Avast, thar be BitTorrent

In a followup to my post on The Pirate Bay, a friend told me that it’s probably not wise to admit to being a software pirate.

“How’d I admit that?” I asked.

“Well, you ended it with ‘Which, if you ask me, is fine.’ It seems pretty clear that you support piracy.”

“Oh, yeah. I can see how you think that.”

I’m not a fan of software piracy, though I do think that companies should either give away copies of their software or permit longer, full-featured trials. The longer I can use a piece of software the more likely it is that I’ll buy a license, especially with expensive software. I was able to use the full JetBrains Omea Reader and I bought a license. Same with Macromedia Dreamweaver — I used the full-featured trial and loved it. Adobe Photoshop is a different story, as they didn’t have full-featured trials of it at the time, so I scammed a copy and created my own trial. I now own a license to the whole Creative Suite, which bugs the crap out of me because every time I reboot their activation system flips out. VMware gives away free licenses to VMware Workstation to people who go to their dog and pony shows. What better way to get them hooked than to just use it? Why do you think they are giving VMware Server away?

Companies, in general, should get over piracy worries. The more they lock a product down the more it sucks for legitimate users, and pirates will just hack out the restrictions anyhow. Spend less time worrying about piracy, more time making your product excellent, and you’re set. If you’re really worried make it a hosted product.

And as far as torrents go, when I say they’re fine I mean that I think the MPAA and RIAA suck, and are treating a symptom of a problem, rather than the cause. This has been discussed to death by everybody, so I’ll just say that it’s the same as with software, in that there will always be people copying music. Always. But most people will do the right thing and buy music if it is a reasonable value, and especially if they can try it before they buy by listening to it first. And especially if the quality of pirated MP3s continues to be painfully low.

That’s what a friend told me. 🙂

1 thought on “Avast, thar be BitTorrent”

  1. In fact, VMware is using BitTorrent to distribute 170 pre-built open source virtual appliances, so torrents can be used for a lot more than piracy!

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