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Last post Author Topic: Why is so much software cracked?  (Read 54400 times)

Baseman

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #75 on: June 03, 2006, 12:37:46 PM »
I'm going to also give my 2c's worth while debating the fact that whether piracy is warranted or not.......Example: It's a known fact that some companies are over rated as far as software and prices are concerned...Yes they have a right to charge whatever they like and it's up to the consumer whether to purchase it or not, noone forces the consumer to purchase their software take note there are various companies who make the same software for the same purpose and you'll also find that their prices differ...However you do get giant companies who in my own opinion is over priced on their software, so there is a solution to this problem 'Open Source' came into being...'Open source' might not be the 'rolls royce' you looking for but the programs that have been developed do the same work:Example 'Open Office'...'Microsoft Office' there might be some diffs but at the end of the day 'Open Office' is obtainable as a download or a small fee for the CD/DVD to be shipped around the world and that's not bad for people who are at a disadvantage of purchasing Example, Microsoft Office which they cannot afford... we are basically talking about people who cannot afford it BUT there are alternatives to the issue you have many Freeware sites that you can browse and find the same software doing the same major job might not be fancy and have great looking Interfaces but at least it's legal and it works...I'd love to have programs that are used for computer music but because they are so expensive I have to do without however here again there are some freeware programs available to do the same job not fancy or easy but they do work...Expensive softwares that are pirated for the benefit of being utilised by the user to make money from is certainly (to me) a criminal offence)...If someone uses pirated software and like using it should buy the program and support the developer who propably has a family to support and relies on that income...Now you also have the music scene...Musicians work hard and spend a lot of time and money producing their music and should also be compensated...The Moral of the story is if you cannot afford something and freeware is not good enough you go without...If you walk into a store and you see a chair that you really like and you find it's too expensive you bargain with the guy, if your'e not satified then you leave the store empty handed....(Unless you desperatly want it so bad you tempted into trying to stealing it...That's a criminal offence) ...And So is Pirating....
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« Last Edit: June 03, 2006, 12:43:58 PM by Baseman »

Othalian

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #76 on: June 12, 2006, 04:41:09 AM »
Hi All

This has been an interesting read and the topic appears to be going round and round with some very heated comments.

For my pennies worth I would not condon the pirating of software and I will 'NEVER' and have 'NEVER' paid full price for commercial software. What I do is spend a part of my time reading magazines, newspapers and web sites looking for bargains. Some of the great bargains I have managed to obtain in the past are:

1. Microsoft Office Pro 97 £50 (The company had bulk purchase the software and needed to get rid of it quickly.)
2. Microsoft Office Pro 2000 Update £25 (Directly from Microsoft themselves after proving that I had purchased a copy of Microsoft Office Pro 97 within the last few months.)
3. Microsoft XP Pro £130.
4. OneNote 2003 Free for Microsoft (Yes believe it. This was a thank you from Microsoft for taking part in one of their software reviews.)

Computer magazines are another great place to get your hands on some good software even when it is a year or more old. Within the magazine there is also quite often a discount on any full version purchases you make. If you register the software then you will also receive notification of any discounts that are announced by the software company, and these can be for over 50% off the original price. A recent discounted software is NetObjects Fusion 9 Standard. Its original price was around £190 and is now selling on their web site for approximately £130. I am sure that I received an email a few weeks ago offering it for even less.

If I cannot wait for a piece of software, or afford it, I then look at freeware or open source software where I have obtained NVu, OpenOffice, Gimp, Paint.NET, InkScape, Power Defragmenter, Blender, Picasa 2, etc but to name a few. While they are not the best on the web they do the tasks I require and more importantly they are FREE.

In a perfect world we would expect companies to look a all levels of our society and expect them to set a price based on our ability to pay. Unfortunately we do not live in that world but this one. Some companies provide an open source version and a commercial version while others supply demo versions. A good example of this is StarOffice and OpenOffice from SUN. Perhaps other companies could do the same but don't hold your breath.

I feel that companies could do more to reduce their prices for educational establishments which would get kids interested in the likes of 3D animation, graphic design, game design, etc while reducing the educational expendature. This was something that Microsoft introduced a few years ago when discovering that users once they become accustomed to using a piece of software continue to use that software throughout their lives.

Those that are unemployed or on low incomes, I feel, is not have a reason to be treated any differently to any other person in society. If they wish to have the best software then this should provide them with a urge to want to earn better wages. People who work and pay a mortgage, etc would have to save up for the software they need so why should the unemployed or those on low incomes be treated any differently? Holding a hand out for help is becoming more ingrained in our society; what happened to pride and making your own way in the world? Yes it is hard but it is worth all the trouble in the end when YOU can buy the software or hardware you desire when you want it.

Finally, companies could always reduce their prices and gain more customers but why should they. Yes most if not all software is vastly overpriced but who is at fault? I would suggest that it is the customer who is at fault. Why? Simple, because the customer is paying the price that the company demands. If everyone took their hands out of their pockets and said no to high prices then the companies would have to reduce their prices. This will never happen because there will always be those who want the latest bells and whistles NOW! So stop gripping about cost and a socialist state and become more proactive in forcing companies to lower their prices based on sound arguements which benefits them as much as it benefits YOU!

Regards

Othalian  ;D

Lashiec

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #77 on: June 13, 2006, 06:31:59 AM »
The question is not why is so much software cracked, but why people use cracked software. Spain is the first country of the so called "first world" in the piracy ranks. We can't compete with the likes of China of Vietnam, but you can swear that we piracy multimedia more than any other rich country in the world. Not only software, but also games, movies, music and even books. This happens because in Spain we have this zero effort culture that leads to us to make as much money as possible, ignoring the methods we use to achieve that. In other words, we see a thing so we want it. So that's why people uses cracked software, we want to use the best software but we don't want to pay a cent for it. Most of the people using Photosop and AutoCAD doesn't actually know how to use them. Heck, I've seen people using Photoshop as a scanner replacement software. And most of the tasks they use Photoshop for could be achieved with XnView of IrfanView. Same goes for AutoCAD.

Also, people uses cracked software because software is almost the last thing they're willing to spend money in. I used to be in this group 'til recent ages :). Being a student with no occupation doesn't get you much money (nothing at all in fact), so cracking software was the only way I could get to use some software. I didn't crack  too many programs, but Diskeeper and PowerTools were in the list (I hope Jouni Vuorio isn't reading this :D). Things have changed since then, and I moved to free and open source software provided that I still can't afford shareware (except for PowerTools, which I beta test). The same thing could be said about games and music. I'm slowly moving from pirated games and music to original ones (even if I didn't do it, between 60 and 70 percent of the music I have is original, and more than 90 percent of my games are original too). I don't really think that software is that much expensive, but heck, if you can get something for free, you won't think it twice. I don't think that morality and ethic will stop people in doing that, even in my case, I only stopped cracking software because of ethics (if in the future I want to make a living of this, I can't contribute to the destruction of the software industry :D). In the music and games choice, I choose original because the feeling of a complete album compared with a pirated album (with the badly printed cover and no booklet) it's not the same...

zridling

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #78 on: June 13, 2006, 07:07:10 PM »
Quote
[Lashiec]:...Heck, I've seen people using Photoshop as a scanner replacement software.

Okay, that's the best thing I've read all week! I've always seen people try to do everything — and I mean everything — through their word processors.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #79 on: June 13, 2006, 07:14:22 PM »
Hey I've used Word to scan images ...

Baseman

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #80 on: June 17, 2006, 06:18:36 AM »
OK...So everyone has their own opinion about cracked software...NOW...Let's skip the main course and get to the Dessert...Who can honestly say they have never used or tried cracked software in their entire computing lives :tellme:?...
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f0dder

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #81 on: June 17, 2006, 06:35:37 AM »
:P

I can say that I've had a tough job of cleaning up the mess left behind by previous admins at the museum I sysadmin. One thing is using pirated stuff at home, but ffs - you don't install pirated software as an admin.
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nudone

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #82 on: June 17, 2006, 06:39:47 AM »
i can honestly swear i've never used anything even remotely illegal - especially cracked software - also, i have never used a computer in my entire life.

zridling

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #83 on: June 18, 2006, 04:55:35 AM »
Oh hale yea, I've used cracks to test software I'd never buy or use. For example, some video and, of all things, machining apps I've tested using cracks, and then passed on the recommendations to others. My thing is, if it stays on my machine, then I buy it. If not, I discard it, which convinces me of the validity of Carol's point (read her prior posts). Based on what I've received in over 500 emails over the past couple of weeks, people don't depend on cracks for their everyday work software, and tend to use them to explore and see what's worth buying or having.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2006, 04:57:18 AM by zridling »

Rover

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #84 on: June 18, 2006, 09:33:10 AM »
Coming in late on this discussion... sorry.

I've read the argument several times that if software were less expensive, vendors would sell more and make higher profits.  I beg to differ.

The more software you sell, the more your support costs go up.  Why?  Because there are more people who can't deal with computer problems than can.  So basically, the price is a designed restriction on how many copies will sell.  If the price gets too low, your costs go up and profits down.

That being said, I like the license/support costs to be seprate.  I'll decide if I need to pay for ongoing support based on my experience with and need for a product.  If it's not terribly important, I don't want to pay for support I won't need/use.

 :two:

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Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #85 on: June 18, 2006, 11:24:46 AM »
I think the last part of your comment is reasonable -  or at least would be if that were the situation. Lots of companies now do both - high prices and then only paid for support (MS & Adobe spring to mind on this one). Fortunately Adobe still provide free telephone support in the UK But I don't think they do in the US. But then UK Prices are generally up to 50% higher than US prices.

A good model to my way of thinking is:

1) Lower price software
2) Paid for support for professionals
3) Free web based peer-peer forums support for everyone who wants free help.

Option 3 is really good when the developers help with genuine problems and look for bug reports but for most support (where users are clueless rather than a software problem) peer-peer works really well.

If you look at Adobe as a model many pro users frequent their web forums/usenet boards (which duplicate each other so there is dual access) and most problems are peer-peer solved issues. When a particularly difficult issue or a true software related issue arises Adobe staff chime in. MS does similar with its volunteer MVP scheme.

Given this basis of support, costs actually go down because you are charging a lot for premium personal support (which Adobe/MS do) and the user base provides most of the other 'confusion' support for free. It also builds up a loyal user community base which means that people stick with the products through version after version.

mouser

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #86 on: June 18, 2006, 02:23:14 PM »
yep, i think it makes a lot of sense where you guys (especially carol) are going with this.
i think the open source community is also helping to shift things in this direction.
it sort of makes some sense to me that software may move more towards being "free" out of the box (or at least very cheap), and perhaps even open source, with Support Costs being where the real money is made from companies.  People who can't afford pay support can get support (and provide support) in the free public forums.  In this way, as carol alluded too, your free users could become a valuable part of the support system to everyone.  In a sense then, you are giving the software out for free in order to create a base of users to provide support to others.

The real fly in this ointment (especially for open source tool) may be the fact that 3rd party companies may step in and offer support services, undercutting the main company and making that approach a non-viable way to profit. maybe there could be some way to solve this?

app103

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #87 on: June 18, 2006, 03:26:26 PM »
While reading about the ideas of charging for support, something started to sound really familiar. Then I remembered...

One of the founders of Red Hat, Bob Young, who went on to found LuLu.com, wrote a book about making money by giving away software. (One of the books on my reading ToDo list that I haven't had the chance to read but will)

And guess what? He's giving it away ...if you download it (print edition is $4.83)

The older description of the book, at the time I downloaded my copy, kind of suggested that his approach was that you make your money in services provided after you give the software away..like support...and training.

-----

And if you haven't noticed, Microsoft is suddenly giving away a lot of very pricey things...or at least providing a scaled down version of many of their developer's tools. So even Microsoft realizes the benefits of placing it within affordable reach. So now there really isn't a reason for hobby programmers, those that work unpaid on open source projects, freeware authors, or students, to go after pirated versions of things like VS2005. And Borland has been giving away personal editions of their developer tools for a long time. And these are very usable products they are giving away here.

I hope more big companies decide to make this a real trend.

-----

Sometimes the volunteer support you get in forums is better than the support you would pay for...or is provided by paid employees of the company.

AOL discovered a valuable resource in its customer base of experienced users and allowed them to have their own area to offer free volunteer tech support to others.

My experience has been that they know the software better than the paid tech support guys, as they use it every day, and they know all the little tricks that aren't in the official script.

I know this from 2 angles: I have received help in their live user2user help chat with issues that even the paid guys had no solution for...and eventually volunteered, myself, back in the AOL 6.0 days. The volunteer user2user support is top notch and the first place I would suggest any AOL user to go to first, if they can. If it's not accessible, then pick up your phone and talk to the less knowledgeable paid guys.

f0dder

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #88 on: June 18, 2006, 03:30:12 PM »
Humm, since I'm a programmer, I'm against making software entirely free. Cheaper, sure, but free - no.

Why? I want to earn money by writing (quality) code, not by offering support. But of course, providing software of the typical GPL quality would mean earning a lot of money on support :P
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mouser

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #89 on: June 18, 2006, 04:33:06 PM »
good point f0dder..
this actually reflects my fear about the current direction of financing open source projects - that middlemen support providers will make money while coders wouldn't.

i dont know if it's practical but..
imagine this scenario:

what if there was a law that anyone could provide support for any software, BUT
companies provifing support for free/open source software had to kick back 50% of profits to the software author.

i know it would be a hard law to implement, but that would actually address the issue and might be a good tradeoff of work vs. pay and put money where it belongs.

urlwolf

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #90 on: June 18, 2006, 07:26:40 PM »
But then UK Prices are generally up to 50% higher than US prices.

And the reason for this being? I mean, there is no shipping cost, no difference in material availability, no need for translation (if written in US-english)... I honestly don't know how companies can justify this.

Hardware is also %50 higher, but here I can see *some* reasons (shipping, smaller market, small differences -e.g. keyboard on a laptop....)

Rover

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #91 on: June 18, 2006, 08:01:14 PM »
And the reason for this being?
ummm..... EU taxes?
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JavaJones

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #92 on: June 18, 2006, 08:32:30 PM »
Carol's response is very much along the lines of what I was thinking in reading Rover's posts. Great points by both, but I agree with Carol, we're talking in general about shifts in mindset and business approach here, so the change in software pricing is not occurring in a vaccuum and should be done along with other changes like creating user-to-user support services (forums, even hosted chat). These actually lower your support costs, so either your total support cost stays the same while increasing your user base, or it may even go down.

Now of course there are those users who wouldn't know to investigate the forum and other user-to-user support options, but if they're buying the cheaper product you will have fully made them aware of the limitations on official support, so there's really no room for them to complain.

I for one would definitely like to see more separate in support and actual development/production costs.

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Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #93 on: June 19, 2006, 04:19:44 AM »
But then UK Prices are generally up to 50% higher than US prices.

And the reason for this being?

Actually it isn't just taxes - usually they are on top of the 30-50% hike.

The main reasons are:

1. Because they can (this applies to MS, Adobe and Corel). Exactly the same argument used for the silly prices of some of the products. I actually asked Adobe and Corel why they charged more in the EU and actually got a response. Both companies said "xxxxx in the UK is a totally separate company responsible for its own pricing policy" .... just a shame that the disc you receive aren't EU specific - we still have to put up with the US inability to spell English!!!

2. Because they think we are stupid ... you go to a page that says $399 and then in the checkout system they ask for your country .... oh look simple sums in the UK it is £399 + VAT (which is another 17.5%) .... of course UK people are too stupid to notice that in 2 clicks the price has gone up by about 40%. Some companies also charge too much for VAT! Different EU companies charge different rates. The UK rate is 17.5% but some companies (not the big ones mentioned above) charge anything up to 27% - which as far as I am concerned is illegal (fraud/deception/greed/lying bastards) and they don't have the right to make a charge to cover their tax collection costs - it is part of their legal responsibility for trading in Europe.

3. Almost all of the special offers on web pages for the big companies apply only to the US and Canada because they force others to use their local company.

Sony does a good one now - if you buy e.g. SoundForge you can get the software as a download product - but they only supply the soundeffects etc. on CD. Guess what - the CD costs nothing but they charge something like $40 to post it to the UK. This is a single CD in a card folder in a bubble bag - so the actually postage cost is probably under $4-5 by AirMail. To add insult to injury when it arrives all you get is a sampler of SFX in their collection and to do anything useful you need to spend more money on SFX compliations and postage. To be fair they inherited this practice from Sonic Foundry but there is no real excuse. They would argue that they post it with 48 hour delivery via FedEx - but they don't give any option - do they really need FedEx to post a CD sampler?

The final reason is that we live in ripoff Britain where everything is high (except salaries) ... I find it really amusing to hear Americans whinging about gas prices - petrol in the UK has been nearly 3x the price of US gas for years ... and then they wonder why UK business collapses in world competition. That's why I now speak to someone in Delhi when I try to call my telephone company (BRITISH Telecom!)

Sorry - this rant could go on for a long time and it would probably become quite political - so I'll shut up now ... :-[
« Last Edit: June 19, 2006, 04:24:10 AM by Carol Haynes »

urlwolf

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #94 on: June 19, 2006, 04:36:21 PM »
Nice post, Carol.

I live in the UK -previously lived in the US for 4 years- and this is news for me. How can an entire country ignore this? Can an economy be this inflated without offering anything of value in exchange?

One of the most important questions for me right now is to decide where I want to live/settle down. I'm an academic so I have quite a lot of mobility (I'm in that moment of your life where you have to settle in a place). This post helped me in that sense. If you have any more info/links on this phenomenon (that you call 'ripoff Britain' :) ), I'd love to hear from it (if it's not too political for this forum).

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #95 on: June 19, 2006, 06:10:48 PM »
My advice if you want to find somewhere in the world to settle that has a brilliant environment and a good attitude to life is move to Canada preferably away from the big cities!! My parents live in Ontario and I am always stunned by the people I meet when I go there - open, friendly, straight forward (to the point of being blunt - I guess like Yorkshiremen ;)) and incredibly helpful.

The other place I would really rate is New Zealand - I have had many friends over the years from NZ and always felt jealous when they returned home. One day before I get too physically useless I want to head over there - re-establish old friendships and chuck my self into a gorge on the end of a bit of elastic. Any country whose nation sport if bungee has to be cool !

You might like http://www.rip-off.co.uk/ or check out the links here http://www.google.co...ountryUK%7CcountryGB
« Last Edit: June 19, 2006, 06:13:34 PM by Carol Haynes »

zridling

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #96 on: June 19, 2006, 11:28:52 PM »
I've visited and worked in Canada over the years and trust me, it's wonderful from coast to coast. I would have stayed, but I didn't have the employment required to stay. Besides, you have to return to the US to set up your citizenship application before returning (with gainful employment, no less). How about Norway?

Also, we've seen the price of everything rise steadily in the US due to our enormous budget deficits and weakening dollar. Pretty sad really, and an obvious indicator we should finally drop the USD as the world monetary unit once and for all. Commercial software seems to have risen anywhere from 20-35% in USD with new releases this year. The weak USDollar also means that my donations in Europe and Japan don't quite cut it.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #97 on: June 20, 2006, 04:35:12 AM »
I'll let someone else Troll for Norway (sorry couldn't resist) ...

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #98 on: June 24, 2006, 04:07:53 AM »
Software in South Africa is also very expensive I.E. for us over here...Think about it...I want to purchase for example a product for $400.00 Now multiply it by the current exchange rate of R7.50=R3000.00 not to mention customs and taxes on top of that...Can you imagine if I were to purchase a product from the UK...400.00 pounds=R5200.00...Bear in mind that most software here comes from either U.S.A or the UK...
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Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #99 on: June 24, 2006, 06:21:01 AM »
??? R3000 - R5200 - why is is more expensive in SA? Surely that is the same cost just converted to your currency ??? Or are you saying that pay is so much lower in SA that the cost is disproportionately higher.

That is certainly true in the UK - we pay higher prices because of the $1 = £1 conversion rate that is often applied and US salaries are generally higher than UK salaries, and the cost of living lower. (Though I think Dubya is doing his best to make sure the US cost of living increases to EU proportions from what I have read).
« Last Edit: June 24, 2006, 06:28:25 AM by Carol Haynes »