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Ripping off software, who doesn't do it?

By xstep ·
So what users are more likely to violate a software license? The question today after all the work that's been done to secure the agreement between the developer and the user. Do people still "share" a copy of their software? How about this, what about someone who works for a company (or the owner) and that company buys 10 user license. But there are only 7 computers. That leaves 3 and the office manager takes the disk home and installs a copy on her home computer. Then lets her brother install a copy on his. Have you ever looked for software cracks? Seems to be a wealth of them if you ask me.

What about Linux users? I'm sure anyone who thinks they need to violate (not pay for the license to use the software) a software license will. But from what I can tell Linux users for the most part don't violate IP rights. No, I mean think about it in a real sense. I have seen one copy installed on PC after PC in places you would never guess to violate a software license agreement! And yes most of the computer using world uses a one copy per computer/user pay for software/OS.

I do think credit is due to Linux and Open source. Thanks to the GPL and free software, users who use GPL software don't violate end user license agreements. Even around the World it offers a better choice and a legal one. Linux and open source may not be helping Proprietary Developers make a profit. But they can sleep well knowing that Linux users don't use proprietary software. In other words, Linux users are free and legal.


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Nobody likes software licenses

by Subee In reply to Ripping off software, who ...

I work for a really small IT consulting company (quality assurance). A couple of years ago, we received a notice that we are not using software in accordance with the license agreement (this notice came from Microsoft, I think). That was before my time at this company, but since then my boss is SOOOO concerned about it.

Here's my problem: We have only one copy of Microsoft Visio (for example) and it's installed on my machine. If someone else in the office (a director, say) needs Visio for a short project, I have to uninstall it on my machine and go install it on hers. Then back again when she's done with it a week later. This happens ALL the time and it can really be time consuming - especially since I'm the only one in the office who "knows" how to uninstall and install software. But we are too small to purchase any more than one or two copies of each program. I know, I know, we should switch to Linux or use Open Office or something....but my boss won't have it. They like Windows and that's the way it will stay. My friend, on the other hand, works for a huge company that purchases something like 1,000 licenses and he offers to give me copies of everything for free! Is it ethical? No. But if they're only using 800 of them, what's the difference, right? It's kind of the Robin Hood principle - we need it more than they do - or should I say, they can afford it more than we can? Just seems like someone is always getting the short end of the stick when it comes to license agreements. Boooo, I say!

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by paul In reply to Nobody likes software lic ...

You have my vote

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A Huge Part Of My Education

by JohnnySacks In reply to Ripping off software, who ...

Had to get out of a rust belt industry in 1998 and programming was hot hot hot.
On a tight middle class budget there was no way I could afford to buy PowerBuilder.
(Anyone else remember when 80% of job postings wanted PowerBuilder?)
The desktop version was crippled and still too expensive but luckily a mentor gave me a copy of enterprise and there was none of the new activation features to prevent me from using it.
Spent every spare hour cooped up in my basement office beating myself to death to make the transition.

Same for AutoCad, Visual Studio 6, JBuilder...

Companies that shore up their botton line through the illegal use of software have forced software companies to implement draconian licensing and activation schemes.
Unfortunately it makes it hard for people to learn the product without forking over very large sums of money.

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not exactly

by apotheon In reply to A Huge Part Of My Educati ...

It's not small companies illegally using software that "forces" vendors to use draconian licensing and DRM and the like. It's the fact the vendors use a business model that requires strict control of the distribution of the software -- essentially, a monopoly.

There are examples of open source IDEs that are making a lot of money for people, such as Eclipse. The people selling and supporting them have business models that don't require sending Uncle Sam's goons to your door to ensure you're in compliance.

It's not lack of ethics on the part of the user, but lack of imagination on the part of the vendor, that is making life difficult for both users and vendors.

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by w2ktechman In reply to A Huge Part Of My Educati ...

My 2 cents...
I have illegally installed software for a day or 2 to eval it (if the vendor does not have evals avail). Then I uninstall it. If I want to continue using it I find a legal copy (either work pays for it or I do).
I dont really see the harm here because most vendors state this and that, and it is untrue. So I just dont want to get stuck paying for crap.

As far as studying to gain a job skill while unemployed, this should fall under an exemption, but it would be abused hard. I still say its best to shell out the $$$ in order to get the knowledge to get the job. If you go with illegal copies, you may just start a trend for yourself. Also, if it means getting a job, the software purchase should pay for itsef after 1 paycheck.
I know some of you dont want to hear it, but it is true.

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Thats how I learned win3.1/Lotus-123/excel etc.

by michael_orton In reply to A Huge Part Of My Educati ...

In 19** I was working for a very large UK Industrial group.
Suddenly we had a PC on every desk, an IBM PS/2 with win 3.11.
Before we had to get Pcs as add ons to scientific equipment, and add shareware for WP etc, as offivically WP wasn't done by scientitts just by the typing pool. I use Galaxy WP, suitably hidden!
When Windows arrived there was no training, same with Loyus 123 Smart and Smartware-11 and several other systems we had and dumped.
The only way I learned was to copy the floppies (remember the bit copier copy11pc that copied protected disks?), install them on the much faster home PC (an ISA clone with no name, half the price) and learn the programs.
Sometimes I bought the QUE books on how to use the program, as I figured that if I had got ?400 worth of software for free, spending ?40 on a book to learn it was good value, and the firm benefited.
In one case the software manufactured benefited too.
I was in Israel when Paradox 4.0 database for DOS came out and I came back with a pirate copy.
I installed it on my home PC and found that it solved a pressing work problem, so I was able to fight to get work to approve it and we eventually bought hundreds of legal copies throughout the industry.

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I pay for all my software....

by SQL_Joe In reply to Ripping off software, who ...

I pay for all my commercial software, even if that means multiple copies in my home. My reason though, is pure self-interest. As a tech person, someday the person I may be stealing from could be myself. I don't want that done to me, so I don't to it to others.


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What is your value of work worth?

by TwoThubsUp In reply to I pay for all my software ...

It would seem common sense, particularly when where professionals are concerned, that software procurred illegally is something we shouldn't do. Consider the music industry, the millions of dollars that are not earned simply because some people like to get something for nothing. The work the programmer has done is his to sell and has a right to be paid accordingly. The stealing of same is only driving costs up for everyone that are lay, middle and top professionals. Would any of you who have worked at programming and developed a software product want others to take advantage of you? As one responder wrote, it's all about integrity.

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By design

by xstep In reply to What is your value of wor ...

At first thought you are correct. What is law for anyway? to protect value of rights. Was is the fact that developers trusted law? What about the design of software and also the design of hardware? Did any know? Who knew there would be a GPL and free compilers? Nothing wrong with free and legal right? Do we remember 111-111-111-111 that would crack MS office?

Much of the same Developers who screem and cry about gray and black markets are the same ones who have lost and paid millions in anti-trust settelments. to top it off the theives our their own customers who use that software isk the borrowed from Dad.

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Just because......

by TwoThubsUp In reply to By design

there were complilers that could do some dirty work? for someone doesn't make it right. The same goes for GPL. The bottom line is that if we are a professionals, we should be compensated for the our work. I realize there are people out there who think differently, and envitably they may become victoms of the very crime they give free license to. And by saying that I don't mean to say "Told you so!" I just feel the honest work should be paid for honestly.

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