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Last post Author Topic: Why don't you pay for software?  (Read 26839 times)

J-Mac

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2007, 01:15:49 AM »

I've highlighted a key word or two in my original quote: you and I, as far as I can tell, aren't as far apart as you apparently think! I guess my choice of the word "respect" was unfortunate... Equally unfortunate is that I can't think of a better one right now. I was trying to say that if one is going to make a case for stealing, surely they could come with something better than "the product sucks, so it's ok to steal it". At least saying the you steal because you find the price more than you can bear is... stumped again, but how about: understandable?
You're right; looking at it, I think I must have misunderstood your post.  I had just read through all the posts up to that point and replied to yours as the last one I read. Sorry if I sounded as if I was aiming it at you! Though I think I had thought you were trying to justify -- to an extent, even if only a mild extent -- the appropriateness of stealing software based solely on its cost. Sorry!  Didn't mean to "preach" at you, Darwin!

iphigenie

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2007, 02:52:40 AM »
I am pretty certain I am 100% legal with the software on my computers, even though I have had 2 periods of 1 year in the past 6 years where I had very little income. I found freeware, cheap shareware, didn't upgrade windows and other software etc.

I even pay multiple times if I want something on 2 machines and the license says I have to - although when testing software I might try another product that says I can install on my laptop and desktop first. (I really do test software often in an order based on price and license terms and try until i find one that suits my needs)

If a program is too expensive for what I can justify to myself for the project in question, I search for an alternative. I use photoimpact, for example, as I can't see why I would pay for photoshop etc. (note that I am not a professional designer. if i were i probably would have to buy photoshop and bite the bullet)

Sometimes I search for and buy an old version - i bought acdsee 6 from amazon as the old version did the bit I needed (the nice near automated workflow for scanning in and tagging hundreds of negatives) and was a lot cheaper. (Version 9 is much improved, but not the part which i really needed at the time, and I could only justify paying that smaller amount anyway)

And I do donate, either within about 2 months if I use the program a lot, or much later if I use the program only occasionally. Sometimes I pay for or donate for something I don't even use much, because i think it's a great idea and needs supporting... (same things for games or websites)

* * *

The reason most people don't pay? Because they can get away with it. It is, in the end, pure greed.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2007, 02:54:34 AM by iphigenie »

Gothi[c]

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2007, 03:09:31 AM »
No one should make money off software. Work at mc donalds and code / contribute to projects in your spare time. (or use a donationware model, don't FORCE payment and ownership) it is a BASIC right to copy/modify/run software as you wish, because software is NOT property, software = ideas and creativity, and limiting ideas and creativity with ownership is always a bad idea. That is the ethical truth.

The practical truth is, that sometimes it's nice to get paid for what you like to do (and if you don't like to do it, you shouldn't be doing it). But that doesn't make it ethically correct. I'm sorry but I just don't believe in ownership of software.

More on topic: Paying for software should be done out of sympathy, goodwill, brotherhood with the developer, not because you have to, just to have the 'privilege' to use the software.

 :two:

* Gothi[c] ducks and hides

« Last Edit: May 26, 2007, 03:15:26 AM by Gothi[c] »

GHammer

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2007, 06:46:16 AM »
I like to support independent and small developers.
I like to support friendly, helpful developers.
I look for freeware, but I have two requirements.
 1- Can't look like it is being polished before the change to shareware.
 2- Has to be the equivalent or better of paid software.
I just replaced ReGet with Orbit Downloader. Quite happy with it and met my requirements.

It is one of the few that have unfortunately. Most free/open source apps just don't have the fit and finish, and way too many are the personal creation of the developer. They work how that person wanted to meet that person's needs. Nice if we both agree and have the same needs, but usually we don't. I'm also worried about 'abandonware'. Sourceforge is littered with dead projects. One you leave university and get married I guess it is harder to devote yourself to whiny leeches!

I look for, and ask for discounts if I am paying. I live in China and work as a teacher. Many of you likely have a large beer budget than I have salary. I don't bother looking at software that costs a month's pay. Not gonna buy at that price no matter what.

My sole exception? Various versions of Windows. Why? It has the tools, software, and hardware support I want. It broadens my scope when looking for an application or for hardware. About every three months for the past few years I have installed this or that flavor of linux and tried doing what I normally do, listen to music (Wavpack and FLAC), watch a few videos, play the occasional game, create lessons and lesson plans, edit and view pictures, create panoramas from images. I always end up restoring my Windows partition within a week. The apps aren't there and those I do find are limited in some way and/or do not have all the functions as their Windows competitors.

Have I ever done an 'extended' test of some software package? Yeah, sure. But I have always scraped up the money to buy whatever I keep on my system. If it is worth the disk space and I use it then I should pay for it. Just not always on the developers schedule. Is it right? No, it is expedient. Can I be 'a little pregnant'? Nope, guess not. But my rationale is not that Bill Gates has too much money or that the world somehow owes me . I simply have to save up to pay for anything that costs more than about US$30, and even then I have a wife to explain it to... Meantime, I'm selfish, I want to use the program while I wait to pay.

So, I think if you can buy a computer and you can pay for an internet connection, then you can somehow pay for the apps you use. Especially if the app comes from an individual or a small development house.

Darwin

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2007, 09:44:30 AM »

I've highlighted a key word or two in my original quote: you and I, as far as I can tell, aren't as far apart as you apparently think! I guess my choice of the word "respect" was unfortunate... Equally unfortunate is that I can't think of a better one right now. I was trying to say that if one is going to make a case for stealing, surely they could come with something better than "the product sucks, so it's ok to steal it". At least saying the you steal because you find the price more than you can bear is... stumped again, but how about: understandable?
You're right; looking at it, I think I must have misunderstood your post.  I had just read through all the posts up to that point and replied to yours as the last one I read. Sorry if I sounded as if I was aiming it at you! Though I think I had thought you were trying to justify -- to an extent, even if only a mild extent -- the appropriateness of stealing software based solely on its cost. Sorry!  Didn't mean to "preach" at you, Darwin!

No worries! As I noted, my choice of words wasn't very precise... Still can't think of a better word, either. Embarrassing.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

wraith808

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2007, 11:31:45 AM »
No one should make money off software. Work at mc donalds and code / contribute to projects in your spare time. (or use a donationware model, don't FORCE payment and ownership) it is a BASIC right to copy/modify/run software as you wish, because software is NOT property, software = ideas and creativity, and limiting ideas and creativity with ownership is always a bad idea. That is the ethical truth.

The practical truth is, that sometimes it's nice to get paid for what you like to do (and if you don't like to do it, you shouldn't be doing it). But that doesn't make it ethically correct. I'm sorry but I just don't believe in ownership of software.

More on topic: Paying for software should be done out of sympathy, goodwill, brotherhood with the developer, not because you have to, just to have the 'privilege' to use the software.

In your opinion.  There is nothing "ethical" about not charging for software, just as there is nothing "ethical" about not charging for ideas.  It's my right to do as I want with the ideas I come up with.  And if I'm not getting paid, then I'll move on to something I am getting paid for, in regards to things that don't interest me.  This moral high horse about all software should be free is laughable.  Is my time worth nothing?  Is my effort worth nothing?  You're paying for a license to use the software, just as you pay for a license to use a book, or anything else that doesn't have a tangible part.  You have no *right* to anything that *I* create.  For you to force your idea of "ethics" on someone else using the guild trip argument is no different than someone who says that your idealogical stance is incorrect because they have a different one.

And what do you do for a living?

wraith808

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2007, 11:37:21 AM »
I like to think if microsoft charged $100 for Vista, more people would think it was worth it and not try to steal.  I don't pirate, but I also don't like making the richest man in the world - richer!    :mad:

So... just because someone is the richest man in the world, he has no right to make more money?  It just seems that a lot of people have a funny attitude towards someone that is a success.  And once their contemporaries become successes, they accuse them of selling out- but that position is, in most cases, envy, because when they have an idea or business that succeeds, they don't limit themselves in how much money or proceeds they get from their venture.

thomthowolf

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #32 on: May 26, 2007, 12:40:18 PM »
it is a BASIC right to copy/modify/run software as you wish, because software is NOT property, software = ideas and creativity, and limiting ideas and creativity with ownership is always a bad idea. That is the ethical truth.

 Paying for software should be done out of sympathy, goodwill, brotherhood with the developer, not because you have to, just to have the 'privilege' to use the software.


Sorry, but your basic premise is not correct.  Software is not just the idea, it is also the work and talent to make that idea work.  Talent should always be rewarded.  Paying people for the software that results from ideas and creativity does not stifle that creativity, working at mcDonalds does.
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.  - Benjamin Franklin

Darwin

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2007, 12:51:10 PM »
it is a BASIC right to copy/modify/run software as you wish, because software is NOT property, software = ideas and creativity, and limiting ideas and creativity with ownership is always a bad idea. That is the ethical truth.

 Paying for software should be done out of sympathy, goodwill, brotherhood with the developer, not because you have to, just to have the 'privilege' to use the software.


Sorry, but your basic premise is not correct.  Software is not just the idea, it is also the work and talent to make that idea work.  Talent should always be rewarded.  Paying people for the software that results from ideas and creativity does not stifle that creativity, working at mcDonalds does.

Nicely said thomthowolf.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Gothi[c]

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2007, 01:20:34 PM »
The reward is/shoud be the joy of working on the software, and sharing it with people.

The argument of 'greed' on the users part can very easily be reversed to the developer side as well.

That's the last i'm going to say about it.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2007, 01:24:41 PM by Gothi[c] »

mrainey

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2007, 02:00:23 PM »
Quote
The reward is/shoud be the joy of working on the software, and sharing it with people.


With that rationale, all programmers would have to be hobbyists or independently wealthy.

Software For Metalworking
http://closetolerancesoftware.com

wraith808

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2007, 02:17:50 PM »
In the end, all forms of mercantile transaction is based on ideas.  There was some idea that created whatever asset is being traded.  If there were no rewards for ideas, then pretty soon the people who were making the more banal items would find that they had no basis for new goods.

Gothi[c]

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2007, 02:23:34 PM »
With that rationale, all programmers would have to be hobbyists or independently wealthy.

That sounds about right. Either 'hobbyist' programmers or educational researchers, or actually (barely) making it on donations. Ethically, I think that is the only valid option.

Practically, since corporate control is here and isn't going anywhere soon, it is -ok- as long as users have a choice between payware and a free(not must in monetary value, but also having the freedom to copy/alter,...) alternative. And sometimes you can't just barely make it on donations, and you have to look for alternatives, then you can either work for a company that you know doesn't sell to end users but other corperations or is a governement contractor, then at least you're only feeding the beast that feeds the beast. But that doesn't make payware morally less wrong in my book.

I'm not saying there should be no reward for the effort, i'm saying giving the reward shouldn't be ENFORCED upon the user.
Yes,- this sounds naive and counts on the goodwill of people, but if you want people to be nicer in the world, you might as wel BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE.

Anyway, this is completely off topic, and I think i'm going to stfu about it :)



about the article:

From the replies, I think one can tell that the majority of the people that don't pay for payware software are young people or people with not enough monetary assets to invest in software. Businesses have to buy their software, and people who have the money, tend to spend it too. I'm not saying there isn't any piracy in businesses and i'm not saying people with money don't pirate, but these don't account for the majority of the figures.

« Last Edit: May 26, 2007, 02:32:56 PM by Gothi[c] »

justice

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2007, 02:39:54 PM »
But applying that rationale to not buying software is like saying you're not voting because you don't agree with the political system?

mrainey

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2007, 03:19:29 PM »
Quote
i'm saying giving the reward shouldn't be ENFORCED upon the user.


I know from experience, the vast majority of users will not voluntarily contribute anything in the way of financial support.  The programmer spends hundreds of hours creating something, the user is quite happy to get full benefit in exchange for a couple of mouse clicks to download and install.

Who's the greedy one?
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wraith808

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2007, 04:33:08 PM »
I'm not saying there should be no reward for the effort, i'm saying giving the reward shouldn't be ENFORCED upon the user.

But that's just it.  It's not forced on you.  Just as the developer chooses to spend his time making software for whatever rationale, then chooses to price it at what he thinks the price should be, the user has a choice of paying what the developer chooses to charge, or not use the software.

I made a nice little piece of software one time, just for me, but decided to make it available to the public.  I spent the money on bandwidth for them to download it (this was before these freeware sites became prevalent) and didn't put any controls on the software.  All I asked was that people who downloaded the software send me a short e-mail saying what they liked or didn't like about it... or even just their location if they wanted to.  I just wanted to get some feedback and metrics.

Do you know how many e-mails I received over 6 years of hosting it?  3.  Believe me, that was a *lot* less than the number of downloads.  It's not just naive to depend upon the good will of users to support you in what you work at for a living, it's also IMO fiscally irresponsible, for most people, given a choice, will *not* donate.  And that's just the plain facts.

app103

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2007, 04:40:11 PM »
The question was "Why don't you pay for software?"

That question in and of itself doesn't imply that one uses pirated software.

I interpreted that question to mean "Why would you use freeware? And why would you choose not to support the software you use?"

I love small single purpose tools. I don't like opening a swiss army knife and hunting for just the tool I need, or worse yet, having to have multiple swiss army knives with duplication of tools just to make sure I have everything I need.

Most of these single purpose tools that I use are freeware. In the cases where there is an option to choose either a freeware application or a payware application for the same purpose, I will usually go for the freeware one as long as it does its job well and it's stable.

I do try to support the software I love, but I can't always afford to do that. :(

This question, to me, would be very similar to asking "Why do you eat at home instead of a restaurant?" or "Why do you shop in discount stores instead of the big department stores?" "Why would you buy used items instead of new?" "Why do you keep using something old and outdated instead of replacing it with new?" or "Why would you continue to use the older version of a program rather than paying again and upgrading it?"

And I guess the real answer to all those questions would have to be this:

I am frugal, sometimes to the point where it can be considered a fault....or an art form. :-[

Don't misunderstand. I am not stingy, not by far. I am quite generous when I have something I can be generous with.

If I could pay for software with pizza, I think there would be a lot more really fat programmers in this world.  ;D

I could bake cookies for the developers and mail them, but it would make more sense to me to send them the money I would have spent on postage by paypal and just skip the baking. And most of the time I can't even afford the postage.

I can afford email, though...and encouraging words, and I know how much they are worth. Their value is more than the average person thinks.  ;)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #42 on: May 26, 2007, 06:57:36 PM »
I'm not saying there should be no reward for the effort, i'm saying giving the reward shouldn't be ENFORCED upon the user.
Yes,- this sounds naive and counts on the goodwill of people, but if you want people to be nicer in the world, you might as wel BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE.

I am not sure whether Gothi[c] is serious or just trolling for response.

If you are serious does this philosophy apply to all intellectual pursuits? If not then why not? If it does then how does any business model work when nobody can earn a living at anything?

Example: A designer designs a car, another designer designs a production line to produce it, engineers design the machine to run the production line and the processing plant to produce the raw materials, a mining engineer designs a method for extracting ore to supply the production process. All of these people are producing intellectual ideas just a programmers do - should none of these people get paid for their work - or is it all done for love and they work in MacDonalds to support their 'hobby'?

Just because software is an intangible product that you can't hold in your hand doesn't mean it requires any less work than the factory worker who bolts the parts together to build a car. Would you suggest that a factory worker should work for love of it? Why should people who work in MacDonalds be paid? They don't produce anything tangible either!

Curt

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2007, 07:09:03 PM »
...  All I asked was that people who downloaded the software send me a short e-mail saying what they liked or didn't like about it... or even just their location if they wanted to.  I just wanted to get some feedback and metrics.

I can afford email, though...and encouraging words, and I know how much they are worth. Their value is more than the average person thinks.  ;)

Thanks for telling this! I would often look at that feedback button and think Why should I take their time telling what they already know? / or whatever reason kept me from responding.

Now I will write every small-app's author  :D

Gothi[c]

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #44 on: May 26, 2007, 08:25:09 PM »
If you are serious does this philosophy apply to all intellectual pursuits?

yes

Quote
If it does then how does any business model work when nobody can earn a living at anything?

Noone should 'earn a living'. Living is our birth right, it doesn't need to be earned. The way the world works now, the system is completely defunctional and wrong. I'm not saying anyone has come up with a better one yet (someone may or may not have), but that doesn't make it less wrong. Now we just have legalized slavery. If you don't work in whatever field that brings in money, you can't survive.

Quote
Example: A designer designs a car, another designer designs a production line to produce it, engineers design the machine to run the production line and the processing plant to produce the raw materials, a mining engineer designs a method for extracting ore to supply the production process. All of these people are producing intellectual ideas just a programmers do - should none of these people get paid for their work - or is it all done for love and they work in MacDonalds to support their 'hobby'?

The designer of the car's production should optionally donate to the designer if he can, the miners should donate to the mining engineer if they can for making their job easyer, etc,... "if they can" being the keyphrase.

Quote
Would you suggest that a factory worker should work for love of it?

Ideally, yes. He shouldn't be forced to do so otherwise. For money or no money.

But this is completely off topic, I just wanted to throw in my  :two: because the crowd was weighing in only one direction, and there are plenty of other viewpoints out there, mine is just one of them. And it's probably not perfect, I'm no where near claiming to have all the answers, but I do have a sense of right and wrong. And people not being able to get goods because they don't have the money is wrong, and people having to work to be able to live is wrong. Money is probably just wrong all together, since it's only led to greed, wars, suffering, and destruction.

CoastView

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #45 on: May 26, 2007, 08:39:57 PM »
I _DO_ pay for software. I have enormous respect for the intellectual abilities of truly gifted developers. I often choose to give away my own intellectual/professional work product, but I don't necessarily hold others to a same standard. I am not, after all, the template for humanity.... I earn enough as vice president of a church-related college prep school that I can share what I have and live on what is left. I even donate generously to torrent sites and then purchase licenses to what I truly want and use. So, why don't _YOU_ pay for software....

grandpastan

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #46 on: May 26, 2007, 10:16:27 PM »
I don't have a lot of extra money, and when I can find programs that are free and do the job, I use them. Open source is often better as well.
“You can tell a lot more about a person by what he says about others than by what others say about him.” Anonymous

mikiem

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #47 on: May 26, 2007, 10:58:00 PM »
Totally for-what-it’s-worth, hoping to *add a perspective or 3* for those trying to understand – not debate – using & paying (or not) for software.

Guess you could say I’m an ol’ fart, using a teletype machine in my first college programming course. I’ve had money at times, yet still remember having to steal a jar of peanut butter to feed the kids when times were very hard. When I had the money I paid exorbitant amounts for hard and software, like $1100 laser printers (without toner mind you), and $700 suites from Aldus & later Macromedia. I also feel that I threw easily thousands of dollars away over the years, buying products that didn’t even begin to live up to the publisher’s claims. For a little more than a decade I’ve been disabled due to illness, hoping for at least a partial remission so I can do some sort of paying work – my best hope is with a PC as it’s doubtful I’ll ever physically be able to return to anything like my former career (this illness has taken it’s toll). Now with that out of the way as some sort of background...

It seems apt to apply the saying (paraphrased): “Give a man a fish & he’ll have a meal – Teach a man to fish and he’ll not go hungry”. I can easily identify with folks around the world who might learn to support themselves given the use of necessary software to learn with/on. They don’t contribute to anyone’s profit loss, unless they get greedy after they *learn to fish*.

I can all too readily identify with those who will not buy software before an actual, full-featured trial – I’m one of them, having been burned far too many times to think that any breach of ethics only goes one way – dishonesty is not something that only applies to users and not sellers!

And on the subject of ethics, it’s universally assumed that computer users are of questionable character to the point that nothing on a disc (or downloaded) can be returned, while shoplifting is epidemic among customers of all incomes, & the same stores who won’t accept an opened software box, issue refunds all day long for used clothes, appliances, drapery, even bottles of detergent filled with water! You can return the empty boxes from $30 worth of food for a refund, but not the complete, but open package containing $20 worth of software!

Yes there are several other rationales people use, often vigorously, but those are the behind the scene issues I think that have some sort of legitimacy, and coincidentally are the ones I’ve rarely if ever heard voiced by anyone selling software. Indeed, I think that some developers tend to beat the piracy issue to great extent by nurturing the respect of users – mpucoder comes to mind, though I could of course be very wrong, never having asked him if it is a problem. Otherwise most users in my opinion are only too happy to engage in some us vs them justification. I know coders have to eat, but other than the forums here, where are most people going to meet one? You’re just some abstract entity working all hours on caffeine and pizza.

That said – & I apologize going overlong – I have heard of software donations in some cases amounting to a tidy sum. I don’t know if that’s true or not, & so I can’t begin to hint at what steps anyone should take to make some cash. While this thread is cool to generate responses, I’d hope that if someone’s kids having a new pair of shoes depends on donations, they’d have contacted every coder out there soliciting them, finding out what works and what doesn’t.

Thanks
mike

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #48 on: May 26, 2007, 11:22:18 PM »
Welcome, mikiem, and thanks for your great post, insights and story!
You bring up some good points and some typical issues.

Fred Nerd

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Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« Reply #49 on: May 27, 2007, 05:36:32 AM »
I haven't got any easy way of paying for software on the net, so, if I can't get it free, I can't get it at all. Therefore I am not lessening anyone's income by using free/pirate software.
When I get rich I will return the favor to those who gave me the free software. To those which were pirated, well, if they want to act like a business, then I will too: they get paid if I need their software for commercial reasons but thats all.