pondering life….

life thru my eyes..

Is Piracy Good??

Posted by Madhuresh on August 26, 2007

            We all know that software piracy is illegal. A 10-year-old kid was sued by RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) for downloading free music in Florida; there are lawsuits against developers of P2P networks and Web sites.

            Though some people buy software’s or use freeware. I don’t think one can completely stop people from pirating software – considering that many software products costs more than the average pc today!

It’s Easy, It’s Fun, It’s Illegal!

             Most of us in India have a lot of pirated software on our computers, and part of the reason is that we really cannot afford to pay for even software that is cheap by American standards – $10 is Rs 450! Obtaining working software has become the simplest thing on earth – just go to a download site such as http://www.xyz.com, download the software. And then hit Google or Yahoo Search. Looking for cracks.

When i asked this question to few people,i get another set of question?

 “…Do you seriously expect me to believe that you do not pirate yourself?”

 “…The cyber laws in India are very weak, we can get away! ” 

“…There are thousands of people doing it. How do u expect them to catch me!”

 You’re Breaking The Law         

          It’s important to realize that by downloading a crack for software, or using someone else’s license key to unlock software is illegal. Though Cyber Law in India is weak but laws across globe vary and generally the punishment could be a hefty fine and jail time.

Oh Shush, You Little **** Activist! Piracy is Good.

                   Me and my friend had a discussion on this topic and this is how the discussion started. 

 Me: So how can piracy be good? Good for you, yes but not good for the poor developer
She: Nope, Piracy is good for the software developers themselves, I mean, it’s good for me, but it’s a lot more beneficial to the big software companies.

 Me: Oh really, how? Do you know how many billions of US dollars of profit they loose because of piracy? It’s like 5 million a year (that was a complete shot in the dark!)
She: Sure, but how many billions more do they make with more sales?

 Me: That is not a valid argument: it’s like saying since 3 lakh Indians pay tax, why should the government want tax from the rest of the population?
She: No, taxes are different. You agree to pay them, but when it comes to software, I don’t have to use it; I could choose not to use paid software at all!

 Me: So why don’t you?
She: Because I am keeping the balance of good and evil in the world! What do you think, dummy? It’s because there are popular software that are easy to use and the not-so-popular freeware that are a lot harder to get used to! I like to keep it simple.

 Me: So piracy is justified for you because you’re lazy?
no. Piracy is justified for me because I want to use the same software at home as I do at work, My Company will not buy me a copy for home, so I pirate it!

 Me: Wha… huh.. Umm…that’s the most idiotic thing I have ever heard! Why cant you just use the logic and listen to what you are saying!
She: What I’m saying is logical. Perhaps you are not getting it. Tell me why software companies have not made un-crackable software products till date?

 Me: Because they can’t, but they will probably be able to do so soon enough!
She: Wrong! They haven’t because they just don’t want to! Do you seriously believe that they couldn’t, at the least, make it a lot harder to crack the software? I mean, how come a crack or patch is available in a week from when the software is released? Look at the bigger picture 

 Me: There’s a bigger picture? I thought software vendors losing billions of dollars was the biggest picture!
She: Fine! Let me use an example to make you understand. Ok let’s say Microsoft makes a Windows version that is un-crackable. Let’s say it’s Vista for this example. What happens then?

 Me: Everyone buys Vista?      
She: A lot of people will start using LINUX or stick to their older version which is running fine.

Me: Umm… maybe. But we’re talking majority here not minorities.
She: Minority? I’m no techie, but I have installed Linux and I found openoffice much as Microsoft office! See

Me: No I don’t see!
Use your imagination! What would happen if  I started using freeware only at home. Take your example don’t you use same software that in your college that you use at your home.

Me: Yeah I do, So?
Now imagine the whole world doing it. All the companies would love to save money on software!

Me: ok! So a lot of people start using freeware. How’s that bad?
It is then whom do u sell the software to? If everyone is using freeware. With piracy at least there is some sales.

 Me: Ouch!!!

             As I dejectedly stomped my way back, the logic she had used to reach her conclusion started to sink in. she has a valid point. I know that despite losing the debate, software piracy is still bad, and against the law, but I cannot help but wonder how beneficial it’s been to big software development companies.

Though I haven’t found my answer- and I doubt anyone will ever concrete evidence to prove it either way- I now have a possible answer to the question, “is piracy good?”   


8 Responses to “Is Piracy Good??”

  1. Whoa! Convincing argument she has there 🙂

    Who might this girl be?

  2. Pavan said

    Hee hee… I dont know why but I found this really funny and well written too. Circular logic kinda thing here. The software companies should then encourage piracy to boost sales ?? Nah…. something somewhere is not right….

  3. Pavan said

    A huge improvement from older articles…. Great work.

  4. arsenict said

    I think if you take both cases, the number of people buying the software will be just about the same. Okay, lets take the first case – inspite of the piracy, those who really want a genuine copy and those who can afford one will surely buy one. A lot of people will use the pirated versions – no question, but only in countries or regions where they are priced really high. The second case, where the software cannot be pirated – here the number or people using the software will reduce surely. But, people who really need it will buy it. The loss to the company, say 5 mil a year, is actually estimated by calculating the amount people using pirated versions would have had to pay. And no question that all of them would never have bought the software. Maybe a few would have, but not all surely. So, practically the loss isn’t 5mil. Not even close. It’s a vicious circle, this piracy!
    Anyways, nice post and nice point made by the girl. Had me thinking for a while! 🙂
    Cheers mate!

    P.S. Updated my blog – you were asking.

  5. neethi said

    hey gud one re…nice n well written dude…
    wht do u say shud we put it in our college blog?

  6. neethi said

    hey madhuresh..gudo ne ya…well written…shud we put it on our colleg blog…?

  7. inderjit (070) said

    Very interesting post, the point was very well dealt with because software piracy is a opinion based question with no really answer. This example here is just one of the idea that you can bring up and try to understand the piracy world with. I think that idea about the software companies not coming up with much tougher software to crack is a valid point because all the companies care about is the overall profit. The profit is remaining that why you do not have software companies doing all that can they in stopping piracy.

  8. Pratyusha said

    lol.. reminds of ppl who say Bush was behind 9/11..

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