your point ‘So I still side with Manda JO in that piracy does not lead to reduced profits for the software company…’ is clearly NOT what Manda said.
I do accept (and posted) that a monopoly distorts the market. But this only applies to Windows, not to computer games. And I think that’s where there’s a lot of stealing going on…
I take a higher road when dealing with business over piracy then when dealing with individuals, mostly due to my perspective.
I worked as a computer VAR (ValueAdded Reseller) running my own business for many years. I cannot even begin to count the number of sales I lost to a couple of competitors in town whose licensing practices were less than savoury. When they would sell a system without a license for the OS, or the Office Suite, they could save several hundred dollars on the cost of the system. Lowering prices for them by $200 would still net them decent profits, but I could not compete with that, going the honest route.
Who ultimately looses in that scenario? … well a bunch of people. The software companies, myself, my employees and ultimately the consumer. When those people go to claim warranty service, or even call in a professional like me, one simple question “Do you have your original copy of that product and the license?” will leave them totally supportless.
I will not, and many professionals I know follow suit, work on business systems (we are talking small business here mostly - 3 - 25 machine environments) where licensing is not in place. For home users, it depends a little on how honest the person is (in my opinion).
Can anyone top me? I Have a 3 inch high stack of original cd’s that I don’t use anymore; but which I paid for.
I just bought a Microsoft program. It said on it ‘don’t make Illegal copies of this disk’ but I never figured out what a legal copy is…???
PS: Anyone see the Oracle guy today on the news? He said he would pay anyone $1M if they could prove his web software is NOT three times faster than Microsoft…
A few things glee:
First, this is not GD, but you seem to have turned this thread into one that should be moved there. I don’t wish to debate this, because I basically agree with you (especially about games), but you are taking things to an extreme.
Second, you said:
I’m sure you can distiguish the moral difference between bank fraud and pirating an $80 OS from MS. One has negible, if any, effect; the other has a large effect on the institution and may have a large effect on individuals as well.
If you can’t make that distinction, then there is not any point trying to reason with you. You would probably not be able to see the difference between a child stealing a piece of gum and a criminal robbing a liquor store.
BTW, “thou shalt not steal”? Why would I give a rat’s ass what a book of fiction said happened a few thousand years ago?
handy, a legal copy of the software would be one made for archive or backup purposes. The key here would be the intent behind making a copy; if you made a copy to give to a friend to use, that would be illegal.
Well, you can presume any damn thing you want. That doesn’t make your presumtion correct. Like I said, I can barely pay the rent. How the hell am I supposed to save money when I have to borrow money from my parents to make ends meet? My wife and I are both in school full time, and I also work full time. This means that I usually have to eat fast food since I sleep maybe three or four hours a nigh and don’t have time to make anything. Saving money is hardly an option.
FWIW, I’m racking my brain trying to think of the last piece of pirated software I owned. Probably Photoshop and that was downloaded almost two years ago. DKW made a good point. Much of the warez out there (though I wouldn’t say 99%) comes in compressed files, often with CRC errors, missing files, etc. Even if there don’t appear to be any files missing initially, you still may run into some problems down the road. To me, that, along with the threat of viruses, is the best reason not to be a warez pup.
Well, two reasons, I guess. First and foremost is the fact that I would feel very guilty about it, even if it was just a pack of gum from 7-11. I don’t feel an ounce of guilt downloading warez or mp3s. Maybe I have defective conscience. I don’t know.
Second, your chances of getting busted shoplifting are about 10,000 times higher than the risk of downloading warez.
Ummm…FWIW, a lot of multiplayer games are built to multi-install without having three copies. Interplay’s Starfleet Command will allow you to install a multiplayer client on a second computer as part of the license. You can’t play the full game without the CD being in the computer, but you can play as a multiplayer client. If memory serves, the license explicitly says you can install up to three(?) client versions.
(ASIDE: My ten-year-old is a better starship captain than I am, but a lousy navigator. I beat him one night by taking advantange of his navigational shortsightedness and ran him into a planet. “Age and cunning will overcome youth and skill!”)
The other thing to remember is that end-user level applications there are almost always low-cost or cost-free alternatives to the big commercial products. I’m particularly fond of British Computer magazines because they routinely give away fully-licensed copies of slightly outdated products. I’ve built a pretty decent library of graphics utilities that way.
You posted ‘First, this is not GD, but you seem to have turned this thread into one that should be moved there.’
Is that a compliment to my debating skill?
I was only discussing what Pheebee started the thread with:
‘Do you think it is right to own and use software you did not pay for?
Is it a “victimless crime”?
Do you own any?
If so, do you feel any guilt for using it?’
Now I may think that Pheebee is using a cunning ploy to try to get Skummet off the hook in another thread, but surely if people give their (humble) opinions, it can easily turn into a debate.
You posted ‘I’m sure you can distinguish the moral difference between bank fraud and pirating an $80 OS from MS. One has negible, if any, effect; the other has a large effect on the institution and may have a large effect on individuals as well.’
Would it help if I tried bank robbery (covered by insurance) and pirating a game from a small company?
Of course I know the difference between ‘a child stealing a piece of gum and a criminal robbing a liquor store.’
I think they’re morally wrong (OK, even if different in degree), and honest people should try to avoid all of them.
Don’t you find it interesting how many euphemisms have been used on this thread to avoid saying ‘stolen’ software?
Well, perhaps my thinking is overshadowed by the other thread, where Skummet doesn’t think receiving stolen goods is much of a crime.
Finally ‘Why would I give a rat’s ass what a book of fiction said happened a few thousand years ago?’.
So, not a Christian then. It’s OK, neither am I!
I posted ‘If you didn’t steal it ( no euphemism), presumably your desire for it would eventually lead you to pay the company money’.
You explained your circumstances.
OK, I wish you well in school.
I still think it’s a shame you feel you have to steal.
But my point certainly applies to a lot of people much better off financially than you.
I asked ‘Why don’t you shoplift? (just interested).’
You replied 'Well, two reasons, I guess. First and foremost is the fact that I would feel very guilty about it, even if it was just a pack of gum from 7-11. I don’t feel an ounce of guilt downloading warez or mp3s. Maybe I have defective conscience. I don’t know.
Second, your chances of getting busted shoplifting are about 10,000 times higher than the risk of downloading warez.’
OK, reason 2 is self-preservation. But we’ll just have to disagree over reason 1, because I still think you should feel guilty!
You posted ‘a lot of multiplayer games are built to multi-install without having three copies…You can’t play the full game without the CD being in the computer, but you can play as a multiplayer client.’
Yes, that’s true.
I bought 3 CD’s because my friends sometimes play solo. One of my friends knows how to bypass copy protection (and has a CD writer), but neither of us want to commit a crime.
If you copy software & sell it, that is not legal mostly because the software maker doesn’t get paid again. Yet, if you sell used software, the software maker doesn’t get paid again from that either; but in both cases a person other than the software comp makes money. Just a thought.
You posted ‘If you copy software & sell it, that is not legal mostly because the software maker doesn’t get paid again. Yet, if you sell used software, the software maker doesn’t get paid again from that either; but in both cases a person other than the software comp makes money. Just a thought.’
Of course if people sell used software, it suggests they don’t want it anymore - so perhaps it’s not much of a product. The largest loss to the games company comes when a popular product fails to sell well, because of piracy.
Anyway I’m sure you fully understand the value of intellectual property!