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Topic: Software Piracy To Get Worse

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Software Piracy To Get Worse

    According to a study done by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), software piracy will continue to get worse as the Internet grows. Worldwide revenue loss due to software piracy was estimated at $33 billion for 2004 with about 1/3 of the software used being illegal. But within five years, that number could boom to two-thirds, with the value of pirated software nearing US$200 billion.

    Countries with the highest piracy rates were Vietnam, Ukraine, China, Zimbabwe and Indonesia while United States, New Zealand, Austria, Sweden and the United Kingdom had the lowest."

    This most likely will affect sample developers as well.

    So far it seems that the dongles have been successful in halting piracy. I wonder what other methods are being devised.

    Anyone have any thoughts on how to stem the rise of piracy?

    Gary Garritan

  2. #2
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Re: Software Piracy To Get Worse

    More importantly, how do you stop sample piracy?

  3. #3

    Re: Software Piracy To Get Worse

    The best anti-piracy measures:

    1. Superior manuals
    2. Free tech support for registered users
    3. Timely patches and fixes for registered users
    4. A purty box

    I always pay for my software (at least for the past 10 years or so). I guess I'm just a good boy. I don't put up with dongles, though. That's just annoying.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  4. #4

    Re: Software Piracy To Get Worse

    On news of this I'm sure a method is being devised so that genetic fingerprinting is required to start Cubase SX 4.0.

    There is no reasonable way to curb it. Other than a fundemental redesign of the human being. I don't see that happening any time soon. I also fear that people put too much faith in 'lost revenue' estimates, when these people aren't exactly potential customers at any rate. It makes the problem look worse than it really is. Not that it isn't a problem. It is. I don't deny that. However there are a lot of these people who would NEVER have any intention on owning your software/sounds and only download it because they can. That's a fact and there's no denying it no matter how much you try. And smarter protection only breeds smarter criminals. I think they're smart enough already and maybe we should leave well enough alone.

    One option is to present affordable software solutions that curb piracy by being too good a value to bother with it.

    Another is to require me to scan my retina before starting my nice shiny new software.

    Stop the online avenues through which the software is channeled.

    Persecute the offenders, not the innocent.

    At any rate, I'm sure knee jerk reactions will ensue and will result in a more difficult position for legitimate software purchasers, a rise in open source or reasonably priced lightly protected software which depending on who you ask are better or worse than the highly protected 'pro' counterparts, and price spikes from the 'pro' companies to make back lost revenue from piracy.

  5. #5
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Re: Software Piracy To Get Worse

    Don't mind dongles. But I suppose if every software package had one I'd go crazy. Maybe restricting installation w/ reference counters and a web site, such as apples ipod app? Also tying patch updates to only valid registered users? Maybe also adding hw signature restriction?

    But I'm also a strong fan of open source development.

    Still don't know an effective way of stopping sample piracy, unless they are encapsulated or encryted via an app? Watermarks are too late.

  6. #6

    Wink Re: Software Piracy To Get Worse

    I think customer support is the best thing you can do.
    The better is the support, update and so on you give the more people are incouraged to buy your product instead of staying in the dark with a pirated version.
    Software, hardware keys can't be the solution because it's always possible to find a way to "crack" them.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Re: Software Piracy To Get Worse

    Arrrrrrr make em walk the plank I say!

  8. #8

    Re: Software Piracy To Get Worse

    Quote Originally Posted by Skysaw
    I always pay for my software (at least for the past 10 years or so). I guess I'm just a good boy. I don't put up with dongles, though. That's just annoying.
    Having just migrated to a new DAW, I've changed my position on dongels. All the dongle based programs were up and running right away. On the other hand the challange/response protection schemes were a real pain. Took hours and hours to get new responses and I still have one plugin where the vendor hasn't even acknowledged my request (thankfully it is rarely used).

    The bigest downside I see to dongles is that they can be damaged. I've minimizeed that by getting a USB extension cable and putting the dongle in a safe location.

  9. #9

    Re: Software Piracy To Get Worse

    There is this one search thing that I really don't know what it's called or what, but I did a search on Sonar, and there was Sonar Producer Edition right there for me to download. Of course I didn't, but I found that very disturbing. You wouldn't be able to register it or get tech support or anything, but it was still kinda scary.

    Scary things out there..........


  10. #10

    Re: Software Piracy To Get Worse


    Well I agree with Joseph on many points. I think in some ways the numbers are not a true indicator of lost revenue. Just because some 16 year old is using GOS that he downloaded somewhere doesn't mean he would have been able to buy it. I also think its still a problem, but I just think people get a little worked up over the amount of pirated copies of their product being circulated around, thinking they just got robbed for millions (or billions) of dollars.

    I think in some ways it does devalue the software when those 16 year olds or perhaps people in 3rd world countries that would probably never be able to afford it in this lifetime get the pirated versions. Then those of us that spent our hard earned dollars on it no longer have something quite as unique and special as if those other people were simply not able to get it. But on the other hand..the piracy does spread the product around, gaining recognition, power users, etc.. But.. some of that piracy truly *IS* lost revenue.

    Its interesting that this study did mention countries such as China, Thailand, etc, where piracy is totally out of control. You can walk into any old Mall in Manila or Bangkok and buy nearly any software title you can possibly imagine for less than $5 bucks. Not kidding. But again, most of those people would probably never afford the cost of most of this software starting with MS WinXP. Yes, they are becoming computer-savvy, technology-savvy..using stolen software. But No, I don't think they are really representing lost revenue on an individual basis of any significant amount. Perhaps each country, taken as a whole might generate a bit more if the people couldn't pirate, or perhaps the people would simply not use computers and go back to strumming the old geeeeetar instead.

    (There is another argument which can be made that they are steealing our software and using it to train themselves to steal our jobs, but that's another topic.)

    Regarding dongles, keys, protection methods, etc.. I think the best way to protect samples is to put software around it so that the samples can't be loaded without the software, just like GPO. I think NI is on the right track with that model. Regarding dongles..I hate them. Period. If I was using a product and they introduced dongles, and if there was another similar product without a dongle I would switch to the one without a dongle without any doubt in my mind.

    Again, I get back to what Joseph was saying. Is the problem really so drastic that using dongles is going to generate more income? It will slow down piracy, but I tend to argue that a huge percentage of piracy is from people that would never buy it anyway. A few cases would be people who WOULD be willing to buy it...and that would generate some new revenue...but at a cost of annoying some of the loyal user base..perhaps even scaring them away. And another unquantifiable benefit of piracy is the free-marketing that it produces and the general momentum that is created from people stealing it, using it and telling all their friends.

    Anyway, its a dicey issue I know. Everyone should pay for their stuff. I wish I could think of a way to stop it without causing grief to the rest of us, but I can't.
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

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