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Piracy

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Yeah, don't even bother to tell me that you haven't file-shared because your most likely lying through your fucking teeth. Now if you honestly haven't done this than I commend you, but I am skeptical. At any rate, I have mixed feeling on phile-sharing and warez. I mean on the one hand you really don't want to get "exploited" but on the other there were highly skilled professionals (I am thinking of IDAPro here) that spend countless hours on building the application/song, whatever it may be, and in all honesty have right to charge what ever the hell they want for the service or material in question.... after all they did create/produce it (in the case of software). Music is different, but still the same in some respects.

What is more concerning to me (but nothing new) is the FCC and Radio, I don't like the rules that apply there one single bit. Fuck the FCC (just had to get that out of my system). Sure you CAN broadcast within like what a mile(?) of where you live on the AM bands, not FM (I don't think, please correct me if I am wrong.... lower FM frequencies?).

Back to the other note; you gotta recognize the Artists I understand that, but I mean... there has just got to be a better way to distribute the medium (in this case music) that consumers are demanding.

-I've been thinking about making my own radio station-

It's really been itching me to know what other hackers think about this issue.

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i think it crosses the line when you steal software that is worth thousands of dollars, for example photoshop. but i do know a few technical minded people that feel its all ones and zeros, and they just happen to end up in the configuration that it is a program.

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To me, there's always been multiple kinds of piracy: intelligent piracy, and dumb piracy.

When I used to work in a warez group, most of the people I was with were what I called "intelligent pirates." They still bought music, movies, and software. What they did do, however, was taste test. They never bought CDs without trying it out first, nor did they buy movies. There were some things which they never bought in any case - ie. Photoshop, because it was frankly beyond their means. One has to remember that some software isn't intended for amateurs, and likewise not priced for amateurs. Without piracy, they wouldn't of bought it anyways - it is never a 1:1 loss unlike the BSA's claims. The same can be said of the RIAA's claims: when you download 30GB of MP3s, that represents thousands of dollars in legit purchases: much more than anyone has ever spent before. If you stick to the 100% legal path, then you are forced to curb your musical horizon. Have but 1-4GB of legally obtained materials, and that's it. If you stick to my ethics, however, and to those of other intelligent pirates - you buy what you can, and you pirate the rest. I've bought as much CDs as most regular music listeners back in the pre-filesharing days - plus many more GB of music I couldn't afford. Has the music industry lost because of me? Not really - I buy as much as the other guy, but at the same time I choose not to curb my horizon.

Most leechers were what I called "dumb pirates." To them, this was a substitute for actually buying the product. I never had any respect for those kinds of people.

There are two other kinds of piracy I regularly engage in for which I don't feel guilty: the downloading of anime, and the downloading of foreign films. Why? Because these are not legally available here. The "real" versions don't legally play in DVD players in the US (and soon Canada), though they wouldn't come with English subtitles anyways. This is not a case of piracy being a substitute for a legal alternative, for there is no legal alternative.

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Most things downloaded illegally through file sharing are intellectual property. STEALING FROM HARD WORKING PROGRAMMERS IS ALWAYS WRONG!! Regardless of whether you are 'testing the software/music' there are alternative means. For instance, the local library in your area, much new media is readily available to any person at the library, without fear of persecution from the original distributors. I just don’t buy the whole “full version testing” bit. If you really want to test a piece of software download the demo, or use the forums to discuss with other users who may have used the software. Of course, there is no stopping file sharing – it’s here to stay, whether you agree with it or not.

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Software and media companies have to adapt to the Internet as a new way of delivering content (that might require changing the strategy and loosing those few per cent of income though) if they want to be prosperous. Adaptation has always been the key to survival.

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When software costs thousands of dollars, thats just wrong, and economically does not make sense, take the Photoshop Creative Suite, if it costed $100 rather than $2,400 think about how many amateurs would buy it, it would more than make up for the loss in cost. For most users, piracy is the only alternative.

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well, i dont think adobe would make up the costs if they lowerd the price down to 100$, i see what you are saying. but there are some alternatives, that are either free or cheap that if it is not your profession you can use for what dabbling you want to do. ex. microsoft office, and open office

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theres no testing the waters when watching downloaded movies, because once you've watched it theres no need to watch it again...i'm a hypocrite...i used to sell pirated games...no wait this isn't the confessions board

Edited by codar
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Piracy is always an interesting topic. Having been part of some major pirate groups in the scene, years back, I can say it's definitely not all bad.

On the topic of something like Photoshop, do you really think adobe cares that some 16 year old kid downloaded their software? No way! You know why? Because when this kid gets out of highschool, he's got years of experience with photoshop under his belt, and what software do you think he'll prefer when it's time for that graphic design gig? Piracy is all about publicity. I've personally known of software companies that actually distributed their software 'illegally', specifically for the brand-recognition that comes as a result.

For companies like Adobe, the only damage is done by companies illegal licenses for commercial means, as well as people selling pirated software.

People who sell pirated software/music/IP should be burned at the stake.

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I 'acquired' photoshop 7.0, but I already have a legitimate version that I could have re installed on all of my computers.

Is that bad? :\

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well, i dont think adobe would make up the costs if they lowerd the price down to 100$,

20 000 people * $2 400 = $48 000 000

1 000 000 people * $100 = $100 000 000

It's just cost effective and easy to blame losses on pirates, instead of wrong company decisions.

People who sell pirated software/music/IP should be burned at the stake.

Agreed about the software and music, but how can you sell an IP?

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I agree with n3xg3n and others to a certain extent. n3xg3n: don't they have a right to charge whatever they want, they DID design it after all, but then again 2400+ $'s erm rather gluttonous.

Although, I really have mixed feeling on the subject..... I mean really mixed.

...how can you sell an IP?

I agree with WhatChout 100% on this one; selling IP address is just fucking wrong, I hate ISPs and the same goes for Domain Names

Edited by baby-Hackribs
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I agree with n3xg3n and others to a certain extent. n3xg3n: don't they have a right to charge whatever they want, they DID design it after all, but then again 2400+ $'s erm rather gluttonous.

Although, I really have mixed feeling on the subject..... I mean really mixed.

They could charge $24,000,000 if they wanted, but it's just too much for most people to buy and they will make much more money if they lower the price. And like others have said, its not 1:1 losses, because those who pirate this software usually would not or could not buy the software otherwise

And when he said selling IP, IP = Intellectual Property

Edited by n3xg3n
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well, i dont think adobe would make up the costs if they lowerd the price down to 100$,

20 000 people * $2 400 = $48 000 000

1 000 000 people * $100 = $100 000 000

It's just cost effective and easy to blame losses on pirates, instead of wrong company decisions.

It's not a really "wrong" company decision. It's not like Adobe went "okay people, let's charge $800 just cuz!" These prices are strategically chosen for maximum profitability. Photoshop is like oil - professionals need it, and no substitute will do. The number of professionals that are willing to pay $800 are greater than the amount of amateurs that would want to pay for the professional package (versus the "home" edition) if the price was only more reasonable.

Adobe doesn't care that amateurs pirate their product, although they're required to say they do (it would make them seem to condone piracy if they were to contend otherwise.) They care that professionals that can afford their product pirate it.

So to those that say "they would make more money if they lowered their prices", I retort: "if that were the case, they would have lowered it long ago." Adobe's management is not made up of crusty old men. They have some smart economic strategists in there.

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Well said Seal.

20 000 people * $2 400 = $48 000 000

1 000 000 people * $100 = $100 000 000

It's just cost effective and easy to blame losses on pirates, instead of wrong company decisions.

Adobe is the largest multimedia software company in the world, by far - they have entire departments devoted to expansion and acquisitions, to future growth and marketability, there is no way they have not taken all of this into account many a time. The lies the BSA perpetrate about lost sales and 'every pirated copy is a lost sale' in their figures are fraudulent but your figures above still need some tweaking as well.

You are comparing the Professional Creative Suite single license (with all the bundled products) to the sole Photoshop CS3 single license. Does the average home consumer need all of the added jazz that comes with the suite if they are looking to do some simple (generally non vector) artwork or graphic design? Do they even need the full and commercial PS CS3 or can they get by with the more home-geared Photoshop Elements at a far more economic price - as Adobe offers them as an alternative to pirating the powerhouse that is Photoshop CS? For web design and simple graphic manipulation they could very well go and download the freely available GIMP if they were so inclined, if they are doing more then can expect to be paying more. The $2400 price is not near accurate as it does not take into account bulk discounts and site-licensing and the people figures provided are also far below actuality - the scale is more level then that.

I think much of the mentality regarding piracy goes back to insecurities - I need to drive a Ferrari, I must drive a Porsche. Really I just need a car that will reliably get me from A to B in a bit of style but I want myself and others to know how cool I am while I transverse about from work to home and occasionally to the mall. Given an unlimited budget (ie no cost association, you have pirated it so product 1 costs you the same as product 2 - nothing) people will flock towards the industry standard and the most expensive product available, regardless if they can make as full use of it - even if they end up with a worse driving experience in a car that's too much for them to handle.

If you want to play around and test things out there are the 30 day otherwise unlimited trials, in fact all of their software is available in demo format.. no need to risk infection or imprisonment pirating the full version if you are simply 'looking to try before you buy' - as are those of Macromedia, another large company Adobe incorporated a while back. Though not all software houses are as forthcoming with their trial-ware, many do offer substantial discounts to students and non-profit organizations if not 'student versions' or even 'free for non-commercial use'. When you start to make a profit off the work of others without compensation you are stealing (though the BSA likes to argue it occurs before hand - non-commercial piracy used to be legal and noncriminal). Games movies and music are different then software, the former are all consumables while the later is a tool used to provide productivity.

It is harder to accurately sample a consumable then it is a piece of software since once it is consumed the desire and value of the product can be lowered. Codar said it already, once you've seen a movie there is no need to go out and rent it or buy it - except for replay value. Thus 'sampling' piracy undeniably results in lost sales in its very action, even if it garnishes more sales due to people liking the movie/game/music the power is taken out of the control of the industry, they lose the right to direct the distribution and marketing that they had. You might think the game or movie is shit, but the manufacturer is not reimbursed for you having watched the movie, heard the music or played the game and disliked it.

'I buy the music/games/movies I like' is a poor justification for piracy.

Not that I have anything against occasional piracy on a non-commercial scale.

I do however realize that when everybody pirates the economics catch up with you and good companies start to shut their doors, hurting the end consumer - you end up stealing from yourself in the end.

As mentioned above and as I have brought up on Seals blog regarding modern piracy, the large corporations are tolerant of home piracy (though they are more happy to sell you a discounted license) because later in your professional career you will stick with the brand you know, making sure to buy licenses for your products hopefully out of respect. Without respect all they have left is fear, one of the big reasons they are having so much trouble in foreign markets prone to piracy. Entire corporations running solely on pirated software or with illegal 'educational licenses' used in a noneducational role; they garner little respect and all but no fear, they are unwilling or unable to pay the further discounted pricing offered them by the accommodating vendor. (Have you seen the price of media in China or Russia? Microsoft and the likes have to grossly undervalue their software to try to compete with the commercial pirates for legitimate sales.)

Edited by jabzor
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I agree with n3xg3n and others to a certain extent. n3xg3n: don't they have a right to charge whatever they want, they DID design it after all, but then again 2400+ $'s erm rather gluttonous.

Although, I really have mixed feeling on the subject..... I mean really mixed.

They could charge $24,000,000 if they wanted, but it's just too much for most people to buy and they will make much more money if they lower the price. And like others have said, its not 1:1 losses, because those who pirate this software usually would not or could not buy the software otherwise

And when he said selling IP, IP = Intellectual Property

Oh, XD my bad.

Yeah you are right.

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I pose the following question:

Is it 'wrong' to download a CD that you were not going to buy anyway?

I've downloaded plenty of CDs, but would I have bought them and supported the asshole artists if I couldn't get them free?

The answer, I believe, can be summed up in two letters: n and o

There is 0% loss to the company and artist, therefore, I will argue it is not theft. The law however still looks at it a little differently.

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BrakeDanceJ your question is flawed. Piracy is theft, do not try to divert the facts.

There are varying degrees of theft but in the end it is still theft of intellectual property ("I am a thief, I am a pirate").

Every copy of something pirated may not result in a 1:1 loss but it is still the same a crime, the potential for a lost sale and the unauthorized access, unpaid possession. I do not argue this, it is something I accept when I watch a movie that hasn't been paid for or listen to an album I know the artist hasn't received payment for services rendered.

You are allowed to go to the library and take out a book, read it and return it. You can borrow the same book or a movie from a friend (even games though this may be against a non-enforceable EULA), as long as they were paid for initially.

In the same spirit you can watch movies on cable or over-the-air as the station has paid the distributor for the rights and advertisers will cover the cost (supposedly, I don't believe in television advertising being as effective as the marketers claim in their own self interest). There is a line, however spider-silk thin between borrowing a movie from a friend and passing it around to 100 other friends and those 100 friends downloading the same movie from a potentially paid for source.

(There are also laws against public-distribution and public exhibition of copyright movies, after xx many people you must buy a license and collect money for the distributor, same with pay-per-view events and the like. Potentially stupid as it is.)

Dentists and Doctors, Cab drivers and bars must pay money for licensing to play music in many situations, licensing is a tricky and often unfair issue. I take difference between an experienced DJ playing music at a party when comparison to a professional simply playing what might otherwise be considered elevator music. On the same note, the RIAA and others are trying to collect money for elevator music as well, rolleyes..

If pose the question, why download the game/movie/music if you were not going to buy it?

If it is not worth your money is it worth your time?

'I'd buy that car if it were cheaper, certainly I'll accept it if for free.. I think I'm going to steal it.. perhaps not the car but a copy of it. I'll have my company in Taiwan make an identical copy right down to the nut and bolts.'

If you were tempted to use a product for free there is some desire, some interest however little.. some recompense that is due. Whether it is paid and if this lays on any morals or conscience is a philosophical issue but it does not deter the legal issue. Pirate all you want but accept the consequences, however overblown they might be.

I do though think that the over-reaction to piracy is uncalled for and really just begun, you get less time and smaller fees for actually stealing the cds and dvds from a store, with a gun.. something is wrong there.

Edited by jabzor
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BrakeDanceJ your question is flawed. Piracy is theft, do not try to divert the facts.

There are varying degrees of theft but in the end it is still theft of intellectual property ("I am a thief, I am a pirate").

Every copy of something pirated may not result in a 1:1 loss but it is still the same a crime, the potential for a lost sale and the unauthorized access, unpaid possession. I do not argue this, it is something I accept when I watch a movie that hasn't been paid for or listen to an album I know the artist hasn't received payment for services rendered.

You are allowed to go to the library and take out a book, read it and return it. You can borrow the same book or a movie from a friend (even games though this may be against a non-enforceable EULA), as long as they were paid for initially.

In the same spirit you can watch movies on cable or over-the-air as the station has paid the distributor for the rights and advertisers will cover the cost (supposedly, I don't believe in television advertising being as effective as the marketers claim in their own self interest). There is a line, however spider-silk thin between borrowing a movie from a friend and passing it around to 100 other friends and those 100 friends downloading the same movie from a potentially paid for source.

(There are also laws against public-distribution and public exhibition of copyright movies, after xx many people you must buy a license and collect money for the distributor, same with pay-per-view events and the like. Potentially stupid as it is.)

Dentists and Doctors, Cab drivers and bars must pay money for licensing to play music in many situations, licensing is a tricky and often unfair issue. I take difference between an experienced DJ playing music at a party when comparison to a professional simply playing what might otherwise be considered elevator music. On the same note, the RIAA and others are trying to collect money for elevator music as well, rolleyes..

If pose the question, why download the game/movie/music if you were not going to buy it?

If it is not worth your money is it worth your time?

It's not the 'stolen material' that's not worth the money, it's a matter of me not wanting to support an artist such as "Evanescence" after they publicly criticized Christianity. This doesn't change the fact that the music is excellent, and I enjoy it. The same argument applies to Windows and Microsoft, however good look arguing that Windows is excellent. ;-)

Etymology: Middle English thiefthe, from Old English thIefth; akin to Old English thEof thief

1 a : the act of stealing; specifically : the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it b : an unlawful taking (as by embezzlement or burglary) of property

I haven't taken or deprived the owner of his work, nor have I deprived him of any money that he would have made off of it.

EDIT: Spelling...

Edited by BrakeDanceJ
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(Sorry if this is getting off-topic)

If you didn't want to support them you would stop listening to their music.

You can still find a comedian funny but not support their political views or their personal choices (ex: Dennis Leary).

In the same way you can still enjoy a bands music while not agreeing with what they (may think) they stand for.

The act of downloading their music would show that you do still support the artists and like their music, you just don't want them to get your money.

It's like eating at a restaurant where you hate the chef but love his food, you still have to pay the bill at the end of the meal.

Do you punish the bus-boy with a low tip when it's not their fault you don't like the chef?

Even telling your friends 'I hate the chef but man do I love the food' is an act of endorsement.

Either come to terms with it and pay the artist, stop listening to them or pirate away but don't lie to yourself as to what you are doing. :P

Edited by jabzor
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(Sorry if this is getting off-topic)

If you didn't want to support them you would stop listening to their music.

You can still find a comedian funny but not support their political views or their personal choices (ex: Dennis Leary).

In the same way you can still enjoy a bands music while not agreeing with what they (may think) they stand for.

The act of downloading their music would show that you do still support the artists and like their music, you just don't want them to get your money.

It's like eating at a restaurant where you hate the chef but love his food, you still have to pay the bill at the end of the meal.

Do you punish the bus-boy with a low tip when it's not their fault you don't like the chef?

Even telling your friends 'I hate the chef but man do I love the food' is an act of endorsement.

Either come to terms with it and pay the artist, stop listening to them or pirate away but don't lie to yourself as to what you are doing. :P

I'm not sure liking the food means supporting the chef, or liking the music means supporting the band. There are plenty of amazing-looking girls that I absolutely hate. Just because I like looking at them doesn't mean I support their shitty attitude, or much less tolerate it for that matter.

I do see where you're coming from though ;-)

Edited by BrakeDanceJ
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But the honest truth is that Piracy has been around as long as there has been content distributed on a medium. Whether or not it's right is purely a moral choice one must decide for one's self whether to be a freeloader or kick back to the artist/publisher/mediahouse.

Being like most semi-moral individuals here, I will pay for software and music *if* it is worth the money. Back in the day, people didn't want to buy a music album because all you would get is the one track you really wanted and 14 others that sucked ass. iTunes and the like changed this.

But by changing it, it also changed the "economics" of the situation. Mom and pop stores that were closing up because big corporation came in and undercut them is now replaced with Mom and Pop *AND* big corporate retailers are closing up because iTunes delivers the music to your desktop now.

The sadness in this is that I no longer have a physical piece of medium that the song came from. Plus I'm stuck with the recording quality of whatever the song was encoded to for play on my iPod. I miss having a stack of CD's or DVD cases to *gloat* with when people stop by. Saying I have it all on the computer is basically saying "I'm a Pirate!" which I would proudly admit to just out of character. :)

Still, since albums are being made for digital distribution (which I endorse) there's no need to do album art or read the lyrics, shouts out to, what drum kit the band uses, etc... But I do need it. I want to know more about the band if I spent money buying their album. Companies like iTunes should ship the physical medium if you buy the album automatically. Instead I have to buy it from two places... iTunes to get it originally and put it on my iPod to bump... Then Amazon just to buy the physical disc which the celophane will only be removed just to check out the album art.

Supporting the companies that make the product is important. It ensures that new material is made and in the case of software, makes sure we (as hackers) have a industry to be part of. But I would agree that changes need to be made for the consumer *and* the artist.

According to the royalties sheet from the music industry, the artist makes 30% if they are the feature artist. Less if you're a backup player on the album. The publisher and label keeps 60%. This is why bands do concert gigs, because they get a larger return on their money and still do what they want to do.

However, giving up our rights to the corporates isn't an answer. Our copyright law is shitty and vague at best. The topic of "Home Recording" has never been fully hashed out and even looking it up on the web doesn't result in much. The industry keeps their position and stance on it... and we do the same.

Don't forget, we have the right under US copyright law to make one copy of the medium for "archival/backup purposes". Seeing as we buy medium that is easily tarnishable, people should keep that in mind when they download a copy of windows if their install medium is damaged. You have the license on the COA sticker. That means you have the right to use the software.

My solution to the entire problem: Do what you do and start new enterprise around the marketplace that is current at the time. Trying to "stomp out" piracy shouldn't involve 14 year old girls on Limewire. Driving piracy to a back alley won't solve anything either as there has always been a black market for goods.

In many cases, without piracy, most of the computer professionals in the world would not have had the skills and knowledge to do their jobs because in many cases, who can afford to lay down thousands of dollars in a sandbox environment just to gain the knowledge necessary to run big IT? Most of the time, even colleges don't teach those sorts of skills. They just assume OJT. I don't think I've ever seen a community college/university teach the inner workings of Exchange Server or Clustering SQL servers to a SAN backend. How does one gain that knowledge initially without having the skills in the first place? Employers want skilled people NOW... not 6 months from now when you learn the package and environment.

But, if a company is built on pirated software and makes at least double the profit of the software package cost they rely on... I think they need to cough up some cash and go "legit".

Finally, much of the medium isn't around anymore. You can't find a place that carries "Scatterbrain's - Don't Call Me Dude" because it's out of print. What is one to do in those situations? What about the C-64/Atari/Apple in the closet? You break it out and all the MECC/Beagle Brothers discs that you once had are no longer readable... There should be shorter term limits on copyright *especially* software like MS-DOS 6.

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I'll chime in with one comment I didn't see posted that angers me to understand why people commit piracy.

Libraries are great for books...and sometimes movies. But not software or music. Personally, I do not condone movie or e-book piracy for that reason. I pay for both when I want/need them and they are not outrageously priced (yet) for what you get.

There are many many times when I may hear ONE SONG from an artist that makes me think..."I wonder what the rest of the music sounds like". But the problem is that if I go to a store and buy it and DO NOT LIKE IT, I cannot fucking return it! I am not naive, I know that they do this because they think people are copying everything and bringing it back. But honestly, are they really doing that when they can download it much easier? I would argue that they are pissing more people like me off when I cannot return a shitty product.

The same holds true for software. If I buy a game or piece of software and it is all buggy, doesn't do what I want or it claimed, or just plain SUCKS I cannot return it. That is ridiculous. Any other product can be returned or comes with a warranty, software shouldn't be any different because someone "might" copy it. I argue that if they are true pirates that they wouldn't copy it, they would download because it is easier and there is little correlation between the two. I saw someone earlier post that there was no excuse for this, but I respectfully disagree. Software is famous for making claims of what it can do, but then it turns out to be false or just misleading and/or inaccurate. If I could return it, I wouldn't ever have any urge to "try it first". But since I cannot do that, I can understand why people want to download it and try it first. This is why I prefer fully functional shareware or demo copies that give me 30-60 days to try it out and decide if I want to buy it. Most software packages do not allow this though. They cripple it or don't make a demo available at all.

The bottom line is that we, as consumers (this is not a hacking issue, it is a consumer issue), are treated guilty instead of innocent when we are not allowed to return software or music. This is wrong. Consumers are empowered now and ironically, it is from using the same strongarm tactics that were used on us for years. They said FUCK YOU to consumers for years and now consumers are saying "no, fuck you" back! Turnabout is fair play.

I buy almost all of my software, music, movies and books. But sometimes, I may sample them first (legally of course). I do not agree with piracy in the true nature of it, but I give my consumers the benefit of the doubt when it comes to my software. This is why I support open source alternative software. Avoid the topic altogether by supporting free, open source alternatives and send a message to the big software giants that we don't have to give in to your bullying bullshit tactics anymore.

And for those that do not know, I am a programmer for a living and I understand completely what I am saying so don't think this is just a kids view.

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Here is an interesting antidote:

If you download an entire season (or even one show) that is aired on public tv (ie: network - not cable tv), why is it illegal in the eyes of the corporation?

To me, that's just timeshifting to a different medium. Sort of like the Betamax argument.

Yet, try finding episodes of letterman, jay leno, snl, etc... that aren't "banned/remove" from YouTube.

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