In a nutshell that's what my white paper tries to point out. A lot of
companies Microsoft and Freedom Scientific included have payment
plans and marketing strategies that are extremely exploytive in the
first place and instead of trying to work with their customers, make
the software affordable for their respective customers, they turn
around and spend lots of money on very restrictive hardware licenses
that harm the customer more than the pirates.
I have a friend up in Canida who got a new dongle for Jaws and the
dongle didn't work from day one. Jaws failed to recognize it, and
several technical support calls later Freedom Scientific said he'd
have to pay for a new one. You got it. Instead of giving him a new one
they wanted something like $50 to send him a new one even though he
had just paid for the new dongle, and it didn't work from the day he
got it. So I wouldn't exactly blame him if he went online and grabbed
a crack for Jaws and just turned the Jaws authorization system off
completely. However, he went ahead and paid for the dongle
replacement,and that time it worked. Still he was screaming mad about
it, and felt he had been screwed by Freedom Scientific. I definitely
don't blame him for feeling that way.
The thing is these major corperations don't realise that they are
themselves in part to blame for software piracy. They charge too much
for the software, use unfair marketing tactics, and then make matters
worse by using very restrictive hardware licenses that harm the
customers more than the pirates. Taken from that view I have very
little sympathy for the major corperation who has their expensive,
over priced, software pirated.
On the flip side some companies such as Goldwave Inc. ar very fair to
their customers. The software is priced at something like $50 or $60
which is reasonably priced for someone on a fixed or low income. Plus
they use a very simple licensing system and it is fine with me. Sure
there are plenty of people out there cracking it too, and I do feel
sympathy for them because they put their trust in the customers by
giving them a simple and not very strong licensing system. One
designed to keep the honest customer honest in other words.
However, this does come back to the fundimental question does piracy
really harm the company?
One way of looking at it is that generally speaking a pirate is
someone who would not legally purchase the software anyway. either
they don't have the money or they just like using software for free.
Whatever his/her motivations for using a pirated version of the
software is if they aren't going to buy it to begin with you haven't
lost any money on the sale of the software, because the pirate isn't
going to buy it in the first place. So you haven't lost any money to
speak of yet.
The other way of looking at this is if a pirate likes your software
well enough to crack it it must be something very good for him/her to
put the effort into cracking it. That's cold comfort, of course, but
it does mean the software is something desirable. Something people
want to own and maybe we should take that as a compliment instead of
an outright insult. It is always possible, I suppose, the
cracker/pirate will have a change of heart and pay for a legal copy
somewhere down the road.
The one thing I haven't mentioned, but is also true, is the open
source movement. Most of the folks in the open source movement etc
are people who have grown tired of the commercialism of big name
companies like Microsoft and have set out independantly to create
free and low cost versions of commercial products. Open Office, for
example, is a free clone of Microsoft Office available for Windows,
Mac, and Linux. NVDA is a free screen reader for Windows. the list
goes on. All of those sorts of projects were started by programmers
unwilling to continue paying for expensive software, and dealing with
restrictive licenses etc. Major companies need to sit up and take
notice that independant developers will happily create a similar
product and make it available for less than the going rate of the
commercial product it was based on.
On 6/18/10, dark <d...@xgam.org> wrote:
> Hi tom.
> interesting stuff indeed, my brother had a distinctly similar issue with one
> of the earlier versions of windows, ---- though sinse Dolphin provided his
> laptop originaly which subsequently blew up shortly after use, they were
> kind enough to replace it.
> I do approve of the system employed in Moti even if it isn't secure, sinse
> it does mean i can have my copy of monti with all installed levels stil
> available, even though the machine I bought it for is no longer around.
> in the end I supioose your simply relying on a belief in the integrity of
> your customers. I myself will freely pay, --- or in several cases donate,
> to something if I think it is worthwhile. Certainly not everyone will do
> this, but hopefully enouygh people will to make the software a viable
> i will confess that I am far less! likely to pay for something if I believe
> I am being asked to pay an unreasonable amount or indeed (as in the case of
> windows), practically buy something twice. i will say though this is perhaps
> where the independent software industry is far ahead of others, sinse indi
> developers are more in touch with their customers have nothing approaching a
> monopoly, so have to be more reasonable.
> it almost reminds me of when i was in Egypt last year bargaining for things
> in the street markit. People wanted to sell, I wanted to buy, so we worked
> out an agreed price, --- with some help from our Egyption guide to see
> things didn't get too out of hand. Many people on the tour said it was a
> backwards practice, but it actually seemed in many ways more honest to me.
> Btw, I will confess that is another thing that really doesn't incline me to
> be fond of jaws, ---- the patyment system seems blatantly exploitive.
> with hal, I was bought an initial license back in 2000 with my uni
> grant, ---- though said initial license cost £600 at the time but is I
> believe now going for £400, about 600 usd.
> this license lets me install Hal on up to three machines, ---- with a new
> key or machine available every six months (though sinse Dolphin know me
> they're quite happy if my
> computer goes down to give me a new key anyway).
> sinse then, hal upgrades, ---- which come out roughly every 18 months, cost
> around £120, --- about 180 usd, though I'm in no way beholden to buy said
> new version upgrades unless I want to (I completely missed version 8 sinse
> all it added was vista compatibility).
> registrations are tracked online, so no need even to write in new keys
> beyond adding my name in a form.
> Beware the Grue!
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