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Topic: From Russia---interesting cultural difference re: software

  1. #1

    From Russia---interesting cultural difference re: software


    Olga, my translator, me and Anya, my show's organizer
    in the cottage where I'm staying
    on the grounds of the Stas Namin Centre, Moscow
    where "Dorian" is being produced
    It's been a whirlwind! I just finished my second day of meeting many people, casting the principals singers, and working constantly with Olga, pictured above. Very bright young new grad student who has a very large English vocabulary. Anya also speaks English well. Most everyone else does not - It's kind of fun to feel like the strange foreigner, rather than the other way around. I just smile like the village idiot while the constant and rapid conversations swirl around me.

    Wonderful people. So full of life, Laughter all the time, conversations so animated they sound like they might be arguments, when they're not--it's PASsion! Good red-blooded Russian passion which is going to put the wind in "Dorian's" sails.

    Not to speak badly about my warm, friendly hosts, but I had a conversation today with Olga that surprised me. Somehow the subject of software came up. I had said that it's not uncommon for a program to cost $500. And she said "That is so crazy! Nobody buys like that here. We get for 3 dollars, we get keys from the Internet. Much too much otherwise." I laughed and said--um, yeeeeah, that's a big reason the rest of us pay so much!

    I don't know if she was exaggerating, probably. I can't imagine businesses aren't using authentic programs, but she's a university aged young lady who knows at least what her friends do, what she does. She claimed to not know anyone using an authentic copy of Windows, for instance.

    IInnnnnteresting. - We can be disapproving, but it goes to show you that people can think very differently about many things in other countries.

    Ah--I should have grabbed my blog's URL again--It's on the last post I put up, with the interview. I'm blogging through our local paper. I'll add it here again later.

    Long day! Jet lag finally caught up with me--not so great feeling today, but I'll recover--Start rehearsals tomorrow!

    Randy B.

  2. #2

    Re: From Russia---interesting cultural difference re: software

    welcome to this side of Europe!

    Greece is very similar to this actually. Nobody seems to buy software and even deep pros have cracked stuff! I have friends who keep asking me for my sample libraries and the only excuse I have (thank God for that), is that mine are legally bought and registered, thus they wouldn't work in another computer.

    But, economic situation is quite awful in some places. Even if Greece the basic sallary is around 700 euros (less than $1000), which is quite low in all honesty. Stuff in super markets cost the same as in the UK (where sallaries are sky rocketing in all honesty, compared to Greek ones), and the whole thing crumbles.

    No matter if you grab it on your own, from the Internet, or get it in a DVD from someone who does this for a living, it doesn't make much of a difference. It's software, it's not stealing (no matter what anyone here says. I'm talking about what pirates claim), and there's no harm done. It's only 1. 1 country maybe. Some millions of people.

    It is a real shame that even GPO, at $199, is probably a steep too much for any Indian or Pakistani who has a monthly salary of $15 or so! You cannot expect these people to save for 6 years in order to get GPO, or any other program.

    So what? They shouldn't get it then! (which is my reply to all pirates over here who have enough money for coffee breaks daily and 2 packs of cigarets ).

    But maybe there should be some kind of balanced? What if GPO was being sold $50, instead of $199 in developing countries, or Eastern Europe ones, etc? This would create new revenues? Or would this create the opportunity for people (like me for example), who live in London (no longer, but anyways), but have connections all around Easter Europe, and they could "steal" away their legal, now, copy?

    It seems unsolvable I think!

  3. #3

    Re: From Russia---interesting cultural difference re: software

    Quote Originally Posted by nikolas View Post
    Nobody seems to buy software and even deep pros have cracked stuff!
    Same thing here in Slovenia - actually I believe the mentality that all software should be free is really slow to die in Eastern European (especially ex-communist) countries. People proudly say they use cracked software all the time. I'll write some longer post on that theme when I feel talkative (now in my case, that's extremely rare )

    anyways Randy, big congrats once again on you conquering Mother Russia!

  4. #4

    Re: From Russia---interesting cultural difference re: software

    It is good to understand that there are some cultural differences at work here and to avoid being judgemental. One of the prime tenets of Communism is that intellectual property belongs to the state and thereby to the people. And so the nature of software ownership or even paying for a license to use it is as foreign as the idea of land ownership is to many indigenous people.

    This is no ways to say that I condone communism or piracy!

    The company for which I work is called Altium and we develop software for electronic design engineers. People use our software to design all sorts of electronic products, ranging from guided nuclear missiles to MRI scanners. NASA are currently designing their next generation space suits using it. The software sells for approximately $12,000 per seat and worldwide there are around 25,000 legitimate customers using fairly current versions. In China there are around 300,000 users who have not paid for it. As China moves from a "made in China" paradigm to a "Designed in China" one, we are moving to educate the people that it is not acceptable to use the software without paying for it.

    But there is a difference between what the corporations and government departments can pay and what the "little people" can afford. And that needs to be recognised one way or another by software vendors.

    As a side note, the price of everything from America has gone up here in Australia by 30+% in the past few months. And from Japan, more than 50%. It has made it harder to justify the purchase of various nice-to-have software components. I am just glad I took advantage of the Go-Round to purchase most of the Garritan products while the Australian dollar was a lot stronger. Pity I didn't pre-order the Steinway!

  5. #5

    Re: From Russia---interesting cultural difference re: software

    In this pos-modern times to be not honest sometimes is called "cultural diffrences".
    I live in Argentina, and the situation is not diffrent from what Randy described, even from the last years, big companyes are changing this situation, debt to some kind of pressure from software companyes.
    Most people i know dont buy software. But, ALL THEM know they are doing wrong. But they dont care because this and that, and finally no one goes to prison because that.
    A pitty, because what you teach your kids. Even, schools that pretends to teach about what is wrong and good, use pirated software (good someones are going to the free software).
    I have heard all kinds of arguments about why to use pirated software, from blames to Microsoft to Sociological analyzis and blah, blah.
    But still the right thing is the right thing. Some people of the ones that lives in that "cultural diffrent" countryes think like that. Me too. And if you want to do the right thing, there are lot of cheap/free options. And if something is very good to buy, so, make the effort and buy it.
    Marcelo Colina

  6. #6

    Re: From Russia---interesting cultural difference re: software

    This is one of the biggest problems we have in the "global world".

    Why I ern 5000 Euros p. month for the same work what another one is also doing for only 500 Euros +/- ?

    Well, I have to pay 700 Euros for the monthly house rent, he has only to pay 70 Euros e.t.c. .

    I think only a One World Government can fix this problems, but we are still far far away from this... .

    Equal Opportunities for All!

    Randy, thanks for bringing out this theme here and, my friend: Good luck in Russia!

    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  7. #7

    Re: From Russia---interesting cultural difference re: software

    First of all, let me say that I love Russians. But there's an aspect to their personalities that constantly surprises me: Otherwise kind, honest, considerate Russians tend to 'bend' rules all the time. I attribute this to having grown up in a corrupt communist state. You did what you had to in order to survive and protect your family.

    I know a Russian woman living in the U.S. - concert pianist & composer (studied with Khachaturian). Very nice, smart, etc. She told me that she once needed to send in an audition tape to a university where she was applying for a job, but her cassette recorder was broken - so instead she sent in a tape of the famous pianist, Sviatoslav Richter, claiming it was her.

    When my jaw dropped, she basically shrugged and said it wasn't a big deal.

    By the way, she DIDN'T get that job. LOL

    - k
    "An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have, but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them."

    - Andy Warhol

  8. #8

    Re: From Russia---interesting cultural difference re: software

    VEry interesting replies, thank you all. I'm preparing for a full day, first rehearsal!--then this evening seeing the Russian production of "Beauty And The Beast." Just wanted to drop by and thank everyone for this conversation. I hesitated to bring the topic up, but I'm glad I did.

    Carry on!
    Randy B.

  9. #9

    Re: From Russia---interesting cultural difference re: software

    Lets call a spade a spade.

    If you take something without paying for it you are stealing. There is no grey area here, this is not a cultural difference. It's stealing. The internet and some governments have provided a safe haven for pirating and so people pirate in mass because the can get away with it.

    If a guy in China or Russia walked into a Porsche showroom, got into a 911 and drove off with it without having paid for it would it be considered ok because it was a `cultural difference'? No, he would be chased, captured and thrown into jail. The only difference between a Porsche and software is that one is big and tangible. Code is a bunch of bits and bytes.

    As a former software developer and as a supporter of software developers like Gary I take a pretty clear stand on this topic. There is no excuse for stealing software.

    In my experience people will state with pride that they pirate software because it is a method of daring someone to contradict them. Well, I do. I'm not judgemental, I don't say he or she is a bad person, but I do take a stand against software piracy. I make it clear that not paying for something that is a product for sale is wrong. I try to make it clear that pirating is not a good decision. Why would anyone be an apologetic for software piracy? It makes no sense to me.

    Years ago I was at a Cubase users group meeting. After the meeting I was excited because several people working in huge Atlanta studios were at the meeting. After the meeting we were eating pizza and talking and talking about software. Afterwards I was given two business cards from the studios. Each one had a list of the software I owned that they wanted a copy of! Absolutely nuts. Needless to say I did not provide them with copies. It really blew my mind that these guys, rolling in money, wanted free copies of software. Crazy.

    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  10. #10

    Re: From Russia---interesting cultural difference re: software

    Quote Originally Posted by LFO View Post
    Lets call a spade a spade.

    If you take something without paying for it you are stealing. There is no grey area here, this is not a cultural difference. It's stealing. The internet and some governments have provided a safe haven for pirating and so people pirate in mass because the can get away with it.


    You are absolutely right, Mr. Kevin. Thievery is thievery...period. There is NO justification for it.

    "Cultural difference"...my behind!

    Larry G. Alexander

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