Software Piracy Stagnates Economy?
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  1. #1
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
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    Software Piracy Stagnates Economy?

    There is an article on SecurityFocus from The Register discussing that if software piracy could be cut or stopped it would jumpstart the sluggish global economy.

    IDC analysts estimate that reducing this figure to a third (30 per cent) could lead to the creation of 1.5 million new jobs, increase economic growth by $400bn and generate $64bn in new taxes.

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    I am sure that if piracy were cut there would be an increase in spending, but statistics have a habit of serving their master and representing what the authors want them to.

    When I have used "pirated" software it has almost always been to dabble with some technology that I wouldn't otherwise get to play with. For instance, if I download and install a pirated Microsoft Exchange I get to familiarize myself with the software and become proficient in configuring and administering it.

    If I was somehow blocked from getting a pirated copy it does not mean that it would spur the economy. I just wouldn't use it. I have no real need for Exchange and can't afford to buy Exchange for my little 3 computer home network. In my opinion, piracy in this form actually helps the industry because it makes me into a product evangelist and gives me the skills needed to administer this in the real world.

    For most instances, there are time-lapsed trial versions so you don't need a "pirate" copy, but my point is that many people who are using pirated software would not run out and buy a legitimate version if they couldn't get the pirated copy. They would either do without or find some other freeware / public domain alternative.

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    I agree, the people that usually actually buy the really expensive software are companys. And people that usually take it for free are home users who have no use for the stuff in the first place. That's what I'm thinking.

    That's for really expensive software though. Stuff like games which cost from $40$ to $100$ are used mostly in homes and things I can see dragging down the gaming world. BUT when you live in a glass house, you shouldn't throw stones. I steal games. Maybe I don't have a conciounse.

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    Allways note where studies come from. This one is from the BSA, and stopeing piracy will surely help there economy...so gettign goverments to support them is the main goal here.

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    Top Gun Maverick811's Avatar
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    Sorry, but I can't see how software piracy could be dragging the economy down. Yea, sure, when a piece of software is pirated, tax revenues are not generated on that sale. But, it can't be stated that stopping or reducing piracy will stimulate the economy. For the most part, I don't even see it affecting the economy - think about it, if you are one who pirates software, you are looking for a free way to get the software. If you are forced to buy the software outright (IF piracy was reduced or eliminated), are you really going to buy that software now?

    tonybradley said:
    For most instances, there are time-lapsed trial versions so you don't need a "pirate" copy, but my point is that many people who are using pirated software would not run out and buy a legitimate version if they couldn't get the pirated copy. They would either do without or find some other freeware / public domain alternative.
    That is exactly what I'm saying. People who pirated the software are more than likely not going to go buy it. If you don't buy the software in the first place, there's no way that tax dollars will be generated from that sale. That's why it would have minimal impact on the economy...

    Above all of this though is that fact that software piracy is, at the end of the day, wrong and illegal. While the only code that I write is for personal use and for some applications at work, I wouldn't want my code that I created to be distributed freely without my consent. This goes for productivity software, games, etc. If it's pirated, it's wrong.

    Yes, pirating software is a well known, widespread issue - can it be completely stopped? Probably not.. Can it's stoppage or reduction help to stimulate the economy? Probably not..

    My two cents...
    - Maverick

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    From the analysis of the report I read it was inherently flawed. The countries with the highest piracy rate also had the most restrictive governments and where the most likely to be in a civil war. Both of these factors probably held the economy down more then piracy. I think the rampant piracy was due to the bad economies and rampant corruption in these countries not the other way around.

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    Yeah, this is totally crap, just some PR agency being creative with statistics. You guys have already proved them incorrect, your creativity has already explained why piracy actually improves the economy:
    In my opinion, piracy in this form actually helps the industry because it makes me into a product evangelist and gives me the skills needed to administer this in the real world.
    May not be correct that either, but it's just as good an argument as IDC's. And the numbers they come up with, creation of 1.5 billion new jobs etc., how can they know that? It's completely hypotetical, because noone can really know what things would be like in an imaginary world. And they are really being generous talking about creating all those new jobs. I have a feeling that the only people benefiting from less piracy is the big fat CEOs and the shareholders. And shouldn't software prices drop if you had less piracy? Well, in the perfect world they would, but you can't really know with these guys...
    ---
    proactive

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    When I've experimented with pirated software, all it did for me is give me skills that I can apply to my work. This saves me the cost of buying the software in the first place, it allows me to make money off the new skills that I learn and the end result is my spending the money I maid (stimulating the economy). So, I would have to say that it's not hurting the economy one bit. Our economy is not dependant on the sale of software in the first place. The only economy affected by the loss of software sales is that of the money hungry corporate machine (ie Microsoft). These companies have big pockets in the first place. If most companies created a plan that would make their software more affordable for people who don't have the financial means, but have the need, I'm sure that there would be a decline in piracy. But think about this for one second, if you buy MS XP, the cost is like $200 plus dollars and for what, a 15 cent cd disc that was cheaply replicated in some poor country where the labor is dirt cheap and people make less than the cost of a happy meal in a week. I think that the piracy is the balance that's missing from the lack of decency and over priced products that these green-eyed companies produce.



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    Senior Member The Old Man's Avatar
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    methinks bbalard hit the nail on the head: Think outside the box for a minute; if it sounds like b.s., looks like b.s. and smells like b.s., then it's probably b.s. There is an old saying; "figures lie and liars figure". Most of you have used logic in figuring the falacy of this report, even though you might try out some program you'd never buy if you had to, you can see there was probably not much "revenue" lost, even though you knew the so-called piracy statutes may have been broken. You still doubt the accuracy of the wild claims of new jobs and multiple tens of billions involved annually. However, that said, you have to understand that "57 countries" probably make up a majority of the U.N., which can make it's own laws. Recently the music gurus hit a U.S. college for enough to buy out Bill Gates. They were doing the same thing most colleges probably do; share music among themselves. You probably heard about that. If the U.N. can do the same thing to everyone on the planet, they'd jumpstart their finances alright, however it would not be new money it would be from the pockets of three hundred-million little guys who can't prove they bought some program that's on their box. How many of you bought a program, made an archive copy of it, then at some future point the original went crap, you used it for a frizzbee and you had to load from the archive? Still got your receipt? Still got the original package? We could beat this to death, but you get the idea. Unless the existing laws have changed, a company can go grab a Marshall and make him accompany them to search your house if they think you have a pirated copy of their product. The bottom line is, if "the report" can get cash signs flashing in the eyeballs of those who make laws so they can get more cash, you can bet they will. Just MHO. Of course, i'm real suspicious, or so i've been told.

  9. #9
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
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    Like I said in the original post:

    statistics have a habit of serving their master and representing what the authors want them to.
    Its all in the questions. The results are spun or pre-determined based on what the question is and the people asking the question word it to favor themselves.

    The polls in the United States for the war with Iraq were like that. The news would show polls and say that 78% of Americans are in favor of attacking Iraq to disarm them. What they wouldn't say is that the poll question was something like "If the U.N. inspection team finds undeniable proof of chemical or biological weapons would you be in favor of the U.S. attacking Iraq to disarm them?" or "If the U.N. Security Council approves the use of force would you be in favor of the United States joining a multi-national force to disarm Iraq?" or something like that. They just cut out the conditional part of the question when they post the results and say that 78% of Americans are in favor.

    If they would have said "If the U.N. inspection team finds no proof of weapons of mass destruction and the U.N. Security Council does not support the use of force do you believe the United States should act unilaterally and attack Iraq regardless of world sentiment?" they might have gotten a different response.

    Science experiments are often pre-determined in a similar way as well. If you believe that mixing Coca Cola and mayonaise will create a strong adhesive you can set up an experiment. Your experiment will be designed from the start to prove one thing- the mixture does form a strong adhesive or the mixtures does not form a strong adhesive.

    The problem is that based on the experiment you don't know what else you may have proven or created. Perhaps the mixture fails as an adhesive so you throw it all away. But, maybe the mixture cures cancer or makes a fabulous floor polish. You don't know because it doesn't fit your original question. Your experiment was only designed to prove or disprove your question and not the hundreds or thousands of other questions the experiment might answer.

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