Monday, June 06, 2005

Piracy, again...

Recently I wrote about piracy, now I want to add a few words on software piracy issue. I want to point out what I think are a few differences between software and audio/video copyright.
  • Unlike in music and movies, you can have competition. You can have numerous programs that offer similar features. For instance, there are dozens of audio file playing software. The situation differs with music and movies. There are no two vendors of "Pirates of Caribbean" or "Yellow Submarine" by Beatles. Of course it stays true as long as there is no software patents law in Europe as it is in US.
  • There are free software replacements to most of the common software.
So when it come to software I'm more sympathetic to copyright, since there are good ways to battle software sharks like Microsoft and Adobe, by using free software. Furthermore, by using pirated software you damage both the software company you pirating from and it's free competitor, whom you could be helping just by using it. Microsoft actually quietly approved pirating of it's products, in order to wipe out the competition.

Even Microsoft realized that software patents are a bad idea, and using it's influence to overrule this law.

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