View Full Version : Software piracy

08-10-2001, 01:58 PM
Alright, I think I could kick off the great debate forum here...

What's everyone's feelings on software piracy? Sure, it's technically illegal, but it's really difficult for some people (especially younger ones) to afford most software. It's also oh-so-easy to just yank the newest version of whatever off the Internet that it almost seems worthless to try and fight it. Who out there is totally piracy free? Who out there wouldn't pay for software if their lives depended on it?

Another angle on this is the money issue from the corporate side. They all claim to be losing tons and tons of money due to this. Do you think these claims are overblown or legitimate?

08-10-2001, 02:14 PM
I am a teenager and a lot of my friends do this kind of stuff, I know that the claims are probably not all that exagerated. Sometimes I do it too, even..

I believe that piracy without the intention of paying is wrong (heh), and in most cases I eventually buy the product I've pirated. In all the others I've deleted when my conscience starts nagging me. Most of the time it's just to try something out a bit farther because the demo is too short to properly appreciate the product.

I know that software development companies need every penny they get and I also know that when I pirate software I want to use but don't want to pay for that it hurts the companies that make these games. And even if they are very well off, like M$ and Id, I believe it's still wrong to pirate their stuff, to a certain extent. (For instance, I think the prices on M$ products are over the top.. If I have one copy of Windows '98, I think I should be able to install it on two computers in my home. Not that that's any problem for me anymore... all the computers currently have legal copies of Windows on them in the cases where they do use Windows).

For some tools, like 3DS Max and heavy duty rendering software, development tools, etc.. piracy only hurts if they are used by professionals. I don't think it's really wrong if a friend of mine picks up a copy of one of these tools to play around with unless they start making money with it. Still, they're getting free training for nothing with these things... but for the most part my friends don't get very far with them anyway ;)

Some things that are considered piracy are also pretty ridiculous. Why are NES roms illegal? That's the stupidest thing on earth.. For me, the line is between Abandonware and Warez.

whew, that was pretty long winded ;)

08-10-2001, 02:46 PM
I do it sometimes too, as well. I understand everyone's side. On one hand we have LilCompany.com who's made one program that you need to use a bit farther than the demo will allow you, so you find a crack for it and forget about it. On the other hand, poor LilCompany.com just lost 19~30 dollars, and will probably go bankrupt anyway (which could be another argument for warez-ers).

So what're you gonna do? let's give you an example of something I'm havin to deal with:

Am I gonna pay 19~30 bucks on a program to undelete my bro's MP3's (which I 'accidentally' deleted) Hell no! I'm gonna play around with warez until I find what I want (which I haven't found yet...)

08-10-2001, 03:06 PM
while it may seem like lilcompany.com will die even if you pay for the product, it may not be the case.

check out http://www.spidweb.com.

they sell small but excellent rpgs to a particular niche market. if you take a quick look at what they do you'll think that there's no way that guy is depending on this stuff for a living.

but he does. he makes a comfortable living by creating small shareware rpgs with tile & turn based engines and huge worlds w/ many subquests and storylines. I once saw once of his games, "Exile III" for d/l at a warez site. I didn't take it, I felt that no matter how much the odds were against him I shouldn't.

A couple of years later now I've bought that game along with another, and they have provided me with great gameplay at a pretty low price. I'm proud to say that I've helped support the little guys..


Ken, as for little utilities like that, rather than go through the warez you should try sourceforge and all of the open source web sites. There are tons of free open source utilities that handle fs work, dev, just about anything. You don't need to pay, and you don't need to pirate.

08-10-2001, 03:26 PM
Eh, I gave up on piratign for it, actually. I tried looking through ZDNET and WinSite and all and all I found were things like "Can only recover files up to 10kb" or "Cannot save file" demo programs...I'll try sourceforge, I guess...

08-10-2001, 03:33 PM
I pirated paint shop pro 6 for a while.. once i started to program i realized how complex that program truly was. I hate to see how so many warez people are also "programmers" i don't think that if you don't have enough respect for a fellow programmer then you have been ousted from the club. I also blame microsoft for pricing Visual C++ so high. (talk about discouraging competition, how would i compete with you if i can't afford a compiler ;) ) Borland has tons of full version compilers available for 0$-70$. Microsoft charges 110 for a lame VC++ missing tons of features and ANSI standardization. Bleh!

by the way, i'm 14 so i see warez deals a lot at school and stuff, it's insane how many people (teachers included) are willing to rip someone off.

08-10-2001, 08:58 PM
Heh. Ggs, I'm a proud owner of a registered copy of Exile I.

I'm against pirating but for abandonware.

08-10-2001, 10:00 PM
i haven't played any exile in a while, i almost forgot about them.. i don't even think i've played 3.

08-10-2001, 11:29 PM
The company i work estimates they loose $1-$5 million a year from piracy (in the enterprise space) so yes it does have an impact. Even though the majority of our software goes to big businesses. Im sure consumer software providers take a much bigger hit.....

(We had revenues of $290 million+ last year.)

08-10-2001, 11:38 PM
piracy is best used when jerky companies don't put out demos of there product when its $900,000,000 for the full version AND NO REFUNDS!! F THAT im not gonna pay that much for a product i can't even try and then if i don't like it can't get my money back... if ya like it then buy it...

08-10-2001, 11:40 PM
that last post was mine BTW just got loged out for no reason...

08-11-2001, 12:48 AM
I was thinking I've never pirated but then I realized the
first software I used was shared (pirated).

11-24-2001, 09:44 PM
Here in Colombia, it's tough to find a computer with only legal software!

for example, a friend of mine has

Windows XP pro
Windows 2000 pro
Windows 2000 Advanced Server
Windows NT Server
Windows 98 SE
SCO Unix
Microsoft Visual Studio 6 Enterprise edition
Microsoft Visual J++ 6
Microsoft MSDN library from Aug 1999 to October 2001
Microsoft Office 2000 Deluxe edition
and lots of games...

all pirated!, well, this is the extreme, but most computers (specially personal ones) have only pirated software, that's because you can find any program for $10000, $15000 or $20000, $30000 in some extreme cases (that's Colombian Pesos and it translates to: U$4.25 , U$6.40 , U$8.50 , U$12.75), and I mean ANY software that exists...

As for myself, I prefer to buy software worthy of being bought, such as most games.


11-25-2001, 12:05 AM
Piracy. Interesting thought.

Well, I like to think of it this way. You can get it through piracy, but if you every make a multi-billion dollar piece of software with it, BUY A FREAKIN LICENSE.

11-25-2001, 01:47 AM
I buy my games.

I am borrowing Photoshop 4 and Flash 4. I just don't understand why they don't give it away when they have upgraded so much. Or at least make it really cheap for licensed copies. I would pay ten bucks for Photoshop 4 because they are at 6 now, right.

I don't know. If I owned a company that relied on it, I would purchase everything. There is a distinct learning curve to these programs, though, and I feel it is ridiculous to keep poor people out of the loop of learning because the software is highly priced.

I use borland's free compiler just the same, and have a licensed copy of VB 6.

So I believe in a little piracy for learning only, but for actual developing and/or making money... buy the product.

11-25-2001, 10:59 AM
I buy all my software. I don't trust pirate copies unless it's me who's done the copying!:p ;)

11-25-2001, 11:43 AM
Exile,Exile2 and Exile3 are all excellent games. I have registered copies of all three on an old 486 machine.I keep meaning to copy them over to my athlon and never get round to it. Anyone remember the test of mind or the halls of chaos ?
They might not be graphically great but the gameplay is superb. I have spent many 18-20 hour sessions on the exile games.lol.

11-25-2001, 12:40 PM
im like oskillian
in india too its hard to find home users that do not run pirated software
i use
win2000 prof
office XP
ageof emp

all of thge above and many more are pirated

i am in principle againt it but as a student i simply cannot afford any of the legal stuff

and converted to Rs its impossible
just imagine
$1 = Rs 50

Rs 50 could buy me a huge meal here

so software selling at $50 costs me Rs2500

and pirated costs me Rs60 if i buy it at all sometimes i just get a cd for trial and burn it on my own and return the trial cd free

even the pirates give me free trials
wonder if micro$oft is on this board
coz if it is
i should expect the police to knock on my door tommorrow

i also use linux for a lot of my progging so atleast that is legal

11-25-2001, 08:40 PM
We build R&D apps.

Had to pay for 20+ Win98 lic for computers that no one will ever look at (they don't have monitors let alone mouse/KB). They are just there to number crunch while we code the DSP's.

As for our stuff, we logon with your MAC adress, IP and serial (all encrypted). If you vist we will find you. Lots of work to protect our code/server.

These are also BIG costs to the small player even if nothing gets stolen.

PS At home most of my stuff is on 'loan' though.

11-25-2001, 08:46 PM
I'm just curious...But instead of piracy, does anyone here just wait 2 years for the software to become obsolete, then get it? LoL, kind of stupid idea...I know.

11-26-2001, 12:34 AM
The list of all the pirated software I have can go on and on, but if you wanna know what it looks like, goto

Games (This one is the BIG list):



Home and Reference:

Children and Educational:


Business and productivity:

Programming (I don't know the difference between this one and "Development"

Operating Systems:

Web and communications:

these sites are like a persian market of pirated software (they're in spanish though, but just go there and see the titles and the prices)

this place is like ebay, only that it's for latin america. This is Colombia's section, look at what you can find in here.

note that 1 US dollar equals $2300 colombian pesos, and that the acquisitive power in the US is greater than in Colombia (this makes all this software EVEN cheaper)


11-26-2001, 01:48 AM
The thing about software piracy is that we all know it's stealing. It is, and you know it! But we all try to excuse it in some way, because we all (well most of us) do it/have done it.

I think this happens because it's practically impossible to get caught.

It's wrong. It's illegal. It's inmoral.

But hey! I'm gonna keep up doing it! I have a selective conscience.

I'm a worthless piece of ****.

Oh well...


Justin W
11-26-2001, 02:10 AM
I don't have, nor have had pirated software. I personally also believe it is stealing, therefore it is wrong. Some people don't think stealing is wrong... but it is amazing how many people who wouldn't dream of swiping a penny from a tip jar, have no qualms about pirating software. I think it is because, in a sense, it is invisible. It isn't tangible enough for humans to consider it worth anything.. unless they're the ones who coded it, of course. ;)

Anyway, there is so much free software out there, why pirate? I can't think of anything that I can't do with freeware now-a-days. (Yes, even ample clone and unique games.)

11-26-2001, 02:25 AM
>>>I can't think of anything that I can't do with freeware now-a-days.

Make a Macromedia Flash file... or hell... even learn how to use Macromedia Flash.

I use a free compiler... but I wish I had the money to learn how to use a professional VC compiler. I do not right now... so I guess that means I should not learn how to use VC. Hell... if nobody learns how to do it because the software is out of reach, then we all can just close up shop and forget about the computer industry.

All and all, I agree with you Justin. It is stealing because it isn't given away, and that is the only reason why it is stealing.

I wonder tho how many computer literate people we would have in the industry if people didn't borrow programs.

I own WIN98. It came with my computer. Would you hire me (a poor man) with that knowlege only, over a rich man that has WINNT, WIN2000, etc etc experience? If you would... well know that most people wouldn't. I know a lot about computers due to the opportunity to mess with them.

I like to think that I will be helping the industry, and that I will be contributing in some way.

I have developed nothing other than my own knowlege with piracy, and I have shared that knowlege of computers through tutoring children without pay. Perhaps someday your children will learn something from me for free.

My point.... everything isn't so damn clear-cut. Information and software sharing has made the industry what it is today. I am sorry you feel otherwise.

(From now on everybody has to pay my mother to look at me, hear me speak, or read what I write. So all of you that read this owe my mom $40 dollars... so pay up. She didn't do all that work for you to get a free ride from my ideas and words.)

11-26-2001, 02:45 AM
So this brings me to even more....

If you smell perfume in a store and enjoy it... is it stealing?

If you look at the inside of a magazine or read a passage from a book and place it back on the rack... is it stealing?

If art is generally for visual enjoyment and you enjoy it without buying... have you stolen something?

If you learn something from a teacher on the street, should you have to pay him/her?

If you use a piece of software to learn from it, and then delete it from your hard-disk and buy a copy when you are ready to produce.... should it be considered stealing?

IMO, all of those are NO.

11-26-2001, 04:58 AM
When you put it like that i have to agree with you.

But the thing is not all pirating is about developing tools. In fact i'd guess most of it isn't.

I'd say most of it is games. A game is about fun. Your logic doesn't really apply to games. You don't pirate them to learn how to play/have fun, then delete them and buy them.

On respect to developing tools i agree with you; but still there are so many free/OS developing tools out there, that your argument loses alot, that's MHO.


11-26-2001, 10:58 AM
i think commercial software is highly overpriced
and big software companies use the piracy figures as an excuse to hiking that price even higher

11-26-2001, 12:16 PM
>>>but still there are so many free/OS developing tools out there

I agree... like I said, I use Borland's free compiler and make all kinds of little programs. (Also in an earlier post... I buy *all* my games to support game developers--except the ones that are free of course like DOS games, etc.) Major companies use MSVC++ or Borland VC++.

So to some extent I am at a loss for not knowing how to manipulate those programs. I wouldn't feel as comfortable with them as others may.

Granted I could learn on the job if I got the job.

I guess it all really doesn't matter. Piracy exists to different degrees.... and it probably always will. So the points on both sides are mute.

"Developers, developers, developers, developers." --All hail the ideals of an evil empire. Free the world.

11-26-2001, 10:55 PM
I have a question. On Half-Life, the CD can be installed and it does not require the CD to play. When the CD key is checked, and they find that two people have the same CD key, then all they do is not let you join. If they were really against it, shouldn't they do more? So...My question is, is using the same Half-life CD on 2 different computers concidered piracy?

11-26-2001, 11:08 PM
If you ask the software companies (or the law for that matter), using one CD on two computers, even with the exact same user would still be considered stealing. This is kind of stupid if you think about it. When you buy a couch, the furniture dealer doesnt tell you that you aren't allowed to move that couch out of your living room and into another room, do they? That you are only allowed to sit on that couch the room you origionally put it in?

Technically you could uninstall your program, take the CD upstairs (or wherever your other computer happens to be), install it on that computer and play away... Or you could just leave it on both. Thats the convenience of software. Whats the difference?

I've been guilty of pirating games amongst friends in my younger years. I have however always bought application software... Might seem backwards but i just realized that thats how i've done it. For the past several years however, I have bought any games i'm interesting in.

It would be kind of self-defeating to be stealing the same product that you're producing...

Justin W
11-28-2001, 02:11 AM
Make a Macromedia Flash file...

From a very quick search on zdnet, in no particular order, all 100% free and excluding all shareware (I haven't read any of this so some of it is bound to not be helpful):





Don't forget to search here:

Try rewording the search and use different search engines like google, simtel.net, and sourceforge.

And hey, if you can save up enough for a book that comes with software, it is amazing what kind of deals you can get. Plus you get the book, which you can learn from, instead of just blindly learning it on your own. I would hire someone who learned this way before I would someone who learned by the software alone, legal or not.

As for the how-tos, there have got to be a billion tutorials, walk thrus and general documentation. I won't bother.

*drum roll* I am not rich. In fact, I have been in serious debt. There was a time when that used $15 book with Borland's compiler and IDE seemed like a miracle. You can't afford that? OK, use Dev-C++ for now to get use to a Windows "visual" development studio. Take my word for it that you can easily move from one to another. Use Linux. Free and has plenty of tools that look just like MSV Studio.

Would stealing a book for knowledge be wrong? What's the difference? Are you so poor you can't afford a book? How are you on the Internet? You can't learn 100 things at once, so pace yourself. It will help you financially and you will learn more.

The law states that you can have a backup of your software. You can't use it on two computers because that is two instances of that software. You wouldn't steal an extra couch because you already bought one, and it would be convenient for you to sit in two different places, would you? It is easy to steal software, therefore it is OK. The rules on software are easier than that of couches. You can keep it on both computers if one of the versions is an archive at any given time. That is to say, you don't use both at once.

Why can't things be "black" and "white"? Why can't you do anything "black"? If you think stealing is immoral, but you do steal software, why is it hard to say that it is immoral, but you do it? Often an example of "not black and white" is included with a ridiculous generalization. Specific things are black and white, the way I see it. That's my belief. Others don't believe in a distinction at all.

I'm not condemning anyone. I think this is an interesting topic. I hope no one gets mad to hear another point of view. ;)


EDIT: About some software not being free. You can't get some tools free. You can get equivalent tools free. Windows vs Linux. Flash vs ActiveX or C# or Java (or in many cases even Java script). If I make a car, do I have a right to sell it, even though other cars being given away? If no one buys it, does the customer get hurt or me? Why am I evil because I charge for my own product which took a lot of work to make? So I think it is worth more than it is. So what?

rick barclay
11-28-2001, 07:31 AM
It's opportunity that makes a thief, not necessarily immorality.

rick barclay

Justin W
11-28-2001, 01:37 PM
I agree completely. And what is easier to steal than software?

rick barclay
11-28-2001, 03:35 PM
Nothing that I know of, that's for sure.

(poor) rick barclay

12-02-2001, 08:28 AM
My opinion about software piracy is that without piracy the users will never be able to learn programs, like C or C++, beacuse they are just too expensive.

Justin W
12-02-2001, 03:37 PM
C and C++ probably have the most free resources out there. You're on the Internet, why don't you just use these (often superior) tools (and texts)?

12-02-2001, 03:43 PM
Justin W:

You're right, ok, I gave a bad example.

My point is that with software piracy we wouldn't be as far in the development as we are right now.

Justin W
12-03-2001, 12:28 AM
Well, I don't follow that, but I suppose we can agree to disagree. ;)