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Last post Author Topic: Why is so much software cracked?  (Read 54347 times)

nudone

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2006, 04:35:31 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).

i didn't realise the gimp was that bad - or do you just mean it's okay, say, it's like an older version of photoshop from years ago or does it really suck when photo editing.

i would have thought anything with layers/alpha transparency and levels/curves and a few colour adjustments would be pretty good. isn't it just a case of if you use the gimp it might take a bit longer than to acheive the same result within photoshop?

koncool

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2006, 04:47:44 AM »
Quote
I doubt most crackers use many of the apps they crack.

That's for sure. The scene is not about cracking for yourself, but it's more of a whoever-cracks-more-in-less-time-is-elite game.

Quote
The hardcore pirates will pirate even if prices were dropped substantially, probably even if photoshop cost $10.

What do you mean? Being 'hardcore' has nothing to do with still pirating software even if it costs a dollar... All teams did it, do it and will continue doing it, however most focus mainly in the expensive pieces of software.

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

Indeed, c4n is a way to get to know that kind of people better... lol ;D

Okay, let's be honest - we all want to use the 'big names' out there. When you think of a good image processor, isn't Photoshop that comes to mind? When you think of a good sound editor, isn't Sound Forge or Cool Edit that comes to mind? How many do you think prefer The Gimp or Paint.net or Audacity over the aforementioned software? If you guys had both commercial and opensource or freeware or something software for the same task, which one would you use? So, it's a matter of quality. In MOST, not all cases though, you get what you pay for. Those questions are just provided as food for thought.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2006, 04:53:45 AM by koncool »

koncool

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2006, 04:55:01 AM »
And no, the purpose of the post above isn't to defend piracy but to help you decide if it's sometimes justifiable or not...

tsaint

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2006, 05:08:55 AM »
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.
The state government education department buys licenses for the whole state from microsoft for some of their products, but not so for photoshop/dreamweaver et al.
 I thought of you because I reckoned you might have some sympathy for a harried network manager trying to keep all manner of product running with minimal external support (must be very lonely at the top :)  )
jgpaiva, I understand exactly what you're saying and that's the manager's worst nightmare I reckon. Maybe there's a middle path though ... for example why not a simple screen shot program that is easy to use, doesn't bog students down with a zillion un-needed features and is low maintenance? Same with several other types of app - and our needs are modest because we're not a university

koncool

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2006, 05:23:16 AM »
Plus, warez makes software more popular... Do you know how many times Doom 3 was leeched, BEFORE its official release? And something else, would you really pay for software you just want to use once, if the demo/trial can't do it?

f0dder

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2006, 07:08:56 AM »
Quote
The hardcore pirates will pirate even if prices were dropped substantially, probably even if photoshop cost $10.
Quote
What do you mean? Being 'hardcore' has nothing to do with still pirating software even if it costs a dollar... All teams did it, do it and will continue doing it, however most focus mainly in the expensive pieces of software.
I meant hardcore as in "those people you just can't reach" - either because they're anti-capitalist or just cheap-asses :)

Quote
When you think of a good image processor, isn't Photoshop that comes to mind?
Actually, I think of Paint Shop Pro 9 - it fits my needs better than the big Photoshop package. Loads faster, and doesn't have as steep a learning curve as photoshop, and does what I need. I miss some things from the really old Micrografx Picture Publisher, by the way... was one of the easiest way of doing Alpha that I've worked with, and it had "objects" in supplement to "layers" - was also nice to work with.

Quote
And something else, would you really pay for software you just want to use once, if the demo/trial can't do it?
A few games, yes - because the cost per hour is cheaper than a cinema ticket :)
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2006, 10:33:14 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).

i didn't realise the gimp was that bad - or do you just mean it's okay, say, it's like an older version of photoshop from years ago or does it really suck when photo editing.

As I understand it the Gimp is aimed at image editing for monitor display and web pages, and not optimized or really designed for photography. It is a long time since I used the Gimp maybe things have changed but it used to be limited to screen resolutions (ie. 92 dpi).

The Gimp is probably fine for learning about techniques if you want something free but if you want a cheap alternative to Photoshop there are really only two options Photoshop Elements and Paint Shop Pro. There are other apps out there but none of them have the breadth of those two.

Gothi[c]

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2006, 10:53:51 AM »
Quote
As I understand it the Gimp is aimed at image editing for monitor display and web pages, and not optimized or really designed for photography. It is a long time since I used the Gimp maybe things have changed but it used to be limited to screen resolutions (ie. 92 dpi).

That must have been really long ago, because as far as I can remember you could always manually enter a dpi. A little more recent, they also put in a bunch of templates for new documents with predefined dpi values.

[edit]

CMYK is available through a plugin.
http://freshmeat.net/projects/cmykgimp/

[/edit]
« Last Edit: May 30, 2006, 11:00:16 AM by Gothi[c] »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2006, 11:02:36 AM »
It's a long time since I tried Gimp - probably the best solution is to try it and see ... it is free after all!

Edvard

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2006, 01:10:54 PM »
And you might want to go with GimpShop- The gimp but hacked so it looks and behaves more like PhotoShop.

I used to work at a shop where the head IT guys were on two ends of the spectrum- one was a Perl dev and so any small solution that was needed he whipped up in Perl and passed it around. Done.
The other guy was the model case for just enough piracy. He was constantly on the hunt for the latest and greatest app for any given task, and frequently used cracks as trialware. Get it? If it worked, and worked well, he had the "proof in the pudding" (no missing functions, disabled saves, etc.) for the financial department to shell out the cash for a legit copy of said killer app. If not, he would uninstall and never be heard from again. Done.

JavaJones

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2006, 11:12:03 PM »
I certainly don't think a donation model would work. I *do* think a tiered pricing system would! The commercial vs. home user paradigm should be much more widely adopted. Yes, there are home users who want to use Photoshop but will not be making money off it! I would much rather pay $100-200 or something for Photoshop (normally like $700) and be entitled to updates, support, etc. than use a pirated version. It should not just be confined to academic versions. They could even have tiered support, giving priority to commercial customers. I'd have no problem with that.

"Light" versions of applications don't really do it for me either, not by a long shot. Most of the time if I want a big, expensive app, I want all of it. :D But it's very true that my use of for example Cinema4D is going to be far less intensive and financially lucrative for me than someone using it professionally. Again I would pay 1-$200 for it and be glad of it.

I think what they need to do is look at what the real value of both their applications *and* services are. If they can parcel it out a bit more and make some things optional, maybe it'd be more "ok" to lower the price. I honestly do not *want* Adobe Bridge, at all. So if that's the big new feature they spent a year making for CS2, they can leave it out of my version and just sell me whatever updates there are to the core Photoshop app. I'd never use ImageReady either (I would just use the web bits of Photoshop - my needs are not that demanding for web use), so they can leave that out. Let's forget light versions, just strip out all the extra crap and sell me the core app for less, as a non-commercial user. By agreeing to the license I am as much legally bound to not use the output commercially as a commercial user who only buys one license is to not install it on multiple systems. If you are worried about the non-commercial user making money, then worry about the commercial user also installing more licenses than they should. In reality they shouldn't worry much about either one. Those who will be trustworthy will abide by the rules, those who wouldn't anyway (and would be more prone to piracy) are basically a lost cause.

The library analogy is a really interesting one. A lot of places do now provide online downloadable demos, and more and more they are making them fully featured I think, instead of cutting them down. I got Adobe Audition and it seems to be fully functional. So that's kind of like the "library" approach - you "check it out" (download it), then you have to "return it" (it expires) in x number of days. You can check it out again (uninstall/reinstall, or at most redownloaded - unless the app is really a bugger and you have to hunt down its install key and kill it or similar). If they made this more condoned it might be a good thing. The constant check-out might entice people to buy. That seems like the idea of a demo anyway, it's just supposedly not for longer-term use.

Personally I think the most fair approach would be some kind of micropayments system. It could be done per company/application, or everyone could go through some standard micropayment gateway, or several options of them (let's say - god forbid - Paypal created one for example). The payment gateway would be a separate piece of software you installed on your system and applications that supported it would detect it and hook in. Then for every say hour you used Photoshop it would charge you $1 or 10 cents or whatever. At the least it would make the actual price a whole lot more bearable by spreading it out over a long time. It would also net *new* income from those who don't actually need to own Photoshop but definitely need it for one or two things here and there, or just for this one thing *right now*. Of course we all know the issues with such systems and why they haven't been done before, but it's still an interesting theoretical approach anyway. It seems quite appealing to me.

The point about "leading by example" in schools, etc. is a very interesting one too. I agree that this can be "setting a bad example" in that it makes people desire expensive software. There's nothing really wrong with using commercial, expensive software provided A: it gets the job done noticeably better/faster/easier than a free/OS alternative and B: it fits within the institution's budget. However at the least the free/OS alternatives should be made aware to students. I do work in an educational institution as the Technical Coordinator and although I don't interact with students much, I am definitely trying to make the move to free/OS software. I have spent years finding the best free/OS programs (this place has helped a lot of late, too), so I have a good stockpile. Now that I'm working for a single company I have to make sure the license allows for corporate use - being an educational institution *and* a non-profit definitely makes that easier. In many cases I've needed to contact authors to get a precise answer on licensing terms. In most cases I am given the ok to use it, which is great. We now use Open Office and Thunderbird on a number of machines and I'm working toward moving to Firefox as well. We use Tugzip or Zipgenius, Foxit PDF Reader, XnView, etc. And notably all of them are vastly superior tools to what was being used before! The point anyway is that using free/OS software doesn't have to be a sacrifice. It's a genuine alternative and it can actually improve productivity and capability.

Btw, having recently tried Sound Forge to work on an audio problem I have, I actually would far rather use Audacity! Audicaty is way faster, believe it or not. :D I intend to post a thread about that soon (speed of commercial apps vs. free/OS, specifically in media editing). The point though is that the commercial product is *not* always superior! There is Kristal and Reaper as well for multi-track editing, both seem to do what they do very well, possibly as well as Adobe Audition/Sound Forge/etc. I think in certain market segments there are free/OS alternatives that are genuine competitors. This is not true in all areas, and it probably has something to do with how unusual the UI is, how readily copyable an existing product's UI/approach is, etc. I think good, original UI design is not the strength of free/OS software, in most cases. :D Cross-platform needs also play heavily into open source issues. The Gimp is as clunky as it is partly because Windows is not its native platform. ;) There are a number of freeware paint apps that are much nicer though, like Photofiltre, Paint.NET, etc.

- Oshyan

zridling

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2006, 11:21:48 PM »
koncool makes some great points here. If for no other reason, if you're the curious sort, you want to try everything, especially to see how the expensive software stacks up against Open Source options. And I agree with Deozaan that piracy does increase sales. Carol notes that some were never going to buy it anyway, so it can't be construed as theft. Microsoft came to that conclusion in China and India when they acknowledged reality and created a XP Lite or starter version at a super cheap price, I can't remember the name of it.

I have a friend who consults in China — you know the guy who works to take away good German, French, British, and American jobs (yes, I give him a hard time, too) — and every time he returns he brings huge suitcases of movies and software, none of it costing more than €$1 per DVD. Is that piracy? Yes, because the Chinese street market guy had the latest copy of X-Men 3 before the theatres did. Am I complaining about the €$1 price in and of itself? Never!
« Last Edit: May 30, 2006, 11:26:32 PM by zridling »

mouser

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2006, 11:22:42 PM »
i want to echo the idea that tiered pricing seems to me like it might help these things a lot.
if you could find a more reasonable way of properly classifying home users vs. moderate sized companies, then you might be able to do it on a larger scale.  it would make a lot of sense to say photoshop is $5 for the unemployed, $50 for home users, and $500 for companies.

JavaJones

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2006, 11:40:22 PM »
Yes Mouser, I'm all for it! I think companies simply can't be bothered to deal with the additional licensing and compliance complexity. But at the same time they'll spend tons of money on elaborate new copy protection schemes. It's rather frustrating! Here they could essentially be accomplishing the same effect, possibly making *more* money, and working essentially for the greater good, yet they would rather choose to spend more money and alienate more of their customers with a new copy protection approach that accomplishes little (Photoshop is still readily cracked as is just about everything else :D).

- Oshyan

Cpilot

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2006, 11:50:01 PM »
Quote
i want to echo the idea that tiered pricing seems to me like it might help these things a lot.
if you could find a more reasonable way of properly classifying home users vs. moderate sized companies, then you might be able to do it on a larger scale.  it would make a lot of sense to say photoshop is $5 for the unemployed, $50 for home users, and $500 for companies.
So in other words a company or an individual is not entitled to own and therefore set the worth/price of their efforts and property?
The collective socialist hive mind should determine the worth of a company or individuals effort depending ....on what?
What they believe their entitled too?
Should people who also work and save for 30 - 40 years have a bunch of lazy sloths come along and decide that because that individual saved and invested for their retirement and you didn't your entitled to a portion of the years of sacrifice,sweat and effort that individual made to enrich themselves because...what? Your a bunch of spoiled little a**holes that think you deserve it?
Why not just declare yourselves thieves and be done with the pretense?
Because in reality that's exactly what this thread is discussing. How to rationalize yourselves as thieves.

It's the same excuse people use to rationalize shoplifting and petty theft....ohhh it's too expensive...they don't deserve to make a profit they're capitalists!!!!!.

This thread is a joke  :down:

mouser

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #40 on: May 31, 2006, 12:05:23 AM »
cpilot -
i think you missed the entire point of javajones reply to my saying that, which i agree with.
no one said they should be forced to price things that way - we are simply suggesting that if they did that they might:
  • make more money
  • gain larger market share
  • build a more loyal and happy user base
  • do some good for the world

there are some difficulties of course, but perhaps not insurmountable ones.  the use of tiered pricing *is* increasing it seems.. let's hope this trend continues.

JavaJones

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #41 on: May 31, 2006, 12:21:13 AM »
lol, sorry Cpilot your hackles are raised needlessly. The fact is piracy happens. Whether or not anyone here pirates software is irrelevent to most any company, so whether anyone is justifying their own use of pirated software doesn't bear on what's important to the company. What *is* relevant, in general, is "the bottom line". I certainly have not intended to propose anything that would endanger a company's bottom line. Rather the opposite in fact.

So, speaking for myself I am looking at it from both sides: how can companies maximize their profits while also minimizing wasted effort, which includes effort wasted on copy protection schemes that in effect provide no more protection than previous schemes. Do you think the Photoshop CS2 activation meant significantly fewer copies were pirated? Considering it was broken in about the same amount of time as previous copy protection I am guessing not. Even if that were the case the better question is did Adobe net more sales because if it? Unless the answer is a categorical yes (very hard to prove - new features in CS2 could attract new customers for example), then it was a waste of time and money for Adobe.

So the question then becomes, if draconian copy protection schemes are not an answer, and piracy is at an unacceptable level, how do you remedy that? One proposed solution could be tiered software pricing based on voluntarily defined usage. Many smaller software developers are already using this model with some evident success. No one is forcing anyone to do anything, it is merely suggested that such an approach might have benefits for all involved - the company included. Think about the potential ramifications in real terms, irrespective of the unconventional nature of the approach. Just because it's different doesn't make it wrong or bad, and just because it's suggested doesn't make it a directive or an expectation.

- Oshyan

Cpilot

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #42 on: May 31, 2006, 12:24:32 AM »
Quote
cpilot -
i think you missed the entire point of javajones reply to my saying that, which i agree with.
no one said they should be forced to price things that way - we are simply suggesting that if they did that they might:

make more money
gain larger market share
build a more loyal and happy user base
do some good for the world

there are some difficulties of course, but perhaps not insurmountable ones.  the use of tiered pricing *is* increasing it seems.. let's hope this trend continues.

Oh please.
This is just another rationaliztion thread for piracy.

You go into Kmart and you buy a 19 inch TV. When you take it home you can watch porno on it, take it apart, smash it against a wall...hell it's yours.
But if Kmart says you gotta pay 125.00 US for it, just because you don't have 125.00 US don't mean you have a right to demand they sell it for 25.00 US or your going to steal it.

Part of being an adult is if you want something bad enough you go out and actully work for it. Stealing just because you can't afford it is not an excuse.
Software vendors have a right to charge what they please...the market will determine the value.

Again this is just another thread designed to rationalize the theft of software.
Theft is theft......just because it goes on don't mean it's right. So that excuse don't fly.
Companies are not in the business to garner good will or "do good", their in business to make a profit.
I have investments....if any company I invest in does crap like this for "good will" I would pull my money and invest it where I can make a profit.
You can't make a profit from small time losers who won't invest in something that has value. It's not a smart investment.
Plain and simple.

« Last Edit: May 31, 2006, 12:29:52 AM by Cpilot »

mouser

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2006, 12:54:21 AM »
There are a couple of discussions happening simultaneously here..
One discussion is about why it might be beneficial for everyone (INCLUDING THE COMPANIES PROFITS) to have a more "enlightened" pricing system.  Clearly some companies have implemented tiered pricing for their own selfish reasons.  Dual open source licenses are becoming more popular - where the software is free for open source/non-profit use, but costs money for commercial use.  Again these companies are doing this because they think it makes economic sense.

The other discussion is about the ethics of using pirated software.  That's a much stickier issue.  I do think there is a difference between legality, morality, ethics.  I think people need to consider the ethical consequences of their actions.  But in a world so stacked against individuals (especially those who are struggling for financial survial) and so stacked in favor of large corporations, that such issues are not as simple as you might think.

I don't presume to have all the answers.  This site will not condone software piracy - we are more interested in finding an alternative way to find a healthy medium.  Your description of business as only concerned with profit is what i think is wrong with this world - everyone seems to be coming to accept the idea that the only rational goal of any individual or business is simply to grab as much profit as possible as fast as possible, and damned the consequences or anyone else.  The only goal of any business it to get as big as possible, as fast as possible, and aquire as much power as possible.  that's an exaggeration but not a huge one.  does it have to be that way? i hope not.  i hope there's still room in this world for reasonable people to seek a reasonable middle ground.  those of us who recognize we have to make some money to live but who have desires that are more important than profit, like doing something we enjoy that doesn't make the world a worse place.

app103

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2006, 01:11:43 AM »
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.

Maybe it might raise the cost of their schooling a bit, but why not make it a policy to give every student a legal copy of the software they will be learning how to use? If this was done, schools would most likely move to open source & freeware when they can to avoid the cost of giving out expensive software.

But it's corporate use of software that dictates what they will learn to use in school. Why give students Open Office and then turn them loose in a world where they will be expected to use MS Office and know all the details of how that software works?

And imagine if schools made students learn by using Paintshop Pro rather than Photoshop? Paintshop Pro can do just about everything Photoshop can. But once you graduate, you will be expected to use Photoshop.

And why is this? Because that is what the businesses will purchase. Why do they purchase something more expensive when they can save tons by using something else? Because schools keep churning out people that only know how to use the expensive crap. It has become a vicious cycle that there seems to be no way out.

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #45 on: May 31, 2006, 01:23:29 AM »
I think app's point is important, and it reminds me of one of the very best arguments against using pirated software that i've read, from an ethical standpoint.  if anyone knows the article i'm talking about please post it.

Basically the article argued a counter-intuitive point.  That the use of pirated software doesn't hurt the software companies making the software that is pirated - since the people who use pirated versions weren't likely to be potential customers.  It argued that it hurts most the open source and free alternative companies, who would OTHERWISE be thriving if there was no piracy.  It makes some sense and it's an extremely important point to bear in mind.  Does piracy hurt the open source, free, and donationware software community, because if people really couldn't use pirated versions of programs they would be more willing to support, contribute, and encourage these alternatives?
« Last Edit: May 31, 2006, 01:25:21 AM by mouser »

jgpaiva

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #46 on: May 31, 2006, 03:52:46 AM »
i want to echo the idea that tiered pricing seems to me like it might help these things a lot.
if you could find a more reasonable way of properly classifying home users vs. moderate sized companies, then you might be able to do it on a larger scale.  it would make a lot of sense to say photoshop is $5 for the unemployed, $50 for home users, and $500 for companies.

I like the part about $5 for the unemployed, since i'm unemployed myself.
But... That's impossible to do in reality, it can't be controlled. (who would know i was buying something for my father, who could be very rich, but paying 1/10th of the price?)

jgpaiva

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #47 on: May 31, 2006, 04:08:12 AM »
And imagine if schools made students learn by using Paintshop Pro rather than Photoshop? Paintshop Pro can do just about everything Photoshop can. But once you graduate, you will be expected to use Photoshop.
The truth is.. That IS happening (see my post in this thread). I also think it's idiot, and it's a serious matter.
I think that in these cases, if the companies were smart enough, they'd donate some licenced copies to the schools, to earn some market share. (actually, this also happens, my school owns some academic licences of software).

The solution javajones mentioned is related to what i mentioned in my earlier post about the games where you can buy the game in parts.
I think this would be a very good solution for software, if it could be acomplished.
For example, a photoshop in a bunch of packages would be great, since some people don't use a third of the potential of photoshop. Truth is, that if this was in place, paintshop would have no costumers at all, since it'd be better to use a unified interface (photoshop), even if it was worse. (see the example of autocad)

Oh, and don't forget another important issue. Such photoshop product would earn also more users, which means even more user feedback, which i'm sure companies like.

koncool

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #48 on: May 31, 2006, 04:10:25 AM »
Quote
A few games, yes - because the cost per hour is cheaper than a cinema ticket

Okay, games are a totally different matter, I buy my games as well :Thmbsup:

Quote
And why is this? Because that is what the businesses will purchase. Why do they purchase something more expensive when they can save tons by using something else? Because schools keep churning out people that only know how to use the expensive crap. It has become a vicious cycle that there seems to be no way out.

That's for sure. Ever heard of a software called COMNET III, used for designing/testing/simulating network layouts? They used to use it a lot here. When the company was merged with another one the product line got dropped. Although there are LOTS of software that do the same job, they KEEP using that, even if they have no technical support and stuff... Another weird story from the local universities :'(

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #49 on: May 31, 2006, 04:25:06 AM »
Oh please.
This is just another rationaliztion thread for piracy.

No its not - it is a rationalisation for companies to stop piracy and make more profits.

The point is that piracy happens on a massive scale and especially for the expensive applications. No one here is condoning that - certainly not me (I pay for all my software - even though some apps are excessively expensive).

However I believe piracy would be significantly reduced and sale volumes would grow in response to sensible pricing.

You only have to look at lots of areas in the business world to see that pricing is often based purely on 'what the market will pay' and is nothing to do with investment or realistic costs. Look at a few examples - why does it cost hundreds of dollars to get a lawyer to write a will for you when it is a standard format which you can write yourself on a piece of paper? Similarly I regularly get invited to conferences where a day of 'teaching' costs as much as a month's salary per person that I was paid when I taught in adult education - basically they charge what people are willing to pay and it has nothing to do with actual osts or value.

Microsoft admit this is the model they use for setting prices - it simply doesn't make sense to charge the prices they do and then spend millions on anti piracy measures which have the effect of really annoying their legitimate users. Similarly with Adobe - have either company actually sold more copies since they introduced product activation? Probably not because those who buy the software will still buy it (and be irritated by the activation and inability to easily move from one macjine to another) and those who download cracked versions and pay nothing will still do so. Wouldn't it be simpler to sell software at a price that can be easily afforded and encourage many more sales so that you make the same amount of money or more and grow your market share? In many areas volume sales (eg. food) => lower prices - but not in the software world apparently.