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Last post Author Topic: Why is so much software cracked?  (Read 54417 times)

zridling

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Why is so much software cracked?
« on: May 28, 2006, 11:06:33 PM »
I think because many feel so much of it is overpriced leading us to say things like "You want €49 for that!" I argue more of the case here.

       

Let us know your thoughts.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2006, 11:11:18 PM by zridling »

JavaJones

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2006, 11:26:37 PM »
First, I think the title of this may be a bit misleading. "Why is software cracked? is a different question from "Why is software pirated?, the former implying more to do with the actual reason for defeating copy protection in the first place and hence having more to do with the motivations of those doing the cracking, rather than the "end user". For the crackers I think the motivation is much more about challenge, victory, feeling clever, and notoriety. I doubt most crackers use many of the apps they crack. So that seems fairly simple and has little to do with the market, except that higher priced and more desirable software is more desirable to crack.

The end user side of things seems a bit more complicated. You could say it is due simply to price; surely not many people pirate something they don't need or want, and if you need/want something then it has *some* value. Yet I have experienced first-hand the drive to collect, irrespective of the value of the software itself to my own needs. I have done this with freeware! The allure of collecting can't be dismissed. Still, I think it is a small part of the pirating population who are collectors, comparatively speaking. Many people don't even know they're "pirates" or that what they're doing is really wrong. It's not necessarily willful ignorance, they just don't think about it. I have seen so many people casually asking their neighbor, roommate, school chum, etc. to install Office, Photoshop, etc. on their machine, and they think nothing of it.

Getting back to the point, money definitely plays a key role. I think a fundamental problem of the industry though is that value of a piece of software is not consistent for everyone, yet the price charged is almost invariably the same. If there were a way to reliably measure someone's need and likely use - their price ceiling - then that would help a lot. As it is software developers theoretically charge what the market will bear. Where this gets tricky is developers, publishers, or lobby groups assuming that every pirated copy is a lost sale. This is an assumption in the music industry, film industry, software industry, etc, etc. and it is fundamentally flawed.

You could never lower prices to the point where everyone who pirates a piece of software would buy it, but you could get close. At a certain point you reach the point of diminishing returns. That is theoretically where every publisher should aim their pricing. I do think most publishers aim higher than that however. Imagine if Photoshop was half the cost - if they got twice as many purchasers (and they might), they would make the same amount of money, *and* they would have a larger market share. It's even possible they could make more money by more than doubling their market.

There are a number of theoretical "sweet spots" for pricing, and price barriers that supposedly signal the difference between a casual purchase and a major one that deserves more thought and care. This too is different for everyone, but there are general levels that are fairly agreed upon. I think the $100 barrier is one; there are many others. A smart publisher will price their software just under one of these barriers, if possible. This is usually the reason for something costing $299 instead of $300, of course. Surprisingly, as much as people intellectually see through that trick, they still subconsciously tend to fall victim to it.

In any case I think as a fundamental statement it's easy to agree that the biggest reason people pirate something is monetary. They don't feel the asking price is worth it for their use and need. But it gets more complex because of the things discussed above, and much more. Individual value judgments (to some people almost *nothing* is worth $600), individual financial means, etc, etc.

Interesting question. A pity no one is probably studying it but the BSA (and there "study" is probably a loose term). But I imagine there is a lot of general market research out there that is applicable to this at least.

- Oshyan

martyjn

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2006, 02:13:40 AM »
I have used cracks for various software that i posess but the main reason that i use them is to be able to back up software that i own to use a copy rather than the original.I have three kids under six at home with me and they quite often get into my cds and have destroyed moore than a few.The main reason why Software companies have not been successful banning cracks is that owners are legaly entitled to a back up of software in most countries.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2006, 04:17:56 AM »
Answered on your blog Zaine ...

f0dder

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2006, 08:07:20 AM »
As for why software is *cracked*... it's a game. Some enjoy the challenge of defeating a difficult protection, some enjoy the "statistics" they can make by mass-cracking a bunch of small apps from the same company using basically the same protection. And then there's of course the competition between the various cracking groups. If you have a look at what is cracked in the so-called "0-day" scene (http://www.nfodb.com...ion_1_0-day_nfo.html) you'll see a lot of really useless crap there, cracked only "because they could".

The oooh-so-romantic "fame and glory" is only one side of the story, though. Groups also release cracks to gain and maintain access to the so-called "topsites". The more apps and more interesting stuff you crack (games and applications obviously ranking higher than shareware applications), the better topsites you gain access to. Some 6 years ago, a ftp with 1TB storage on a full-duplex 100mbit connection was considered decent, which says something about the insane amount of storage and bandwidth used today, just for piracy.

http://www.welcometothescene.com has a (somewhat comic and somewhat frowned-upon by the oh-so-elite "real scene members") bunch of episodes with some fictional scene people, and while it's a bit comical, serves as a pretty good introduction to what it's all about.

(No, I'm not associated with all that stuff, I just happen to know people).
- carpe noctem

nudone

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2006, 09:13:07 AM »
thanks for that, f0dder, looks like a good introduction - downloading the torrents now.

i'm not sure what i think about cracking and copy protection and the price of software. it all seems a bit messed up to me.

eg. steinberg went to great lengths to create an uncrackable version of cubase sx - using a usb dongle - did it stop the program being cracked? no, it just made it more of a challenge - and a few months after release cubase was cracked.

did steinberg sell more copies of cubase during the period that no one had cracked it - i'm guessing it probably made little difference.

so, the people that make software know their product will be cracked - the crackers know they can crack it - the people that aren't going to pay for software know they can can get a cracked version.

all i see from this is a crazy situation is that the valued customer ends up paying for a program that has to have serial numbers or crazy dongles to make the software work - all a bit of a nuisance as it doesn't stop cracking or pirating.

would dropping the price of 'expensive' software make pirating/cracking less appealing? seems the software companies think not.

is there any anology to the film industry - remember when prerecorded movie video tapes cost about £100 so everyone used to rent and copy them as it would be insane to pay that price?

then they dropped the price to about £10 to buy a prerecorded video tape - and then, of course, dvds too when they arrived. now, they must sell millions.

maybe this kind of business model can't work for the software industry as no one wants to collect and display all their paid for software titles on their bookshelves like they do with dvds. if only they could make buying and owning software sexy then the problem would be solved.

f0dder

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2006, 09:32:07 AM »
Well, to be fair, applications do need a bit of protection, otherwise I'm afraid (casual) piracy would explode.  I draw the line when the protection becomes a major problem for the end-user (insanely long serials, slow dongles, phone-home activation etc.)

Btw. afaik it took more than "a few months" before cubase was cracked, it seems like they (or rather, the protection company) came up with some really fancy protection. Not to mention that various cracked releases were pretty unstable. Pretty well done :) - I'm not a cubase user myself though, so I don't know whether the protection slowed down stuff majorly, I guess I could ask one of my musician friends.

Quote
so, the people that make software know their product will be cracked - the crackers know they can crack it - the people that aren't going to pay for software know they can can get a cracked version.
But sometimes having to wait too long might encourage them to buy? Dunno.

Consider this... a program that has no protection at all. Admin has a license for 10 apps, but 12-15 computers to install to. It's a bit tempting to forget about the licensing issue. If there's some protection, even if it's easily broken, the admin would need to knowingly download+run a keygen/crack/whatever. I think there's a slight moral difference between the two.

Quote
would dropping the price of 'expensive' software make pirating/cracking less appealing? seems the software companies think not.
Good question. The hardcore pirates will pirate even if prices were dropped substantially, probably even if photoshop cost $10. Other pirates are more like collectors, they don't even install the stuff they download - those obviously wouldn't pay either, and shouldn't be included in the statistics.

Pricing is pretty complicated stuff, IMHO. Who's your target segment? What kind of cash do they have? How much do you spend on development? If you lower price by X, will the Y amount of new customers get you the same income? et cetera.

Then the piracy issue. A company might see that it's product is pirated, and thing "omfg we need protection". But really, even if "super expensive CAD program" or "very obscure and expensive medical imaging application" are released on the warez scene, how many people are going to use those applications? Does it mean an actual loss? I think the BSA and friends are way off when they estimate losses due to piracy...

I wonder how big an issue it really is. The people who whine most about piracy are the companies that make billions a year... would be interesting to hear what low-profile companies and shareware authors have to say.
- carpe noctem

nudone

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2006, 10:07:35 AM »
yes, you are right about cubase taking more than a few months to crack - i had forgotten.

we also have to include that the software companies know full well that their product is cracked and available to download and they choose not to put extra protection into the next release of the software. microsoft, after all, hasn't shut down all the illegal copies of windows xp - you can simply opt out of it nagging you to buy a valid copy with the new genuine advantage thingy that now pops up.

so it seems there's a very fine balancing act going on and there doesn't appear to be any science about setting the price for software. set it high and get the money from the legit users that can afford it but accept that there will be thousands of cracked versions floating around or set the price low and hope that almost everyone user will pay up.

maybe it's only competition with other software companies that make a similar product that can change the prices. i can't remember the reason now but there were some massive (like thousands of dollars) price drops with maya and 3d max a while ago when they were competing on price (i might have it mixed up with who was involved but it was 3d design software anyway).

the most appealing pricing structure to me would be - if you use the software within a business/commercial/whatever environment or for earning money yourself then it's only fair to pay up for the full (expensive) cost of the software. a domestic 'home' version ought to be available at a reduced price.

i'm not really contributing to this thread with the stuff i'm saying so i'll try and offer something of worth...

look at the DonationCoder pricing model.

maybe if the companies that produce expensive software offered a donation type payment scheme then maybe the people that use cracked/pirated software would feel a little more generous and send some money their way. the commercial sector could still pay the licensing fees or higher prices and then everyone else could choose to pay what they thought the software was worth.

would it work, is that how naive i am? isn't this all a bit more to do with how people respond to the way they are treated? i'm about to go off on a tangent and start saying things like 'the world is full of thieving scumbags that only need to be shown they can be trusted and everyone will live happily ever after' - so, i'll shut up.

app103

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2006, 10:26:45 AM »
But really, even if "super expensive CAD program" or "very obscure and expensive medical imaging application" are released on the warez scene, how many people are going to use those applications? Does it mean an actual loss? I think the BSA and friends are way off when they estimate losses due to piracy...


The makers of Autocad believed, at one time, that piracy = profit!

Their product is too expensive for the typical home user and is targeted at businesses. The home user that pirates it does so to learn how to use it, most of the time. People that wouldn't ever pay for it, and therefore never learn how to use it, become people that know how ...and eventually become employees of companies that pay for Autocad software.  The more people that know how to use it, the more companies have the incentive to keep buying the product.

They used to factor this into the whole equation and not even mind piracy at one time...it resulted in increased profits for them and was good for the economy because it lead to lower unemployment.

But then businesses started doing it too and that cut into their profits, so now their attitudes have changed about piracy.

f0dder

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2006, 10:31:35 AM »
Quote
we also have to include that the software companies know full well that their product is cracked and available to download and they choose not to put extra protection into the next release of the software.
With some protections, though, a good deal of work is needed to remove it, and can't be 100% automated... so a new release by itself is sortof "extra protection" :)

Quote
microsoft, after all, hasn't shut down all the illegal copies of windows xp - you can simply opt out of it nagging you to buy a valid copy with the new genuine advantage thingy that now pops up.
Hrm, afaik you won't be able to use the web-based windows update though, nor download the "genuine windows required" stuff from their site. Dunno if the various activation cracks solve that, I've got a valid key :)

Quote
the most appealing pricing structure to me would be - if you use the software within a business/commercial/whatever environment or for earning money yourself then it's only fair to pay up for the full (expensive) cost of the software. a domestic 'home' version ought to be available at a reduced price.
That would certainly be nice - get the real money from those who have it, but allow mortal people to have legit copies as well (has some marketing value anyway).

Btw, my musician friend says that the CuBase protection is mostly around the "logic code" (inserting notes, moving stuff around, etc.) so you don't notice it most of the time. But once you have audio stuff taking up 90% CPU power, the logic-protection can feel a bit sluggish :)

I really don't know if the donation model would work for larger-scale software. Hell, I don't even know if reduced pricing for the home sector would work. If an admin sees a product drop from $5.000 to $100, wouldn't he be suspicious that something's wrong with the software?

app103, you probably have a point there. I don't think it's a conincidence that Microsoft have waited so long with implementing real protection in their OS'es (9x could be bypassed easily, 2000 it was a simple as changing a line in a .inf file before installing, and your key wasn't even stored after install afaik).
- carpe noctem

jgpaiva

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2006, 11:41:19 AM »
I think app made a good point, autocad really took advantage of the piracy issue. My father is a civil engeneer, and he described me what happened at the time. The truth is that there were superior products to autocad, but everyone started using autocad because everyone had the pirated version.

I think that this issue is not easy to address. I think there's no wonderful, perfect solution for this problem.
Stilll, it's always around the pricing of the product.
I'm more into games, so, i'll give that example.
I've played games for a few years now, and never bought one single original game. Why? Because i usually am broke ;)

But, about 3 years ago, i started playing counter-strike, using a friend's key, and i decided to buy a key for myself, so that i could play it against him and a bunch of other friends. I bought it because the game is very good, well stuctured, well mantained, and specially because it was cheap. It costed me 15€ at the time (it's now available for something like 8€, i think). And the truth is that it's (or at least, it was at the time), the most played online game.
Another important issue is that i could and did play it offline, and in bad servers (which take a lot of the good part of the game), through pirated solutions.

Right now, the same company that made counter-strike, valve, created a new game, half-live2. They have adopted another great system again. You can download the game in parts, and pay each part at a time. This means that you can play only the first chapter at a low price, and if you feel like you like the game, buy the second one for a few € more, and so on.
I consider this very fair to the costumer. Because this way, the user is sure that the game's quality will be mantained, and that some creativity will be introduced.

For me, it wouldn't make any sense to buy any game since, the truth is that i never ended one single game. I never found any game that appeals to me enough for me to play it to the end.

I think a good solution for programs like photoshop would be to have a "light" version that would be usable, but not powerful enough to be used by professionals.
But if we see things from another angle, that's what already happens right now. We have the pricey photoshop and the light version, "the gimp".

Hrm, afaik you won't be able to use the web-based windows update though, nor download the "genuine windows required" stuff from their site. Dunno if the various activation cracks solve that, I've got a valid key :)
I also have a valid key, but what you mentioned is not quite true, the "genuine windows required" can be solved, it just takes a bit of work ;).

f0dder

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2006, 11:49:25 AM »
Quote
I think a good solution for programs like photoshop would be to have a "light" version that would be usable, but not powerful enough to be used by professionals.
WITHOUT a dumbed-down interface that just screams "you're a bloody retard" at you >_<, just because you can't afford the pro version.

Quote
But if we see things from another angle, that's what already happens right now. We have the pricey photoshop and the light version, "the gimp".
Not to mention paint shop pro... oh well, nevermind, bought by corel, dead product.

Quote
Quote
Hrm, afaik you won't be able to use the web-based windows update though, nor download the "genuine windows required" stuff from their site. Dunno if the various activation cracks solve that, I've got a valid key :)
I also have a valid key, but what you mentioned is not quite true, the "genuine windows required" can be solved, it just takes a bit of work ;)
Hmm, okay - better not talk more about that here. Seems a bit silly though, I think MS does have the ability to lock XP pirates out totally, but decide not to... yet.
- carpe noctem

jgpaiva

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2006, 11:53:52 AM »
WITHOUT a dumbed-down interface that just screams "you're a bloody retard" at you >_<, just because you can't afford the pro version.
Yes, that's what i meant with "usable", since although the gimp is a good alternative, i never got along decently with it.

Hmm, okay - better not talk more about that here. Seems a bit silly though, I think MS does have the ability to lock XP pirates out totally, but decide not to... yet.
Yes, i see your point. But i didn't know about that locking pirated windows ability... some more information on that?

f0dder

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2006, 11:57:24 AM »
Quote
Hmm, okay - better not talk more about that here. Seems a bit silly though, I think MS does have the ability to lock XP pirates out totally, but decide not to... yet.
Quote
Yes, i see your point. But i didn't know about that locking pirated windows ability... some more information on that?
Well, the can obviously detect whether you have a valid key or not. Move that detection server-side instead of client-side, and you're locked out. Of course they can't stop you from plain using windows XP, but they can stop you from getting updates.
- carpe noctem

jgpaiva

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2006, 12:51:16 PM »
Well, the can obviously detect whether you have a valid key or not. Move that detection server-side instead of client-side, and you're locked out. Of course they can't stop you from plain using windows XP, but they can stop you from getting updates.
Oh, right, I see what you meant. I understood another thing.
It'd be quite fair if they blocked the illegal windows out there, but i wonder if it'd make any difference. Since almost everyone has winxp with a new computer.

Deozaan

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2006, 01:40:48 PM »
There aren't many people I know who haven't pirated software at some point or another, and most I know currently do it.

I think a really good point that was made is that some of the software is so expensive that there are people (like me) who would never pay full price for it, therefore the company would not get a sell from them. And those people who pirate it generally won't be using it professionally.

On the other side, I have actually pirated some software which then turned into a sale. A friend of mine gave me a copy of the game Starcraft and I liked it so much that I went out and bought my own version and the expansion and every PC game that company has made. Also, years ago when I was animating stick figures, Flash suddenly got really popular. I pirated version 4 and learned how to use it. I was 14 or 15 at the time and there was no way I could have afforded it. However, I have owned a legal copy of every Flash version thereafter.

I have done similar things with some music. Back when the original version of Napster was available, I vaguely remembered one song I had heard years before. I couldn't remember the title or the artist, but after some research I found it out and downloaded almost an entire album. I have purchased every single one of their 6 albums since.

I'm not advocating piracy, because I know it's illegal. But there are instances where it is actually good for the business. For penny pinchers or those with a low income like myself, I want to be sure I'll like something before I buy it. Music isn't an issue anymore because of the many online opportunities to preview before you buy and pay less than buying a CD. Most software I try out isn't that expensive and comes with a 30-day trial or some such thing anyway. But for some of the really expensive ones, it would be very nice to be able to test out the UI and see what it can do before plunking down hundreds of dollars.

« Last Edit: May 29, 2006, 01:46:48 PM by Deozaan »

f0dder

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2006, 01:54:02 PM »
Quote
I think a really good point that was made is that some of the software is so expensive that there are people (like me) who would never pay full price for it, therefore the company would not get a sell from them.
I understand this point of view, but if you apply it to the real/physical world, would you suggest that stealing a bottle of 16-year-old whisky is okay? "I'd never pay full price for it, so it's not like they lose money" :). I think that kind of arguing is a bit silly, but it *does* have a point, too.

Quote
And those people who pirate it generally won't be using it professionally.
Unfortunately, there are. I'm not sure how widespread commercial use of pirated products is, but I know that DataRescue has had problems with companies(!) pirating their IDA disassembler.
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2006, 02:21:58 PM »
Quote
I think a really good point that was made is that some of the software is so expensive that there are people (like me) who would never pay full price for it, therefore the company would not get a sell from them.
I understand this point of view, but if you apply it to the real/physical world, would you suggest that stealing a bottle of 16-year-old whisky is okay? "I'd never pay full price for it, so it's not like they lose money" :). I think that kind of arguing is a bit silly, but it *does* have a point, too.

Not supporting piracy but it is rather different issue.

If you pinch a bottle of whisky they have lost a sale - it is in you hangover.

Downloading a cracked copy of software doesn't cost them a cent because you weren't going to buy it anyway, and you haven't even used their bandwidth to get the download.

In some ways I can see it rather more akin to using an old fashioned library - I want to use an ecyclopedia ... my local library has a copy so I go and use it ... come home and think that is crap (don't buy it and never use it again) or that is great (I'll buy a copy).

It's the same with software - cough up $600 for a piece of software that you aren't sure does what you need? I think not ... I just won't buy it.

I have always though that music companies, film publishers and software companies could solve all their problems really simply. Reduce the price and many more people would be prepared to buy your product.

Let's look at Adobe Photoshop. I have had legit copies of versions 6, 7 and CS2 and think it is simply the best piece of photo software around - and it gets better in each version (not always equal leaps - which is why I didn't upgrade to CS). The big problem is that most home users won't pay the price (I'm luck I get an ed. discount). Now if instead of chaging $450 they charged $45 for the program they would wipe out all opposition in a stroke - they wouldn't have to prodece an extra version (Elements) and so reduce development, marketing, production and support costs and they would be absolutely guaranteed to sell more than 10 times the volume. Make it $30 and download only and they would cut out all production costs and everyone on the planet would have a copy. As it is they introduced product activation (but at least you can deactivate it and move it to another computer unlike MS) which has totally alienated users and is a PITA to anyone who wants to install it on a laptop or a second home computer - and doesn't stop the cracked versions.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2006, 02:28:37 PM by Carol Haynes »

zridling

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2006, 05:51:47 PM »
Autocad is perhaps the third most cracked program, it seems. I asked a simple question and had no idea how deep this rabbit hole went. Inherent in cracking is piracy, but the two need not be married, as fodder, javajones, et al. have pointed out; cracking for many is merely a technical or intellectual challenge. Charging $10 for photoshop would still be too much and besides the point of cracking. (Holy crap, that's got to be the worst paragraph of the year.)

I worked at Barnes and Noble bookstore and we encouraged people to come in, have coffee, and sit and read books. Their philosophy was the reader would eventually buy. Odds on they were correct and most of those "squatters" did buy something, if nothing else than a $5 cup of coffee. But there were always 2-3 people who walked in when the store opened, grabbed ten books or magazines off the shelves, and spent all day reading — all day, every day, 5-6 days a week. It was fascinating to watch.

So one day I asked the manager, "Do you want me to ask that lady to leave? She's been here every day for a month and hasn't bought a damned thing." He said no and that the store policy encouraged more like her. I didn't get it until Carol connected the dots. Thanks.

PS Trivia: The most profitable item in any bookstore are calendars, not books. Believe it.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2006, 05:55:10 PM by zridling »

zridling

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2006, 05:58:30 PM »
Quote
[Carol]: ... instead of chaging $450 they charged $45 for the program they would wipe out all opposition in a stroke - they wouldn't have to prodece an extra version (Elements) and so reduce development, marketing, production and support costs and they would be absolutely guaranteed to sell more than 10 times the volume. Make it $30 and download only and they would cut out all production costs and everyone on the planet would have a copy.

A few years ago Corel offered its previous version of CorelDRAW and Painter software for about half the retail price. Don't know if they ever made any money, but it was a nice idea.

tsaint

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2006, 09:30:15 PM »
My perspective on this is coloured by being a teacher. At the school I'm at, we use ms office, photoshop, snagit etc etc - all our software is fairly expensive (it is all licensed and legit). So, all our students use it and hence want it themselves at home, either for compatibility reasons or because it might be "top of the line" software. So what are they to do - they are almost all 18-24, migrant, and poor as in living on their own, maybe with a child and on govt support. A big temptation to resist and I'd say its the school's fault.
My suggestion is for schools to use open source/freeware alternatives to help students avoid the lure of pirated software. If "industry standard" software is needed for a vocational course, so be it, else don't use it and students would then have compatabilty as an incentive to use open source / freeware at home, as well as having their consciousness raised on this issue.
I'm sure this is the same in schools everywhere in principal.

I'm not the network manager and so haven't any responsibility for it at my school - Carol might have a different perspective to me.

nudone

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2006, 01:09:39 AM »
My perspective on this is coloured by being a teacher. At the school I'm at, we use ms office, photoshop, snagit etc etc - all our software is fairly expensive (it is all licensed and legit). So, all our students use it and hence want it themselves at home, either for compatibility reasons or because it might be "top of the line" software. So what are they to do - they are almost all 18-24, migrant, and poor as in living on their own, maybe with a child and on govt support. A big temptation to resist and I'd say its the school's fault.
My suggestion is for schools to use open source/freeware alternatives to help students avoid the lure of pirated software. If "industry standard" software is needed for a vocational course, so be it, else don't use it and students would then have compatabilty as an incentive to use open source / freeware at home, as well as having their consciousness raised on this issue.
I'm sure this is the same in schools everywhere in principal.

I'm not the network manager and so haven't any responsibility for it at my school - Carol might have a different perspective to me.


i think that is a very good point.

outside of your situation, it's kind of sad that those who go for the pirated software do so without even considering the free open source alternatives - probably because they don't know they exist (and maybe because of the snobbery of not wanting to use something that was genuinely free).

just think of the paradigm shift if every pirated version of photoshop was replaced by the gimp and every pirated version of ms office was replaced by open office - and, what the heck, every dodgy copy of windows xp was replaced by something like ubuntu.

what a beautiful world it would be...

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2006, 04:14:58 AM »
I'm not the network manager and so haven't any responsibility for it at my school - Carol might have a different perspective to me.

I've not taught anywhere for a long time that had enough money to buy expensive software so the issue has never arisen. I have to wonder at the sense of an educational establishment paying for MS Office when they can install Open Office for free. OK there are issues but even at academic license prices it must be horrendously expensive.

I can understand your students dilemma thought - both MS Office and Photoshop even at Academic prices are not cheap.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2006, 04:17:35 AM »
The trouble is there really isn't an open source equivalent of Photoshop. The Gimp can do some of it but it isn't really in the same league at all and not really aimed at photographic processing. I suppose the cheaper solution for students is to get Photoshop Elements which does most of what Photoshop does these days (unless they need to learn about prepress, CMYK etc).

jgpaiva

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2006, 04:21:09 AM »
@tsaint:
Actually, in my university, something similar happened.
Until not too much years ago, everything was made in windows / top of the line software. But i am at a big university, which means that buying that software for every computer would be too expensive. What happened was that they used pirated software in some computers.
But the problem was that an inspection came, and they found this pirated software. The school had to remove the software.

What happened? We now do everything through the cheapest alternatives (linux, free compilers, etc).
But there's a big problem with this. Most of the time, we are using material that is much harder to use (since the free alternatives sometimes aren't as good), we have to keep 2 operating systems installed (windows for ourselves and linux for school), and, most of the time, we learn stuff that we won't actually use, because it's aimed at a platform we don't use (like linux).

For example, at a class i have, "operating systems", we learn how an operating system (at least, a good part of it) works: LINUX!
Which means, that i can use multi-threaded programming and such, but only in linux, since the instructions in windows are not the same / don't work the same way (or so i have been told).