[OT] Morals

Nicholas Thompson nickt at apple.com
Thu Nov 4 18:51:54 CET 1999


And you think you are in a crabby mood...

> Piracy is freedom. 

Sure it is.  And when enough people pirate software, the developer's lose
revenue to the point of not being able to enhance it for the honest people
who actually forked over the cash to buy a legal copy.  So ultimately
there's no software to pirate, and there's no software to buy.  And where
has your freedom got you?  Less choice.  I guess you are too old to remember
civics classes, but maybe they pointed out that with freedom comes
responsibility.

The economics of the software industry are frightening.  It takes about $1
million USD minimum to launch a new mainstream software product.  It
probably costs around $500,000 minimum to develop a significant and original
new product.  And sure I can work in the evening for two years and do it
myself, but my time is worth money to me, and if I cost the value of
spending 50 hours a week for two years it comes close to that, and the
reality is that an individual is really unlikely to develop, market, and
sell an industry leading software package on her or his own.  There's
manuals to think about, testing resources, support and a 1001 other
incidentals.

You then release your software into a distribution channel for which you get
less than 50% of the retail sale price, or - at a considerable cost - you
create a distribution channel.  And somehow you have to sell enough copies
to recoup your investment, and provide money for future development.  If you
are selling to a niche, you have to charge hundreds or even thousands of
bucks just to keep your R&D going.  Even one pirated copy starts to affect
revenues to the point that the developer may be unable to enhance the
software.

I can't afford a BMW 525i.  By your logic it would be OK for me to steal
someone's car from a parking lot.  Rightly, if I did such a stupid thing,
I'd wind up doing time for a felony.  Guess what?  Software piracy is theft.
It's wrong, and I hope that people on this list are not going to defend it.
If you want to be dishonest, do it privately.  Better still, all you people
who want to rip layout software off, why not get get together and write your
own.  It's probably no harder that designing a complete synth from scratch.

I'm really surprised to see inane comments like your reply posted to this
list.  I'm really surprised to see someone on the list offering their
services to rip off the developer of this product.

Regards

Nick

-------------------------------------------------------------
Nick Thompson,                      MacOs Release Engineering
Apple Computer Inc, 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA 95014, USA



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