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Piracy rates are the highest in developing nations

Piracy in the digital goods market runs rampant. Music piracy is what typically comes to mind when many consumers think piracy, but software is one of the categories that is targeted by pirates the most. The reason is that software like Windows operating systems and Office productivity suites are desired by many, but the high price puts them out of the reach of users particularly in developing nations.

A new joint report from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and research firm IDC has found that losses to software companies from pirated products have topped the $50 billion mark for the first time ever.

According to the report, headway against piracy is being made by companies, law enforcement officials and governments, but in some areas -- like the U.S. -- anti-piracy efforts have stalled. The sixth annual BSA-IDC Global Software Piracy Study found that in 2008 the PC software piracy rate dropped in 57% of 110 countries included in the study. Nearly a third of the countries studied found that the software piracy rate remained the same.

The study claims that the worldwide piracy rate rose for the second year in a row moving from 36% to 41%. The rise in global piracy is mainly attributed to PC shipments growing the fastest in countries like China and India where piracy is much more rampant. China has recently cracked down on software pirates and convicted 11 for pirating Microsoft software.

BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman said, "The bad news is that PC software piracy remains so prevalent in the United States and all over the world. It undermines local IT service firms, gives illegal software users an unfair advantage in business, and spreads security risks. We should not and cannot tolerate a $9 billion hit on the software industry at a time of economic stress."

EWeek reports that the study does note that the global recession has affected the piracy rate to some extent. IDC chief research officer John Gantz said that consumers are keeping old computers longer in the current economy and consumers that hold onto old computers are more likely to install pirated software on the machines.

Gantz said, "Reduced buying power is only one of many factors affecting software piracy. The economic crisis will have an impact – part of it negative, part of it positive – but it may not become fully apparent until the 2009 figures come in."

The positive aspect according to Gantz is that the reduced buying power of the average consumer has them looking at netbooks, which are often bundled with legitimate copies of software. IDC predicts that the piracy rate will only increase with 460 million new internet users coming online in emerging markets over the next five years. These emerging markets are where piracy is most rampant with as much as 90% of software installed on computers being pirated versions.

The countries with the lowest levels of piracy according to the study were the U.S., Japan, New Zealand, and Luxembourg -- all with piracy rates near 20%. The countries with the highest percentage of piracy included Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia, and Zimbabwe -- all with piracy rates over 90%.



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Not Lost Sales
By MozeeToby on 5/12/2009 1:09:14 PM , Rating: 5
$50 billion in lost sales is not the same as $50 billion lost revenue. Just because 500 million people use your product when it is free doesn't mean that 500 million people would pay for your product if it weren't free. Look at photoshop, thousands of people have it that would never shell out the $500 for a legitimate version.

Until the companies start doing real research to determine the real impact of piracy its hard to take them seriously. The fact that they don't care enough to find out the actual numbers would, to me at least, indicate that they know it isn't nearly as much as they claim.




RE: Not Lost Sales
By Insomniator on 5/12/2009 1:14:30 PM , Rating: 5
Exactly, I don't understand how a company loses money if someone downloads X they would never pay for anyway. If you couldn't pirate photoshop, the program would NEVER have become the number 1 editing tool bought by millions.

Would these companies rather these millions of users find free alternatives and use them forever? How about 460 million people learn to use a computer on Linux and never ever buy Windows. I'm no expert buy I have to believe that is BAD for Microsoft.

The only thing I could say is that the smaller software companies probably get hit hard when their 20 dollar software is pirated non stop.

For these larger companies that sell ridiculously priced software that STILL sells millions anyway, give me a break.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By an0dize on 5/12/2009 1:18:41 PM , Rating: 5
Tired argument. Whats next? Soon they are just going to start subtracting their sales from the entire U.S. population and calling the rest lost sales/pirates.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By abzillah on 5/12/09, Rating: -1
RE: Not Lost Sales
By dgingeri on 5/12/2009 5:43:50 PM , Rating: 3
Add on this:

"People who use software so that they can learn to support and troubleshoot, and not to actually use the software for its intended purpose, it should get it for free."

Everyone should know that it is the support people that keep MS at the top of the heap. If I wasn't able to get so much software for free through Technet and their beta program, I wouldn't know how to support it, and it wouldn't get used nearly as much.

This is also one of the main reasons Apple will never have a major market share. It is just too darn expensive for me to buy a Mac to learn about it and support it. That is the case for many people. Without the support from us nerds, it just won't get major market share.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By jonmcc33 on 5/12/2009 3:36:42 PM , Rating: 1
Actually, it is lost sales to them. I use Paint.NET for my photo editing. It's not as extensive as Photoshop but I don't need that. So Adobe just lost a sale, what is it $399 or something crazy?

I think the bigger problem is the companies that have software illegally, a lot of them. They need to crack down on companies that operate with pirated software and not blame P2P or the average Joe.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By inighthawki on 5/12/2009 3:49:50 PM , Rating: 1
http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/photoshop/
According to their site, a full retail copy is $699, though im sure u can get it cheaper elsewhere, especially with a student discount if that applies. Of course the price still wouldn't be justified...


RE: Not Lost Sales
By Solandri on 5/12/2009 1:33:55 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
For these larger companies that sell ridiculously priced software that STILL sells millions anyway, give me a break.

From a business perspective, the software is not ridiculously priced. I'm not even a professional photographer, I just dabble in it with the occasional sale to a newspaper or shooting a friend's wedding. But I've gotten far more money back from Photoshop than the ~$250 I spent upgrading to the latest version.

It only seems ridiculously priced if all you will ever do with it is goof around. If you use it to earn money, software like Photoshop or Office probably have the highest return on investment of anything you can buy to increase your productivity.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By RandallMoore on 5/12/2009 1:51:40 PM , Rating: 2
I see what you are saying here, but I can't fully agree. My example for this being college and HS students that are required to have MS Office. Have you seen the price for that software and been on a college budget? If so, then you know why people are pirating.

Other than that point, I agree about business getting a return on their investments. But, they aren't the target here because there is an very low percentage of businesses that pirate software. And those that do are complete idiots and have no place in the market.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By Bender 123 on 5/12/2009 2:04:09 PM , Rating: 5
Get OpenOffice...I ditched Office and use Open exclusively now. Its compatible with Office formats and helps the budget, without needing to say "aaaaaaaargh!".


RE: Not Lost Sales
By VashHT on 5/12/2009 2:08:54 PM , Rating: 3
OpenOffice can not do everything office can, at least when I tried it I couldn't. My last year of college I used it, but when I had to make trendlines for some of my labs I found out that OO spreadsheet didn't have that capability. It is really nice, but it can't replace office for everything.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By Bender 123 on 5/12/2009 2:30:56 PM , Rating: 3
I actually had a similar problem in college (thousands of years ago...). Open Office cant do everything, but it does 98% of it with flying colors. For the few of us suicidal enough to major in statistics or finance, you are better off with true dedicated software for the purpose (minitab, etc...).

My point is, if you are not going to be needing the power of the purchased options, the open source world will address your needs. Just like PS...99% of the people out there can get along fine with the free stuff, but those using the software for a living are going to want to pay for it.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By joex444 on 5/13/2009 12:10:08 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, dude, this is so simple.

Instead of Excel, use OriginLab. Way the hell better, its what you see in all the professional scientific journals anyways.

As for your actual lab writeups, you'd be a fool to use anything but LaTeX. At the advanced undergraduate level I don't think using Word or a word processing software is appropriate for anything remotely scientific and/or supposed to look professional. Yeah, there's a learning curve with LaTeX, but its so worth it. Sometimes I even use it for simple documents, and there are many resume classes built-in. If you have Linux, it's probably already installed; for Windows try out MikTeX.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By erple2 on 5/14/2009 2:28:39 AM , Rating: 2
I would probably have researched what a trendline was (ie search for "linear regression howto"), written up an equation that makes that data given the known data and your current x-y data, and plotted that curve as a separate set of values. Also, that capability has been with OOo since about 2.4.

I understand that it's a bit tedious to do. But it gives you that wonderful sense of accomplishment!

:)


RE: Not Lost Sales
By Sazar on 5/12/2009 2:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I see what you are saying here, but I can't fully agree. My example for this being college and HS students that are required to have MS Office. Have you seen the price for that software and been on a college budget? If so, then you know why people are pirating.


Not a sound argument as Microsoft and other companies provide educational licenses for schools and students can purchase products at discounted rates.

If you can't pay $100 for an application your kids will use through their entire school "career" but are willing to spend hundreds on shoes and clothes, you have a priority fail.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By RandallMoore on 5/12/2009 2:23:58 PM , Rating: 3
Not sure how you claim that my argument isn't sound, and then compare software to shoes.

You can buy a pair of $200 Nike's or a pair of $25 off brand shoes. Both have comparative function.

You can not however buy an adequately featured 25 dollar MS Office license.

You are using flawed comparison with software to clothing. I often buy the cheaper alternative to expensive name brand clothing. Same goes for other things that I buy. You can't automatically assume that because people refuse to pay a high price for something that they are driving $100K cars and dressing in Armani.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By OCedHrt on 5/12/2009 2:36:35 PM , Rating: 2
CSU's in California sell an Office student license for $10. It is as full featured as a student will need (and more).


RE: Not Lost Sales
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/12/2009 2:39:22 PM , Rating: 3
You're reading into that too much. His point is that there are MANY ways to cut expenses such that Office is entirely affordable.

- Does the student in question have an mp3 player? Could they have gotten a cheaper model, and did they really need it at all?
- Does the student have a cellphone? Could they have gotten a lesser model, and can they scale back their plan for a lower monthly cost?
The student presumably has a computer if they want Office. - Did they spend extra money on more computing power than they really needed?
- How much does the student spend on beer in a given week?
- How much does the student spend on gasoline in a given week?
- How much does the student spend anually on videogames?

These are but a few examples of costs that can be reduced. It's really not very difficult to save $100.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By GaryJohnson on 5/12/2009 2:52:26 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
How much does the student spend on beer in a given week?...These are but a few examples of costs that can be reduced.

What kind of inhuman monster are you? Return beast, from the depths of hell from whenced thou came!


RE: Not Lost Sales
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/12/2009 3:16:13 PM , Rating: 4
Okay, I'll take that one back. I do not condone drinking less quantity or quality of beer to save money. I apologize for giving such a horrible example.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By MozeeToby on 5/12/2009 2:44:46 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, most colleges have student versions of MS Office available (at my college they were $15) though I'm sure not all colleges do.

Besides that, there are free options with 'comparative function' as you put it. Open Office will do 99% of what most people need (with the possible exception of finance majors). Science and engineering majors should arguably grab and get used to LaTeX before they graduate anyway, which is also freely available as that is what is expected if you ever want to publish a paper.

By your own analogy, the 'off brand' options Open Office or Google Docs won't do every as well or the same as the 'branded' MS Office. Just like the $25 shoes aren't going to perform as well as $200 Nike's (coming from a former Cross Country runner; do NOT do long distance running in cheap shoes, you'd be better off barefoot).


RE: Not Lost Sales
By stromgald30 on 5/12/2009 2:49:12 PM , Rating: 2
As other posts have mentioned, you can get Office for usually less than $20 at most universities. In addition, there was the 'ultimate steal' thing sponsored by microsoft where any student with a valid e-mail address from a accredited college could get Office 2007 for $65 or so.

To my knowledge, not many people buy MS Office at full price. With a little digging you can usually find a good deal.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By Lonyo on 5/12/2009 2:53:39 PM , Rating: 2
I've seen the UK price for Office Student and Home.
It's £60 ($90) for a 3 user license. That's £20 ($30) per license. That's nothing.
That's at most the price of 2 games, maybe a couple of pairs of shoes or whatever.
You are saying that is out of the reach of a student? You could have your copy and your parents could have a copy as well.

Unless you need more than Excel, Powerpoint and Word, it's quite a bargain.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By justjc on 5/13/2009 6:42:10 AM , Rating: 2
@Lonyo
A small flaw in your 3 licenses argument. You can't install a copy on your parents computer, without it being an illegal copy, as the license only applies to computers owned by students.

Likewise you're expected to delete your study edition, when you graduate, as it expires the moment you're no longer a student.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/12/2009 2:25:15 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I see what you are saying here, but I can't fully agree. My example for this being college and HS students that are required to have MS Office. Have you seen the price for that software and been on a college budget? If so, then you know why people are pirating.

There is a degree of truth to this. However:

1. Office Home & Student costs $100, a drop in the bucket compared to college expenses.
2. Many universities offer free solutions, such as a license that can only be activated once. These options are not always advertised, but if you talk to a professor who requires such software they can't point you to it.
3. Schools have computer labs everywhere. Students don't need their own copy of Office.
4. Alternative software like OpenOffice, StarOffice (basically the same), or Lotus Symphony, while far from perfect, are free and also adequate for the vast majority of users.

I know where you are coming from. I graduated exactly a year ago, and I used bootleg Office 2003 throughout college. But the general reasons for piracy that I witnessed as a student were not cost but convenience and apathy. Let's be honest here, nobody, not a single person anywhere, needs to pirate Office. They do simply because they can.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By RandallMoore on 5/12/2009 2:31:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
3. Schools have computer labs everywhere. Students don't need their own copy of Office.


I knew that someone would say this. I think there are others that can agree that time spent working in the comfort of your own home, on your own computer is WAY different than trying to get work done in a public place. Access to the software needed is available (theoretically) for free, but they are not even close to what you need to get the job done in the best manor possible for the best grade.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By peritusONE on 5/12/2009 2:37:37 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I knew that someone would say this. I think there are others that can agree that time spent working in the comfort of your own home, on your own computer is WAY different than trying to get work done in a public place. Access to the software needed is available (theoretically) for free, but they are not even close to what you need to get the job done in the best manor possible for the best grade.


But the fact of the matter is that it is available. If you are going to college and spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on textbooks and such, but can't shell out $100 for a copy of Office if needed, then you have bigger problems than the cost of an optional purchase.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By StevoLincolnite on 5/13/2009 12:20:37 AM , Rating: 2
I paid nothing to go to college and I paid nothing for the text books, I was actually having a discussion with a friend over in the USA and I was amazed at the costs for trying to farther your education over there, It's great going to college, but I don't believe you should end up in debt for half your life in order to do so.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By keith524 on 5/12/2009 2:47:30 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't that kinda prove the point of the OP? If you argue the student would use the lab before buying the software then the company has not lost any money if the student pirates the software.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By BadAcid on 5/12/2009 3:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
If they pirate, they don't use computer labs. Unused computers don't get replaced when they update the labs, and so fewer office licenses get purchased when the school's get new licenses.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By Hvordan on 5/12/2009 4:11:42 PM , Rating: 3
The OP argues that because their estimate of lost revenue is flawed we should not take them seriously. I'm not sure I understand what the point of that argument is. Clearly there is an impact to the developer who created the pirated software, there is an impact to developers in the same field who have reduced opportunity to compete, there is an impact to the customers that have to float costs associated with fewer paying customers.

The monetary estimate itself may be flawed, but the claim that there is piracy has no impact on software developers in general is absurd.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/12/2009 2:48:57 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, working in my own dorm is very beneficial luxury. It is not, however, a necessity. The point is that there is a free alternative, thus cost is not the motivator for piracy in this case.

quote:
Access to the software needed is available (theoretically) for free, but they are not even close to what you need to get the job done in the best manor possible for the best grade.

This is entirely contrary to my college experience. Can you back that up with at least an example?

At my college, which was pretty small (~3000 kids graduating class), every single computer in every lab had a fully-featured copy of Office. They also had Matlab, SPICE, Pro-Engineer, and various other engineering tools on every computer in the engineering buildings. This was not a rich school by any means, yet everything that was needed for the coursework was provided.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By RandallMoore on 5/12/2009 5:14:28 PM , Rating: 2
The theoretical part was for college and technology fees. The university that I attend has no special discount for any software btw.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By OCedHrt on 5/12/2009 2:35:37 PM , Rating: 2
Office for students is $99.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By rcc on 5/12/2009 2:54:27 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, $79 for the academic/home version on sale at Fry's.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By bblblablah on 5/13/2009 1:04:20 AM , Rating: 2
When I was in university there were educational discounts. There have been pretty much always I think if you knew where to look or who to ask.

Microsoft Office is really not that expensive. Many individual text books cost significantly more.

www.theultimatesteal.com

$60 through Microsoft's legal site for valid EDU e-mail addresses. That's for Office Ultimate 2007 which otherwise would be like $400.

Access 2007
Excel 2007
InfoPath 2007
Groove 2007
OneNote 2007
Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager
PowerPoint 2007
Publisher 2007
Word 2007

Direct download or pay like $15 more for the media shipped to you.

Good through December 31st, 2010 (a ways off still so I think this deal is good for a while).

You can also get Visio Pro 2007 for $56

Office 2007 Language pack for $10

Vista Ultimate UPGRADE for $65

It's not that expensive. Microsoft like Apple does offer educational discounts. You just have to look for them.

Another good site is www.journeyed.com if you're looking for more specialized software like Autodesk/Adobe products etc. There are a lot of 3D CAD/Animation/Modeling software packages available with pretty good discounts.

And as others have said. Many Universities have deals with MS particularly in the CS departments where you can get 1 free license of ANY MS software from the lowest version of Windows to the highest end Server editions. Check with the departments to find more info. They're not advertised often but they do exist.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By Hvordan on 5/12/2009 2:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
Losses are not just for the company whose software got pirated. Assume you could not (or would not) pay X for a product. If there is a reasonably priced (< X) alternative from a different company, would you have bought that? PS is an decent example of this, as there are a multitude of cheaper editing software out there for a lot less than what Adobe charges.

That said - I agree the BSA number itself is bogus, and PS is overpriced.

My opinion is that piracy affects the economy (and pricing) just as any other theft. Someone, somewhere is paying the price for it - and more than likely it's the consumers who actually pay for what they use.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By feraltoad on 5/12/2009 2:36:04 PM , Rating: 5
I know I've lost millions from all those people who refuse to give me money.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By gstrickler on 5/12/2009 3:06:56 PM , Rating: 2
20,000-50,000 people read my posts every day and none of them pay for it. I'm losing millions of dollars. I could be rich, if it weren't for you. You should all pay me or go to jail, you pirates.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By Manch on 5/13/2009 7:52:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you couldn't pirate photoshop, the program would NEVER have become the number 1 editing tool bought by millions.


ummmmmm....no it's the number 1 editing tool because it was BOUGHT by millions


RE: Not Lost Sales
By nosfe on 5/12/2009 1:16:14 PM , Rating: 2
what do you mean 500$? the standard version is over 1k around here and the minimum wage is under 200$ Geee, i wonder why people don't buy it


RE: Not Lost Sales
By Hvordan on 5/12/2009 4:14:59 PM , Rating: 2
What feature of PS does a minimum wage worker need that a cheaper alternative cannot provide?


RE: Not Lost Sales
By JediJeb on 5/12/2009 6:06:49 PM , Rating: 2
All of them, unless you are saying a minimum wage person can not also be a very creative artist wanting to break into the business. Depending on where the person lives this price could be the barrier to becoming a great well known photographer.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By Hvordan on 5/13/2009 10:44:04 AM , Rating: 2
You are correct in that a minimum wage worker can be a creative artist and since I gave the impression that PS would somehow be too sophisticated for a mere minimum wage worker, I apologise.

However, I would suspect most of the users of pirated versions of PS are not creative artists and use it because there is a pirated version available, not because there is a need for it.

What the average person does need is a capable editing program for a decent price, but will not end up buying an alternative because they have access to a "free" version of PS.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By nosfe on 5/13/2009 2:58:18 AM , Rating: 2
minimum wage is a good indicator of where the country's economy is. You can be sure that the average wage isn't higher than in the US but the price of Photoshop is almost double around here.

Here's a nasty thing, the master collection costs 2.5k in the US but it costs 4.5k around here, whats up with that? it would be cheaper to just take a plane to the US, buy it there and come back


RE: Not Lost Sales
By CannedTurkey on 5/12/2009 1:20:08 PM , Rating: 2
This is absolutely correct.

If I could buy a really good Lamborghini replica for cheap, this is not a lost sale for Lamborghini, because I would never, ever, actually buy one.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By joemoedee on 5/12/2009 1:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
$50 billion in lost sales is not the same as $50 billion lost revenue. Just because 500 million people use your product when it is free doesn't mean that 500 million people would pay for your product if it weren't free.


I agree 100%. Many people will download stuff just because they can... Not in as much as they NEED the program. The actual downloads vs actual potential sales is probably a ratio of 20% or lower.

Because of this, the $50 billion number is a bit flawed.

Is there any actual report as to how much revenue was made?


RE: Not Lost Sales
By roostitup on 5/12/2009 1:24:01 PM , Rating: 2
That was my thoughts exatcly when I read the headline to this article. Many people download games over bittorrent, but they are games that they wouldn't buy in the first place. Gotta love how they try to manipulate statistics to make it look like they are out so much more than they actually are. They will probably take these statistics and use it as fodder for the fire, I hope people realize the obvious problem with them. The gaming software industry is one of the only businesses not taking a hit in the poor economy, there is no way that they are losing as much as they claim from piracy. I call bullsh*t on this article.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By RandallMoore on 5/12/2009 1:46:03 PM , Rating: 2
You mean kind of like how almost everyone happily pays for MS office because the price is so fair? :)

I think the piratebay is a direct representation about how we (the consumers) feel about the prices of software and entertainment these days. Like some others have said, MS Office and other very popular software are becoming more of a REQUIREMENT and not a luxury. And they think we are going to pay those ridiculous prices for something they could offer at a much better deal? I don't think so. They haven't and never will learn the meaning behind the word "gouging"

Also, when it comes to entertainment think about this for a minute...

We all NEED some form of entertainment to keep ourselves healthy in today's society. Now, granted, there are forms of entertainment that are free; but they sometimes just don't cut it. I got sick and tired of paying $20 for ONE cd or movie, so now I just buy the ones that I really want to keep, the rest I either Stream or download to watch once for free.

I also try to download PC games before I buy them. That policy saved me $50 on SPORE. (how many of you can relate to that? haha)

I'll admit that piracy is stealing when the corporations fess up and admit that they are slapping the consumers in the face. Until then, STFU you greedy bastards.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/12/2009 2:06:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I also try to download PC games before I buy them. That policy saved me $50 on SPORE. (how many of you can relate to that? haha)

I wish I'd done that for Far Cry 2. Instead I went legit and preordered it. What a dumb idea that was, although ultimately I would have gotten suckered into it anyway because so many of the reviews were falsely positive. I hope Ubisoft and the review community are proud, because they guaranteed that I will always *borrow* games from now on before I even consider buying them.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By Bull Dog on 5/12/2009 2:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in the Far Cry 2 boat with you. I so wish I had pirated that game. What a total ****ing waste of money.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By peritusONE on 5/12/2009 2:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
Everybody has their own opinion on how much goods and services should cost. But just because you disagree with a price does not give you a right to pirate/steal/copy that good or service.

Would you walk into a convenience store, think that bag of Doritos was priced too high, and steal it? When the clerk catches you and calls the cops, will you admit to stealing it when and only when that clerk admits to pricing it too high?

I've pirated software in my day, but never did I disillusion myself into thinking the creator or manufacturer deserved it in some form or another.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By RandallMoore on 5/12/2009 2:15:38 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are missing the point of why people pirate. It's because they can and do get away with it almost %100 of the time. Is is stealing? Yes. Do they still deserve it for price gouging? Yes.

Piracy is our only form or fighting the price gouging right now. I would prefer boycotts or some other form of resistance, don't get me wrong. But for right now, its what the people are doing. No one is actually going to boycott anything these days, we are too lazy.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By peritusONE on 5/12/2009 2:42:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think you are missing the point of why people pirate. It's because they can and do get away with it almost %100 of the time. Is is stealing? Yes. Do they still deserve it for price gouging? Yes.


I'm not missing the point of why people pirate. He said that stuff is priced too high, and that companies deserve it, so I responded directly to that comment.

However, I still think that saying a company "deserves" to be stolen from is ignorant. They may deserve to not earn your dollars because you think they are priced too high, which is perfectly fine. But you don't deserve to use their software just because you hold an opinion.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By Oregonian2 on 5/12/2009 3:12:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do they still deserve it for price gouging? Yes.


Don't think they are price gouging. They are just pricing what the market will bear. Price and demand.

If what Adobe charges for PS is "obscene" then suitable alternatives will happen to get on that gravy train and sales will move (like to Corel Paint perhaps, or GIMP). I suspect all commercial users of Photoshop are relatively satisfied in what they get for the price they pay.

Where "gouging" comes in is more from perception. The casual user where only 1% of Photoshop's "power" is really needed (if that) will of course find PS's price a rip-off just as someone who normally drives a Toyota Corolla might think pricing on a Porche is a ripoff. Just not the proper product. Adobe has other much less expensive photo tools that still are probably a lot more than most need.

That said, I did buy into PS at around version 3 or so and have upgraded a few times, but not lately -- finding that I really don't need much beyond the basics of curves and the like.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By eldakka on 5/12/2009 11:00:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Would you walk into a convenience store, think that bag of Doritos was priced too high, and steal it?


Copyright infringement, aka Piracy, is not theft by ANY legal or moral definition.

The bag of Dorito's you just stole is a physical, manufactured item that is composed of physical items that cost real money to manufacture (potato, oil, spices, etc). By taking it, stealing it, you are depriving the store of a physical item that cost money to manufacture, transport and store. By stealing it, the shop has lost that money they have already spent in gaining that physical item. And as you have taken that physical item, the store cannot sell that item to another customer.

Copyright infringement however, incurs no cost to the copyright holder. It does not deprive the copyright holder of any physical item that they had to outlay money to manufacture that they are now out of pocket for. If someone makes a copy of a piece of software, they copyright holder still has the same piece of software available to sell to another customer, unlike with the bag of Doritos' where when it's gone, it's gone.

This is a better analogy for copyright infringement:
I go have a few drinks with a friend. They tell a joke that they just made up on the spot. We all think it's hilarious, so the creator of the joke writes' it down so that they don't forget it for later retelling. Next day, I email the joke to some work colleagues...oops, under the law I've just committed copyright infringement, woe's me!


RE: Not Lost Sales
By peritusONE on 5/13/2009 12:29:51 PM , Rating: 2
So you're saying it doesn't take time to code these programs? If I spent 8 months coding a nice program, then people pirated it and never gave me a dime, I'm not gonna say, "Oh well, I'm not out anything, they aren't taking anything physical from me."

In my book of law and morals, copyright infringement IS theft. I created something and want to charge for it. You took it without paying. You stole my code and my time. Try convincing me that you didn't steal anything away from me.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By eldakka on 5/13/2009 11:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
What is in your book doesn't matter.

What matters is what is in legislation and court rulings (common law).

Neither in legislation or Common Law is copyright inringement stealing.

quote:
I'm not gonna say, "Oh well, I'm not out anything, they aren't taking anything physical from me."


You may not feel that way, but that is the way it is, suck it up.

If the 'nice program' you coded isn't nice enough to encourage enough people to pay for it to have made the 8 month investment worthwhile, then obviously it isn't a nice program to those who matter, the people willing to pay money for it.

But then, there are other ways to make money from the 'nice program' than by selling the non-physical, infinitely reproducible code. Charge for support. Charge for customizations. Take the program to a big company and use it as your resume, they may give you a well paying job because of the skills the program displays.

Just because you spent 8 months doing something doesn't mean you deserve or should be expected compensation for those 8 months. If you want that, get a job with a wage, rather than being a speculator.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By NT78stonewobble on 5/13/2009 6:00:33 AM , Rating: 2
"Would you walk into a convenience store, think that bag of Doritos was priced too high, and steal it? When the clerk catches you and calls the cops, will you admit to stealing it when and only when that clerk admits to pricing it too high?"

The analogy is wrong. A more correct one would be:

You walk into a convenience store, think that bag of Doritos was priced too high, and magically conjure up your very own bag of doritos. And walk out.

The store isn't missing one bag of doritos and neither are the producers of doritos.

Now you can argue that the store owner and doritos producer would be missing revenue because of it but for that to be proved you would really have to prove that dorito pirate would have bought the original pack if he couldnt pirate it. (By liedetector or something?)

Now is it theft of the IP behind doritos (the recipe)? No IMO not unless a person misuses (reverse engineers) the recipe to make an alternate product (low fat or high fat).


RE: Not Lost Sales
By NT78stonewobble on 5/13/2009 6:02:34 AM , Rating: 2
I meant:

"Now is it theft of the IP behind doritos (the recipe)? No IMO not unless a person misuses (reverse engineers) the recipe to make an alternate product FOR SALE (low fat or high fat)."


RE: Not Lost Sales
By eldakka on 5/12/2009 11:05:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'll admit that piracy is stealing when the corporations fess up and admit that they are slapping the consumers in the face.


I will never admit that as piracy is NOT stealing. There is already a specific civil category for it that is not theft/stealing (as it does not conform to the legal definition of the criminal act of theft/stealing), and that is copyright infringement, nothing more, nothing less.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By unrated on 5/12/2009 1:47:00 PM , Rating: 2
In the long run piracy can help a company. A teenager who uses a pirated version of MS Office is more likely to buy the retail version once they're out of school (or have their business buy it for them).

Wasn't it somebody from Microsoft who said something like if people are going to use pirated software then they want them to pirate their software?

I suspect that the companies didn't account for this in their calculations.


RE: Not Lost Sales
By MBlueD on 5/13/2009 9:27:47 AM , Rating: 2
If they actually manage to stop people pirating Windows, it will be a huge victory - for Linux!
All those people who can't normally afford a windows license will not sell a kidney for it - it would be a little bit easier to convert to Linux.


Crap Logic
By Verran on 5/12/2009 1:26:56 PM , Rating: 5
If I offered you a free fully-loaded Corvette, would you take it? Would you drive it around a bit?

Would everyone who answered in the affirmative above necessarily spend $60-80k for the same privilege? According to this report: yes .




RE: Crap Logic
By Motoman on 5/12/2009 3:11:07 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly. Same old BS from Big Content.

In reality, which is where I like to hang out, the "true" cost of piracy is a lot closer to $0 than it is to $50,000,000,000.

...which does nothing to speak to the $ generated by piracy, when people get something illicitly that they later choose to buy.


RE: Crap Logic
By Brigga on 5/12/2009 8:07:12 PM , Rating: 1
So how many people pirate hardware? I am pretty sure everybody here pays for their hardware which a lot of people put hard work into to give you something to run your software on. I am pretty sure they want to be rewarded for their hard work with payment of some sort... as it currently stands money, not a pat on the back. Why can't software companies expect the same thing? I am pretty sure those at Canonical dont work for free... someone is bank rolling them...


RE: Crap Logic
By radializer on 5/13/2009 2:23:33 PM , Rating: 2
And the simple (and somewhat cynical) response is ... people do not pirate hardware purely because it is not easy --> obviously due to innumerable physics-based constraints that are not even worth listing.

The day it magically becomes as easy to pirate hardware as it is to pirate software - that is the day you will see bootleg high-end CPUs and GPUs with gobs of super-fast RAM in every old PC.

Piracy is a state of mind ... people do it because they can and because the repercussions are limited. All these so-called "loss estimates" are absolutely worthless since none of them take basic human psychology into account.


RE: Crap Logic
By jconan on 5/12/2009 9:54:09 PM , Rating: 2
True, especially when they are claiming when they are claiming loss of sales due to piracy of songs over the internet. Then why are there so many people selling their used cds to used music dealers like Amoeba Records in drones and at pawn shops? I doubt that it's because of piracy it's because people can't afford it. If they had the money to buy they would buy smarter only when they are on sale and not at an inflated MSRP unless it is an impulse item. Most people can barely afford to fill their fridge or let alone invest in tools of the trade. BSA has to put a price to justify their salary and fees paid by other companies and hence they exaggerate like most CEOs do on their company profits or income.


RE: Crap Logic
By jconan on 5/12/2009 10:02:14 PM , Rating: 2
To add on, companies also need to explain why they have poor sales from poor software implementation. Like years Microsoft believed that majority was their lost sales was due to piracy, and to their findings with Windows Vista it's because consumers tried it and disliked it and would rather use an alternative operating system like Unbuntu, OSX, XP, and etc... If a company claims their sales are from piracy it's probably over exaggerated or lie to cover up for poor programming or buggy code that consumers will not put up with or value.


RE: Crap Logic
By xrodney on 5/12/2009 5:00:42 PM , Rating: 3
Agree with this.

And there should be always difference between using software for personal use or study and using it for making money.
Most of companies making money on expensive software forgetting that someone have to learn it 1st so they can later work for company that using and paid for their software.
If noone know how to work with it, no company will be paying for it, and problem is that learn some stuff takes years.

Yes, Microsoft sells cheap licenses for SOME of their software to students, but we are learning whole life and i seriously doubt anyone would pay $1k+ for software just to learn how to work with it and seriously some of us need more then year to save 1k and for some its more money they even make in whole year.

Same is it with movie/music industry, technology for making them is now cheaper then ever, but yet, they still being more and more greedy as their gain per copy sold increasing.


RE: Crap Logic
By Hvordan on 5/12/2009 5:31:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Most of companies making money on expensive software forgetting that someone have to learn it 1st so they can later work for company that using and paid for their software.

What looks better on your resume:
a) I cracked a copy of X and dinked around with it in my spare time for a couple of months
- or -
b) I took a class (or several) on X at some community college

The remainder of this post seems to argue that if I can't afford something I should be allowed to steal it.


RE: Crap Logic
By Motoman on 5/12/2009 5:37:25 PM , Rating: 3
I think the point is that if you can't afford something, you aren't going to buy it. Personally I'm not condoning piracy - but I am mocking the very idea that piracy is costing the publisher puch money...based on the notion that people who can't afford something aren't going to buy it anyway - whether they wind up with a pirated copy or not.


RE: Crap Logic
By Hvordan on 5/12/2009 6:11:59 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously if you can't pay for the product, I understand you won't buy it. ;-)

What I think is missing in the general debate is that you might have bought something else with similar functionality. The individual or company developing the alternative has now missed out on an economic opportunity. (One example might be Paint Shop Pro vs Photoshop.)


RE: Crap Logic
By Motoman on 5/12/2009 7:45:23 PM , Rating: 2
I think that most people probably either "need" PS so they can work in .eps formats (when .eps formats are required), or they need "something." Meaning, whatever was on their PC when they got it, or they'll get GIMP or something else.

Sure, there are people that will buy a similar item - but again, I think the number of people that can afford and want a similar item are already buying them. I don't see that demographic doing piracy instead.


RE: Crap Logic
By eldakka on 5/12/2009 11:21:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'd take a) myself. Why?

Most courses in a specific piece of software aren't worth the certificate they give at the end.

I've come across people who had certificates in Microsoft Office, or Excel, or whatever, and unless they had actual, real world 1year+ of experience, if it was a software product I'd never set eyes on, I could work out how to do what I needed to do while the so called trained person was still trying to work out how to login to the computer...

Most people (I am generalising) who do courses on specific software seem to be clueless and can't extend/adapt/evolve that knowledge to other systems. Whereas a 'tinkerer', who taught themselves Word or Excel or Access or VBscript or Javascript are more likely to be able to pick up another similiar product (Open Office, Lotus, PHP or what have you) and figure out how to do the same thing in that new product with minimal fuss. There will not be the classic expression of frozen panic I see on the face of an Office user when there is no Format->Cell menu. They'll go find the formatting for the cell under Data->Cell->Format for example.


RE: Crap Logic
By Hvordan on 5/13/2009 10:53:13 AM , Rating: 2
Omg.. Is *that* where format moved to?? ;-)

My point though is that you can't (or at least shouldn't) justify theft by claiming a need to further your education. That's a bit like saying you're going to learn how to drive by hot-wiring a car at the dealership because you can't afford driver's ed classes.


RE: Crap Logic
By eldakka on 5/13/2009 11:54:43 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. I don't think theft can be justified on the grounds of furthering your education (unless you are learning to become a criminal of course ;).

However, as I have said in other posts, copyright infringement is not, legally speaking, theft.


RE: Crap Logic
By marvdmartian on 5/13/2009 9:20:24 AM , Rating: 2
Some might. I think they call that show "Bait Car", don't they?? ;)

Seriously, the flaw in the logic is that they assume everyone who has a pirated version of the software is a lost sale. I counter with the fact that 90+% of the pirate users would likely never spend the money on that software if they had to buy it, and would find a cheaper alternative.

Really, the only place where the logic of this loss is anywhere near the truth is in operating systems.....but you can counter that by saying that it's likely that more people would adopt a Linux version if they couldn't get a pirated version of Windows, especially in Asia, where the cost of any Microsoft software is prohibitively expensive, compared to the wages in some countries there.

Finally, how sad is it that hardware items come out brand new on the market at exhorbitantly high prices, but eventually drop in price as newer versions come out.....yet software (especially operating systems) stays the same price, regardless of how long it's been on the market?? I believe that Microsoft keeps their Windows software priced high so that people are more likely to adopt the newer version, especially in the case of XP versus Vista.


Adobe
By MScrip on 5/12/2009 6:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
And what's funny... Adobe makes $600,000,000 profit each year... despite Photoshop being their "loss-leader"




RE: Adobe
By Hvordan on 5/12/2009 7:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
Is your point that as long as they're making a profit it's ok to steal their stuff or that they are enjoying success because piracy is boosting their sales?


RE: Adobe
By MScrip on 5/13/2009 1:10:05 AM , Rating: 2
My point is that Adobe is making money even though their products are highly pirated. It's actually quite a phenomena.... having a product that people love to steal... but enough people who will pay for it.

Adobe isn't going out and suing people because the torrents are full of Adobe Master Collection CS4. They have a business to run... shareholders to please... money to make.

Adobe makes expensive software for work purposes... in contrast, record companies makes $1 songs for entertainment purposes. But the RIAA is the one throwing money at lawsuits. You'd think it would be the other way around.

Adobe is still doing fine despite being a huge target for piracy.

Piracy is wrong... but it's never gonna stop. It's like shoplifting... there will always be some sort of loss to shoplifting. To prevent shoplifting, stores would need to be closed forever... but is that a practical solution?

Instead of focusing on the millions they "lost" to piracy... Adobe and their shareholders focus on the millions they do make.


RE: Adobe
By Hvordan on 5/13/2009 10:59:56 AM , Rating: 2
When it comes to PS, I don't think adobe are the ones paying the price for piracy. Their main customers are businesses and professionals who can't use pirated versions. The problem is that other companies, such as Jasc, do lose customers because they have a capable product people would be more inclined to buy, ut won't because they use a pirated version of PS.

I'm aware we can't eradicate piracy, but we really should work on getting people to understand that piracy (just like shoplifting) is not OK and it is theft.


Here's your survey question
By HelToupee on 5/12/2009 2:08:13 PM , Rating: 3
Which best describes you in relation to [Expensive Software Product]

a.) I bought it and I use it.
b.) I use it, I can afford it, and I would buy it, but I've pirated it anyway.
c.) I use it, I would buy it, but I cannot afford it, so I've pirated it.
d.) I use it, but have pirated it because it's not worth your asking price. If forced to choose, I'd use one of your cheaper / free competitors.
e.) Piracy rocks!! piratebay FTW!!!
f.) I have no interest in buying or pirating it.

People who answer (a) are your paying customers. People who answer (b) are legitimate losses. (c), (d), and (e) are NOT losses, as they would never be paying customers, yet they are counted as legitimate losses. (f) sometimes even gets counted as a loss, even though it's obvious it shouldn't be.

Place this question in your next version of the software with the disclaimer that you will take no action against the answerer for submitting their answer, and you will finally have accurate results.




By RandallMoore on 5/12/2009 2:25:54 PM , Rating: 2
very well thought out!


In related news
By chmilz on 5/12/2009 1:59:56 PM , Rating: 2
Idiots everywhere are increasingly pulling BS numbers out of their collective arses, calling it a legitimate study, and then selling the information to equally stupid people for big money.




RE: In related news
By foolsgambit11 on 5/12/2009 3:51:41 PM , Rating: 2
"Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent, 14% of people know that." - Homer Simpson


Well,....
By nixoofta on 5/12/2009 2:39:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
China has recently cracked down on software pirates and convicted 11 for pirating Microsoft software


I'm just glad they caught those 11 bastards and we can put this matter to rest.

"No soup for you,.... NEXT! "




RE: Well,....
By wempa on 5/12/2009 5:09:28 PM , Rating: 2
LMAO. Yeah, those 11 bad apples were just making that entire country of 100% law abiding citizens look BAD.


Compare to MPAA and RIAA
By Solandri on 5/12/2009 1:27:57 PM , Rating: 2
The MPAA's global sales (box office and DVDs) are only around $100B. RIAA's are around $12B. Both industries are dwarfed by the software industry (around $200B), yet you hear a lot more complaining about piracy from them than from the industry most susceptible to it. Kinda makes you wonder...




Headline Fixed!
By NorthernDoc on 5/12/2009 2:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
Software Companies Create $50 Billion In Utility To Consumers Through Unlicensed Copies

Solid Business Sales Reflect Demand Generated By Personal Use

There you go...




Zimbabwe
By eddieroolz on 5/12/2009 3:10:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Zimbabwe -- all with piracy rates over 90%.


Find anyone in Zimbabwe that can afford Photoshop besides Mugabe, and I'll award you one internet.




a new way of thinking
By TSS on 5/12/2009 7:58:42 PM , Rating: 2
we are never going to end this debate unless we come to terms with the digital age.

a quick google tells me that spider man 3 reportedly cost 258 million dollars to make. i remember downloading that movie in not even 3 hours. and it will take me aproximatly 2 minutes to ctrl+c, ctrl+v it and duplicate it in the same map.

it's frickin mind blowing to think about something that costs 258 million dollars to make the first time, beeing made again for about 0,0001 cents in electricity the 2nd.

if the value of something is determined by how much copies there are, the uniqueness of the object, that would mean ANY piece of software is completly worthless, as it can be copied infinitly.

can you imagine fort knoxx just.... vanishing INTO existence a 2nd time, with 0 cost to us? a single push of the button? the gold price would take a nosedive with a rocket strapped to it's back.

the discussion of piracy and it's effects on profits have gone on long enough. isn't it about time we start discussing the underlying problem?

the fact that where willing to spend 258 million dollars (and much much more) making something materially worthless?




This just in!
By someguy123 on 5/12/2009 11:52:54 PM , Rating: 2
$32 Trillion lost in towel sales from family members sharing towels.




BSA should only take two letters
By Jalek on 5/13/2009 5:27:07 AM , Rating: 2
Yet another "study" from these guys who make their money from disgruntled former employees reporting companies. These guys come in with lots of threats and demanding not just that companies purchase the licenses they should, but they MUST buy them from BSA.

This is like reading the RIAA's numbers on music piracy, they can just make up numbers, and they have an incentive to make them as large as possible.




You have the money, ass.
By rburnham on 5/13/2009 10:06:04 AM , Rating: 2
I hate that grown people with jobs and steady incomes still pirate games like a broke college kid. Not that being broke gives people the right to steal games, but you see my point.




...
By Steve1981 on 5/12/09, Rating: 0
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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