Rationale behind using pirated software

  • #26
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I'm a believer in open software. All the software I use now is open-source, which usually means gratis as well. I would never pay for software which is not open source, unless I had no alternative. I have pirated programs before, usually because they were required for some class and I was not going to spend extra money for some piece of crap closed-source software, just because my professor was too lazy to structure the class in a way that we could use alternatives.

Honestly these days I don't have much use for pirating software. Stick with the open source stuff, or if that's not enough write your own tool and share it with others. The world will be a better place for everyone.
 
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  • #27
Monique
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There was admission by the member that they did indeed edit their post, so I don't know how the question can still stand.
One can edit a post without realizing that someone has already responded, certainly happens to me. In addition: the PF software -In my experience- doesn't update the thread so that new posts are also not visible when one has edited a post. Please educate members to mark edits in a post, instead of assuming malicious intent.
 
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  • #28
Danger
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I'm from a developed country.
Debatable, but that's an argument for another time and place.
(I mean, really... wooden shoes? I know that you're too far under water to have cattle, but can't you get leather from seahorses?)
 
  • #29
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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
The answer to this question is quite easy. With the very software they give you, they monitor you. Look here for a quick easy to understand example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Genuine_Advantage
Through Windows Genuine Advantage, Microsoft collects the following data:
Computer make and model
BIOS checksum, make, version, and date
MAC address
Globally unique identifier (GUID), a number WGA assigns to the Windows installation
Hard disk drive serial number
Windows version, product ID (PID), and localization
Windows or Microsoft Office registration key
WGA validation and installation results
Other software companies have services (within their software) which are installed during an install wizard and communicate with a server either before or after finishing the installation. Sometimes said service is always running and communicating with the server in the background and sometimes you cannot run the software if the Licensing Service is not running and/or cannot establish a communication with the company's server. In extreme cases they install Root-kits to make it harder for the user to tamper the communication between the licensing software and the company. Some antiviruses detect the latter programs as malware, but they are just licensing software.

This is a very interesting question and there is a whole science behind the actual how-it-works of software licensing. Many methods exist: some still standing and some failed (because they violated some laws regarding people's privacy in some countries)

Be aware also that the is a huge war between honest users and anti-pirating groups because the methods of the latter are sometimes too aggressive and the hindrance and damage they cause is not worth whatever it is they have copyrighted.

(and of course there is also the war between not-honest users and anti-pirating groups)

-Psinter
 
  • #30
Danger
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"You won't be talking about rationale if you distributed your food and TVs outside your home, and someone made copies of them, leaving your fridge and TV (and all the others) intact."
That scenario just tripped a circuit somewhere in my brain that brought up what I think might be a perfect analogy (at least, in our culture). The piracy is somewhat akin to what occurs when you smuggle a 26er of rye into the bar and surreptitiously mix it with the water that the waitress keeps bringing you for free.You're getting the benefits of a bar environment, such as a band and sports-filled plasmas and rowdy college girls without paying anything at all. That means that the entire infrastructure such as lease, power, gas, staff paycheques, band fees, and all the rest of it is being enjoyed by you but with no contribution on your part. That is parasitism.
 
  • #32
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.
I've spent many years on software license consulting with software engineering, corporate legal, and customers.

Sometimes piracy includes copyright violations, sometimes it doesn't, but it IS theft. Theft of product, theft of services, and fraud.

- Greg
 
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  • #33
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I can't consider piracy on the same level as theft.
If I, for example, download a movie illegally, I'm not depriving anyone of their property
You're depriving the producers of the movie of their intellectual property, and by extension, the stockholders of the movie company, employees of the movie company, etc.
leroyjenkens said:
, like I would be if I broke into your house and stole items.
By this reasoning, it sounds like you're saying that if someone hacks your computer and gets your credit card information, they would not be depriving someone (you) of their property, simply because they didn't physically break into your house.
leroyjenkens said:
And I'm not necessarily depriving them of money I would have otherwise spent on paying for the movie, because I won't necessarily have paid for the movie if it wasn't available to be downloaded for free.
How it works is that if there are enough people who can rationalize this behavior, it eventually makes a big enough difference that producers of intellectual property decide that they can't make back their expenses, and they stop producing that intellectual property.
 
  • #34
Simon Bridge
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Concentrating on the question that was actually asked:
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 ?
... I'd point out that the software he is using infringes copyright and exposes him to prosecution. However you or I feel about the software, if you are going to break the law it is best to know that you are doing it and be aware of the issues involved.

I would not use the word "pirated" to describe the software used ...
https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html

I'd encourage the friend to use free/libre and open-source software instead of the proprietary alternatives currently used against the copyright-holder's wishes.
https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/

I would not suggest any freeware, though, since software that goes by that label is more often than not proprietary software offered free of charge but does not respect the users freedom. But I would not have the same concerns provided the friend knows the terms of use and can make an informed choice about whether or not to abide by them.
 
  • #35
Danger
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Theft of product, theft of services, and fraud.
So, regarding my previous question... in your professional opinion, was I guilty for buying a computer with commercial software already in it? If so, how could I have known that?
 
  • #36
Bacle2
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I actually agree with WWGD in that the only way of having a reasonably-level playing field between those with
few resources and those with plenty is to ignore copyright _until_ one moves up in the professional ladder. After that, no more freebies. And it is absurd that countries with well-developed industries and technologies, often with 10's, if not 100's of years of experience expect (economically) smaller/weaker, less-developed countries to fully lower their trade and tariff barriers. Seriously? A start-up in, say, Haiti is supposed to compete in an equal footing with the likes of Krupps, or any of the other powerful, well-heeled companies with millions of dollars in their R&D budgets and 100's of hi-tech patents? Seems comparable to asking a 10-year old child to stop mooching and get a job. Let him grow up in a protected environment, nurture him/her, let them become stronger, maybe earn a trade or a degree and _then_ ask them to compete on the same footing with all the more knowledgeable ones. And, again, like WWGD said, many western countries did have their own trade barriers and tariffs in their beginning, until they were strong-enough. But now the want the poorer countries with weaker technology to lower their guards and lower their barriers/tariffs.

Why aren't more people who decry the theft of intellectual property bothered at the fact that most of the rich west helped build itself up by pirating and violating copyright ? I saw the actual C-Span show were the details of that book WWGD mentions where presented:

http://www.booktv.org/search.aspx?For=Bad Samaritans.
 
  • #37
symbolipoint
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Without taking sides in the issue, I'll correct an oft-used yet terrible analogy:

"You won't be talking about rationale if you distributed your food and TVs outside your home, and someone made copies of them, leaving your fridge and TV (and all the others) intact."

In short:

Software piracy is not theft. Software piracy is software piracy.
I've spent many years on software license consulting with software engineering, corporate legal, and customers.

Sometimes piracy includes copyright violations, sometimes it doesn't, but it IS theft. Theft of product, theft of services, and fraud.

- Greg
Concentrating on the question that was actually asked: ... I'd point out that the software he is using infringes copyright and exposes him to prosecution. However you or I feel about the software, if you are going to break the law it is best to know that you are doing it and be aware of the issues involved.

I would not use the word "pirated" to describe the software used ...
https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html

I'd encourage the friend to use free/libre and open-source software instead of the proprietary alternatives currently used against the copyright-holder's wishes.
https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/

I would not suggest any freeware, though, since software that goes by that label is more often than not proprietary software offered free of charge but does not respect the users freedom. But I would not have the same concerns provided the friend knows the terms of use and can make an informed choice about whether or not to abide by them.
Simon Bridge finally used the word, "infringe".
 
  • #38
Bacle2
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There was admission by the member that they did indeed edit their post, so I don't know how the question can still stand.
Strictly speaking s/he stated that the message may have been edited by a mentor/staff, that s/he did not clearly remember whether this was the case or not


I'll thank you not to put words in my mouth.
I don't see what is wrong here. Was your message distorted somehow by this edit? What part was edited-in, do you know; can you show it? I don't have access to these tools.
 
  • #39
Simon Bridge
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Simon Bridge finally used the word, "infringe".
... look in the links and see why :)
Copyright infringement being piracy or theft is, afaik, not supported by case law.
But it is also not the topic introduced in post #1 and does not answer the question posed there.
 
  • #42
Evo
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