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DISCUSSION: Does pirating software in any of these scenarios actually deprive people of revenue?

Before the flames come, just read this.

I'm not saying "putting a torrent of Microsoft software up and sharing it for people to download and use for free is bad" (it is, unfortunately); I'm not saying anything about any specific software or software company at all.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT PIRATING MUSIC. This is just about computer software.

That all said, let's use these examples:

There's a popular movie-editing software program (for example) that normally costs between $150, and I, as a college student, cannot afford it.

SCENARIO 1:I don't really need the software for anything, but I download the program for free, anyway, and use it for my own entertainment.

SCENARIO 2: I'm still a poor college student who can't afford expensive software because I need to pay rent and buy gas and groceries and take my girlfriend out to dinner once in a while. I need the software in order to work on projects for my film class, and I don't get any sort of reasonable student discount (if any at all) on it, so I download the program for free and use it to work on my school projects.

SCENARIO 3: I'm a poor college student (still) with other financial responsibilities besides expensive software. I don't need this software for any classes, but it would be really cool to have it because it's better than what's cheaper or free, and it would be really awesome to have because I spend a lot of my free time making videos on my computer. I want it, but I don't need it. I download the program and use it to make some sweet stuff to put on YouTube.

SCENARIO 4: I'm a snotty rich kid with too much time on my hands. I don't really know how to edit videos at all, but I can afford the expensive software if I want it. Instead, I simply download it for free and teach myself how to edit videos so that I can post "sweet" anime music videos on YouTube.

SCENARIO 5: I could be anybody at all. Rich or poor. Even if I can afford it, I have no reason to ever buy this software, but since I can download it for free, I do, and I play around with it a little until it gets old. Then I download something else for free and play around with that until it gets old; it's just something I do to pass the time.

In any of the above instances, it's well within reason for me to either buy the software "now", and deal with other expenses another way, or, I could save up and buy the software later, too. I could also wait for it to go on sale, or wait for the price to drop. It's also within reason to simply not have the software at all. Maybe a friend as it on their computer, or I can use the software in college computer labs away from home.

Again, I'm not asking whether you think piracy is wrong or not.

I'm asking if you think that pirating software - in any/all of the above scenarios - is depriving people of revenue?

If I (theoretically) can't afford it anyway, even if I need it for something important, who does it affect if I download it for free?

If I have no reason to buy the software in the first place, even if I can afford it, who does it affect if I download it for free?

I'd like some thoughts on this.

Answers (3)

rogersbrittany510 profile image
tmi1jthnaa profile image

It doesn't matter what scenario you make up, because you're still downloading software for free. Revenue is lost because people won't buy the software if they know it is out there for free somewhere.

Just like with music. Artists put their cds out there to sell, but if one person buys the cd, uploads it, and everyone in the world downloads the cd rather than buying it, then that artist has had one record sell. Therefore POTENTIAL revenue has been lost. But no actual money that has already been made has been lost. So I guess the answer is that no REAL money has been lost, just the potential money that would have been made if the software had been purchased. Make sense?

f9d939f08aa6 profile image

Even if you download the software just to "learn" how to use it, the writers / developers have been screwed out of their hard work.

Just reverse the conditions: whatevere you do (or will do) for a living:

You created a project: Version A is "free" demo mode, so people can see the project.

Version 1 is the real thing. You have spend a year and money developing this project and people decide to copy it for free.

So who does it hurt? You, your family you need to feed? Your co-workers who get laid off due to lost revenue?

Base line is because you can not afford it - you can not steal it.

There was a time in this world people only would buy what they had ready money in hand to buy. This I need it so I should be able to have it is bogus.