Pirating (Useless. Was: [RC5] Win32: feature creep

gindrup at okway.okstate.edu gindrup at okway.okstate.edu
Mon Nov 24 12:31:01 EST 1997

     I duplicate a copyrighted book.  Have I stolen something?  Yes, I have 
     stolen the intellectual property of the author and (probably through 
     assignation of right) the publisher.  Have I damaged the information 
     content of the book?  (Probably not, at least not perceptibly)  Have I 
     made it more expensive for the person who actually paid for that book 
     to buy more books?  Yes.
     Some person stated that a software company only loses income from 
     pirating if the pirate would have bought the software.  It is evident 
     that a person is willing to take the means of least cost to acquire 
     something tht they want, especially if they are pirating.  The fact 
     that they are willfully violating social contract indicates that they 
     want the software.  The fact that they are willing to risk prosecution 
     and imprisonment indicates that they want the software rather badly.  
     Thus, the claim that the software company loses no income is based on 
     the fallacious argument that the perceived cost of piracy is the same 
     as the perceived cost of purchase.  Since most people are very 
     short-sighted, the near-term risks of piracy appear less extensive 
     than the near-term costs of purchase.  This, of course, operates under 
     the assumption that the instances of piracy are uncorrelated random 
     variables with respect to prosecution.  As "mega-pirates" will attest, 
     the probability of being prosecuted increases with the number of 
     successful thefts.  Most pirates aren't smart enough to figure this 
     out though and thus operate under the false assumption that the 
     probability of prosecution is always low.
     It is not.
     Thus, these persons are causing the following costs:
     All other persons who purchase the software legitimately must pay more 
     for software because the unit income of software is reduced by piracy. 
     Similarly, good shareware or free software is killed by the difficulty 
     of overcoming this income depletor.  The society at large must waste 
     "anxiety" over these miscreants and violators of law.  And finally, 
     the taxpayes have to give more to the government to seek out and 
     prosecute these offenders.  Since these crimes are so information 
     oriented, the cost of prosecution and investigation is very high.
     Thanks.  I *wanted* higher taxes.  And to think, pirates cause all 
     this wasted utility because of the claim that it is more efficient to 
     pirate than to purchase.  Pirates kill great software, leaving us with 
     the mediocre commercial software that is doggedly monitored for 
     copyright violations.  Thanks.  I really wanted yet another piece of 
     crap software because pirates kept stealing the good software until 
     the producers starved out of the market.
     Software is not free.  It requires the time and energy of dozens of 
     people to make well.  Perhaps pirates have jobs that insulate them 
     from the need to make money from selling software.  If pirates 
     actually want good software, however, they should pay more attention 
     to the requirements of the production of good software.  Successful 
     programs need to be rewarded.  Good ideas need to be rewarded.  
     Improvements need to be rewarded.  Testing and debugging need to be 
     rewarded.  Instead, pirates tell us that we should punish makers of 
     good software, leaving only mediocre software still on the market.
     Thanks.  I really appreciate all you've done to decrease the quality 
     of my life.  Perhaps while you're at it, you could steal my car and 
     kill my family.  I was kind of used to having quality implementations 
     of them.
            -- Eric Gindrup ! gindrup at Okway.okstate.edu

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: RE:Pirating (Useless. Was: [RC5] Win32: feature creep 
Author:  <rc5 at llamas.net > at SMTP
Date:    1997/11/24 12:59

On Mon, 24 Nov 1997, Haberlach, Adam wrote:
> - -----Original Message-----
> From:        lord_buttmonkey at juno.com [SMTP:lord_buttmonkey at juno.com] 
> Sent:        Sunday, November 23, 1997 4:18 AM
> To:        rc5 at llamas.net
> Subject:        Re: [RC5] Win32: feature creep 
> >> I'd gladly pay $500 for MSOffice for Linux. 
> >Wonder why people pirate?  Really, $500 bucks for something 
> people could
> >get from a neighbor for free?
> Sigh...why did I pay $2500 for my laptop when I could have 
> lifted one from the neighbors for free?
> Why did I pay $1000 for my car when I could have lifted one 
> from the neighbors for free?
Well maybe you would have coppied your neighbors laptop/car if you could 
have gottten a copy and your neighbor could keep his copy.  There is a 
difference betwen coping something and stealing it. 
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