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Rationale behind using pirated software

  1. Oct 28, 2014 #1
    Hello,
    I hope this post wouldn't be considered spamming because I am genuinely trying to get the insight of others about using pirated software. Let's consider this scenario which applies to lots of people at one time:
    1. You live in Africa, well below poverty level
    2. You attend university on government scholarship and you study Mathematics, Physics or something close
    3. You discover that products exist and can substantially aid and improve your studies
    4. You are in a position where you cannot afford to buy anything online and you don't even own a credit card
    5. You meet a friend who is using a pirated version of a software and he isn't even aware that what he's doing is illegal
    6. What do you do ?

    The answer I'm looking for is a simple Yes, just use it/No, don't!. I'm aware that a possibility is to look for another free software. But let's assume that's not possible. If the answer is No, how can someone pay $500 for something he can get for free if that someone is not an extremely rich man.
    Another thing that I don't understand is how can software companies know you're using a pirated software. Say for example, the 2007 version of Microsoft Office which needed a simple serial code.
    Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 28, 2014 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Character is all about what you do when nobody is watching. The question is simple - "are you a thief or not?"
     
  4. Oct 28, 2014 #3
    There are adequate freeware alternatives to almost Anything, there is hardly any reason to pirate software. The question is, though, are you a thief or not. You won't be talking about rationale if someone broke into your house and stole food from your fridge and carried the TV away. Would you really say something like :"ok, you can come by every now and then, just don't touch the stuff in my office"?
     
  5. Oct 28, 2014 #4

    WWGD

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    Do you know that many of the now-rich countries did not respect copyright laws for much of their
    history? And now they want to impose them on poor countries?
     
  6. Oct 28, 2014 #5

    Ryan_m_b

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    Legally it isn't theft, it's infringement of copyright. With regards to the extreme hypothetical of a poor African student I expect that most companies wouldn't mind giving that person a free copy anyway, obvious practical reason why his doesn't happen is confirming the person is who they say they are. In this case were I the student then I probably would pirate. But this is an extreme case. Any answers to this don't have anything to say about piracy in general.
     
  7. Oct 28, 2014 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    Like I said, character is all about what you do when nobody is watching.
     
  8. Oct 28, 2014 #7

    WWGD

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    So you believe people in rich countries have, as a culture, or in general, no character, given they did not respect copyright for many years? How about the hypocrisy of asking poor countries now to live by rules the rich countries never lived by? Similar to the request that the poor countries lower/eliminate tariffs.
    Character is also what you do when you are interacting with someone in a weaker position than yours.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  9. Oct 28, 2014 #8

    Vanadium 50

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    I'll thank you not to put words in my mouth.
     
  10. Oct 28, 2014 #9

    WWGD

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    I did not put words in your mouth, I asked you whether what I stated follows from what you stated.

    I'll thank you to clarify why my statement does not follow from yours.
     
  11. Oct 28, 2014 #10
    Then who is watching the watchers ? :D
     
  12. Oct 28, 2014 #11

    Ryan_m_b

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    Enter the rule utilitarian: one person pirating isn't likely to cause much of a problem in the same way that one thief isn't going to cause any damage. The problem comes if the behaviour of one person encourages others to follow to the point where the act becomes widespread. At that point the company making the software is worse off because people who would have bought their products pirated them instead.

    I don't think this is a particularly useful way to discuss the issue. We can talk about hypotheticals and theory as much as we like but the real world consequences of piracy are already difficult to understand. On the one hand there are companies reporting damage to sales due to piracy, preventing them from producing more. On the other there are reports that pirates themselves are the greater consumers in some industries. And for a completely tangential third point there are freemium/merch business models that release their products for free and gain money through alternative revenue sources.
     
  13. Oct 28, 2014 #12

    russ_watters

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    I didn't. Could you provide some of the history?
    And other rich countries too. And poor countries want to impose such on rich countries. I dont think there is any dichotomy here, despite what you are trying to imply.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  14. Oct 28, 2014 #13

    Vanadium 50

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    Editing your message after I replied is low. Really low. Bye.
     
  15. Oct 28, 2014 #14

    WWGD

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    What are you talking about? I did not do any editing. Look below my post see if it says that
    I did any editing. Please inform yourself well before making such accusations.

    EDIT If you refer to my 1st post, I only edited in the line:
    "Character is also what you do when you are interacting with someone in a weaker position than yours."
    Does this really change anything?

    EDIT2: Like Stevie TNZ said, the message may have been edited by a mod., I cannot tell
    with certainty if it was me who did the edits. Maybe you, as a staff emeritus can determine
    that.

    And my question stands, whether I edited or not.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  16. Oct 28, 2014 #15
    Hi WWGD,

    Your post at 3.33am NZ time today does show up with "Last edited: Today at 3:44 AM". Whether it was you, or a mentor, who did the editing is another story.
     
  17. Oct 28, 2014 #16

    WWGD

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    Sorry, I would have to look it up, I will get to it. Still, rich countries and
    poor countries are not on a level field. EDIT: Rich countries polluted plenty
    during the Industrial Revolution, without constraints, which helped them
    develop.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  18. Oct 28, 2014 #17

    WWGD

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    Please see the post immediately previous to the one I am quoting.
     
  19. Oct 28, 2014 #18

    WWGD

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  20. Oct 28, 2014 #19

    Danger

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    Thinking back, I might have been guilty of piracy multiple times over a couple of decades. Every computer that I've bought (except the last 2 which were from the store instead of 2nd hand) came with various versions of Illustrator, Photoshop, MS Office, and a couple of other things that differed with each machine. Installation discs weren't included. Does that mean that I had illegal copies, even though I technically paid for them when I bought the computers?
     
  21. Oct 28, 2014 #20

    Monique

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    This can happen by accident, don't be so quick to judge.

    There are countries that have the rule that when something can have a big benefit for their nation, they'll ignore intellectual property. Musicians are now starting to recognize that they should embrace people pirating their songs, at the conservatory they are giving marketing courses where the free distribution of music is encouraged.

    I hate how some software companies restrict the use of their software, they should think more about the customer perspective. Many of them do provide student licenses, those low prices should be encouraged. I question whether the poor student really is an extreme scenario, surely I had trouble paying for software and I'm from a developed country.
     
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