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Software Piracy And Perspective

Author : Margarit Johnson

Submitted : 2010-11-16 11:31:17    Word Count : 711    Popularity:   15

Tags:   computer repair, slow computer, pc repair, computer service

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Let's get one thing out of the way 1st, before we jump into the subject at hand: software piracy is illegal and we do not condone it in any way, shape, or form. That being said, from a software developer's point of view it's not exactly the end of the world it is made out to be sometimes. There are actually a handful of different ways in which software purchases and software piracy interact, and from the point of view of the developer not all of them are harmful; in fact, in some circumstances a little bit of piracy can be very beneficial.

The Bad

The software pirate can afford the product but pirates it without purchase. Certainly, this would be the easiest situation to condemn and can seem like the worst case scenario from a programmer's point of view. This is a potential purchase that has been lost completely - the only factor keeping the business from selling the product and profiting is the moral decision on the part of the pirate. The only possible good that can come of this is the software pirate has been exposed to the item and develops a level of product awareness as a result which can result in future sales after recommendations to buddies and family.

A pirate cannot afford the product and doesn't pirate it or purchase it.

This is actually a worst case scenario from a programmer's point of view, despite the fact that it's a system working as intended. There is literally no way to turn this around; not only is there no sale, a business imparts no product awareness.

The Not-So-Harmful

The pirate cannot pay for the product and pirates it without purchase

This can seem less than optimal at 1st, but it is actually not as negative as it sounds. The developer hasn't lost a purchase in this case since the product couldn't have been purchased in the 1st place. Instead, a software pirate uses the item, which builds product awareness, and he may recommend the product to people who do have the means to purchase it.

The Good

A pirate can pay for the item, pirates it, and decides to purchase it

This is the best-case scenario for a interaction of purchase and software piracy, barring a simpler option of a customer purchasing the item outright without software piracy. Maybe a software pirate liked the item enough that he decided to purchase it outright, or perhaps certain aspects of the product require verification in some fashion, whether that be continued support or connectivity issues. In any case, this would be the kind of piracy that developers don’t like to talk about since it actually ends up benefiting them in a end.


So how does a developer get pirates to come around to a desired outcome of a product purchase? That’s a tough question, and one with which many companies currently struggle. While we may not know exactly what a answer is, we certainly know what it is not: subjecting all customers to draconian measures as if all users were pirates. Requiring intrusive security measures or constant connection to an official support network are both solutions which have been tried and which engender resentment on the part of paying customers.

One lesson in conversion comes from a release of a Arkham Asylum video game from Eidos Interactive. After the game’s release, a Eidos forums began to flood with complaints about players not being able to use part of the jump function properly. The game could be played without using this function (albeit with some difficulty) up until the point when this glide jump became necessary to advance. A response from Eidos to these complaints was simple: only paid versions of a game allowed gliding. By making this key bit of code part of their verification process, Eidos ensured that pirates were able to experience the game and enjoy it and yet still have reason to purchase the product.

Author's Resource Box

I am a computer repair technician at Geek Choice. I love repairing a slow computer. I have many certifications, and have strived to keep educating myself throughout the years.

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