Software Piracy

Published on Jan 02, 2001 Rants! « Prev Next »

I got into another Software Piracy debate today.. People just don’t get it. As a programmer that makes his living off the software that he writes; Its a tough thing to be stolen from in that manner. And it sucks. Most of these small time guys aren’t pirating software to be mean or to be destructive, rather they are pirating it because they really like the software but can’t afford to purchase it. Which in a way I guess is a compliment, but at the same time it doesn’t help.. I think they are being very small minded about the whole issue and not looking at the bigger picture..

One guy says: “There is no physical value on the bits copied to your hard disk. There is no lost revenue if I wouldn’t have purchased the software anyway.”

The problem with that statement is that he is forgetting about the thousands of man hours it takes to write that code. You forget about the employees that have to be paid by the software company long before that software is out. The phone bills, the computers bills, the office bills, maintenance, etc… Then there is the people. Programmers ain’t cheap man. And then there are the managers, the meetings, the HR personnel, testers, lawyers, and the myriad of other things that have to be supported by this “just code”.

There is so much physical value behind software these days that they MUST jack up the prices to pay for this stuff.. You are CLEARLY not looking at the bigger picture here..

Another fellow says: “It doesn’t take much more effort to write a program like Ultimatte than it is taking our friend [NAME OMITTED] to write the code to ALAMdv for $60 or less a copy.”

This guy is obviously not a programmer and speaking from a stance of complete ignorance. Programming takes thousands of hours. It is repetitive, frustrating, hard, thankless and quite boring at times.

While [NAME OMITTED] is making his software, where do you think the money comes from to pay for his living expenses? Out of his pocket.. and if he has no other software providing for that then he is steadily going broke. His software package would have to make up for that once it was finished and out on the shelves. Now yes many coders put their stuff out for free. That is a rare and wonderful thing. Many coders put their stuff out shareware HOPING to make a couple of bucks off of it. But neither case is the rule.

Software piracy is illegal no matter how you color it. Not because companies are trying to be greedy .. but because they are trying to stay afloat. And, in the end.. any of you that are willing to pirate software from Newtek or Microsoft are just as willing to pirate from “our friend”.. Give him a big wet kiss when you do.

In closing I will put it to you like this..

“Software is CODE.” and Money is just paper! It’s whats going on behind the scenes you aren’t thinking about. It’s the value that is important.