Why Buying Photoshop Instead Of Pirating It Is Ethically Wrong

Adobe the leech - original photo by OakleyOriginals on Flickr

Companies like Adobe that make propirateary creative software in order to charge licensing fees see themselves as selling products to a market, and see people who don’t pay as thieves. But creativity isn’t a market, it’s a commons, and Adobe, et al. are really just leeching instead of cooperatively participating in it.

At this point, you’re probably expecting me to go into a bleeding heart hippy-dippy rant about how information wants to be free, maaaaan, and that everything that we make we should just, like, share, man, because that would be groovy. While that’s all absolutely true, you’ve probably heard and rolled your eyes at it before. So let’s take a look at this from a more down-to-earth perspective, rather than down-to-Gaia or whatever.

From Adobe’s point of view (which is, of course, an example, and you should feel free to replace them and Photoshop with any other propirateary software that’s used to create stuff), they’re selling a product to the market. Their product, Photoshop, is a tool that lets you manipulate and create images in millions of different ways, which is a fantastically useful capability if you’re designing a book cover, creating visual effects for a movie, making graphics for a video game, building a website, printing business cards, taking a photo of an already beautiful woman and turning her into an impossible alien-like creature with unreasonably small hips and ridiculously shiny skin so that she fits the ludicrous standards of a fashion advertisement, or hundreds of thousands of other creative things that could potentially make a lot of money.

So, because you might, maybe, possibly, at some point be making a lot of money from the work you make with Photoshop, Adobe assumes it’s completely reasonable to put a very, very high price tag onto it, and then eagerly sits there like a spoiled puppy awaiting your payment. If you use Photoshop without paying, Adobe will bark, growl, and pee on the floor — in other words, lobby national governments to pass laws branding you as a thief and a scoundrel.

Ignoring the fact that Adobe is trying to sell access to a non-scarce, infinitely reproducible product — that is, the zeroes and ones that make up Photoshop — and also ignoring the fact that Adobe is a bad puppy dog that has been bad, very bad, and needs to go lay down in the crate right this instant, their point of view is at least coherent. Adobe firmly believes that they are selling a product that they’ve worked very hard on, and that if you take it without first buying it, then you’re stealing. From their point of view, and their understanding of how the world works, this makes sense.

My problem with Adobe is that I didn’t even know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous collective.

Let’s say instead of using propirateary products like Photoshop, Maya, and Windows, I created a project using free software like GIMP, Blender, and GNU/Linux. Then I make a decent amount of money from this project. Now, I didn’t pay a cent to the foundations and volunteers that worked to bring me GIMP, Blender, or GNU/Linux. I really should, though, shouldn’t I?

Free software makers understand their role not as selling products to a market, but contributing tools to the commons. They put their work out there, free and unrestricted for anyone to use, and they make the world better for everyone. Ethically, if I get wealthy from their work, I should spread the wealth and kick it back to them.

That’s why I’ve donated to commons-contributing foundations like Apache and Wikimedia, and use Flattr and Gittip to support certain open source programmers, after I make some money from the work that I do standing on their shoulders. Ideally, when you start out on a creative project, I’d recommend you pick a percentage of your future revenue and pledge to give that to all the free software and free resources that you make use of. That’s my point of view, my ethical stance.

From my point of view, Adobe is asking me to shell out a portion of my future revenue before I’ve actually made it.

See, that’s just disrespectful, is how I see it. Adobe believes they’re so high and mighty, so damn important, that they can just hoist themselves above the rest of the commons and demand that we pay tribute, regardless of whether we’re able to, regardless of how much their work actually ends up benefiting us, and basically regardless of any sense of social responsibility whatsoever. Adobe is violating the rules of the commons. They’re trying to take from it without necessarily putting anything back in. Who’s the thief now, Adobe?

It’s ethically wrong to abide by Adobe’s demand to be paid, because they don’t care about how much money anyone has, or how healthy the supply of money is in the commons, and that kind of attitude is toxic for everyone.

Now, you might say, “Oh come on, Zacqary! You can’t just impose your ethics and your worldview here! You’re not in a revenue-sharing arrangement with Adobe!” To which I’d reply, “Yes I am.” And then you’d say, “No, Zac, they’re in a market, and you’re in a market, and that’s the way the world works!” And then I’d say, “Says who?” Because, didn’t you just say that I can’t impose my ethics on Adobe? Why do they get to impose their ethics on me? And then you’ll say, “Everyone else sees the world this way, and your ethics are dumb and you just don’t want to pay for things,” at which point you’ll be interrupted of the dinging sound that my torrent downloader makes because a full, DRM-free version of Photoshop has just finished downloading onto my computer, all without giving Adobe a cent.

When two different ethical stances butt heads against each other, neither of them can be objectively right. It’s ethics, not physics. You can’t look into a microscope and find Right Particles and Wrong Particles. Throughout history, the ethical stance that wins is usually the one that belongs to the people who have power.

And right now, the people with power are the pirates. Because we’ve got the torrents, we can crack the DRM, and we can encrypt our traffic to create plausible deniability. So our ethical stance is going to be the one that survives in the end, because it’s not like anyone can stop us.

But the ethics here are deeper than “lulz we pwn3d ur shit 4 free,” because, come on, human beings aren’t actually that sociopathic. We share files, and we’re more than happy to share money in a way that makes any sense. That way is not the arrogant “pay now, maybe benefit never” logic of the market. It’s commons logic, the kind where people care about their relationships to one another, and work together for everyone’s mutual benefit.

If, like Adobe, that’s not the game you want to play, you can feel free to get torn apart in the market. Because tearing you apart is the right thing to do.

Discussion

  1. bad.writing.makes.me.cringe

    *proprietary

    1. Zacqary Adam Xeper

      Nope. That’s not a spelling mistake.

      1. Zeissmann

        Haven’t noticed it when I was reading the text. Nice wordplay, I think I’ll adopt it.

      2. Agent of S.T.O.R.M.

        Hi Zacqary.

        I spotted the wordplay instantly but unfortunately, as in the case of bad.writing.makes.me.cringe, agreat many people LOOK but don’t SEE :)

        Adobe is its own worst enemy by the way, I.M.H.O. It designed for the Graphic Design industry, of which can afford the cost, but expected individual creatists/artists/doodler’s (who cannot offset it in their tax returns) to pay the same ludicrous costs. As an ex GD, i have used Photoshop from the very first release and i love the product, but, i think nowadays it is far/way too expensive and that ADOBE are just a very greedy company.

        S.T.O.R.M. (Social anti-Tyranny Online Reaction Media).

    2. john

      Woosh.

    3. NytSong

      Let’s spell this out for you since you didn’t get the joke.

      Pro-PIRATE-tary.

      People acting high and mighty while totally missing a deliberate play on words makes me cringe :-p

    4. ih8spiders

      rekt

  2. Zirgs

    Another nonsensical leecher propaganda piece.
    What have you created freeloader?

    Value is not determined by scarcity. Creating software like Photoshop is very expensive.
    And programmers who are a lot more talented than you’ll ever be want to eat and a roof over their heads.

    Just because you can leech off of their hard work and talent does not make it right.

    ————–
    we can crack the DRM
    ————–
    No you can’t – talented and skilled scene hackers, who deeply despise people like you, can.
    You pathetic talentless p2p freeloaders can’t do shit – you have to rely on others to produce DRM free copies for you.

    ———————
    because it’s not like anyone can stop us.
    ———————
    Well – if you’re just using illegal copes at home, then sure.

    But try using it at your company and actually earn money with it.
    Soon you’ll be begging and pleading in court like some people I know.
    (Their office got raided by the police who discovered illegal software on their computers)
    They had to pay huge fines for their stupidity and they said that they’ll never do it again.

    1. oooorgle

      Try gimp. http://www.gimp.org/ Perhaps it will help with yours.

      1. anon

        Make GIMP look like Pshop:
        http://www.itworld.com/software/412301/make-gimp-look-photoshop
        So why didn’t the authors of GIMP do this in the first place? Fear of a look-n-feel lawsuit, probably.

    2. gurrfield

      “Just because you can leech off of their hard work and talent does not make it right.”

      Any of the middle-men in publishing leech off the artists, authors and other types of creators’ work. Just because they can doesn’t make that right. There are So many Artists having been ripped-off by outrageous copyright-transferring contracts over the years… Are they any more justified? Why? Because they follow the law? Is it OK to fool people as long as you don’t break the law?

      As long as you wear suit and tie and comb over?
      ___________________________________________________________

      “Value is not determined by scarcity. Creating software like Photoshop is very expensive.”

      1. So you thing you should be able to charge for new copies which don’t require any more work.

      but

      2. When you buy a burger or pay someone to help you get a haircut they have to do new work for you.

      I don’t see how the people in 2 would accept this.
      _______________________________________________________

      “You pathetic talentless p2p freeloaders can’t do shit – you have to rely on others to produce DRM free copies for you.”

      Ok, I feel with your frustration.

      But computer games are being “sold” like never before. Music is being “consumed” – live or spotify or otherwise – like never before. Cinema ticket sales are all time high (at least in Sweden for 2012).

      In reality, piracy acts as free advertisement. There’s a reason microsoft give away their software for free to students. It’s free commercials for them to buy MS products in the future. Bands get new fans from people copying their old songs.

    3. mijj

      lol .. don’t tell me .. freeloading is a sacred privilege of the wealthy and powerful.

    4. asdf

      Guess what, maximizing wealth does not overrule human rights.

      1. asdf

        The concept that wealth brings the ability to impose your will on others, that protecting the profit streams of the wealthy outweighs protecting the freedom of the general public, is an extremely dangerous one.

      2. phalacy

        That’s ridiculous. Using a software is not a human right. America did, at some point, decide that people should be compensated for their work. Just because we no longer use a barter system where goods traded are imminently useful doesn’t mean that compensation is now impinging on human rights.

        1. next_ghost

          Pray tell how America makes sure that people who willingly share their work for free also get compensated for doing so? It doesn’t. Which means that your point about compensating for *work* is complete nonsense.

        2. Maledict

          People who willingly share their work for free do so with no expectation of compensation – that’s why they’re doing it in the first place. And you go from there for how American doesn’t make sure they got compensated…which makes the point about being compensated for work nonsense…what?

          I’m sorry, your entire paragraph literally makes no fucking logical sense at all. Your first sentence literally is logically incoherent.

          I’m astounded how you tie your shoelaces in the morning, next_ghost.

        3. next_ghost

          People who willingly share their work for free do so with no expectation of compensation – that’s why they’re doing it in the first place. And you go from there for how American doesn’t make sure they got compensated…which makes the point about being compensated for work nonsense…what?

          Tons of effort happen without any compensation at all => the amount of effort is irrelevant for determining compensation. You might want to look into an economy 101 textbook under “law of supply and demand.”

        4. Scary Devil Monastery

          ” Just because we no longer use a barter system where goods traded are imminently useful doesn’t mean that compensation is now impinging on human rights.”

          In the end the one and only way you can guarantee the “sale” of a non-scarce product is by removing any number of actual rights.

          That of “ownership” is already abolished given that you can purchase a set of media, alles included, be the lebal owner, and STILL be considered a criminal if you decide to make a backup copy in some nations.

          That of “freedom of speech” is curtailed because there’s no way to ensure individuals send one another copies of media unless EVERYTHING they communicate is compromised.

          When the cost of a state-sponsored privilege monopoly becomes an actual hazard to human rights then that privilege has to go. And it will. Amended by way of chainsaw or abolished altogether is moot at this point.

        5. Maledict

          // Tons of effort happen without any compensation at all => the amount of effort is irrelevant for determining compensation.

          Your original point was:

          Pray tell how America makes sure that people who willingly share their work for free also get compensated for doing so?

          I’m sorry, but what the hell are you on about? Stop taking drugs.

          // You might want to look into an economy 101 textbook under “law of supply and demand.” //

          You might want to look up on a book of logical relevancy. Since points are full of non-sequitors.

        6. next_ghost

          You might want to look up on a book of logical relevancy. Since points are full of non-sequitors.

          phalacy has asserted above that, quote: “America did, at some point, decide that people should be compensated for their work.”

          I have provided examples of useful work that goes uncompensated. Not to mention thousands of companies that go bankrupt every week, which is objectively necessary for free market to work at all. Both of that proves that effort alone does not in any way create an entitlement to compensation.

          If you want to get paid, you have to go out of your way to meet the demand. Strong-arming the demand to go to you is unacceptable.

          If you still don’t understand, then the problem is most likely in your inability to comprehend written language.

        7. Maledict

          // If you want to get paid, you have to go out of your way to meet the demand. Strong-arming the demand to go to you is unacceptable.

          If you still don’t understand, then the problem is most likely in your inability to comprehend written language. //

          Speak for yourself – you’re the one who is unable to grasp that no one is forcing anyone to buy anything. The licensing option that Adobe gave users is cheaper overall than buying the software outright. Anything else is theft.

          Again, who is strong arming who? The only thing you don’t understand is that you’re not entitled to anything. Stop being an entitled thief and get a job. That’s the only issue here.

        8. next_ghost

          Speak for yourself – you’re the one who is unable to grasp that no one is forcing anyone to buy anything. The licensing option that Adobe gave users is cheaper overall than buying the software outright. Anything else is theft.

          Again, who is strong arming who?

          The government is strong-arming people who want access to specific non-scarce goods into paying money to single monopoly holder (how much they actually pay is irrelevant) and accept unreasonable restrictions on use of their own property.

          Stop being an entitled thief and get a job. That’s the only issue here.

          FYI, I have a job as software developer. Our company makes vast majority of revenue from support and maintenance contracts so piracy is a non-issue for us.

        9. gurrfield

          Maledict writes:

          “People who willingly share their work for free do so with no expectation of compensation – that’s why they’re doing it in the first place.”

          Not necessarily. Haven’t you heard of a demo or a Proof of Concept? The more interested people or companies can view a demo or a PoC, the more potential investors there are.

    5. frank87

      I agree, value isn’t determined by the amount of money the other person makes from something (that’s why trade exists: somethin is of much value to one person and of little value to the other).
      But I think, that’s a argument against DRM and the likes: Intellectual monopolies claim money “because you make a profit from the work of the creator”.
      The creator of photoshop didn’t do any work for me, if I want something from a software producer, I get the RTFM-response. When will they learn: programming is a service.

      1. Kilyle

        The “everything is a service these days” model is why so many companies are switching to a pay-as-you-go model, and as a person with quite limited budget for these things, I hate to see stuff like movie-making software sold exclusively on the “pay us each month” model. I want to pay once and own that particular copy (plus any incidental bug-fixing updates that ought to have been worked out prior to releasing the software, but eh). I don’t care about future copies, which I might or might not buy, and I don’t want cloud storage or any other bells and whistles, I just want the program and I want to pay for it one time at a decent price and own it for keeps.

        But as far as the article goes: It seems to be saying that because some group of people put out a Free Software alternative to a proprietary software, it now becomes ethical to pirate the proprietary software.

        Firstly, if the Free Software alternative were actually fully as good as the proprietary version, there would be no need to pirate; you’d just go with the Free Software version — so obviously if you forego the free-and-legal version for pirating the proprietary version, there’s some aspect of the proprietary version that makes it more useful to you. It’d be hard to argue that people should start pirating Portal on the sole line of logic that someone came up with a freebie 2d flash version “and it’s basically the same thing, right?”

        Secondly, as one of the people who regularly contributes to the commons (TV Tropes mostly; Wikipedia some, and some other places), I don’t for a minute buy the line of logic that my willingness to work for free at these sites creates an environment where other people who are NOT willing to work for free should reasonably have their work taken under the same terms as what I signed up for. (Heck, I’m still kinda ticked that AllTheTropes went and grabbed my contributions to TV Tropes and copied them wholesale for their site… and that might be legit by the license we operate under, but it still reads as a dick move.)

        Can you imagine a setup where I sign up to make paintings to be given away for free to whoever wants them, and because my group is doing that, a bunch of people raid the store across the street (which sells paintings) under the rationale that because one person is giving them away, ALL paintings should be given away?

        Our digital economy seems to be moving in the direction of patronage — where a small portion of users funds the enjoyment of the larger portion who don’t pay a cent — but that’s a long way from trying to claim that if people don’t willingly participate in the commons, it’s “ethical” to force them to.

    6. pat wastie

      bite me

    7. socialist

      why Zacqary particularly chooses Adobe as the Capitalist Meanie Archetype i don’t know. I’m happy to agree with the notice that Adobe–and for that matter virtually every piece of entertainment or media slapp’t onto DVD and sold by major distributors or producers–has an major interest in seeing that everyone has to buy their product, for a high price.
      but Zacqary’s utterly contradictory proposition that we shd pirate Adobe software, and THEN turn around and engage in exactly the same capitalist structure and enterprise (by making our own ‘products’ and selling them) selling “our” stuff for top dollar just shows his ridiculously superficial understanding of Capitalism, and how it works.
      being a socialist i follow a different rationale than one is led to in Zacqary’s accounts here.
      The real analysis of what is wrong with Adobe would apply to ANY outfit that wants to try to get top dollar for stuff that is inherently NOT property. And here we want to distinguish the difference between the cheap piece of plastic that DVDs are made from, versus the code, or encoding, that shd be in public domain.
      It’s easier for me to argue my case using “movies” or “flicks” that one can in fact download, either with torrent pirate sites, or by paying Netflix a few dollars.
      The question of what is ethical comes to a head if we take a specific case, of say, Me downloading a movie because i want to see it, not to then use it to make a profit.
      same is true of any song (pace all musicians of the world who want to make big bucks from sales of their ‘tunes’) yo, dudes, tunes are FREE, if i can whistle it, shd i have to pay YOU (or anyone) for it.
      Now this is a long seminar in how to learn the uses of Socialism, and how that cooperative system works holistically.
      I won’t continue my argument here, till i get some intelligent inquiry or argument back . . .
      i know where i’m going with my rationales, and my debate on this matter.
      i’ll give one hint, tho, for what’s down the road in my critique of Capitalism (fundamentally, and specifically fr mkt capitalism as the domineering system of most of the world, and certainly of all the wicked legislators who are trying to see that, for instance, the internet is DIVIDED up, into Fast broadband lanes–that;s for the rich boys–and some shit speed for all the rest of us.
      my hint is hidden in the word “Copyright” . . .
      guess what copyright actually is, rather–what the legal basis of copyright is, i mean, answer this question: What is the purpose and use of that particular set or branch of ho ho ho “jurisprudent” law?
      hmmm?
      here’s a Kloo: it has to do with PROPERTY and how to protect OWNERSHIP.
      nuff said.
      *************
      Here i “reply” directed personal, to the first postDude at the top of this page, “Zurgs” he’s called:

      So; this feller is obviously a hide-bound capitalist, but one who has NEVER even considered what legitimacy, if any, there is to COPYRIGHT LAW. What makes it valid, what is its grounding?
      it’s a foregone conclusion to him that it is THE LAW, therefore it must be “enforced”
      –the argument would NEVER be even admissible–if he gets to play judge–that would assert:
      “Those materials are NOT stolen, because they are not PROPERTY, in the first place–
      for a fairminded and equitable definition of ‘theft’ must involve something that can be taken, something that someone may be ‘deprived’ of.”
      the argumentation gets hard, once you allow this cat out of the bag.
      so. Ready to argue the case?
      I am.

    8. Agent of S.T.O.R.M.

      I remember a certain, hugely wealthy, company who were a small unheard of business who, stole and pirated their product from its inventor and refused to pay the aforesaid person any monies whatsoever. The courts however decreed that they had indeed stolen the product and were told to cough up $20,000,000, to the original inventor, plus interest and legal costs.

      It is also said, a well documented and discussed arguement, that Bill Gates, back in the 1980’s, took the designs and inventions of his social group of geek friends of the time…..including 1 Steve Jobs, and started Microsoft. Not $1.00 did he pay any of them! Not sure if its fact or not but people with a hunger for power and ego polishing do this kind of deed all the time.

      Finally! FYI…..thousands of Hackers & Crackers download – from P2P sites- products etc. that they themselves did not crack. Your’e obviously not as clued up about social matters as you appear to think you are!

      Don’t Besmirch. Do your Research! :)

      S.T.O.R.M. (Social anti-Tyranny Online Reaction Media).

    9. gray wolf

      are you for real?

    10. Anonymous

      ive been pirating alot of stuff for years ever since i heard about vuze and utorrent and i dont like paying for really expensive stuff like photoshop and also i dont like adobe much ether

  3. Per "wertigon" Ekström

    I’d like to argue that pirating AND purchasing is ethicly wrong. Not because there is anything wrong with piracy in and of itself – but because pirating a product means supporting and endorsing that product.

    You wish to give Adobe the middle finger? Don’t use their software, use a competing software, and promote that software.

    1. Zirgs

      You wish to give Adobe the middle finger? Don’t use their software, use a competing software, and promote that software.
      ——————–

      Fully agree with that. The same applies to music, video games and movies too.

    2. Cyber Killer

      Agree – by pirating expensive proprietary software people are making the FLOSS software less relevant. For most people freedom isn’t an incentive to use a tool, usually it’s the price. I really-really hope for some copy protection that can’t ever be broken. Because them loads of people will turn to free/libre software and the community will grow like never before.

  4. Zeissmann

    While your arguments make a lot of sense to me, the only logical conclusion (which you don’t seem to make) is that you shouldn’t be using any Adobe products at all. You should use only Free Software instead of feeding the troll. Granted, you say you would rather pirate Photoshop than pay for it. But that’s still feeding the troll by admitting that you cannot live without Photoshop. If Adobe is so bad for the Commons than we should reject it altogether and let it die.

    1. Zirgs

      The thing is – most pirates are also horrible hypocrites – they like products that they pirate – they just don’t want to pay for them.

      1. Anyone

        Photoshop isn’t a bad product as such, it’s just the price and the terms from Adobe are bad.

        So pirates do the logical thing, only take the part they like, and ignore the part they don’t.

        Take an apple for example, the core is not really edible, in your view that makes the whole apple inedible, but pirates will happily eat most of the apple, while throwing away the core they have no use for

      2. gurrfield

        What is hypocritical about that? It would be hypocritical if they did not want to support the creators in Any way at all.

        Many pirates want to support the creators but there exists no way other than “paying for copies”, where you know the creators will just get epsilon from and the publisher will take most of the cake.

        For instance I have emailed So Many Bands and asked if I can donate a dollar every month. I bet they never even get to read those e-mails… Sure a dollar by me every month won’t make much of a difference, but if most fans did, sure they’d be able to work with that..

        There are several pirates I know who participate in funding people and projects in kickstarter, patreon, indiegogo and other new ways to fund creation of culture and software.

        I’d encourage you to check out Patreon if you don’t believe some pirates want to fund culture. It really is a cool initiative. I pay some 60 dollars a month to various creators. Usually 1-10 dollars a month to each creator. Some of them get $1000 or $2000 a month or even more. Clearly possible to fund creation of culture in other ways than paying for copies afterwards.

      3. Scary Devil Monastery

        “…most pirates are also horrible hypocrites…”

        I’ll assume you eat gristle, bone and other unpalatable items simply because discarding what most would consider refuse is being hypocritical in naming oneself a “meat-eater” then.

        Adobe’s one and only saving grace may be photoshop. So far. They’ll need to step up their game. To begin with, right now they cater only to professionals. That’s a niche market and a hazardous one.

    2. Greebo39

      Unfortunately there is a “legitimate” reason for pirating Photoshop — even if you use GIMP, if you have to deal with PS users, PS can be essential just to convert Adobes proprietary file format to something you can use in the open source GIMP, the conversion of layers is next to impossible otherwise. Why should one have to line Adobe’s pockets just to convert a Photoshop file? They deliberately won’t open up their file format to wouldbe convertors otherwise the GIMP devs would have done it!

  5. Zirgs

    And one last thing.

    +1 for the header picture – sums up the “pirate” ideology perfectly.

    1. Zeissmann

      The picture is supposed to suggest that Adobe is the leech. Haven’t you noticed the logo?

  6. oooorgle
  7. Mike Linksvayer

    Certainly paying for Photoshop is ethically wrong, but so is pirating it, for none of the reasons discussed. You might feel power, but instead be a pawn in Adobe’s entirely rational implicit price discrimination/market share maintenance plan. By pirating, or using under any condition, Adobe software, you are providing a gratis marketing service to them. They will use their continued dominance to force others to pay up. By pirating Photoshop you have not “work[ed] together for everyone’s mutual benefit” nor are you “tearing [Adobe] apart int the market”. Instead you are working with Adobe to keep the masses in its thrall. Less unethical than paying Adobe directly, but still unethical.

    That’s why I’ve donated to commons-contributing foundations like Apache and Wikimedia, and use Flattr and Gittip to support certain open source programmers, after I make some money from the work that I do standing on their shoulders. Ideally, when you start out on a creative project, I’d recommend you pick a percentage of your future revenue and pledge to give that to all the free software and free resources that you make use of. That’s my point of view, my ethical stance.

    Thanks for doing that, but ideally you’d pledge even more to free software projects you have chosen to not use. If you choose to unethically use Photoshop, partially make up for it by donating to GIMP or Krita (now) so that they can improve and one day you’ll find it more convenient to make an ethical choice.

    1. gurrfield

      Yes, piracy is free PR. The worst thing that can happen to the company getting pirated is people don’t use what they pirate. In that case no damage done. If they like it and keep using it, then the creator gets a new fan/customer.

      Either way copyright is essentially dead – in all other aspects than maybe as a tool to try and mislead the public.

  8. AeliusBlythe

    Agreed.

    Although I also agree with others here that the MOST ethical is using something else entirely. I find myself considering long and hard over whether to even pirate a lot of things now – so much independent and academic research demonstrates that sharing material actually HELPS, that I feel uncomfortable even being part of a company’s Free Marketing Team. So yes, alternatives are always best. But the far worse option is actually handing over money to a company with such a steep paywall and no regard for the commons.

  9. Skitso Skunk

    I prefer paint.net as far as the free ones go. It doesnt have the same number of tools as gimp but its alot more user friendly if you are usta using photoshop. http://www.getpaint.net

  10. naive baddie

    Then the same should go for movies, music, tv shows and books (because e-books), right?
    But then how will the people who make a living by working on those things make a living? Not everyone wants to be a hippie who gets by on some charity you decide to throw at them (maybe…) after you’ve used their free work to enrich yourself.

    And the pictures you make with Photoshop and accept payment for. Aren’t they a non-scarce, infinitely reproducible product made up of ones and zeroes? If I used them without paying for them would I be stealing your product that you’ve worked hard on? Would it be OK if maybe someone down the line threw a few cents at you?

    You decide how you want to manage your products and make a living. The employees of Adobe may have different opinions. That doesn’t make them unethical.

    And who says you get to dictate Adobe’s pricing strategy and how much the emplyees should get for their work?

    Adobe isn’t imposing anything on you. They are offering you a product for a price and if you don’t like their offer you are free to reject it.

    1. Per "wertigon" Ekström

      “But then how will the people who make a living by working on those things make a living?”

      Check out Jonathan Coulton, one of many successful “free” musicians.

      The means to make money are there already – all you have to do is seize it.

    2. gurkstav

      As Pelle Vers stated above there are numerous of ways to fund culture without paying for copies. Patreon, kickstarter, indiegogo are some examples.

      It is fascinating how stuck some people are in the “product” way of thinking when comes to creative work. Creation can nowadays be a service where you (help) paying for the continous work and not necessarily have to be paying for the copies afterwards…

    3. TG

      What you call “charity” has historically been called patronage. It worked for Shakespeare, Michaelangelo and Mozart, all of whom operated in the absence of copyright legislation.

      1. gurrfield

        I agree with TG above;

        1. Charity (or with the tactic of more aggressive shaming : turned around and labelled “begging”) would be if the payer expects nothing in return.

        Luckily this false analogy is easy to puncture:

        2. Patronage on the other hand is more like an investment. If you’re a Patron, you expect output of some kind. If you pay a music band you expect new songs or new recordings or better quality sound or…

        There already exists for instance “Flattr” and “Patreon” which emphasizes this.

        Finally, with the internet patronage can be large scale and financing can be distributed among thousands or even millions of patrons.

      2. next_ghost

        I believe that any famous classical composer is much better example than Mozart here.

  11. Anonymous
  12. Pelpet

    Adobe would prefer that you pirate photoshop instead of using the gimp. If you pirate photoshop, you learn it, get used to it and probably want it at your job – where they are likely to pay for photoshop.

    1. gurrfield

      Yep, and many software companies even use as a strategy to chirp out low-cost ( or even free ) copies / licenses to students to get them used to their work so they will keep using it in the future. Especially now with the growing number of open source alternatives.

      In many cases piracy really is free advertisement. Especially music.. the only “damage” a fan listening to a pirated song could do to a band is to get them a new fan to attend their concerts or buy their merchandise. Not really the definition of “damage” I’d use.

    2. Zenzen

      I like this strategy because it means I would be able to pay Adobe only if I can make money off it myself. If I can make money off it, I think it’s only reasonable that I pay back.

      Some people won’t like this either, but I personally think it’s brilliant. If I don’t make anything, Adobe doesn’t get anything either (other than free advertising which is valuable). And even if I don’t make money, I still may very well produce something of value to society, even if I can’t monetize it.

  13. Stefan Lagerstam

    Hey all!
    I just wanna add i my view as a senior 3D Artist.
    I use a’lot off proprietary software every day at work. Not because it is the best, but because it is industry standard (some times the best im afraid).

    You don’t simply find professionals using Gimp, Blender. We use Maya and Photoshop as 99% of all artist use/learn it. We also need a good compisiton application like Nuke, and to that there is no openSouce alternative at all.
    Blender, i wan’t to say i shaping up to be something to realy look at. it as a lot of potential. And i believe it will someday compete with Maya.
    But Gimp is lagging behind very far from PS atm. But I’m sure that will change down the line.
    Now that Google have student’s helping Gimp push it forward?

    But as i see it right now you can not have a studio working openSource an compete against other studios using Photoshop, Maya, Nuke. PFtrack, Mari and so on…

    But i have seen a’lot of new applications taking market from the big guys like Adobe, Autodesk and Pixar lately lowering prices across the whole industry. Most visible in the field of rendering. For example a few days ago Pixar as announced that they will drop the price for Renderman by $2000 from $2500 to $495 just to be able to complete against all the other renderers out there.
    My hope that this can happen to other applications as well. at least i will be a an eyeopener for the industry as openSource is rappedly ganing ground. And it will gain ground!! faster and faster 😀

    The Windows vs Linux battle is resolved a long, long time ago. No big or even mid-scale studio is using Windows any longer. ooor? yes we use it only for Photoshop as it is the only application that arstist know how to use. And it handles floating point imageing better then Gimp (atm). But most important Photoshop is using a Nondestruktive workflow and that is very important and that Gimp is totalt lacking that simple feature. :/

    So for now im just praying for openSource tolive long and prosper, gain more ground and make Adobe and other to realise that they can’t get the money that they do any longer!

    Cheers,
    Pirate Stefan

    1. Per "wertigon" Ekström

      Yes you are correct in your assesment that Photoshop *is* the industry standard, and as long as there are no viable alternatives, PS will reign supreme – however, more and more people are getting so tired of the PS hegemony.

      I do disagree that Blender is inadequate though, as demonstrated here: http://www.blender.org/features/projects/

      But is there a re-learning period where productivity takes a huge hit? Absolutely. Switching tools merely for the sake of switching is folly – you do it because it will, eventually, increase your bottom line. The only place switching to open source for the sake of it is in the public sector, where one gains a whole lot of benefits for doing so.

    2. gurrfield

      Hi Stefan, so you are a professional who uses proprietary software. Ok! So the software helps you in your work. It therefore probably has a value for you that the company who have produced the software can give you support and new versions and fix bugs.

      Once you have learned the software, simply has become in your interest that the company can keep doing their thing.

      Right?

  14. Vassilis Perantzakis

    Falkvinge speaks about an ideal world. A Pirate world where everyone can live off the commons. In that respect, he is 100% correct.

    Also, if Photoshop was valued at, lets say, $100 per copy, I would buy it even for non commercial work. Why? Because it would, at some time, save me the time worth $100. But, It will never save me $600 per year! So, I am forced to either pirate and hope they will lower the price, or use an alternative. Their loss. Not mine. I could never have paid for what they ask.

  15. jcm

    i don’t think the model in fundamentally wrong: if i put hard work on something, i deserve to be able to sell it and exert certain control over it, try to get back something, at least initially.
    i think the model is fundamentally lopsided and abused: people who put hard work on something are not he ones who profit, neither the ones who controll it, but the middlemen; not “useful” ones, but the “idle” kind who act like tollbooths and use lobbying and money to impose themselves in forced positions, not creative or support ones.
    this article is very much a “down-to-Gaia” point of view, where people are wonderful beings and enrich each other’s lives, so we should basically live with honest-boxes everywhere.
    sadly, i think that people are dicks, and will shit on your lawn if you don’t fence, and steal the honest box y you put one. maybe it wasn’t always like that, but now it is and, while i share and support most pirate tennets, i don’t think that a full world-model-ethics revolution will work. not now at least.
    but it’s nice to think about it.

    1. next_ghost

      if i put hard work on something, i deserve to be able to sell it and exert certain control over it, try to get back something, at least initially.

      You deserve no such thing and your entire way of thinking about this is completely backwards. If you want to get paid, you need to do something people are willing to pay for and you have some measure of objective control over it. You don’t get to impose artificial restrictions on other just so you can get their money against their will. That’s actually much closer to stealing than software piracy.

      1. frank87

        I would say getting money against their will is called extortion.

        But indeed: Only if someone asked you to do the hard work, you get payed in the real world.

        Think about the amount of jobs that would be gained if most companies build their own software? Outsourcing everything to “industry standards” isn’t good for programmers either.

      2. Whoa Nelly

        Well, I don’t believe you deserve to have things just because you want them, which is basically what the whole anti-copyright screed boils down to: Wanting to have the right to access and control the personal creative (intellectual) property of other people whether they agree to it or not.

        It’s amazing how this double-standard over creative work has become such a huge thing since the internet become what it is now.

        Before the internet did, no one except the criminally minded would’ve thought they had a right to other people’s property. But now? The internet has made it so easy to share stuff, people like you think all stuff should be shared, even if it’s not yours to share and is actually declared to be illegal to share without permission of the copyright owner. Furthermore, you don’t believe thinking you should have other people’s property simply because you want it is criminal behavior.

        No, you think it makes you a hero for culture.

        If I go to a craft store, buy supplies, and then design/create some bracelets, no one bats an eye if I choose to sell them. Yes, the market will decide if I actually sell any, but whether I do or not doesn’t matter in making my point. No one bats an eye at my decision to sell them because I paid for the supplies and made them, therefore have the right to do whatever the hell I want to with them. No one except criminals think they have the right to walk into my house and just take those bracelets.

        But if I buy a pen and paper, or a computer and MS Word, and then compose a song, poem, write a story, or code that results in software, suddenly some people think it’s wrong that I own and control the thing I’ve spent money, time, and effort to create.

        My personal creative expression is MY property. Copyright says so, even though it limits the time I retain sole control over my personal creative expression (intellectual property). The time limitation is in place because yes, any personal creative expression I make is the result of my consumption of the ideas and creations of others.

        That’s why ideas can’t be copyrighted. Doing so would effectively choke any future creative expression. But my personal creative expression IS copyrightable, whether it’s a physical thing or in a format that boils down to 1s and 0s, and legally stated to be under my sole control for a period of time, after which anyone who wants is allowed free access and usage rights to it, because, culture and the advancement of society!

        Aside from copyright, morality should be enough to convince anyone that if a person makes a thing, that thing belongs to that person, and therefore, that person should be able to control what happens to the thing he created.

        You think our ancestors bitched about having to pay for the things they couldn’t grow, make, or even think up? No, they traded with or paid other people for those things. Most didn’t just go take the things they wanted or needed from other people because “I think I’m entitled to have carrots, which I can’t grow myself, so screw you” or “I think I’m entitled to have a gun, so give me the one you just made, Mr. Colt.”

        If they DID “just take the things,” we consider what they did bad and immoral. Like how land was taken from Native Americans just because colonists and other countries wanted it. Or how some people all throughout history were taken and made slaves, because other people decided they had the right to own human beings and make them work, instead of getting off their asses and doing the work themselves, or paying other people to do the work for them.

        Most creatives aren’t asked to create stuff. Yet when they do, there are usually people willing to pay for the things they created, because in general, people realize those who create the things they enjoy require food, clothing, a roof over their heads, and money to buy supplies in order to continue creating, OR that creatives simply have the right to ask for a sum of money in exchange for sharing the thing they made.

        Most people realize that if they want a thing, they either have to make it themselves, buy it from someone who has made it, or get it from someone who made it and is giving it away for free. Most people realize they do not deserve other people’s property just because they’d like to have it.

        You don’t have the right to someone’s intellectual property simply because you want it. No one is required to give you their property, creative or otherwise, for free, whether it’s a bracelet or a song.

        If they’re not giving it away for free, then you pay for it. If you don’t want to pay for it, you either do without it, or you find something similar that’s made by someone else, and perhaps pay less for the similar thing.

        It’s not up to you to impose artificial restrictions on others as to whether or not they can place a price tag on their property.

        The only people who think they have the right to just use/consume/take control of others’ personal property without permission or requested compensation are entitled jerks who’d scream and yell if others did the same thing to them.

        The writer of the article is a self-professed author who makes money from his creations. Maybe not from the actual sale of copies, but he is monetizing his creations, and sees nothing hypocritical about expecting to receive money for creating things, yet wanting other creators to just hand over their creations/control of their creations because he thinks they should if they’re not monetizing their creations like he is.

        Thing is, we don’t have to do things his way. His way is not the law, and his way wouldn’t work for everyone anyway.

        I know it doesn’t. Been there, did that. But what did work was putting a price tag on my creations, and putting those creations in places that people willing to pay for access to them could find them. And now I do have a lot of people constantly asking me to create more things, enough that I earn a living as a creator of things.

  16. Werner Van Belle

    It is very simple: don’t like it, don’t buy it. I make software as well (http://bpmdj.yellowcouch.org/). People can buy it for 5 EUR. Demanding that software is given away for free ? Come’on… who _is_ then going to pay the hours I spent on making it. The price is already what the market wants, not what it cost to develop it. So sorry, I’m not really buying this argument. He goes off the rails when he says that he has the right to reinterpret adobes morality. He simply doesn’t have that right. I don’t think I have the moral right to come into your house and take the things I like.

    1. gurrfield

      They still think it’s OK for them to spy on us for whatever reason…

      If they can spy on us, why should we even develop software, the spies might as well “steal” the software right out of our computers as we write it and have it locked behind their own copyrights or patents – before we get it finished.

      Piracy is not the reason as to “why bother?” mentality. Spying and monopolies is.

    2. Per "wertigon" Ekström

      “who _is_ then going to pay the hours I spent on making it.”

      The persons likely to spend time on that are, same as now, people who find your software useful will pay you for your services as a developer.

      The difference is that instead of selling the product of a software, you are selling your services and expertise as a software developer.

      1. frank87

        And the plus side to this is that your customers get what they want, not what you think they want.

  17. Lost my business to Pirates

    By this logic, Audi should give me a brand new car. If I drive that car to work, I’ll throw them a few shekels. But if I’m unemployed or work from home, too bad for Audi.

    This argument also presupposes that people that download make a distinction between companies. They don’t. You can be a little start-up or Adobe. You’ll still have your shit stolen. Do you really think people make a distinction between stealing the big Hollywood blockbuster and the little indie movie trying to break even? They don’t. They steal equally.

    1. Anyone

      a copy of a car is not free to create

      a copy of photoshop is free to create

      that’s the difference

      1. Lost my business to Pirates

        The result is the same, Anyone. I know. I’ve been through it. What if you worked 40 hours a week on your job for a month, but at the end of the month, your boss pays you for 2 weeks work. Then the next month he pays you for 2 days work. That’s what piracy is for the creators in a very real way. Sales plummet extremely quickly. You can do well for years, then the day your shit is pirated you’ve got about 3 months to find a way out. You can’t do anything in 3 months except lay people off, and try to stem the tide. The only ones that survive are companies like Adobe who were successful before P2P.

        You’re profiting off the labor of others, and taking money out of their pockets, and making those of us who pay for software pay even more. Those programmers have rents, kids, school loans… they don’t live in a vacuum where everything is free. If, with a mouse click, you could have an Audi in your driveway, do you really think that Audi wouldn’t go bankrupt or have to charge outrageous prices for the people that don’t steal it?

        Instead of stealing, learn to code and make your own version of photoshop and give it away. What? That’s too hard? Would take too long? Wouldn’t be as good?

        Oh, here’s a money making idea: take a Tom Clancy novel and copy it. You could make a digital version with advertising in it so you could give it away, but still make money. This is exactly what pirates do. Everybody seems to make money off the pirated work except for the people or person that created it.

        1. next_ghost

          What if you worked 40 hours a week on your job for a month, but at the end of the month, your boss pays you for 2 weeks work. Then the next month he pays you for 2 days work. That’s what piracy is for the creators in a very real way.

          Your analogy has one huge flaw: When you work as an employee, you have a contract which says how much your boss is supposed to pay you. If he doesn’t you can quit on the spot and sue for what he owes you.

          You as a creator have no such contract with the pirates (who may or may not be potential customers).

          Business. If you’re not making enough money, *YOU* are doing it wrong.

        2. Maledict

          …Your response basically supported his argument, next_ghost, and if anything, shot yourself in the foot.

        3. Anyone

          I have a contract with my employer, he pays me the hours I work.
          So your analogy is kinda flawed.

          I’m sure if he finds a more efficient way to have my job done, that will replace me, just like piracy is a more efficient way to distribute information over the internet.
          But the reaction is not to cry about how that new efficient way is stealing my job, the reaction is to adapt, show why my work is worth paying for.

          if you create a product worth buying, it will be bought. If it is not worth buying, it will be pirated, if you are lucky. if you are unlucky it will just be ignored.

          if you can’t make a living by selling worthless copies, find a better way to make a living, like selling a service. Ubuntu gives away their software for free, yet they still make a living.

          adapt or die

        4. frank87

          Everybody is profitting of the labour of others. If I sell stuff, the buyer will probably make money from it. That’s no reason to go and claim damages from them.

          The real question is what are you selling? The fact you where hit so hard by piracy suggested that you were selling easy to make copies, and no hard to build cars. This suggests that you weren’t programming at the time.

          I try to write my own business software, but I get hindered by all kinds of other companies that lock their interfaces and want thousands of Euro’s to let me know how to connect.

        5. Dariusz G. Jagielski

          Your products had to be mediocre since you lost business due to piracy. Probably smelled like shit from miles away.

          Sorry, but hard truth is hard. Indie devs makes money despite (or even thanks to!) piracy. Just look at Gunpoint, Hotline Miami, McPixel, and so on. I won’t Mention Minecraft tho, as this would be just unfair, no one can compete with it.

          So either your products or your business model were shit if you lost it.

    2. gurrfield

      I beforehand apologize for being rude. You really don’t have to read this if you don’t want to, but here goes.

      I can hardly believe you lost your business to pirates. Much more likely that you got your work stolen ( plagiarized / industrial espionage ) and then were lied to (possibly by the same people) that the reason was piracy. It is so painful for most to admit that you’ve been tricked so you’d rather trust the trixters explanation than deal with the pain of realized you were so naiive and left an open vacancy for a dagger in your buttocks.

  18. phalacy

    This argument is ridiculous. By the same logic, you should never pay for a paint brush until you have already sold the paintings that you painted with it. It doesn’t cost the manufacturer any extra to sell it to you, because it has already been made. It is not a service rendered, and therefore it has no implicit value. It is a tool like any other physical tool that you can hold and to not compensate the maker of that tool is truly detrimental to the “Commons” whom you purportedly defend because as much as you would like to pretend that Adobe is a faceless blob of unwieldy power, it is comprised of people just like me or you. Those people worked hard to contribute to the “Commons” and you believe they should not be compensated until you have benefited from their contribution. This stance is laughably anti-social and against the very thing you pretend to support.

    People work. Before the system of currency which you seem to despise so much, we had a system of bartering where people traded things they made for things they needed. This was all good until we evolved a little too much as a society and can no longer interact directly with every person that has something we want or need.

    That’s where money comes in. It lets us have a technologically advanced society where products like Photoshop or gimp exist, and people like you no longer need to contribute in order to acquire what you want. Instead you are free to stay at home and type on your computer which could not feasibly have been created without a currency system like that which is in place.

    Just because something doesn’t have physical mass does not mean it doesn’t have physical value. Photoshop has a value which is determined by the “Commons” as what people are willing to pay for it. We ensure that the laws of supply and demand do not destroy this relationship by breaking up monopolies. If you stop and think for a second about how society got to the point it is at now you will see that it is only by people putting in their worth that we can have the luxury of sitting on our butts and complaining on the internet about how we wish we could have everything given to us before we contribute anything to the human cause.

    Read some Ayn Rand. You’re stealing.

    1. gurrfield

      As your name implies, the paint brush example is a fallacy. Copying is manufacturing and not stealing. That the manufacturing of “paint brushes” has become possible to do for free for anyone thanks to technological progress.

      In that world someone still tries to sell their paint brushes by restricting other’s ability to manufacture their own… That is not progress. That is backwards thinking. Like trying to ban factories or use of machinery to protect manual labour before industrialisation.

      What has any value is not the copies as such anymore, but paying for the work to produce new designs, better features, more efficient code et.c. Anyone having use of the software could have an incentive to invest in that.

      1. Someone pays you for a copy. Nothing new is required to be done because copying has become possible to do for free. Money is transferred for old efforts and could be transferred over and over until no end, still without any new labour required.

      2. You pay someone for a service. New work is required to be done for the service.

      I don’t expect the people doing work in nr.2 to accept that way of things.

      _____________________________

      “Read some Ayn Rand. You’re stealing.”

      Nice references there… I actually laughed a bit. Although you accidentally (?) introduced some inconsistencies between the swedish and english descriptions. I must say I’m impressed about the amount of effort put into this. The English version (“very soon”) to catch on with the latest DLs. Wasn’t it?

      By the way… Spying on people is not stealing? 😉 Why bother do one’s best if there are so many people in this world just working to spy on those efforts, steal them and lock them behind monopolies such as patents and copyrights? Really no reason to do one’s best under those circumstances… unless getting a phat paycheck directly by the monopolists.

      1. phalacy

        Nobody is trying to stop you from creating your own version of Photoshop. It is not a natural resource, it is a product that someone has made. Obviously creating a whole version of such a sophisticated software is a daunting task, which is why those who pursued it expect to be compensated for their efforts.

        As for the rest of your comment, something must have been lost in translation because it makes no sense in reference to my comment.

        1. gurrfield

          “Nobody is trying to stop you from creating your own version of Photoshop.”

          Of course they don’t try stoping me from doing that – they want me to try and do that on my own so they can spy on me, steal the best parts and sell to the big guys.

          What did you think NSA did? Hunt pedophiles and terrorists? Of course not, there’s not much money in hunting terrorists and pedophiles. Much more money in running the big guys’ errands by spying on their competition.

          Even better if I’m lured to try do it on my own, because then, they don’t even have to pay me one dime for it.

        2. next_ghost

          Nobody is trying to stop you from creating your own version of Photoshop.

          Why on Earth should such monumental waste of effort be necessary to avoid unjust restrictions unilaterally imposed by some monopoly holder?

        3. Maledict

          Complete horseshit gurrfield and you know it. Adobe is not stopping anyone from producing their own version of photoshop or paint software.

          It literally does not matter that each copy of photoshop can be generated just out of thin air. It literally does not matter. They put effort into creating it, they deserve to be compensated. If you think their price is unreasonable, then don’t buy it. Pure and simple. Anything else – like this atrocious and illogical article – is lots of mental gymnastics that would make the Chinese Acrobatics team jealous with envy.

          The ‘logical’ justification from this piece would be applicable to basically any other piece of software on the planet. Pricing model itself be damned whether it be subscription based be damned.

          // Of course they don’t try stoping me from doing that – they want me to try and do that on my own so they can spy on me, steal the best parts and sell to the big guys. //

          No, the true answer is that producing software like Photoshop takes a fuckton of work, support, and time. Which costs money. You want it for free because you’re a pirate. And you’re too much of a hypocrite and lazy ass to actually put your money where your mouth is. Because if you did actually invest the time into creating any competing software, you’d realize you deserve to be compensated for your work – which would render your position right now essentially baseless.

          I have no idea where you NSA/Spy red-herring came from, but I’m not even going to bother to address it.

          // From my point of view, Adobe is asking me to shell out a portion of my future revenue before I’ve actually made it. //

          I’m sorry, this is so beyond a child’s concept of the world and handling money, I don’t even know where to begin. This author seriously needs a basic and very quick rundown on Money Management 101, and a shift from an entitlement complex to one of being a responsible member of society rather than a leech.

          // It’s ethically wrong to abide by Adobe’s demand to be paid, because they don’t care about how much money anyone has, or how healthy the supply of money is in the commons, and that kind of attitude is toxic for everyone. //

          LOL WAT.

          Why yes. It’s ethically wrong to expect to be paid for people using your products and or services.

          Seriously, this author is a fucking nutcase.

        4. gurrfield

          Maledict:

          If there is a demand to improve photoshop (or any other software) , people are free to pay for that. But if anyone makes a fuckton of work without having it financed or even probing for interest beforehand… that’s a risky behaviour. You can always make a “demo” or “Proof of Concept” with considerably less work to market the idea and probe for interest.

          Demanding money for the copies as-such is impossible. Just forget it. It’s a yesterday or 1900s thing even and it’s not coming back. Anything else is wishful thinking. We should be starting to build museums already to teach our kids and grandkids how strange a beast this copyright machine once was. They would probably find it hard to believe that people actually paid for copies back in the days. “No internet, come on dad that can’t be right, how did you google!?”

          However… the copies can still work as free PR for the labour to create, improve, support and whatever else people find value in. Doing something for once and then getting money out of thin air (copies) is just not realistic anymore – and that’s ultimately a good thing for the economy. But if enough companies (or fans or whatever) find value in the latest version, they might want to invest in your work so you can make it even more awesome. Photoshop was good and early so they have a first-movers-advantage. Everyone knows about photoshop et.c.

          These days with open source software I’d bet pirating photoshop is actually lots of better for photoshop long-term than if people just said “fuck shoop, I’m going GIMP”. Once you build a knowledge and habit of using it – you’re STUCK. You need more and more of it and better versions and… well pretty much like some really good horse shit.

          As to the spying part. Yes sure, you know more about the world than me… Did you not read about the NSA scandal the other year?

          Does it seem so unreasonable to you that it is money (or protecting flows of money) that drives the spying..?

        5. Maledict

          // If there is a demand to improve photoshop (or any other software) , people are free to pay for that. But if anyone makes a fuckton of work without having it financed or even probing for interest beforehand… that’s a risky behaviour. You can always make a “demo” or “Proof of Concept” with considerably less work to market the idea and probe for interest. //

          And people – Like me – do all the time. I’m sorry, what are you actually -NOT- getting, other than that you want to be able to use programs like photoshop that took a lot of work, time, bug hunting, and programing and support and MONEY, to develop – for free, and having a message entitlement complex that would dwarf most Americans? Also, the fact that you don’t know that Adobe offers their products as a trial for 30 days (A Demo) is embarrassing. Do you actually know what you’re talking about, or just raging against any machine?

          // Demanding money for the copies as-such is impossible. Just forget it. It’s a yesterday or 1900s thing even and it’s not coming back. Anything else is wishful thinking. We should be starting to build museums already to teach our kids and grandkids how strange a beast this copyright machine once was. They would probably find it hard to believe that people actually paid for copies back in the days. “No internet, come on dad that can’t be right, how did you google!?” //

          Specious argument, no rhyme nor solid reasoning.

          // However… the copies can still work as free PR for the labour to create, improve, support and whatever else people find value in. Doing something for once and then getting money out of thin air (copies) is just not realistic anymore – and that’s ultimately a good thing for the economy. But if enough companies (or fans or whatever) find value in the latest version, they might want to invest in your work so you can make it even more awesome. Photoshop was good and early so they have a first-movers-advantage. Everyone knows about photoshop et.c. //

          Copies working as free PR is a marketing issue, and is entirely a company’s perogative if they want to or not. You have no say in what they choose to do or not do.

          And I beg entirely to differ with regards to “doing something once and then getting money out of thin air (copies)” – Your claim that it is bad for the economy is ludicrous given that, if applied to EVERY OTHER SOFTWARE ON THE PLANET BY THE WAY, it lowers resource usage and waste in terms of physical copies. I don’t see people like you clamoring that they should get computer games for free, and that developers shouldn’t be compensated for the ‘copies’ of games that sell through Steam.

          // These days with open source software I’d bet pirating photoshop is actually lots of better for photoshop long-term than if people just said “fuck shoop, I’m going GIMP”. Once you build a knowledge and habit of using it – you’re STUCK. You need more and more of it and better versions and… well pretty much like some really good horse shit. //

          I work as a digital artist. I do not know any serious professional AT ALL who uses GIMP over Photoshop CC 2014. The only people I know using GIMP are dabbling amateurs who then transition over to Photoshop due to how robust it is not only technically, but as a standard platform.

          // As to the spying part. Yes sure, you know more about the world than me… Did you not read about the NSA scandal the other year? //

          Actually, I probably do know more about what happens in the world than you.

          I also know the NSA spying scandal is entirely irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Your red herrings won’t fly. Stick to the point.

          // Does it seem so unreasonable to you that it is money (or protecting flows of money) that drives the spying..? //

          What the hell does this have to do with the topic at hand?

          I suggest you take a look at your massive entitlement complex. You’re actually putting Americans to shame. That’s an achievement.

        6. next_ghost

          I’m sorry, what are you actually -NOT- getting, other than that you want to be able to use programs like photoshop that took a lot of work, time, bug hunting, and programing and support and MONEY, to develop – for free, and having a message entitlement complex that would dwarf most Americans?

          Your entire argument basically boils down to this: “My carefully maintained garden has produced several cubic kilometers of pure oxygen this year which you’re all breating for free. Maintaining my garden cost me lots of money and effort. Who’ll pay me for that?”

          Sorry, but the market doesn’t care about your effort or expenses. If you want to get paid, you need to give it a much better reason to pay you than that.

          Also, the fact that you don’t know that Adobe offers their products as a trial for 30 days (A Demo) is embarrassing.

          You have completely missed gurrfield’s point.

          // Demanding money for the copies as-such is impossible. Just forget it. It’s a yesterday or 1900s thing even and it’s not coming back. Anything else is wishful thinking. We should be starting to build museums already to teach our kids and grandkids how strange a beast this copyright machine once was. They would probably find it hard to believe that people actually paid for copies back in the days. “No internet, come on dad that can’t be right, how did you google!?” //

          Specious argument, no rhyme nor solid reasoning.

          There was no argument in that paragraph. gurrfield was simply stating what the objective reality is right now.

          And I beg entirely to differ with regards to “doing something once and then getting money out of thin air (copies)” – Your claim that it is bad for the economy is ludicrous given that, if applied to EVERY OTHER SOFTWARE ON THE PLANET BY THE WAY, it lowers resource usage and waste in terms of physical copies. I don’t see people like you clamoring that they should get computer games for free, and that developers shouldn’t be compensated for the ‘copies’ of games that sell through Steam.

          I have no idea what this paragraph means.

        7. gurrfield

          “Copies working as free PR is a marketing issue, and is entirely a company’s perogative if they want to or not. You have no say in what they choose to do or not do.”

          So why should said company have a “right” to stop other people from using their own equipment to produce copies? That is an entitlement complex if anything is. Although it is a normalized entitlement complex. We have been brought up and taught to accept it. That, however, does not make it a “right”.

          Infringing on peoples freedoms is not very “American” is it?

          Copyrestrict is a major restriction of freedom. Comparable as if restaurants or cooks (recipe makers and/or food-preparers) had legal rights to stop people from using their frying pans or put licenses on their use.

          Think about how massive amounts of lost sales they get because people can put on their skulls-and-crossbones apron and fire up that stove.

          Putting Americans to shame? Why would I? I’m not even American. However, I have been brought up believing that America is the “land of the free”. Well, prove it. Almost all other businesses there’s professional and there’s hobby alternatives. But for some reason you think you’re entitled to some special set of privileges to stop hobby competition of distribution.

          How could the practical impossibility of upholding a law within the framework of democracy be irrelevant..?

          I’m not raging against just any machine. I don’t have energy over for much more than copy-restrict, thank you.

        8. Maledict

          // Your entire argument basically boils down to this: “My carefully maintained garden has produced several cubic kilometers of pure oxygen this year which you’re all breating for free. Maintaining my garden cost me lots of money and effort. Who’ll pay me for that?” //

          Amazing strawman,, false equivalency – is that all you have thief?

          // Sorry, but the market doesn’t care about your effort or expenses. If you want to get paid, you need to give it a much better reason to pay you than that. //

          Spoken like a true thief with absolutely no self-awareness.

          They have a product, you pay for it – no one is forcing you to buy or not buy it.

          How the fuck are you not getting this concept?

          // So why should said company have a “right” to stop other people from using their own equipment to produce copies? That is an entitlement complex if anything is. //

          You have it literally backwards. It’s their intellectual property, not yours. Why do *you* feel entitled to make copies of their property to begin with?

          Don’t like it, don’t agree to buy or use it.

          // Infringing on peoples freedoms is not very “American” is it? //

          This has nothing to do with that, nice try with the red herring. This has everything to do with theft, and you not wanting to pay for the service and feeling entitled to do what you want with their property.

          If you don’t like what Adobe or any entity offers, don’t buy it.

          The very fact that you are arguing the case for infringing shows the extreme entitlement issue here at work. It would be better if you got an actual job, and stopped projecting your kleptomania onto others. See a psychologist.

        9. next_ghost

          // Your entire argument basically boils down to this: “My carefully maintained garden has produced several cubic kilometers of pure oxygen this year which you’re all breating for free. Maintaining my garden cost me lots of money and effort. Who’ll pay me for that?” //

          Amazing strawman,, false equivalency – is that all you have thief?

          Please explain how these two thing are not equivalent. I insist that they are equivalent because I have simply interchanged two non-scarce goods and the corresponding costs and efforts necessary to maintain them. I don’t see any reason why this exact interchange would be invalid within the context of our conversation.

          They have a product, you pay for it – no one is forcing you to buy or not buy it.

          How the fuck are you not getting this concept?

          Oh, I get it all right. But this concept doesn’t apply to non-scarce goods. Because that’s exactly what “non-scarce” means.

          You have it literally backwards. It’s their intellectual property, not yours. Why do *you* feel entitled to make copies of their property to begin with?

          Don’t like it, don’t agree to buy or use it.

          Copyright is monopoly, not property. The difference between the two is that in case of “property”, the seller loses all rights to your copy once the trade transaction is complete. In case of “monopoly”, the seller retains most rights to your copy (particularly rights to impose restrictions on you) even after the trade transaction is complete.

          And most importantly, copyright is monopoly which infringes on *MY* property.

        10. gurrfield

          You still don’t get it, do you? Theft is when something is lost. Copying produces new without anything is lost.

          Come on. Even a 5 year old understands that. If someone takes a toy from them it’s not the same as if someone else gets that toy too.

          It is you who has a skewed sense of “entitlement”. You have a “right” to do a work for once and then profit indefinitely of that one-time-work with virtually no limit whatsoever.

          Ordinary people with ordinary jobs get paid for new labour by the hour or by the month. New money for each new effort.

          Somehow you are “finer” than them, right? You somehow deserve to get paid over and over per copy for a one time work.

          You are really the spoiled guy here…

        11. gurrfield

          next_ghost writes:

          “And most importantly, copyright is monopoly which infringes on *MY* property.”

          Yes, that’s the point why I told him that copyrestricts saboutages freedom.

          It restricts what you are allowed to do with your computer ( which is your property ) and physical media ( which are also your property ).

          Computers are the factories of our time. Internet is the railroad or superhighways of our time. Could potentially increase our standards of living dramatically. If we allow them to.

          But it won’t if we cling to old laws which restrict usage of said factories and infrastructure.

        12. Maledict

          // Please explain how these two thing are not equivalent. I insist that they are equivalent because I have simply interchanged two non-scarce goods and the corresponding costs and efforts necessary to maintain them. I don’t see any reason why this exact interchange would be invalid within the context of our conversation. //

          Jesus christ, are you trolling or really that stupid?

          The two are not the same. It is a false equivalence because in your strawman example you cited air as being the non-scared resource.

          Here’s something of a landmark concept: No one owns air.
          Adobe owns photoshop. It is a software that they developed with their own money, and time – they have a right to copyright and protections just like any other product on the market.

          // Oh, I get it all right. But this concept doesn’t apply to non-scarce goods. Because that’s exactly what “non-scarce” means. //

          Of course it still applies – why the hell wouldn’ it?

          “Non-scarce” in this sense applies to the cost of production/replication which is next to nothing. If you want to get absolutely pedantic, it still costs electricity to produce – not to mention the time put into development. It still costs something to develop, market, fund, and do market research and produce it it, just because costs of production of copies to the point they’re “non-scarce” have dropped to virtually zero (But not literally zero. And even THEN it is still irrelevant in principle), does not mean the analogy you cited it to: Air – is even remotely equivalent. No one owns nature dumbshit.

          Photoshop is still contained in the supply side of the chain – just because costs of production dropped to virtually zero, does not in any way change things in principle. Otherwise if you condone theft of Adobe’s products, you must in principle condone theft of everything else as well whose products and costs of production are not virtually zero. Otherwise you would be hypocrites if you don’t. Time to bite the bullet.

          // Copyright is monopoly, not property. The difference between the two is that in case of “property”, the seller loses all rights to your copy once the trade transaction is complete. In case of “monopoly”, the seller retains most rights to your copy (particularly rights to impose restrictions on you) even after the trade transaction is complete.

          And most importantly, copyright is monopoly which infringes on *MY* property. //

          Then here’s a concept for you: Don’t buy Adobe’s products. Ignore it, and move on.

          The very fact that you are using an extremely insipid and see-through, unthought-out rational to justify your kleptomania shows how much of an entitled thief you are to Adobe’s products in particular. You’re being irrational. For you to be consistent in your logic, you’re also going to have to apply that sense of entitlement to every other product in existence, otherwise you have a double standard, and thus a hypocrite.

          Bite the bullet: What’s it going to be?

          // You still don’t get it, do you? Theft is when something is lost. Copying produces new without anything is lost.

          Come on. Even a 5 year old understands that. If someone takes a toy from them it’s not the same as if someone else gets that toy too.

          It is you who has a skewed sense of “entitlement”. You have a “right” to do a work for once and then profit indefinitely of that one-time-work with virtually no limit whatsoever.

          Ordinary people with ordinary jobs get paid for new labour by the hour or by the month. New money for each new effort.

          Somehow you are “finer” than them, right? You somehow deserve to get paid over and over per copy for a one time work.

          You are really the spoiled guy here… //

          Theft is when you take something that is not yours. Just because the production costs are virtually next to zero, does not mean theft has not occurred: You have used their property that, to normally do so, you’d have to pay for. Do I literally have to lay out all the technical logic for you with crayon for you to understand a concept that most 5 year olds do?: Theft is wrong.

          You are literally trying to rationalize that it is not theft to infringe and appropriate Adobe’s products because costs of production are so low to the point of making it non-scarce – is still irrelevant. You are trying to justify theft and piracy, which at ITS CORE is based in an entitlement of others property – and you have the balls to (Project your traits and) call others entitled because they can see through your horseshit logic, and say that Adobe has the right to earn money off their products (Regardless of the cost of production being virtually low enough to make it non-scarce) by selling it, and others have the right to not buy it if they do not agree with their subscription model? (You do realize many other companies in existence utilize this correct? Like MMOs? I don’t hear you crying how you are entitled to their products – c’mon, where’s the consistency in your platform? I’m sure society will run very well when it’s governed by Kleptomaniacs) You speak much of “strong-arming”, when it’s something even most 5 year olds have begun to understand: It’s called the Law, in civilized society.

          Here’s a landmark concept for you – I’m sorry that no one has ever told you this, but here’s a surprise: Theft is wrong.

          If you do not understand the last 3 words in the previous paragraph, there is no hope for you, and good luck being taken seriously at all in life or getting anywhere. I have more productive things to do than talking to entitled kleptomaniacs.

        13. next_ghost

          Here’s something of a landmark concept: No one owns air.
          Adobe owns photoshop. It is a software that they developed with their own money, and time – they have a right to copyright and protections just like any other product on the market.

          Need I remind you that the legitimacy of copyright monopoly itself is the issue at hand? If the only reason you can come up with why the two examples aren’t equivalent is “because copyright monopoly applies to one and not the other”, then I win the argument. Because you just effectively agreed that if copyright monopoly was abolished, the two examples would become equivalent. So either both claims for compensation deserve legal protection, or neither one does.

          // Oh, I get it all right. But this concept doesn’t apply to non-scarce goods. Because that’s exactly what “non-scarce” means. //

          Of course it still applies – why the hell wouldn’ it?

          Since the goods in question are non-scarce, the number of potential suppliers is physically unlimited. I reject the legal monopoly which requires that one specific supplier has to be part of every single transaction which involves those goods. I’m perfectly happy to cover the negligible cost of producing a new copy for me as long as no monopoly interferes with my choice of supplier.

          just because costs of production of copies to the point they’re “non-scarce” have dropped to virtually zero (But not literally zero. And even THEN it is still irrelevant in principle), does not mean the analogy you cited it to: Air – is even remotely equivalent. No one owns nature dumbshit.

          I’m absolutely sure that I own every single green leaf in my garden. The civil code in my country says so. “Owning” the oxygen generated by those green leaves is no different from “owning” every single copy of Photoshop in the world.

          Otherwise if you condone theft of Adobe’s products, you must in principle condone theft of everything else as well whose products and costs of production are not virtually zero. Otherwise you would be hypocrites if you don’t. Time to bite the bullet.

          What you label as “theft” is called “legitimate competition” in most other industries. In fact, it’s even legally protected in antitrust laws. So yes, I do condone competition on the market.

          Then here’s a concept for you: Don’t buy Adobe’s products. Ignore it, and move on.

          Copyright monopoly will infringe on my property and my rights even if I completely ignore all proprietary products.

        14. gurrfield

          “Here’s a landmark concept for you – I’m sorry that no one has ever told you this, but here’s a surprise: Theft is wrong.”

          Theft is if someone loses smth. I copy -> you don’t lose it. I steal -> you lose it. See the difference?

          Copying is not stealing, it’s manufacturing and copyrestrict is not ownership but just a restriction of peoples’ freedom to manufacture copies.

    2. TG

      Ayn Rand was very wrong on this topic. “Intellectual property” is theft of real property.

    3. next_ghost

      We ensure that the laws of supply and demand do not destroy this relationship by breaking up monopolies.

      Correction: Copyright law breaks the mathematical law of supply and demand by creating artificial monopolies.

      1. Maledict

        Rebuttal: It is also irrelevant that it does.

        1. gurrfield

          No it’s not irrelevant. Monopolies in one field automatically devalues labour in other fields. The labour market is also a market.

          Jobs where you get paid every hour for producing continous work suffer if everyone wants part of the monopoly money in the fancy copyright businesses.

          You might not care right now, but when you’re old and sick and you realize the outrageously bad care you get is because bo one wants to work with that because people in healthcare don’t get paid shit in comparison to the copyright-based parts of the economy…

        2. Maledict

          “Monopolies” in this case of the creative field is a copyright and protection that enables you to make a profit off of your creative endeavors.

          If there are none, a lot of the incentive to publish or put out there the work would vanish once creative types (Like me) realized their were no protections, and our work could be appropriated ad lib. It wouldn’t be devalued. It would vanish.

          You’re one to talk about ‘devaluing’ the labour in other fields. This is plain nonsense vis-a-vis creative work. You’re literally arguing backwards from reality.

          // You might not care right now, but when you’re old and sick and you realize the outrageously bad care you get is because bo one wants to work with that because people in healthcare don’t get paid shit in comparison to the copyright-based parts of the economy… //

          Red herring.

        3. gurrfield

          Can you explain why it must be the copies as such which are assigned a value?

          The important part is that the work can be financed, right? And there exist several models to do that already which are not dependent on copy-rights.

        4. gurrfield

          Maledict writes:

          “You’re one to talk about ‘devaluing’ the labour in other fields. This is plain nonsense vis-a-vis creative work. You’re literally arguing backwards from reality.”

          The vast majority of the money that copyright brings in employs people who are not creators, but rather middle-men, managers or even just paid shills in various contexts.

          Copyright as of today ensures there are well-paid non-sensical jobs in entertainment which pay far more than other really necessary jobs. How can you not realize that some of those people would rather have chosen to work in for instance health care if it paid better ( in comparison ).

  19. The Tech Guy

    You know, you could just not buy Adobe products and use GIMP. I mean, you’re free to do that, right? Is Adobe preventing you from using GIMP? That’s what living in a free society does to you. It gives you choices. You can *choose* not to shell out a ton of cash on Photoshop and instead use a free product.

    That’s how a market works. What you’re hoping will happen is that someone, some day, will force Adobe to let people use its product for free. That’s called autocracy, and you’re doing a mighty fine job of it.

  20. All

    You forget that Adobe is not only Photoshop, but also 20 or so other softwares that more or less work well together.

    When there is great free alternatives to Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, Edge etc, with the user experience in mind as well, I might abandon Adobe. That have not happened for the last 20 years though.

    And no, Gimp can’t even compete with Photoshop – sorry.

  21. think a little longer

    This… is a horrible article based on incredibly poor logic, or the complete absence of logic. It’s an awful attempt at justification, and nothing more.

    Adobe’s products are non-scarce because they are made up of ones and zeros? Seriously? So is the output of the end users. So is your article. So is this comment.

    I really hesitate to call people idiots on the internet, even if I’m thinking it, but this article is so devoid of reason or sense that I almost feel it duty to do so.

    Please take a little more time to think about this issue and your ‘position’. Or a lot more time.

    1. Per "wertigon" Ekström

      Actually, I think it is you who need to think a couple of steps beyond.

      All software is non-scarce. All digital goods is non-scarce. They have infinite supply since one can make a new copy at virtually no cost whatsoever. It costs just as much to make 1 copy as 10^1000 copies.

      In classic market economy theory, when supply increases, the price lowers to drive demand. But when supply is endless, and you are not the sole producer of the supply (and when it comes to all digital information, everyone can produce a copy), then the copy becomes unsellable.

      That is not to say it is not worth anything. Air, for example, is worth quite a bit, as is water. It’s just not worth any money, to pay for copies anymore.

      You know what still is worth paying for though? Your time as a programmer.

      1. Don't be a parasite

        This article is one of the worst justifications for piracy I have ever seen, and your reply makes little sense either

        Software is non-scarce, but effort and manpower are not, along with the funds to purchase them. Regardless of Adobe getting the lions share of the dough without actively developing the software themselves, they still used prior funds as an investment for development. Marketing and management is also required for the software to be profitable and for the development team to reach a profitable deadline. To say there is no cost, or even a negligible cost on Adobe’s hands is simply not true

        You deduce that what adobe is selling is data of limitless supply. It is not, it offers a paid service with specific features. Demand decreases when these features are available through lest costly methods such as freeware, the “supply” in this case being the uniqueness of features available. If freeware cannot match payware in terms of features, demand for payware remains.

        Comparing Adobe products to air in “worth” is ludicrous. Air and to a lesser extent water are abundant to the point where they are unmarketable in most cases. Copies of fully functional software do not come about without effort naturally, it is completely reasonable for a developer to charge for it

        1. next_ghost

          Software is non-scarce, but effort and manpower are not, along with the funds to purchase them.

          Which means only one thing: the business model is broken and needs to change.

        2. gurrfield

          Yes, it is reasonable to charge for the work to produce, maintain and support software. I agree with you there.

          How do you go from there to saying that it must be the copies as such which must have a value?

          Make a demo or a PoC. If there’s an interest or a demand people will be happy to help kickstart it and/or other companies will help co-finance.

        3. Per "wertigon" Ekström

          Like I said – your output is not worth money anymore. Your time, however, is.

          So find a way to get paid for your time instead of your output – and many people already have found a way – and you will be doing just fine.

          The sooner we can stop feeding greedy corporations like Adobe by using alternative products though, the better.

      2. Don't be a parasite

        @next_ghost
        Its still a legitimate business model.

        @gurrfield
        You have the wrong impression of what a “copy” is. You’re probably under the impression that the finalised prototype required resources, while what’s being sold are material objects copied at no cost whatsoever. You’d like to think that the photoshop program running on your com is what you paid for.

        It’s not. Adobe is offering a service, not a product, despite it being called that. When you buy photoshop, you are paying to be allowed to use it, much like admission to a theme park or cinema. The theme park hired workers to build the attractions, it hires workers to maintain it, and you pay to use it.

        You might argue that its not the same, that you actually do pay for a tangible product when you buy photoshop. Thats an illusion, adobe has made something and you pay for the opportunity to download/install it.

        @Per “wertigon” Ekström
        So output isn’t worth a bite? A carpenter can be paid to make a chair, but the one who hired him cannot sell it? Is everyone supposed to only get goods they want by personal commission, never from middle parties?

        That’s far too idealistic. Even if all “corporations” were dissolved today, and independent contractors were free to work for whoever, new “corporations” would just spring up from individuals who manage to obtain more profit. The only way a “corporations” can be curbed permanently requires individuals to lose rights.

        Stop calling out corporations as if they’re some bogeyman, they’re just as valid as any company.

        1. gurrfield

          So if I pirate something and like it. It creates a demand for me to want more of it. Maybe I need support, then I can pay for that. Maybe I want more features, then I can invest in that. But if I don’t like it, no harm done.

          Piracy is PR for the creators future work (as long as plagiarism still is illegal / unaccepted, but almost no one wants to make plagiarism legal, right?).

          What may have a value is exactly what you write : it is support and maintaneance and new features, fixing bugs et.c.

          Many people already work with producing open source software and are paid continously for support, maintaneance and new versions. Not necessary to pay for the copies anymore.

          The output is worth something, because it can create a demand for your future work. You can get new fans / patrons / investors if you produce something which they find a value in.

          A good song makes people curious, what if this guy can make more cool songs? That would have a value for me. A good software creates demand for support, maintain and new versions. Either by individuals or corporations. Anyhow it’s the copies which create a demand for the work – and the work which should be paid for.

        2. next_ghost

          Its still a legitimate business model.

          The monopoly behind it, however, is not legitimate. Let’s see how well the business model works without the monopoly.

          You have the wrong impression of what a “copy” is.

          A “copy” is just meaningful arrangement of bytes inside some physical media. We don’t care what abstract meaningless buzzwords would Adobe like us to pay for.

          @Per “wertigon” Ekström

          wertigon was clearly speaking about non-scarce goods. Applying his argument to scarce goods make your post fallacious.

        3. Per "wertigon" Ekström

          The output of a programmer is worth just as much as water, air and any other non-scarce goods.

          Digital goods are non-scarce. A chair is scarce – but it would not be, if I could copy it in five seconds like I can with a movie. A program is not scarce.

          It stands to reason then, that if you find value in a program – maybe it increases your bottom line for example – it would be worth investing some time and/or money in it’s maintenance and development. But if you won’t, or cannot, then you have no right to complain about said software.

          And please note that I am not for the abolishment of corporations or business. I’m merely pointing out that the current business model used by most software corporations are going to become less and less profitable as technology evolves.

          Copyright works on the false premise that one can make non-scarce goods scarce through regulation. It worked back when a printing press cost tens of thousands of dollars. It doesn’t work today when everyone and their auntie have one.

          The modern computer is a printing press, and the internet makes everyone into a publisher.

        4. Don't be a parasite

          @gurrfield
          I assume you’ve never heard of the concept of a free trial, or to a lesser extent freemium products, considering that you think piracy is a main outlet for PR.

          Now I don’t believe the law makes something right or wrong, but when theres a legal alternative to achieving a purpose, said method should be given priority.

          When it comes to PR, there are DEFINITELY better alternatives to piracy. As a start, adobe already clearly lists all functions for a particular program on its respective site, failing that, it offers free trials for pretty much all its programs. In respect to other software companies that don’t atleast do this, any given program with enough of a userbase, will have youtube vids/tutorials highlighting enough features for PR.

          I’ve already said that the base services of a program have a value, and also have costs. Even IF, and I say IF, a software had no real worth/cost as you claim, the idea of paying for support would bring up more damage than the current system.
          Instead of the fully tested and debugged software being sold, software would instead be released buggy, devoid of features, and intentionally unstable so that people like you would pay for support/maintenance.

          And the ironic kicker of your reply? An analogy using music, which is something so often pirated, that pirates I know find it ridiculous to even pay for music from their favourite authors.

          Yes, work should be paid for. But so should a service, since it offers features and such that did require work.

          @next_ghost
          Sure monopolies exist, diamonds in particular, but I doubt software has any such, considering opensource or otherwise less popular programs are not being inhibited in any way

          Wow, not only did you not address any points I brought up, you completely ignored everything written prior! Before writing off the word copy in your own definition, have a look at my themepark analogy. Software isn’t physical once installed, whatever you do to your copy doesn’t affect the original one made, therefore it is more akin to a service, than a sold product. Stop buzzwording the word “copy”

          I replied to what was written, not what was implied. Regardless if Mr wertigon made it clear about what goods he was mentioning, my argument still stands. What Wertigon wrote suggested that labour has worth while product does not, the chair analogy fits this.

          @Per “wertigon” Ekström
          Digital products are not scarce as copies per se. Which is why I’ve been highlighting them as part of a service rather than a physical good. The cost of copying software is negligible, but to reach this point where copies can be made, the software required resources. It is illogical and unfair to not have to pay for something that required resources. Since the features of the software have a cost, but not the installed copy, its a more accurate way to look at digital good manufacturers as offering access to the features through payment rather than as selling copies.

          Theres little value to invest in developing a product for your companies interests, when there are already software makers offering functional/dedicated products that you can purchase for less. Yes, you have no right to complain with what the market has to offer if you refuse to develop your own software, which is the status quo.

          [I’m merely pointing out that the current business model used by most software corporations are going to become less and less profitable as technology evolves.]
          If thats your opinion, then theres no reason to change the current system, since as you believe, they would die out on their own

          Not sure why you brought up copyright, but I disagree. It has a purpose to ensure that original creators get some share of their work, and its especially more beneficial today for individuals and smaller setups, as compared to its roots in censorship.

          {The modern computer is a printing press, and the internet makes everyone into a publisher.}
          Yeah, and an author who doesn’t get paid

        5. gurrfield

          Don’t be a parasite writes :

          “{The modern computer is a printing press, and the internet makes everyone into a publisher.}
          Yeah, and an author who doesn’t get paid”

          Well if the copies are free and if people like what the author writes, it should have a value for them to pay him for writing. If they don’t care enough to invest in his work, suit themselves.

        6. Per "wertigon" Ekström

          You are still missing the point.

          A software is not a service. It is a product. This product can be copied an infinite amount of times by anyone. Yes?

          Therefore, the service of aqcuiring the product – actually getting the product – is not worth much. Would you pay someone to do something you might do as well or better yourself? The answer is usually no.

          The problem, here, is that Internet has made that service – the service of distribution – worthless. And it was the service of distribution that was the big money-maker.

          Now, think one step further. If the distribution service is (as good as) worthless, surely there are other ways to make a living? And yes, actually, there is.

          Therefore, is it not better to say – ok, you know what, we can’t make distribution worth money again – but we can give you a monopoly on all commercial uses of your creation, for a limited time.

          If someone makes money on Your stuff(tm) without first asking your permission, you are entitled to all revenue that person makes on Your stuff(tm). If it is not clear how much money you are entitled to, say that you are one of ten thousand rights holders and no records have been kept, then you are entitled to 1% of the total revenue of the company/entity.

          Of course, sites like TPB are not commercial in nature. Sharing a copy without profit motives is simply not a crime..

        7. next_ghost

          Sure monopolies exist, diamonds in particular, but I doubt software has any such, considering opensource or otherwise less popular programs are not being inhibited in any way

          Copyright itself is a monopoly.

          Before writing off the word copy in your own definition, have a look at my themepark analogy. Software isn’t physical once installed, whatever you do to your copy doesn’t affect the original one made, therefore it is more akin to a service, than a sold product. Stop buzzwording the word “copy”

          Your theme park analogy is a failed attempt to rationalize something completely irrational. You’re basically saying that if we twist and bend our own reasoning hard enough, it might eventually start making sense. Sorry, but when something doesn’t make sense, we prefer to replace it with something more sensible.

          Regardless if Mr wertigon made it clear about what goods he was mentioning, my argument still stands. What Wertigon wrote suggested that labour has worth while product does not, the chair analogy fits this.

          Has it ever occured to you that attaching a price tag to certain products may destroy significant part of their economic value?

          Digital products are not scarce as copies per se. Which is why I’ve been highlighting them as part of a service rather than a physical good. The cost of copying software is negligible, but to reach this point where copies can be made, the software required resources. It is illogical and unfair to not have to pay for something that required resources.

          Do you pay for all the open source software that you use? Again, attaching price tag, destroying value.

          Since the features of the software have a cost, but not the installed copy, its a more accurate way to look at digital good manufacturers as offering access to the features through payment rather than as selling copies.

          The most accurate way to look at this is that it’s the manufacturers who have the responsibility to make their business model align with reality. Distorting reality for the benefit of a few corporations is plainly harmful to the world..

          [I’m merely pointing out that the current business model used by most software corporations are going to become less and less profitable as technology evolves.]
          If thats your opinion, then theres no reason to change the current system, since as you believe, they would die out on their own

          That’s not really guaranteed. They will eventually die out if we prevent furter expansion of copyright monopoly beyond its current scope. That alone is a very hard battle. And even if we succeed in that, copyright will still needlessly extend the agony, causing harm to the entire world.

          Not sure why you brought up copyright, but I disagree. It has a purpose to ensure that original creators get some share of their work, and its especially more beneficial today for individuals and smaller setups, as compared to its roots in censorship.

          Financial compensation is still nothing more than an afterthought in copyright. How about a different system which allows unlimited copying and its central idea is that the author deserves a cut of any revenue made using his work?

        8. Don't be a parasite

          @next_ghost

          !Copyright itself is a monopoly.!
          There are elements, though nothing in place that prevents fresh startups from entering the market

          *Your theme park analogy is a failed attempt to rationalize something completely irrational. You’re basically saying that if we twist and bend our own reasoning hard enough, it might eventually start making sense. Sorry, but when something doesn’t make sense, we prefer to replace it with something more sensible.*
          You could have summed that up as “I am right and you are wrong, I’ll just ignore your points completely, call anything I dont like nonsense, then act as if Im intellectually superior” I didn’t “twist or bend” nothing, I simply stated something observable. All this whining about software being non-scarce and easily copyable, and yet you still want to compare it directly to a tangible material.

          As you’ve said, software can be copied infinitely with negligible cost. Use of a copy does not affect the original or the creators’ “inventory”. And yet, unlike wertigon’s comparisons to air/water/physical non scarce goods, it doesn’t come into being naturally, it needs hands to make it.

          You can’t insist that its still a product in the same sense as a shelve grocery, and then impose logic for physical items on it.

          ~Has it ever occured to you that attaching a price tag to certain products may destroy significant part of their economic value?~
          Nice that you use the word “certain”, meaning some, not all. The face that theres still a market that still pays for software disproves that

          `Do you pay for all the open source software that you use? Again, attaching price tag, destroying value.`

          I wasn’t clear enough in this regard. I meant that in regards to Adobe who used resources with the intention of garnering profit, rather then a freeware developer investing resources fully intent on his content being shared.

          :The most accurate way to look at this is that it’s the manufacturers who have the responsibility to make their business model align with reality. Distorting reality for the benefit of a few corporations is plainly harmful to the world..:
          Do enlighten me on your definition of “reality”. Also tell me how this distortion of “reality” brings harm to the world

          ^ How about a different system which allows unlimited copying and its central idea is that the author deserves a cut of any revenue made using his work?^
          I assume this is in regards to software creators, because if this replaced copyright, artists and writers could only make a buck off of tracings and fanfics. A system like this offers no benefit to profiteers, only to people who want to spread an idea. The chances for plagiarism are painfully high, a hack could just copy a profit intended product, slap on two lines of code, call it his own, then release it for free, negating any profit to the developer.

        9. gurrfield

          “The chances for plagiarism are painfully high, a hack could just copy a profit intended product, slap on two lines of code, call it his own, then release it for free, negating any profit to the developer.”

          I agree with you there, “don’t be a parasite”. However. This is because of the rampant spying hierarchy exposed the other year and has nothing to do with piracy. Really no reason to do any work unless you have a steady paycheck directly from the monopolists.

          Spying is extremely much worse with respect to plagiarism than copying/piracy ever was. You don’t see pirates trying and plagiarize your work or spy on your “industrial secrets”. That’s the real threat to a start-up, not piracy. Piracy will help make you popular if you are a start-up. For Free. And reaching out / becoming popular is probably the main challenge for a start-up…

          It’s the spying in combination with copyright and patents which makes any effort by lone “small guys” utterly futile.

        10. gurrfield

          don’t be a parasite wrote:

          “Instead of the fully tested and debugged software being sold”

          LOL, that was the laugh of the morning for me. Glad I didn’t choke on my coffee. :)

      3. Don't be a parasite

        If someone could teach me how to quote or alter text, it’d make this much more organised. For now, I’ll try heading quotes with underscores and such things till I nail a quote by chance

        @Per “wertigon” Ekström
        The product was made so that a “copy” could be open to download by a paying customer. The software itself is not the service, the opportunity to download/install the software is the service. Adobe is selling tickets to see its shows. When someone has made software using his own resources, has teams specially made for support for the software, and created the software with the intention of turning a profit, you fucking bet he has more right to distribute the software than a third party not connected to development.

        The right of distribution of material lies in the hands of its creator, if the creator should leave his work opensource and free for all, thats fine and dandy. Thats his right. Should the creator want only paying individuals to access his content, he has the same right. It is not in the right for a third party to take a creation without permission and allow access by his own means. This concept applies not only to pirates who give it away free, but also to plagiarisers who cash in for themselves.

        _If the distribution service is (as good as) worthless, surely there are other ways to make a living? And yes, actually, there is._
        I lost you here, what exactly is the alternate way to make a living?

        /Therefore, is it not better to say – ok, you know what, we can’t make distribution worth money again – but we can give you a monopoly on all commercial uses of your creation, for a limited time./
        I lost you here too, but I think theres some sarcasm in this text

        |If someone makes money on Your stuff(tm) without first asking your permission, you are entitled to all revenue that person makes on Your stuff(tm). If it is not clear how much money you are entitled to, say that you are one of ten thousand rights holders and no records have been kept, then you are entitled to 1% of the total revenue of the company/entity.|
        Well I’m quite sure this ones sarcasm. In regards to this, I agree that punishments for copyright infringement can be rather grim and unfair.

        Crime? Maybe not to the level of murder, but still damaging to creators. It reduces the number of paying customers available, and drives a mentality where people refuse to pay for anything at all, even things they like.

        !Copyright itself is a monopoly.!
        There are elements, though nothing in place that prevents fresh startups from entering the market

        *Your theme park analogy is a failed attempt to rationalize something completely irrational. You’re basically saying that if we twist and bend our own reasoning hard enough, it might eventually start making sense. Sorry, but when something doesn’t make sense, we prefer to replace it with something more sensible.*
        You could have summed that up as “I am right and you are wrong, I’ll just ignore your points completely, call anything I dont like nonsense, then act as if Im intellectually superior” I didn’t “twist or bend” nothing, I simply stated something observable. All this whining about software being non-scarce and easily copyable, and yet you still want to compare it directly to a tangible material.

        As you’ve said, software can be copied infinitely with negligible cost. Use of a copy does not affect the original or the creators’ “inventory”. And yet, unlike wertigon’s comparisons to air/water/physical non scarce goods, it doesn’t come into being naturally, it needs hands to make it.

        You can’t insist that its still a product in the same sense as a shelve grocery, and then impose logic for physical items on it.

        ~Has it ever occured to you that attaching a price tag to certain products may destroy significant part of their economic value?~
        Nice that you use the word “certain”, meaning some, not all. The face that theres still a market that still pays for software disproves that

        `Do you pay for all the open source software that you use? Again, attaching price tag, destroying value.`
        I wasn’t clear enough in this regard. I meant that in regards to Adobe who used resources with the intention of garnering profit, rather then a freeware developer investing resources fully intent on his content being shared.

        :The most accurate way to look at this is that it’s the manufacturers who have the responsibility to make their business model align with reality. Distorting reality for the benefit of a few corporations is plainly harmful to the world..:
        Do enlighten me on your definition of “reality”. Also tell me how this distortion of “reality” brings harm to the world

        ^ How about a different system which allows unlimited copying and its central idea is that the author deserves a cut of any revenue made using his work?^
        I assume this is in regards to software creators, because if this replaced copyright, artists and writers could only make a buck off of tracings and fanfics. A system like this offers no benefit to profiteers, only to people who want to spread an idea. The chances for plagiarism are painfully high, a hack could just copy a profit intended product, slap on two lines of code, call it his own, then release it for free, negating any profit to the developer.

        1. Per "wertigon" Ekström

          The software itself is not the service, the opportunity to download/install the software is the service.

          Yes. Exactly this. They are financing the software by having a monopoly on distributing copies. But that monopoly is now impossible to uphold, thanks to the way the internet work. The service of distribution can now be done by anyone with a computer, phone, or tablet.

          There are plenty of ways to make money without a monopoly on distribution. If we repurpose copyright law to mean “Commercial use needs royalties, Noncommercial use is free” instead of “Noone may copy this but me” then I believe we as a society are far better off.

        2. next_ghost

          If someone could teach me how to quote or alter text, it’d make this much more organised.

          <blockquote>Wrap the quoted text in a blockquote tag.&lt/blockquote>

          When someone has made software using his own resources, has teams specially made for support for the software, and created the software with the intention of turning a profit, you fucking bet he has more right to distribute the software than a third party not connected to development.

          The entire history of economics says otherwise. Locking out those third parties slows progress down both directly (of the product itself) and indirectly (of improving other things thanks to that product). Unfortunately, those in power pay no attention to that.

          _If the distribution service is (as good as) worthless, surely there are other ways to make a living? And yes, actually, there is._
          I lost you here, what exactly is the alternate way to make a living?

          For example charging for support and feature requests like we do at our company.

          There are elements, though nothing in place that prevents fresh startups from entering the market

          Narrow monopoly is still a monopoly. I understand that it may be hard to realize that all the harmful effects of the more familiar wide monopoly are still there when you can say “But you can create your own monopoly and compete with the other one!” The greatest harm of all from these narrow monopolies is that so much progress is lost forever whenever one of those narrow monopolies is abandoned by its holder.

          You could have summed that up as “I am right and you are wrong, I’ll just ignore your points completely, call anything I dont like nonsense, then act as if Im intellectually superior” I didn’t “twist or bend” nothing, I simply stated something observable.

          You didn’t state anything observable, you only tried to rephrase the discussion in misleading terms.

          All this whining about software being non-scarce and easily copyable, and yet you still want to compare it directly to a tangible material.

          Excuse me, WHAT?

          As you’ve said, software can be copied infinitely with negligible cost. Use of a copy does not affect the original or the creators’ “inventory”. And yet, unlike wertigon’s comparisons to air/water/physical non scarce goods, it doesn’t come into being naturally, it needs hands to make it.

          You can’t insist that its still a product in the same sense as a shelve grocery, and then impose logic for physical items on it.

          Seriously, WHAT?!

          I have no idea what you meant by that. The mathematical laws of economics are exactly the same for both scarce and non-scarce products. But those laws lead to different results exactly because those products have vastly different economic properties.

          You can’t fight laws of mathematics. You can’t legislate water to flow uphill. The only thing that will work is using the laws of mathematics to your advantage.

          ~Has it ever occured to you that attaching a price tag to certain products may destroy significant part of their economic value?~
          Nice that you use the word “certain”, meaning some, not all. The face that theres still a market that still pays for software disproves that

          That last sentence only proves that you have no idea what I meant by “economic value”. Imagine you had to pull out your credit card every time you wanted to google something. Or imagine that all Facebook users would have pay a monthly subscription fee for having an account there. Can you hear the crickets chirping? Attaching a price tag to those two services would render them worthless, even if a handful of hardcore users would gladly pay for them. That’s what I meant by “economic value”. And it applies equally even to software products which make obscene profits to their creators through licence fees.

          I wasn’t clear enough in this regard. I meant that in regards to Adobe who used resources with the intention of garnering profit, rather then a freeware developer investing resources fully intent on his content being shared.

          I’m writing this reply with the intention of getting a pink pet pony unicorn. Do you owe me one now? The market doesn’t care about your intentions.

          :The most accurate way to look at this is that it’s the manufacturers who have the responsibility to make their business model align with reality. Distorting reality for the benefit of a few corporations is plainly harmful to the world..:
          Do enlighten me on your definition of “reality”. Also tell me how this distortion of “reality” brings harm to the world

          The reality is that trying to charge money for non-scarce product is a monumentally stupid idea. Trying to make that stupid idea work through law is pure madness akin to legislating water to flow uphill. Our governments are wasting incredible amounts of resources on enforcing something that won’t work no matter what. We could quite literally cure many diseases in the developing world just by stopping this ridiculous witch hunt and probably solve world hunger (at least for a while) on top of that. Sharing is not a threat, it’s a world-changing opportunity.

          Whatever you charge money for, it has to be scarce by nature (not only by law) and you must have at least partial practical control over it (again, not only by law).

          ^ How about a different system which allows unlimited copying and its central idea is that the author deserves a cut of any revenue made using his work?^
          I assume this is in regards to software creators, because if this replaced copyright, artists and writers could only make a buck off of tracings and fanfics.

          When you’re an artist, anybody who finds a new way to make money off your art makes you profit. And that part about unlimited sharing means that there will be lots of people trying very hard to make money for you.

          A system like this offers no benefit to profiteers, only to people who want to spread an idea. The chances for plagiarism are painfully high, a hack could just copy a profit intended product, slap on two lines of code, call it his own, then release it for free, negating any profit to the developer.

          Who cares about the code being released for free when there are tons of cash rolling in through dozens of other business models?

        3. Don't be a parasite

          @Per “wertigon” Ekström
          Is it so much a monopoly, as it is a restriction? Yes, anyone can do it, but is it right for them to distribute without permission? The copies were intended to turn a profit by being payed for, would you say it is right for someone to not only leech off the developers, but also allow an easier way for others to do the same?

          Im aware there are other ways to make money, but are these methods more profitable? Or even able to match profitability of paid software? Theres some merit in “Commercial use needs royalties, Noncommercial use is free”, but do you honestly believe theres not a vast amount currently who use pirated software commercially?

          @next_ghost

          Locking out those third parties slows progress down

          I don’t care if it slows progress down, I’m asking whether the third party is in the right when it distributes creations without the creators consent, when it sacrificed neither time nor resources in its development.

          Narrow monopoly is still a monopoly. I understand that it may be hard to realize that all the harmful effects of the more familiar wide monopoly are still there when you can say “But you can create your own monopoly and compete with the other one!”

          Not really, under the broader definition of a monopoly(which is not how I would define it), any given “monopoly” only prevents smaller set-ups from destroying their profit, there is no imminent threat by the “monopoly” to prevent these set-ups from earning enough to keep the lights on.

          The greatest harm of all from these narrow monopolies is that so much progress is lost forever whenever one of those narrow monopolies is abandoned by its holder.

          Again with progress lost. How so? What would you define as “progress”?

          I have no idea what you meant by that. The mathematical laws of economics are exactly the same for both scarce and non-scarce products. But those laws lead to different results exactly because those products have vastly different economic properties.
          You can’t fight laws of mathematics. You can’t legislate water to flow uphill. The only thing that will work is using the laws of mathematics to your advantage.

          Quit the circular reasoning, your counter to my analogy always goes back to scarcity, and now you’re trying to use unspecified economic principles as if they were a god-given set rule. Im not bashing econs, its studied and it generally works, but do tell which “laws of mathematics” proves your point.

          If you dont get what I was trying to argue, lets put it this way. The concept of scarcity does not apply to digital materials, yet you continue to apply it as such. You insisted that it is non-scarce, as copying software and the like has negligible cost, and then proceed to reason against it as if it were a conventional non-scarce good. What you fail to realise is that software cannot reach its copyable release state without resources. So in a way, it is “scarce”. But how can it be both “scarce” and “non-scarce”? It can’t.

          That last sentence only proves that you have no idea what I meant by “economic value”.

          Perhaps you’re using a definition of “economic value” you made up in your head because as long as there are paying customers, the product will always have economic value

          Imagine you had to pull out your credit card every time you wanted to google something. Or imagine that all Facebook users would have pay a monthly subscription fee for having an account there.

          Are you seriously comparing a commercial design tool requiring a single purchase, to be equivalent to paying every time for each simple browser search/ a monthly subscription for one of many social services? Great false equivalence there buddy.

          Attaching a price tag to those two services would render them worthless, even if a handful of hardcore users would gladly pay for them.

          Now hold on just a minute pal, lets look at this with a bit of YOUR OWN logic. According to you, software in itself has no real value, as it is non-scarce. And now, also according to yourself, apparently software now has a worth that relates to its functionality.

          Wow, such contradicting opinions! So basically speaking:
          1) Your alternative to paying for software is for it to be totally free, despite the fact that the developer may have invested very expenses into it for the reason of making a return?
          2)Or, you acknowledge that the software has a kind of worth by functionality, yet you refuse to pay for it, at the expense of any the developer who expected to make a return from development?
          3)You arguments are contradictory

          I’m writing this reply with the intention of getting a pink pet pony unicorn.

          Of course you are, brony. I was making it clear that it was a failure on my part for not defining my point clearly enough

          The reality is that trying to charge money for non-scarce product is a monumentally stupid idea.

          If you need me to point out evidence of your comparison of digital goods to regular products, its right here.

          Our governments are wasting incredible amounts of resources on enforcing something that won’t work no matter what. We could quite literally cure many diseases in the developing world just by stopping this ridiculous witch hunt and probably solve world hunger (at least for a while) on top of that.

          My, how Falkvinge has winded up your key.

          To think you would blame world problems on enforcement of copyright, and laud piracy as a cure for third world suffering. “Well hey malnourished African children, now that you can download photoshop without legal consenquences, your tummies won’t be bloated from lack of protein anyyyymore…”. As far as where government spending can be cut for humanitarian efforts, there are far worse sectors that can be snipped at.

          Whatever you charge money for, it has to be scarce by nature (not only by law) and you must have at least partial practical control over it (again, not only by law).

          Do tell me where fully functional software happens to pop up in the wild. Also tell me what the function of DRM is, and how third parties can maintain “control” if the original developer doesn’t make new products

          When you’re an artist, anybody who finds a new way to make money off your art makes you profit. And that part about unlimited sharing means that there will be lots of people trying very hard to make money for you.

          But the artists can’t profit of their art directly right? Also, thanks for reminding me about all the people who graciously thought to themselves after pirating something, “Gee, I sure want to make this guy some money, which is why I never paid for his stuff in the first place…”, before running off excitedly to deliver a cut of their annual salaries to the developers company.

          Who cares about the code being released for free when there are tons of cash rolling in through dozens of other business models?

          Certainly not the customers, because there’s a free version that does the same thing. And certainly not the original developer, he couldn’t do anything even if he wanted to, since he can’t sue for copyright.

          The problem with all these free-sharing alternate models is how virtuous you think pirates are. To say that 1 in 10 of file-sharers will return profit to the developer, would be a complete lie, and to even claim 1 in 20 would be a stretch.

          test

      4. Don't be a parasite

        @Per “wertigon” Ekström
        Is it so much a monopoly, as it is a restriction? Yes, anyone can do it, but is it right for them to distribute without permission? The copies were intended to turn a profit by being payed for, would you say it is right for someone to not only leech off the developers, but also allow an easier way for others to do the same?

        Im aware there are other ways to make money, but are these methods more profitable? Or even able to match profitability of paid software? Theres some merit in “Commercial use needs royalties, Noncommercial use is free”, but do you honestly believe theres not a vast amount currently who use pirated software commercially?

        @next_ghost

        Locking out those third parties slows progress down

        I don’t care if it slows progress down, I’m asking whether the third party is in the right when it distributes creations without the creators consent, when it sacrificed neither time nor resources in its development.

        Narrow monopoly is still a monopoly. I understand that it may be hard to realize that all the harmful effects of the more familiar wide monopoly are still there when you can say “But you can create your own monopoly and compete with the other one!”

        Not really, under the broader definition of a monopoly(which is not how I would define it), any given “monopoly” only prevents smaller set-ups from destroying their profit, there is no imminent threat by the “monopoly” to prevent these set-ups from earning enough to keep the lights on.

        The greatest harm of all from these narrow monopolies is that so much progress is lost forever whenever one of those narrow monopolies is abandoned by its holder.

        Again with progress lost. How so? What would you define as “progress”?

        I have no idea what you meant by that. The mathematical laws of economics are exactly the same for both scarce and non-scarce products. But those laws lead to different results exactly because those products have vastly different economic properties.
        You can’t fight laws of mathematics. You can’t legislate water to flow uphill. The only thing that will work is using the laws of mathematics to your advantage.

        Quit the circular reasoning, your counter to my analogy always goes back to scarcity, and now you’re trying to use unspecified economic principles as if they were a god-given set rule. Im not bashing econs, its studied and it generally works, but do tell which “laws of mathematics” proves your point.

        If you dont get what I was trying to argue, lets put it this way. The concept of scarcity does not apply to digital materials, yet you continue to apply it as such. You insisted that it is non-scarce, as copying software and the like has negligible cost, and then proceed to reason against it as if it were a conventional non-scarce good. What you fail to realise is that software cannot reach its copyable release state without resources. So in a way, it is “scarce”. But how can it be both “scarce” and “non-scarce”? It can’t.

        That last sentence only proves that you have no idea what I meant by “economic value”.

        Perhaps you’re using a definition of “economic value” you made up in your head because as long as there are paying customers, the product will always have economic value

        Imagine you had to pull out your credit card every time you wanted to google something. Or imagine that all Facebook users would have pay a monthly subscription fee for having an account there.

        Are you seriously comparing a commercial design tool requiring a single purchase, to be equivalent to paying every time for each simple browser search/ a monthly subscription for one of many social services? Great false equivalence there buddy.

        Attaching a price tag to those two services would render them worthless, even if a handful of hardcore users would gladly pay for them.

        Now hold on just a minute pal, lets look at this with a bit of YOUR OWN logic. According to you, software in itself has no real value, as it is non-scarce. And now, also according to yourself, apparently software now has a worth that relates to its functionality.

        Wow, such contradicting opinions! So basically speaking:
        1) Your alternative to paying for software is for it to be totally free, despite the fact that the developer may have invested very expenses into it for the reason of making a return?
        2)Or, you acknowledge that the software has a kind of worth by functionality, yet you refuse to pay for it, at the expense of any the developer who expected to make a return from development?
        3)You arguments are contradictory

        I’m writing this reply with the intention of getting a pink pet pony unicorn.

        Of course you are, brony. I was making it clear that it was a failure on my part for not defining my point clearly enough

        The reality is that trying to charge money for non-scarce product is a monumentally stupid idea.

        If you need me to point out evidence of your comparison of digital goods to regular products, its right here.

        Our governments are wasting incredible amounts of resources on enforcing something that won’t work no matter what. We could quite literally cure many diseases in the developing world just by stopping this ridiculous witch hunt and probably solve world hunger (at least for a while) on top of that.

        My, how Falkvinge has winded up your key.

        To think you would blame world problems on enforcement of copyright, and laud piracy as a cure for third world suffering. “Well hey malnourished African children, now that you can download photoshop without legal consenquences, your tummies won’t be bloated from lack of protein anyyyymore…”. As far as where government spending can be cut for humanitarian efforts, there are far worse sectors that can be snipped at.

        Whatever you charge money for, it has to be scarce by nature (not only by law) and you must have at least partial practical control over it (again, not only by law).

        Do tell me where fully functional software happens to pop up in the wild. Also tell me what the function of DRM is, and how third parties can maintain “control” if the original developer doesn’t make new products

        When you’re an artist, anybody who finds a new way to make money off your art makes you profit. And that part about unlimited sharing means that there will be lots of people trying very hard to make money for you.

        But the artists can’t profit of their art directly right? Also, thanks for reminding me about all the people who graciously thought to themselves after pirating something, “Gee, I sure want to make this guy some money, which is why I never paid for his stuff in the first place…”, before running off excitedly to deliver a cut of their annual salaries to the developers company.

        Who cares about the code being released for free when there are tons of cash rolling in through dozens of other business models?

        Certainly not the customers, because there’s a free version that does the same thing. And certainly not the original developer, he couldn’t do anything even if he wanted to, since he can’t sue for copyright.

        The problem with all these free-sharing alternate models is how virtuous you think pirates are. To say that 1 in 10 of file-sharers will return profit to the developer, would be a complete lie, and to even claim 1 in 20 would be a stretch.

        test

        1. next_ghost

          Is it so much a monopoly, as it is a restriction? Yes, anyone can do it, but is it right for them to distribute without permission? The copies were intended to turn a profit by being payed for, would you say it is right for someone to not only leech off the developers, but also allow an easier way for others to do the same?

          Wrong question. The correct question is: Is it right to restrict freedom of 7 billion people to use their own physical property in order to secure profits for one company?

          The question you ask is wrong because when something has value, somebody will always find a way to turn it into profit even without any monopoly. And before you reply to this, make sure you read the rest of this post because you’ve got the whole concept of economic value so utterly wrong it’s not even funny.

          Im aware there are other ways to make money, but are these methods more profitable? Or even able to match profitability of paid software?

          Total revenue in 2013:
          Adobe Systems Inc.: $4.055 billion
          Red Hat, Inc.: $1.329 billion

          Yes, those other ways are profitable and more than able to keep up with monopoly-based business models.

          I don’t care if it slows progress down, I’m asking whether the third party is in the right when it distributes creations without the creators consent, when it sacrificed neither time nor resources in its development.

          Again, wrong question. How could it ever be right to hold back progress of the entire world just to benefit the bottom line of a few companies?

          Again with progress lost. How so? What would you define as “progress”?

          Imagine Adobe CEO goes crazy tomorrow and decides to discontinue Photoshop. That’s about a decade of lost progress right there (because that’s about how much GIMP is currently behind).

          Quit the circular reasoning, your counter to my analogy always goes back to scarcity, and now you’re trying to use unspecified economic principles as if they were a god-given set rule. Im not bashing econs, its studied and it generally works, but do tell which “laws of mathematics” proves your point.

          I don’t have anywhere near enough space here to go into detail about laws of mathematics so I’ll give you just the starting point: Look up “game theory”. And if you think I’m making fun of you now, read this article on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_theory

          And yes, if you believe in god, you could quite literally say it’s a god-given set rule. (As a side note, I regard most of economics as junk science. Game theory is probably the only solid part of economics because it’s done by mathematicians.)

          The concept of scarcity does not apply to digital materials, yet you continue to apply it as such. You insisted that it is non-scarce, as copying software and the like has negligible cost, and then proceed to reason against it as if it were a conventional non-scarce good. What you fail to realise is that software cannot reach its copyable release state without resources. So in a way, it is “scarce”. But how can it be both “scarce” and “non-scarce”? It can’t.

          The concept of scarcity applies to everything that can be traded. More on that below. You repeatedly fail to realize that the market doesn’t care about the process of production.

          Here’s an example: Let’s say you decide to start your own bakery. Other bakeries sell bread for $2 a loaf. No matter what you do, your costs for the exact same bread are $10 a loaf. So you can either sell at a loss or stop selling bread and do something else. Because nobody will pay you $10 for a loaf of bread that they can buy around the corner for $2. In other words, bread is not scarce enough to be profitable for you. And copies of finished software are by their nature not scarce enough to justify the official price.

          Are you seriously comparing a commercial design tool requiring a single purchase, to be equivalent to paying every time for each simple browser search/ a monthly subscription for one of many social services? Great false equivalence there buddy.

          I wasn’t going for equivalence this time. I was going for a blindigly obvious example of the concept. Your homework is to think about how that concept applies to software in general.

          Now hold on just a minute pal, lets look at this with a bit of YOUR OWN logic. According to you, software in itself has no real value, as it is non-scarce. And now, also according to yourself, apparently software now has a worth that relates to its functionality.

          And now finally the explanation of economic value and scarcity. Functionality of software IS its economic value. Economic value of everything is determined ONLY by how subjectively useful it is to somebody. Profit correlates with value, but it’s not an accurate measure of value by far. The factor that translates value into profit (or loss) is scarcity (AKA the law of supply and demand).

          Also, the question of scarcity is very simple: If there’s not enough for everybody who wants some and making more identical copies is expensive, then it’s scarce. Otherwise it’s non-scarce. That’s the only definition of scarcity that makes sense.

          To think you would blame world problems on enforcement of copyright, and laud piracy as a cure for third world suffering. “Well hey malnourished African children, now that you can download photoshop without legal consenquences, your tummies won’t be bloated from lack of protein anyyyymore…”. As far as where government spending can be cut for humanitarian efforts, there are far worse sectors that can be snipped at.

          Two words: Pharmaceutical patents. That’s the #1 reason why people in the developing world still die of diseases which are just a minor annoyance (or even completely eradicated) here in the developed world. And apart from foreign aid, there are also many patented technologies which could provide clean drinking water and enough food to people in developing countries if the people were allowed to actually use them.

          Also tell me what the function of DRM is, and how third parties can maintain “control” if the original developer doesn’t make new products

          DRM is a clever system designed to prevent paying customers from using the product. Pirates rarely come into contact with DRM.

          I don’t understand the second part of that question.

          The problem with all these free-sharing alternate models is how virtuous you think pirates are. To say that 1 in 10 of file-sharers will return profit to the developer, would be a complete lie, and to even claim 1 in 20 would be a stretch.

          I don’t think for a moment that people are virtuous. I just know that when there’s value, there’s also profit to be made and somebody will always find a way to get that profit. Why do you so stubbornly insist that the profit has to come from just one outdated business model?

        2. gurrfield

          “The problem with all these free-sharing alternate models is how virtuous you think pirates are. To say that 1 in 10 of file-sharers will return profit to the developer, would be a complete lie, and to even claim 1 in 20 would be a stretch.”

          Well, if they use it and find a value in it, then it should be in their own interest to invest in it… If they pirate it but don’t like it and don’t use it, then there’s really no loss. I can’t stress this enough.. Piracy really is free PR for the new work.

          Photoshop have professionals using their product. They have become dependent on support, maintaineance and also want new features. It has a value for them that the developers can keep developing. It is possible for companies to invest in each others and private individuals work without paying for copies, you know.

          Consultancy is not so uncommon among developers and Free-Lancing is not very uncommon among creators.

          Neither get paid by the copy.

        3. Per "wertigon" Ekström

          You are still missing the brunt of the argument.

          Having a bar in a mining town during the california gold rush also was also highly profitable business, but as time passed, that profitability dwindled.

          Factories used to dump toxic waste into nearby lakes for lots and lots of profitability. As laws changed they could no longer do so, becoming much less profitable.

          The fact that something was highly profitable because laws or circumstances allowed it to be, does in no way give it a right to continue to become highly profitable.

          The technological circumstances have changed. It’s no longer possible to uphold a copy monopoly – but it is still possible to control profit-driven business.

          The no. 1 reason to have copyright is not to ensure a profit motive but to ensure the creators have leverage against big business. Today it’s pretty much the opposite way around.

      5. Don't be a parasite

        @next_ghost

        … their own physical property…

        What now? Im not sure what you mean, but really now? They own this software that was developed at the expense of others? Huh?

        Total revenue in 2013:
        Adobe Systems Inc.: $4.055 billion
        Red Hat, Inc.: $1.329 billion

        Nicely done. I asked whether they could make more or even the same amount of money, and you went and gave me an example where they’re not doing either. Furthermore, Red Hat deals with the whole spectrum of opensource projects, while Adobe is only in design tools.

        How could it ever be right to hold back progress of the entire world just to benefit the bottom line of a few companies?

        You think Im just backing Adobe and other giants? This applies to individuals and small parties as well, they deserve the right over their own creations. You’re pretty good at dodging questions.

        Imagine Adobe CEO goes crazy tomorrow and decides to discontinue Photoshop. That’s about a decade of lost progress right there (because that’s about how much GIMP is currently behind).

        This is gold :^D

        All this talk about how opensource programs can close the gap, and now you admit that they’re a decade behind? Even I wouldn’t call gimp a full decade behind… And not only that, you even admit that Adobe is a leader in this field thats “making progress”. Wow.

        This just helps prove my point. Paying for software generates a much more stable profit than any cuts from commercial work. Its with this cash roll that Adobe can higher a huge team to get the next version done. Its with this new version that the next wave of dough comes in, and with that the next version. A productive cycle that generates that “progress” you so crave. Compare that to the handful of individuals working on GIMP, and you’ll see how much resources matter, and how products of this magnitude come about easier with a paid system.

        … Look up “game theory”

        Don’t underestimate me, I’ve heard of it. And I don’t see how this has any fucking thing to do with anything. Game theory’s just probability with risk calculated for the best outcome. Regardless of the “best” choice, there will always be situations where an individual makes a “bad” choice, in terms of principles, game theory isn’t a strong one, because its not definite, far from a “god-given” set rule. Plus it has fuck all to do with what I originally said and backs up nothing on your side.

        Here’s an example: Let’s say you decide to start your own bakery. Other bakeries sell bread for $2 a loaf. No matter what you do, your costs for the exact same bread are $10 a loaf. So you can either sell at a loss or stop selling bread and do something else. Because nobody will pay you $10 for a loaf of bread that they can buy around the corner for $2. In other words, bread is not scarce enough to be profitable for you. And copies of finished software are by their nature not scarce enough to justify the official price.

        Fair enough, I see your argument here. I suppose if you could steal bread and give it away for free, the other guys selling for 2 bucks would go out of business as well. And then there’d be no more bakeries in town making more bread for anybody.

        I wasn’t going for equivalence this time. I was going for a blindigly obvious example of the concept.

        Well maybe you should have made yourself sound more sarcastic, Wertigon’s good at that.

        Your homework is to think about how that concept applies to software in general.

        Which I already have. And it doesn’t. Because you didn’t give an exaggerated example, you gave examples that work on completely different concepts then tried to blow them off as the same.

        Economic value of everything is determined ONLY by how subjectively useful it is to somebody. Profit correlates with value, but it’s not an accurate measure of value by far.

        Guess I was right, you are using a definition off the top of your head. I guess its my turn to link.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_(economics)

        I’d particularly like to point out this sentence on the free encyclopedia:

        Note that economic value is not the same as market price. If a consumer is willing to buy a good, it implies that the customer places a higher value on the good than the market price

        Like I said, if there’s people paying, its still holding value.

        Also, the question of scarcity is very simple: If there’s not enough for everybody who wants some and making more identical copies is expensive, then it’s scarce. Otherwise it’s non-scarce. That’s the only definition of scarcity that makes sense.

        Atleast you got this defition right. But you didnt address how digital goods were scarce now did you. Making the copies is not expensive, but making the software is. You cannot make “copies” without developing something to be copied. And yet, it is wanted by people. It fulfils 1 condition making it non-scarce, or it could fulfil both conditions, making it scarce. Until you can point out how it doesn’t have an expense at its root, it cannot be called non-scarce.

        Two words: Pharmaceutical patents. That’s the #1 reason why people in the developing world still die of diseases which are just a minor annoyance (or even completely eradicated) here in the developed world. And apart from foreign aid, there are also many patented technologies which could provide clean drinking water and enough food to people in developing countries if the people were allowed to actually use them.

        “Oh starving African child! Lo and behold! Along with your now free Photoshop, I bring you, patents! Blueprints of machines described with terminology you would have known had you had the chance to attend education! Say goodbye to hunger, and suffering!” (clap)(clap)

        Yes I’m quite sure communities below the poverty line have the materials and the equipment to manufacture the medicine and infrastructure they need to cure illnesses and bend harsh terrains into fertile land. But should they not, their stable and uncorrupt goverments are surely to put these patents to good use for their people first and not their own agendas

        DRM is a clever system designed to prevent paying customers from using the product. Pirates rarely come into contact with DRM.

        Piracy itself is the art of overcoming the DRM. You can’t share the software before you crack it. Its about as much of a fail safe to piracy as a lock is on a door, given enough time it can be overcome. It is a valid example of “partial control” as you requested.

        I don’t understand the second part of that question.

        Maybe you did subconsciously, because you already typed it out. If Adobe one day just stops making products, there won’t be another that could take up its slack within a couple of years. Should any such developer stop developing, its the consumer that loses out, including the illegal ones. An indirect form of control, that can be spurred on from certain actions.

        I just know that when there’s value, there’s also profit to be made and somebody will always find a way to get that profit.

        And thats what they’re already doing, lets have a thought experiment shall we?

        In an ideal world, copyright is enforced properly, and no one pirates anything. In such a world, the profit would be netted from 100% of consumers, meaning all users of the software return cash.
        In another ideal world, open source development is lauded, and a cut of funds return to developer from supportive users. As you and I are doubtful of the intentions of human hearts, to the point where 1 in 20 are not even a confident return, it would mean less than 5% return cash.
        And where we are today, with current laws and piracy, the return would range around from 2/3 to 1/5 people paying. Thats still 20% to 67% of customers who pay back.
        Whatever system you approve off, it will never be more productive then what we have now, and as a consequence, software quality won’t be up to par either.

        Why do you so stubbornly insist that the profit has to come from just one outdated business model?

        And why insist on calling things outdated without any proof of such? The current system isn’t perfect, but it works. By the game theory that you’re so fond of, there is more pay off to stick with this method than to change to a riskier new business model.

        @gurrfield

        Well, if they use it and find a value in it, then it should be in their own interest to invest in it… If they pirate it but don’t like it and don’t use it, then there’s really no loss. I can’t stress this enough..

        And if they pirate it, like it, and dont invest in it? There is zero motivation for many pirates to support developers. I can’t stress this enough

        Piracy really is free PR for the new work.

        Its PR as a last resort. A 30 day trial gives you more than you need in PR, and any reasonable company gives it out.

        It is possible for companies to invest in each others and private individuals work without paying for copies, you know.

        Yes, its possible. Maybe you can convince next_ghost that GIMP is just as good as photoshop, too.

        Consultancy is not so uncommon among developers and Free-Lancing is not very uncommon among creators.
        Neither get paid by the copy.

        And neither make as much as if they did.

        @Per “wertigon” Ekström

        Having a bar in a mining town during the california gold rush also was also highly profitable business, but as time passed, that profitability dwindled.
        Factories used to dump toxic waste into nearby lakes for lots and lots of profitability. As laws changed they could no longer do so, becoming much less profitable.

        Huh? I swear owning a bar and illegally disposing waste was still profitable.

        The fact that something was highly profitable because laws or circumstances allowed it to be, does in no way give it a right to continue to become highly profitable.

        True I guess. But the fact that something is convenient for some individuals, yet detrimental to others, does not give it a right to become legal. Nothing has an innate right, unless its harmful, in which case it has the right to have laws against it.

        The technological circumstances have changed. It’s no longer possible to uphold a copy monopoly – but it is still possible to control profit-driven business.

        I see what your trying to say. If pirates can’t be stopped from pirating, copyright shouldn’t be maintained, is that it?

        So if a rioters can’t be stopped from rioting, the goverment should step down and allow them to usurp power, regardless if the rioters are in the wrong?

        The no. 1 reason to have copyright is not to ensure a profit motive but to ensure the creators have leverage against big business.

        Not really, only if you look at it symbolically. On the pure technical side, it actually is to give the creator a profit, enough so that he can feed himself atleast, but theres nothing against earning more than that as far as copyright goes.

        1. Per "wertigon" Ekström

          I see what your trying to say. If pirates can’t be stopped from pirating, copyright shouldn’t be maintained, is that it?

          No. I do not speak of the abolishment of copyright – merely the reform of how, and what, copyright is.

          Today, copyright is maintained by saying “Noone may copy this but the rights holder unless explicitly stated otherwise.”

          This is impossible to maintain in a world where everyone can create a perfect copy with basicly zero cost. Margin costs are zero for everyone with a computer and/or computing device (tablet, smartphone etc). Saying people must not is like saying people must not use the word “you” unless explicitly granted permission to do so.

          Now, instead of arguing “who copied your work” – we are refocusing to the question to “who made money on your work?”

          All of a sudden profit is still possible. Who cares if people are copying your work? As long as there are no money involved that’s fine. Of course, two things then become impossible:

          1. The business model of charging for the price of a copy. If everyone can get a copy from a different source for a cheaper price at the same convenience, then that business model is outdated. But people can and will do that in any case, today.

          2. Retracting a work. Once published, always published. Again this was true ever since internet reached every household, and only way to remove it is to outlaw the internet and any technology similar to it.

          These two are minor problems compared to all the huge ones current copyright laws create though.

        2. next_ghost

          … their own physical property…

          What now? Im not sure what you mean, but really now? They own this software that was developed at the expense of others? Huh?

          Don’t play dumb. Adobe and many other corporations feel entitled to make decisions about use of computers that they don’t own. That’s a clear violation of other people’s property.

          Total revenue in 2013:
          Adobe Systems Inc.: $4.055 billion
          Red Hat, Inc.: $1.329 billion

          Nicely done. I asked whether they could make more or even the same amount of money, and you went and gave me an example where they’re not doing either. Furthermore, Red Hat deals with the whole spectrum of opensource projects, while Adobe is only in design tools.

          Enough nitpicking. Red Hat has clearly succeeded in what you claim would be impossible. Product range is irrelevant, business model and its results are the only thing that matters in this discussion.

          How could it ever be right to hold back progress of the entire world just to benefit the bottom line of a few companies?

          You think Im just backing Adobe and other giants? This applies to individuals and small parties as well, they deserve the right over their own creations. You’re pretty good at dodging questions.

          Those individuals and small parties (who don’t work as serfs of huge megacorporations) already rely on alternative business models because they have no other choice. Replacing copyright monopoly with something more sensible would give them huge benefit. That’s part of the “progress of the entire world” that I was talking about above.

          All this talk about how opensource programs can close the gap, and now you admit that they’re a decade behind? Even I wouldn’t call gimp a full decade behind… And not only that, you even admit that Adobe is a leader in this field thats “making progress”. Wow.

          This just helps prove my point. Paying for software generates a much more stable profit than any cuts from commercial work. Its with this cash roll that Adobe can higher a huge team to get the next version done. Its with this new version that the next wave of dough comes in, and with that the next version. A productive cycle that generates that “progress” you so crave. Compare that to the handful of individuals working on GIMP, and you’ll see how much resources matter, and how products of this magnitude come about easier with a paid system.

          That’s just snowball effect in action. Photoshop is seen as the only player in its weight category while GIMP is seen as merely a toy for geeks by most of its potential users. When professionals start taking GIMP seriously, it’ll get much more development resources than Photoshop ever could. Just like all the big Unix vendors started contributing tons of resources into development of Linux.

          Don’t underestimate me, I’ve heard of it. And I don’t see how this has any fucking thing to do with anything. Game theory’s just probability with risk calculated for the best outcome. Regardless of the “best” choice, there will always be situations where an individual makes a “bad” choice, in terms of principles, game theory isn’t a strong one, because its not definite, far from a “god-given” set rule.

          That’s true from the players’ perspective. But form the global perspective, every game (in the mathematical sense) is also a special type of optimization problem (as in “linear programming” optimization). Throughout this entire discussion, I don’t care at all about strategies of individual players. I only care about improving the total sum of the game. If you have decent background in mathematics, this paragraph alone should now be enough to understand my point of view.

          Well maybe you should have made yourself sound more sarcastic, Wertigon’s good at that.

          When I write something sarcastic, I mark it with [sarcasm]. Everything else is dead serious.

          Your homework is to think about how that concept applies to software in general.

          Which I already have. And it doesn’t.

          This reply means that you didn’t even try to do your homework.

          Because you didn’t give an exaggerated example, you gave examples that work on completely different concepts then tried to blow them off as the same.

          For the last time, I didn’t ever imply any direct relation between Google’s or Facebook’s services and software products. Figuring out how “attaching a price tag destroys value” applies to software products is your homework. But I guess we’ll have to get back to that after we agree on a usable definition of “value”.

          Guess I was right, you are using a definition off the top of your head. I guess its my turn to link.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_(economics)

          This definition is too limited in scope to be useful for our discussion. We need a definition that can properly take into account the value produced by using something for free. Otherwise you can’t meaningfully compare whether or not it makes sense to charge money in the first place for something with zero marginal cost. Using currency as a measure of value means to completely disregard the value of free use.

          Also, the question of scarcity is very simple: If there’s not enough for everybody who wants some and making more identical copies is expensive, then it’s scarce. Otherwise it’s non-scarce. That’s the only definition of scarcity that makes sense.

          Atleast you got this defition right. But you didnt address how digital goods were scarce now did you. Making the copies is not expensive, but making the software is. You cannot make “copies” without developing something to be copied. And yet, it is wanted by people. It fulfils 1 condition making it non-scarce, or it could fulfil both conditions, making it scarce. Until you can point out how it doesn’t have an expense at its root, it cannot be called non-scarce.

          You keep mixing the process of development with the finished product like it’s the same thing. It’s not and never was. While it may be natural to recover development costs of scarce goods by charging 10% extra in the sales price (because you have to cover significant marginal costs anyway), it’s not natural to make sales price to be 100% development costs (when marginal cost is zero).

          Yes I’m quite sure communities below the poverty line have the materials and the equipment to manufacture the medicine and infrastructure they need to cure illnesses and bend harsh terrains into fertile land. But should they not, their stable and uncorrupt goverments are surely to put these patents to good use for their people first and not their own agendas

          Even the poorest of the poor countries have companies with enough resources and competent staff to use those patents. But when those companies have to pay license fees according to rich country standards, they won’t be able to find any customers in their own country.

          It is a valid example of “partial control” as you requested.

          DRM is just blatant violation of consumer protection laws if anything. The sort of control I was talking about is intrinsic. Which means that it doesn’t impose any restrictions on others in any way and nobody can defeat it just by modifying your products. As in “only you control how you use your own time.”

          And where we are today, with current laws and piracy, the return would range around from 2/3 to 1/5 people paying. Thats still 20% to 67% of customers who pay back.
          Whatever system you approve off, it will never be more productive then what we have now, and as a consequence, software quality won’t be up to par either.

          Or we could have thousands of companies cooperate on development of one product which they all use for different purposes in their own core business. That’s how Linux kernel has been developed for at least the last 15 years – companies that need changes in the Linux kernel hire a small full-time kernel development team to make those changes and then maintain them. Tons of resources going into further development – check. Finished product available for free – check. High quality – check.

          And why insist on calling things outdated without any proof of such? The current system isn’t perfect, but it works. By the game theory that you’re so fond of, there is more pay off to stick with this method than to change to a riskier new business model.

          When some business model would collapse without support from artificial monopoly, then it’s surefire sign the model outdated.

          Consultancy is not so uncommon among developers and Free-Lancing is not very uncommon among creators.
          Neither get paid by the copy.

          And neither make as much as if they did.

          Really? Go tell that to IBM and SAP consultants who charge more for one-day visit than the four of us here together earn in a year.

          True I guess. But the fact that something is convenient for some individuals, yet detrimental to others, does not give it a right to become legal. Nothing has an innate right, unless its harmful, in which case it has the right to have laws against it.

          That’s why countries around the world enacted anti-trust laws – because monopolies are harmful. Including copyright and patent monopolies.

          The technological circumstances have changed. It’s no longer possible to uphold a copy monopoly – but it is still possible to control profit-driven business.

          I see what your trying to say. If pirates can’t be stopped from pirating, copyright shouldn’t be maintained, is that it?

          Whether or not copyright monopoly infringement can be stopped doesn’t matter. Every attempt to stop it is harmful – it often causes significant collateral damage to rights of many unrelated people (thousands of unrelated websites were shut down during the 2006 police raid on Pirate Bay, DMCA is often abused for censorship etc.) and the activity it targets is often beneficial to the world in the larger picture. That’s what matters.

        3. Don't be a parasite

          @Per “wertigon” Ekström

          This is impossible to maintain in a world where everyone can create a perfect copy with basicly zero cost. Margin costs are zero for everyone with a computer and/or computing device (tablet, smartphone etc).

          Yes, zero cost to the pirate. But unless the software is opensource, they’ll have to crack it open illegally to do so. Its the same as saying we should reform the laws police uphold with consideration to robbers just because locks can be broken.

          Saying people must not is like saying people must not use the word “you” unless explicitly granted permission to do so.

          The word “you” does not belong to anybody, but imagine if you had a trade secret that keeps your company afloat, you’d want to only let people who keep their mouth shut have the permission to know about it, or you’ll go out of business. Thats the difference.

          Now, instead of arguing “who copied your work” – we are refocusing to the question to “who made money on your work?”
          All of a sudden profit is still possible.

          Yes possible, but no guarantee to match original profitably

          As long as there are no money involved that’s fine.

          Thats the thing, there is money involved. Potentially lots of it

          If everyone can get a copy from a different source for a cheaper price at the same convenience, then that business model is outdated.

          Sure, but what if their getting your stuff from someone else? What if your investment of capital/resources, not only doesn’t give you money, but lets someone else leech money for themselves, at no cost to themselves? Wouldn’t it be fair to atleast ask him to stop, if not to punish him?

          Retracting a work. Once published, always published. Again this was true ever since internet reached every household, and only way to remove it is to outlaw the internet and any technology similar to it.

          This is pretty much true for anything released into the public. In case you didn’t know, the internet IS public domain.

          @nextghost

          Don’t play dumb. Adobe and many other corporations feel entitled to make decisions about use of computers that they don’t own. That’s a clear violation of other people’s property.

          Hahaha! Do you think photoshop is spyware or something? Do you think photoshop users did not download it under their own decision, often times knowing completely well what restrictions come with it? Adobe can’t control your computer any more than within its products itself, if you wanna make an argument about that, even Linux could be seen as “controlling” your com. Tighten your tinfoil hat a bit more, your pirated photoshop might jump from your gadget and read your mind.

          Enough nitpicking. Red Hat has clearly succeeded in what you claim would be impossible. Product range is irrelevant, business model and its results are the only thing that matters in this discussion.

          Nitpicking? Oh wow, you try so hard. You could have made a better point comparing Red hat revenue to a small start up.
          Adobe is a leader in design tools, but no where near Microsoft and other giants. Yet Redhat is THE leader in opensource projects. As you can see it can’t even hold a candle to Adobe, even though its practically got the entire opensoure market, while Adobe only fits a niche.

          Those individuals and small parties (who don’t work as serfs of huge megacorporations) already rely on alternative business models because they have no other choice.

          Huge fucking assumption you’re making here. You’re gonna have to prove that these alt models are the goto method for these guys.

          Photoshop is seen as the only player in its weight category while GIMP is seen as merely a toy for geeks by most of its potential users.

          You seem to hate GIMP a lot, did Spencer molest you as a kid or something? Its the most popular alternative to paid image editors, I find it odd how you downplay GIMP, but laud opensource projects in general.

          When professionals start taking GIMP seriously, it’ll get much more development resources than Photoshop ever could. Just like all the big Unix vendors started contributing tons of resources into development of Linux.

          Yeah, like I said, big team=better quality
          There’s a difference between hired developers and volunteer contributes though, one’s strapped to his paycheck ensuring atleast a minimal amount of work done, the other can contribute a lot or pull out when he’s lazy. In terms reliability, wage slaves come out on top.

          That’s true from the players’ perspective. But form the global perspective, every game (in the mathematical sense) is also a special type of optimization problem (as in “linear programming” optimization). Throughout this entire discussion, I don’t care at all about strategies of individual players. I only care about improving the total sum of the game. If you have decent background in mathematics, this paragraph alone should now be enough to understand my point of view.

          Thats great and all. But still doesn’t address the original point. How does game theory make it so that the concept of scarcity applies to digital products?

          When I write something sarcastic, I mark it with [sarcasm]. Everything else is dead serious.

          [excite]Jesus Christ! Thats incredible![ment]

          This definition is too limited in scope to be useful for our discussion.

          “Wikipedia is truth when it backs my argument, but its false when it doesnt”

          We need a definition that can properly take into account the value produced by using something for free. Otherwise you can’t meaningfully compare whether or not it makes sense to charge money in the first place for something with zero marginal cost.

          And by rejecting this definition, you have acknowledged that digital items do not fall under the same economic principles as physical goods.

          Using currency as a measure of value means to completely disregard the value of free use.

          Even free items have a value in currency, except that its usually a tiny decimal/fraction of value of the smallest mintable currency piece.

          It’s not and never was. While it may be natural to recover development costs of scarce goods by charging 10% extra in the sales price (because you have to cover significant marginal costs anyway), it’s not natural to make sales price to be 100% development costs (when marginal cost is zero).

          I see your point here. But don’t assume that overcharging for products is limited to software, and there are digital products marketed at lower fractions of the development cost.

          Even the poorest of the poor countries have companies with enough resources and competent staff to use those patents. But when those companies have to pay license fees according to rich country standards, they won’t be able to find any customers in their own country.

          Stop. Seriously stop. Don’t assume that the worlds problems can be solved by merely abolishing/reforming copyright. There are many sociopolitical factors involved, not to mention resource availability and lack of basic infrastructure.

          The sort of control I was talking about is intrinsic. Which means that it doesn’t impose any restrictions on others in any way and nobody can defeat it just by modifying your products.

          Thats an overly explicit way to define it, since modification of anything

          Or we could have thousands of companies cooperate on development of one product which they all use for different purposes in their own core business.

          That still negates the potential gain from just selling it out right. And while its feasible for some software, its not applicable at all to creators of entertainment.

          When some business model would collapse without support from artificial monopoly, then it’s surefire sign the model outdated.

          The same can be said for any given business model that’s not regulated. I’m assuming the “artificial monopoly” you mention here refers to copyright laws. If copyright laws are “outdated” due to risk of collapse, any fucking law could be called “outdated”. I can just say, “Capitalism is at risk of collapse if major corporations might possibly lobby new laws to their favour, therefore capitalism is an outdated model”

          Really? Go tell that to IBM and SAP consultants who charge more for one-day visit than the four of us here together earn in a year.

          Yeah, and they’d only earn money from consultancy if they didn’t also sell software and tech. The point is that consultancy is one market, and payware is another, if your company is good enough to make money off both, theres no reason to omit dabbling in the software market. Unless you hate money.

          That’s why countries around the world enacted anti-trust laws – because monopolies are harmful. Including copyright and patent monopolies.

          Exactly, there’re already laws in effect preventing this, whats your problem now?

          Whether or not copyright monopoly infringement can be stopped doesn’t matter. Every attempt to stop it is harmful – it often causes significant collateral damage to rights of many unrelated people

          The enforcement of laws and search for incriminating evidence often infringes on rights. If there’s a murder in the neighbourhood, potential witnesses will be questioned. So the question is whether the infringement on freedom is worth the benefit from punishing the perpetrator.

          …and the activity it targets is often beneficial to the world in the larger picture.

          And here in lies the answer to the question. First off, no, it is not beneficial to the world in the larger picture. It is beneficial mostly to the parasite who will abuse this content for his own uses, and return nothing to the developer. There will be immediate benefit to the piraters, but often times, nothing will return to the developer after piracy. Should the developer lose his business or stop developing as a result, everyone loses, pirates included.

          So, is infringement of freedom more worth than the benefit from stopping the perp? To the livelihood of the developer, yes. To the parasite who will lose his host, definitely not.

          DMCA is often abused for censorship

          I’m also curious to how this happens

        4. Per "wertigon" Ekström

          Thats the thing, there is money involved. Potentially lots of it

          And there is potentially TONNES of money in this snake oil I have. Potential means nothing.

          Sure, but what if their getting your stuff from someone else? What if your investment of capital/resources, not only doesn’t give you money, but lets someone else leech money for themselves, at no cost to themselves? Wouldn’t it be fair to atleast ask him to stop, if not to punish him?

          If someone wish to get my stuff from a source other than me that’s fine. It’s called competition.

          If that source charges money or is otherwise raking in dough, then they have to pay me a part of their revenue (or all their revenue if they do not have a deal with me). If it’s a free service (no advertising,no subscriptions, no pay-per-view)…

          And if I bake a few hundred thousand snake oil pies that sell for $500 each, and noone buys it, then that is my fault for having a flawed business plan.

        5. next_ghost

          Yes, zero cost to the pirate. But unless the software is opensource, they’ll have to crack it open illegally to do so. Its the same as saying we should reform the laws police uphold with consideration to robbers just because locks can be broken.

          What status quo looks like is not an argument in discussion about changing it. Every law needs to be reevaluated on its own merits. Just because something looked like a good idea over 100 years ago doesn’t mean it makes sense today.

          Thats the thing, there is money involved. Potentially lots of it

          [sarcasm]Hey, if I could get at least a tiny fraction of all the money I could potentially make, I’d be filthy rich! Too bad potential money doesn’t count, only real money does.[/sarcasm]

          Sure, but what if their getting your stuff from someone else? What if your investment of capital/resources, not only doesn’t give you money, but lets someone else leech money for themselves, at no cost to themselves? Wouldn’t it be fair to atleast ask him to stop, if not to punish him?

          It’d be fair to have a right to part of that money. But nothing beyond that.

          This is pretty much true for anything released into the public. In case you didn’t know, the internet IS public domain.

          The copyright industry seems to strongly disagree. VERY strongly.

          Hahaha! Do you think photoshop is spyware or something? Do you think photoshop users did not download it under their own decision, often times knowing completely well what restrictions come with it? Adobe can’t control your computer any more than within its products itself, if you wanna make an argument about that, even Linux could be seen as “controlling” your com. Tighten your tinfoil hat a bit more, your pirated photoshop might jump from your gadget and read your mind.

          I assure you that Adobe’s lawyers can control many computers that have never come into contact with any Adobe software. For example by blackmailing ISPs (with the threat of very expensive lawsuit) to block certain communication protocols (eg. Bittorrent).

          Nitpicking? Oh wow, you try so hard. You could have made a better point comparing Red hat revenue to a small start up.
          Adobe is a leader in design tools, but no where near Microsoft and other giants. Yet Redhat is THE leader in opensource projects. As you can see it can’t even hold a candle to Adobe, even though its practically got the entire opensoure market, while Adobe only fits a niche.

          [sarcasm]Right. Red Hat is THE leader in open source. Right behind IBM, Intel, Oracle, Novell and maybe a dozen other IT megacorporations that have Linux departments much bigger than the whole Red Hat company but they also have other big profitable operations which disqualifies them as examples of copyrightless success.[/sarcasm]

          Those individuals and small parties (who don’t work as serfs of huge megacorporations) already rely on alternative business models because they have no other choice.

          Huge fucking assumption you’re making here. You’re gonna have to prove that these alt models are the goto method for these guys.

          Feel free to visit my employer. Our company is one of the little guys that can’t survive on license fees. But support subscriptions and feature request fees work fine for us, our partners and competitiors.

          You seem to hate GIMP a lot, did Spencer molest you as a kid or something? Its the most popular alternative to paid image editors, I find it odd how you downplay GIMP, but laud opensource projects in general.

          I’m just repeating what “the professionals” (most often people who only use Photoshop for red eye retouch) say about it. I personally use GIMP for everything that’s too complicated for Kolourpaint.

          When professionals start taking GIMP seriously, it’ll get much more development resources than Photoshop ever could. Just like all the big Unix vendors started contributing tons of resources into development of Linux.

          Yeah, like I said, big team=better quality
          There’s a difference between hired developers and volunteer contributes though, one’s strapped to his paycheck ensuring atleast a minimal amount of work done, the other can contribute a lot or pull out when he’s lazy. In terms reliability, wage slaves come out on top.

          It may come as a surprise to you but IBM, Intel, Oracle, HP, Novell, Red Hat and many other companies employ really big teams of full-time Linux developers.

          Thats great and all. But still doesn’t address the original point. How does game theory make it so that the concept of scarcity applies to digital products?

          If that was your entire point all along, I didn’t even need to bring up game theory. Scarcity as I have defined it above is an either/or question. There is no “does not apply”. The concept of scarcity applies to everything. You can only contradict that by fallaciously mixing two separate things together and pretending they’re one and the same.

          We need a definition that can properly take into account the value produced by using something for free. Otherwise you can’t meaningfully compare whether or not it makes sense to charge money in the first place for something with zero marginal cost.

          And by rejecting this definition, you have acknowledged that digital items do not fall under the same economic principles as physical goods.

          I have merely acknowledged that you can’t measure the temperature of boiling water with medical thermometer which only goes up to 43 degrees Celsius.

          Measuring value through currency cannot even account for the value of public roads, which have been crucially important for every economy in the whole world for the past several thousand years. And yes, I do mean to imply that software is as important for today’s economy as public roads. If something as expensive as roads can be used for free, why should we lock out people from using software and other knowledge?

          Even free items have a value in currency, except that its usually a tiny decimal/fraction of value of the smallest mintable currency piece.

          Recent research in psychology says there’s no such thing as “fraction of a cent” monetary value. Instead, there is some threshold (which varies from person to person) such that any customer is either willing to pay at least the full threshold price or nothing at all. So if your personal threshold is $5, you won’t pay a single cent for something if you’d hesitate to pay $5 for it.

          It’s not and never was. While it may be natural to recover development costs of scarce goods by charging 10% extra in the sales price (because you have to cover significant marginal costs anyway), it’s not natural to make sales price to be 100% development costs (when marginal cost is zero).

          I see your point here. But don’t assume that overcharging for products is limited to software, and there are digital products marketed at lower fractions of the development cost.

          Interesting. You see my point but you’re also completely missing it at the same time.

          Stop. Seriously stop. Don’t assume that the worlds problems can be solved by merely abolishing/reforming copyright. There are many sociopolitical factors involved, not to mention resource availability and lack of basic infrastructure.

          Exactly. Their situation is bad enough. So we shouldn’t be making it worse by imposing artificial restrictions on technologies that could help poor countries overcome the other problems.

          The same can be said for any given business model that’s not regulated. I’m assuming the “artificial monopoly” you mention here refers to copyright laws. If copyright laws are “outdated” due to risk of collapse, any fucking law could be called “outdated”. I can just say, “Capitalism is at risk of collapse if major corporations might possibly lobby new laws to their favour, therefore capitalism is an outdated model”

          Corporations have been writing new laws for themselves for quite some time and the sorry state of the whole world is the direct result of that. But in order to call some business model outdated, the monopoly has to already be in place.

          That’s why countries around the world enacted anti-trust laws – because monopolies are harmful. Including copyright and patent monopolies.

          Exactly, there’re already laws in effect preventing this, whats your problem now?

          My problem are the exemptions from anti-trust laws for some industries.

          DMCA is often abused for censorship

          I’m also curious to how this happens

          There’s an entire website dedicated just to that: https://www.chillingeffects.org/

      6. Don't be a parasite

        @Per “wertigon” Ekström

        And there is potentially TONNES of money in this snake oil I have. Potential means nothing.

        There are different levels of potential. There is the small potential of pirates returning money, and the much higher potential to earn money through paid software. Just as the potential for rain on a given day is higher than being struck by lightning. Arguing semantics is a moot point.

        If someone wish to get my stuff from a source other than me that’s fine. It’s called competition.

        You misunderstand. When I say “your stuff”, I literally mean your stuff. Imagine you make a batch of snake oil, someone steals one of your crates that you spent money to make, and sells it for himself. You’d call the cops, right?

        @next_ghost

        Every law needs to be reevaluated on its own merits.

        There’s merit in the status quo, so I guess that justifies it

        Hey, if I could get at least a tiny fraction of all the money I could potentially make, I’d be filthy rich!

        See above^

        Too bad potential money doesn’t count, only real money does.

        I don’t think this was sarcasm, you should learn to sarcasm quote better.

        It’d be fair to have a right to part of that money. But nothing beyond that.

        And the justification to this being?

        “Hey Jamal, nice bread you got. I’ll just take a few and sell it for you, maybe even eat some. What? You can sell it yourself just fine? Nah, I’ll do it anyway regardless of what you think. Don’t worry Jamal, you’ll get a cut of the cash, just not the full price like if you sold it on your own.”

        The copyright industry seems to strongly disagree. VERY strongly.

        Maybe you can address that for Wertigon, he’s firmly in place that stuff can’t get pulled off the net without destroying it entirely.

        I assure you that Adobe’s lawyers can control …

        Good lawyers are like wolverines, able to take down the largest game, and yet still weasels in their own right. These nasty fuckers could bring down a service regardless of the business model.

        …that have Linux departments

        Oh yes, when a company has a division dedicated to a single open source program, while mainly manufacturing hardware, you can bet for sure that most of their cash comes from Linux development. A simple google search will tell you that none of your mentioned companies started out cashing in on opensource programs.

        Feel free to visit my employer. Our company is one of the little guys that can’t survive on license fees.

        Poor you. I suppose I could consider your anecdotal evidence.

        employ really big teams of full-time Linux developers.

        Which proves my point, reliable development happens more often when you pay people to do something, rather than relying on volunteers.

        If that was your entire point all along, I didn’t even need to bring up game theory.

        My original point was that scarcity cannot be applied to software, when I posted that reply, you brought up how that goes against some sorta “mathematical laws”. When I asked what these “mathematical laws” were, you brought up game theory. I then pointed out how game theory has fuck all to do with scarcity. I don’t know at which point you trailed off there buddy.

        If something as expensive as roads can be used for free

        Some highways have tolls, long after the cost of building them has been covered, but most roads are free. Just as you can choose to sell or share your software.

        why should we lock out people from using software and other knowledge?

        The same can be said for education and medicine, its because of lack of resources. The incentive to make something depends on its outcome, when there are finite resources, you’d want to go into something that has a good outcome. The incentive for making software commonly involves cash, and the resources needed similarly being capital. If there was no guarantee for capital, many software projects wouldn’t exist.

        So if your personal threshold is $5, you won’t pay a single cent for something if you’d hesitate to pay $5 for it.

        Exactly. If you’d hesitate to pay $5 for it, it would be beyond your threshold for the product. However, should the product be sold at $3, or an appropriate price., you’d snap it up as per your threshold. You’d don’t pay for a single MnM because its value is not applicable in currency, you buy a packet of it weigted, because that is. Things can be valued in currency.

        Interesting. You see my point but you’re also completely missing it at the same time.

        I realise that marginal costs for software is negligible(except packaging). But I do not agree that it is wrong to set a particular price, even if it is much higher than production costs. The reason it can have that price tag, is because people are willing to buy it at that price, or atleast enough for it to be profitable. This refers to both digital and physical goods.

        Exactly. Their situation is bad enough. So we shouldn’t be making it worse by imposing artificial restrictions on technologies that could help poor countries overcome the other problems.

        In the very worst countries, these patents will do nothing. Without atleast some form of infrastructure, they can’t put these patents to use. Its like giving a starving man a television. Keep in mind it takes metal and tools for machinery, and seeds, fertile land, and water for crops, you don’t have these available, you won’t get moot out of patents.

        Corporations have been writing new laws for themselves for quite some time and the sorry state of the whole world is the direct result of that.

        And yet capitalism is still the domineering economic model of the world. You got a problem with that commie?

        But in order to call some business model outdated, the monopoly has to already be in place.

        Im gonna assume you’re referring to monopoly in the broader sense. If this was the case, I’d hardly suggest a business model that could destroy the media industry, and stunt the growth of the digital industry.

        My problem are the exemptions from anti-trust laws for some industries.

        Thats more to the government’s failure to do its job than to copyright laws themselves

        There’s an entire website dedicated just to that

        Quite interesting, chillingeffects is actually a lawbook for guys to find out why sites get taken down, I always thought they did the removing themselves. Other than a scientology claim, I don’t see DMCA take downs used for censorship, they’re probably others I don’t know about, but its usually pirate websites and sites with potential child pornography where the chilling effects tag shows up. I’d like to see cases other than scientology though, those guys can lobby for things further than movie studios.

        1. Per "wertigon" Ekström

          There are different levels of potential.

          Oh, certainly there is. But the potential of a flawed business plan is still irrelevant if that business plan does not work.

          Internet broke your business plan. It is no longer viable because the circumstances no longer allow it to be. How hard is that concept to grasp?

          someone steals one of your crates

          you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          I also do not think you understand the meaning of non-scarce goods. You cannot “steal” those since they are in infinite supply.

          Look, the heart of the matter is – internet has made copies of information non-scarce. And if your business model depends on that, well, sucks to be you.

          Copies are now non-scarce hence it makes no sense regulating copies. Instead one should regulate revenues deriving from a copyrighted work. That’s where the world is headed btw, one creator at a time…

        2. next_ghost

          Internet broke your business plan. It is no longer viable because the circumstances no longer allow it to be. How hard is that concept to grasp?

          I’m sure they all get it. But they probably think that it’s still worth trying if a big enough temper tantrum will get them their broken toy back.

          There’s merit in the status quo, so I guess that justifies it

          Status quo is product of past that is long gone. Things change and old concepts stop making sense as a result. If you can’t defend status quo without pointing back to it, it’s high time to change it. And of course, asking “How is this company which benefits from status quo going to make money in the future?” is exactly the kind of pointing back to status quo which has no place in discussion about changing status quo.

          Oh yes, when a company has a division dedicated to a single open source program, while mainly manufacturing hardware, you can bet for sure that most of their cash comes from Linux development. A simple google search will tell you that none of your mentioned companies started out cashing in on opensource programs.

          Oh? IBM does. Oracle does too. Novell does as well. And while I’m not sure if Intel makes any money from Linux, I know for sure that it employs a team of Linux developers who write Linux drivers for Intel devices. And I didn’t even mention D-Link, ASUS, Belkin and other companies which save shitloads of money by using Linux in their network devices (switches, routers, NAS, etc.) instead of writing the entire firmware from scratch.

          employ really big teams of full-time Linux developers.

          Which proves my point, reliable development happens more often when you pay people to do something, rather than relying on volunteers.

          Your original point was that software has to be locked behing paywall so that developers can get paid. I have disproved your original point by pointing out how developers can get paid even without any paywall on the finished product. If you want to change the wording like that, be my guest. I don’t need to argue with that point anymore because the new wording no longer supports the existence of copyright in any way.

          My original point was that scarcity cannot be applied to software, when I posted that reply, you brought up how that goes against some sorta “mathematical laws”. When I asked what these “mathematical laws” were, you brought up game theory. I then pointed out how game theory has fuck all to do with scarcity. I don’t know at which point you trailed off there buddy.

          I brought up mathematical laws in response to what you wrote here:

          You can’t insist that its still a product in the same sense as a shelve grocery, and then impose logic for physical items on it.

          Mathematical laws of economics make no distinction between shelf grocery and software. Different properties of those products just lead to extremely different results while still following exactly the same laws. Scarcity (or lack thereof) is the biggest reason behind the difference in result. And I believe I have made the concept of scarcity sufficiently clear already.

          Some highways have tolls, long after the cost of building them has been covered, but most roads are free. Just as you can choose to sell or share your software.

          Yes, and because of those tolls, heavy trucks often drive through small towns and villages to avoid paying it, causing serious damage to much weaker roads and sorrounding buildings.

          why should we lock out people from using software and other knowledge?

          The same can be said for education and medicine, its because of lack of resources. The incentive to make something depends on its outcome, when there are finite resources, you’d want to go into something that has a good outcome. The incentive for making software commonly involves cash, and the resources needed similarly being capital. If there was no guarantee for capital, many software projects wouldn’t exist.

          I live in Czech republic. Health care is fully paid through compulsory health insurance here and the best schools teach students for free (the government pays the expenses). Private schools which require tuition are seen by the general public as schools for idiots who couldn’t pass the entrance exam to a real school (mostly because that’s exactly what they are). So we can apparently do education and health care pretty well without locking anybody out, too.

          So if your personal threshold is $5, you won’t pay a single cent for something if you’d hesitate to pay $5 for it.

          Exactly. If you’d hesitate to pay $5 for it, it would be beyond your threshold for the product. However, should the product be sold at $3, or an appropriate price., you’d snap it up as per your threshold. You’d don’t pay for a single MnM because its value is not applicable in currency, you buy a packet of it weigted, because that is. Things can be valued in currency.

          Go back and read my previous post again because you obviously didn’t understand that paragraph. I said that if your threshold price is $5, you will mentally treat $3 as the exact same price as $5. That’s why micropayments didn’t really take off despite the hype.

          I realise that marginal costs for software is negligible(except packaging). But I do not agree that it is wrong to set a particular price, even if it is much higher than production costs. The reason it can have that price tag, is because people are willing to buy it at that price, or atleast enough for it to be profitable. This refers to both digital and physical goods.

          You need a better reason to lock people out than “just because they can”. Software, art and knowledge in general is too important for the future to accept such poor justifications.

          In the very worst countries, these patents will do nothing. Without atleast some form of infrastructure, they can’t put these patents to use. Its like giving a starving man a television. Keep in mind it takes metal and tools for machinery, and seeds, fertile land, and water for crops, you don’t have these available, you won’t get moot out of patents.

          I say we should let them try. You’d be surprised how many starving villages in Africa have mobile phones. And how many villages are no longer starving thanks to that.

          My problem are the exemptions from anti-trust laws for some industries.

          Thats more to the government’s failure to do its job than to copyright laws themselves

          I agree that the existence of copyright and patent monopolies is a failure of governments to do their job. A failure that we Pirates must fix.

          Quite interesting, chillingeffects is actually a lawbook for guys to find out why sites get taken down, I always thought they did the removing themselves. Other than a scientology claim, I don’t see DMCA take downs used for censorship, they’re probably others I don’t know about, but its usually pirate websites and sites with potential child pornography where the chilling effects tag shows up. I’d like to see cases other than scientology though, those guys can lobby for things further than movie studios.

          https://torrentfreak.com/warner-bros-censorship-of-greenpeace-lego-video-backfires-140711/
          https://torrentfreak.com/nuking-a-facebook-page-on-bogus-copyright-gounds-is-easy-140321/
          https://torrentfreak.com/game-devs-abuse-copyright-to-censor-negative-youtube-review-131021/
          https://torrentfreak.com/microsoft-censors-openoffice-download-links-130814/
          https://torrentfreak.com/hollywood-keeps-censoring-pirate-bay-documentary-director-outraged-130807/
          I believe this should be enough. But there’s much more where those came from. And if you want other sites than TorrentFreak, just google for “dmca censorship”.

        3. Don't be a parasite

          @Per “wertigon” Ekström

          …if that business plan does not work.

          You’d like to say it doesn’t work because you don’t like the system, but the very fact that Adobe is still floating would say otherwise.

          … circumstances no longer allow it to be…

          Im quite sure Adobe and related copyright industries are still up and running

          you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          Im bracing for the horrible semantic argument coming up

          You cannot “steal” those since they are in infinite supply.

          By that shoddy logic you’d contradict your comparison of air and water earlier, since those “non-scarce” items are stealable

          Here’s a google dictionary result on the word “steal”:

          steal
          verb
          1.
          take (another person’s property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it.
          “thieves stole her bicycle”
          synonyms: purloin, thieve, take, take for oneself, help oneself to, loot, pilfer, abscond with, run off with, appropriate, abstract, carry off, shoplift;

          The keywords “without permission”, and to a lesser extent “legal right”, plus “without intention to return it”, fit exactly where I used it.

          Instead one should regulate revenues deriving from a copyrighted work.

          And you do that right now by regulating copies, since you cant “regulate” personal use.

          @next_ghost

          Internet broke your business plan. It is no longer viable because the circumstances no longer allow it to be. How hard is that concept to grasp?

          I’m sure they all get it. But they probably think that it’s still worth trying if a big enough temper tantrum will get them their broken toy back.

          I can’t deny that piracy cannot be completely eradicated. But to claim that it is wrong morally as Zachary “Wolf costume” Xeper has written, to pay for something instead of stealing it, is something that needs an IQ point over retarded to believe.

          Things change and old concepts stop making sense as a result.

          And how is status quo irrelevant today?

          If you can’t defend status quo without pointing back to it, it’s high time to change it.

          Its fucking status quo, how else do you defend it? You defend it by pointing out how much better it is than proposed changes, I’ve dished out quite some points about how any alt business models allowing piracy will fall on your face, they’ve not been rebutted, only ignored.

          And of course, asking “How is this company which benefits from status quo going to make money in the future?” is exactly the kind of pointing back to status quo which has no place in discussion about changing status quo.

          Which I have never brought up. Calling for change just because you want change is even worse. Until your proposed alternative addresses problems with status quo without creating jarring new ones, there is no reason to change just becuase you feel like its more modern. Should we be rid of older art styles to be replaced by modern ones, just because they are outdated?

          Your original point was that software has to be locked behing paywall so that developers can get paid. I have disproved your original point by pointing out how developers can get paid even without any paywall on the finished product.

          No, you are completely off track. You have disproved nothing and shown your lack of reading comprehension. Read the preceding posts again.
          My point was that paywall or mainly paywall with opensource on the side lets people earn more money than opensource as main. I did not say at any point that people couldn’t earn cash(as little as they get in comparison) delving into opensource.

          If you want to change the wording like that, be my guest.

          I now wonder whether its really your lack of reading comprehension that led to this, or maybe you changed the wording to your favour.

          I don’t need to argue with that point anymore because the new wording no longer supports the existence of copyright in any way.

          I assume you are reffering to :

          employ really big teams of full-time Linux developers.

          Which proves my point, reliable development happens more often when you pay people to do something, rather than relying on volunteers.

          And as you see, I take apart sentences, not paragraphs only. In this case I was referring to how you agreed that hired development teams trump the volunteer communities that frequent opensource projects.

          Scarcity (or lack thereof) is the biggest reason behind the difference in result

          Now I wonder why you’d bring up motherfucking game theory when the “mathematical rule” you were talking about was scarcity.

          And I believe I have made the concept of scarcity sufficiently clear already.

          Looks like someone isn’t a good teacher. Let me put it this way.
          The copies are non-scarce. The data is non-scarce. The content is scarce. The music/game is scarce. The software is scarce. When people buy digital products, they don’t want to buy the ones and zeros, they couldn’t care less about the disk or diskette(lol) they come in. They paid for the content inside these mediums. To get the content they inadvertently have to buy the medium. Digital products are an amalgam of something scarce and non-scarce, you cannot apply the concept of scarcity to them as a whole.

          Returning to my theme park analogy. You dont buy ownership of the thempark with the ticket, nor the facilities. You don’t pay for the medium in which the content arrives to you, instead you pay for the content you want from the theme park, that being the entertainment.

          Yes, and because of those tolls, heavy trucks often drive through small towns and villages to avoid paying it, causing serious damage to much weaker roads and sorrounding buildings.

          I’d like to believe you live in some fantasy world where photoshop is mind reading malware and that small roads are only meant to accommodate for small family sized vehicles, where truckers are menaces who assault and destroy infrasturcture because they are evil.

          Seriously though, what kind of argument was that?! How does this have anything to do with piracy? I was pointing out how roads were a bad example for a “good of humanity” free for all resource since their not always free, and your counter is to cite some irrelevant incidents that rarely happen in real life?

          I live in Czech republic.

          My condolences…

          …The incentive to make something depends on its outcome, when there are finite resources, you’d want to go into something that has a good outcome….

          Health care is fully paid through compulsory health insurance here and the best schools teach students for free (the government pays the expenses). …. So we can apparently do education and health care pretty well without locking anybody out, too.

          Lets look at this bit by bit. This ultimately boils down to resources. Sure, people don’t get locked out of medicine or education in Czech, but thats because your compulsary health insurance covers the resources needed. And while the people of the Czech Republic enjoy their antibiotics from the goverement, the Czech Republic does not give free education and healthcare to non-citizens. So yes, your country is locking people out. Don’t be ashamed, every country “locks” a certain number of people. Why doesn’t the goverment just give healthcare and books to these non-citizens? Because they don’t have the resources to.

          Now lets take a look at the central african republic, the people your goverment technically “lock out”. They have finite resources, can’t collect health insurance when you might get stifled with bullets right? They have to choose the best outcome with their finite resources. They could split funds to ensure governmental stability or just focus on food production so that everyone is fed for awhile, and then rebels get a nice coup going an use the resources they now control for their own needs. Its obvious the government would maintain spending on military and administration because that would be the best outcome for the resources they have on hand.

          Now you have developers who want dough and those that don’t. Lets say they go by 50-50(though the money grubbers would actually be much more common). Those that want dough would need to make investments. Since they’re not rich from the get go, they’d obviously wanna pitch an idea that sells. And they’ll strive towards that, the promise of return being their motivation. If they knew they’d get nothing in return from software, they’d go put their resources into another industry, because what they want is money. Half your contributors are gone. The amount of new software and “progress” you want just halved. If software developers had some “mandatory knowledge tax” to fund them, then maybe you’d have an argument. But as far as tech is today, theres no better incentive than money, and you need to spend money to make it.

          Private schools which require tuition are seen by the general public as schools for idiots who couldn’t pass the entrance exam to a real school (mostly because that’s exactly what they are).

          Now I don’t know how things happen in the Czech republic, but this seems anecdotal. Where I come from (and most of the world) privates schools have better standards due to the extra cash they get from tuition fees, the amount of money each gov school gets is peanuts to a private one. And I doubt privates schoolers can just buy their future, since the requirements for tertiary education(the job determining step) usually require standardised tests, so a kid in a posh school would still need to be on par with the standardised test that the gov kids would also take.

          Go back and read my previous post again because you obviously didn’t understand that paragraph. I said that if your threshold price is $5, you will mentally treat $3 as the exact same price as $5. That’s why micropayments didn’t really take off despite the hype.

          Now Im gonna have to see some links or articles on this psychological phenomenon because this defies common sense. The only reason you would not buy something is if you don’t want it, so if you don’t want someting why would you pay $5(or whatever threshold you want) for it? Now I understand threshold as your personal limit for paying for something, now if something was within budget, why wouldn’t you buy it? Why is it that if $5 is within your limit, you wouldn’t pay $3 for it? As for micro transactions, their problem was the paperwork, each transfer of cash could cost more in the recording or the transfer itself. The fragmental value I speak of is more to terms of buying in bulk rather than microtransactions. Say a drop of water is worth 0.00001 cents, but a few hundred litres might be worth $50.

          You need a better reason to lock people out than “just because they can”. Software, art and knowledge in general is too important for the future to accept such poor justifications.

          To be clear, I was replying as to how overpricing isn’t so much as developers being greedy, as it is to people willing to pay the high price. But if you want a reason to “lock people out”, I’ll give you one.

          What do you think you’re “locking out” huh? Are you preventing people from accessing something they deserve for free? This isn’t food or water or healthcare, they don’t need digital goods to survive. You wanna argue knowledge? You can get all relevant knowledge and common know how without paying a cent. Who do you think you’re “locking out”? No one who needs the content thats for sure. This “paywall” you speak of is a low wall to climb. Individuals who cannot climb it probably struggle with the basic necessities already(thats food/water/clothing/shelter if you didn’t know). You’re not “locking anyone out”. Thats like saying Rolls Royces should be made cheap just because they can’t be bought by the average person.

          A paywall isn’t there to keep people out, its there to make sure the software exists. If someone put in great sacrifice to make software, expecting his sacrifice to atleast be reimbursed, and yet he got nothing, he wouldn’t sacrifice anything into making more software if he knew it’d be a wasted effort. Now its not so bad to use software as an example of knowledge, but when you bring up art, you have completely no basis to say you deserve it. There is zero reason for a person to be entitled to art and media. These are secondary to basic human needs, and the only way they benefit people is simple leisure. This is completely different from software in that once consumed/obtained there is little reuse, meaning the purchase is the ONLY way an artist can make money of of it. By bringing art into this, you have NO argument.

          I say we should let them try. You’d be surprised how many starving villages in Africa have mobile phones. And how many villages are no longer starving thanks to that.

          No longer starving but still in poverty, the phones only available from foreign donations or purchased by the more fortunate, africa is still in rough condition. There are no instant fix patents on lockdown, piracy is no solution for poverty.

          A failure that we Pirates must fix.

          Well good luck with that

          I believe this should be enough. But there’s much more where those came from. And if you want other sites than TorrentFreak, just google for “dmca censorship”.

          Now in these cases, its not so much the copyright’s fault, so much as it is the websites piracy management systems. Isn’t it more to youtube’s fault for putting up an automated take down system? Just as google and facebook remove links/pages without researching their content. And in the first place, isn’t it within these sites’ rights to choose what to do with their own content? Google removes links, but the webpages still exist, while Facebook(or was it twitter) forbids pro-Nazi content. I can understand the complaints with Facebook/Youtube, because they interfere with their userbase, but no page is entitled to be in googles directory.

    2. RS

      Yes, for Pete’s sake, which part of “non-scarce” don’t you understand?

      Once we can copy cars, cars become non-scarce too. Please THINK about this. Think about what “scarce” means.

      The programmers’ time that went into making Photoshop was scarce. Photoshop itself is NOT SCARCE. Get it?

  22. RS

    Yes, it is unethical to deny access to a non-scarce resource. The humanity is worse off.

    No, it is not unethical to ask you to pay upfront. Heck, Kickstarter is ALL about paying upfront and boy does that work!

    Donations pretty much never generate enough income to sustain a person’s basic needs. Anyone can tell you that. Until we have a basic income, that is. This could change with basic income. No, this WILL change with basic income. But until then… tough, I guess…

    1. gurrfield

      Yep it’s ensuring the financing up-front, which probably is necessary for people to dare start larger-scale projects. But it’s funding for a one time effort. In some sense direct connection between money invested and work done.

  23. Frederico

    Ok.. how can i tell you this… you are fundamentally wrong! Let me explain to you.

    I am a programmer and unfortunately you, or other collective defending people are not giving me a house to live for free. Yeap, i need to pay for it. You are not giving me electricity for free. Also, you are not giving me food for free, not just for me.. for my son and wife as well. I had to pay for my monthly shopping last time i went to the supermarket. True story! No kidding, they charged me for it! I would also like to afford a better car. Yes it’s a luxury to have a car, much more if it’s a good one, but on the other hand i don’t have a new (or old for the matter) Playstation or Xbox or even a TV at home (not joking!),so i don’t feel guilty about it.

    To be able to support all this i need a job (that NO ONE will give me for free) i need a job. Now if i was working for Abode, they would need to pay me for developing software. In fact they would nee to start paying me BEFORE they could start selling anything because it would take time to make it. On top of take companies are supposed to make a profit. (it’s a business. you know about that right?) I’m not saying i don’t defend open source. I’ve coded open source myself, BUT i’m AWARE i’ll not get any income from that and from the beginning i’m WILLING to spend time contributing for something i found interesting or helpful to others.

    Dude don’t take me wrong, i have ideals as well, also would like to get GOOD stuff for free but some how you didn’t went trough the trouble of looking at the full picture. Now that i think about this article doesn’t seem very smart, is this stuff reviewed before it goes live?

    1. gurrfield

      Yes we understand that you need money. Even the most stupid pirates probably understand that.

      The question is why it is the Copies which should be regarded as having a value. Clearly software can be useful and therefore have value. That software in demand can be produced has a value. The work to design, implement, maintaining and support clearly can have a value.

      But it is not the copies which are valuable – it is the time you are able to put into coding which has a value.

      The pirates are not anti-money anarchistic lunatics, they’re just sceptic about charging for the copies. It’s the resources (mainly time and effort) to do something which has a value, not the copies.

      1. Lost my business to Pirates

        By this logic, a recording artist should only make money off their album if they sell the master. Oops. That master is only 1s and 0s too. Guess they’re screwed.

        1. next_ghost

          Who says that music album has to make money?

        2. gurrfield

          The recording artist could sign up to patreon and get continous funding.

          Or kickstarter.

          Or earn money from the increased number of fans on live events.

          If people like the music, it should have a value for them that the artist can afford to make more of it.

    2. next_ghost

      I’ve coded open source myself, BUT i’m AWARE i’ll not get any income from that and from the beginning i’m WILLING to spend time contributing for something i found interesting or helpful to others.

      Red Hat is a billion dollar business that makes money from open source. That alone proves that it’s perfectly possible to make a living from something that is otherwise free and that those monopolies are not needed in any way.

      1. Septagram

        You do realise that Red Hat gets their money by selling subscriptions, right?

        1. next_ghost

          Yes, I know that. Is there some problem with that?

        2. Septagram

          No, just amazed at the double standards. Red hat sells something by subscription is perfectly fine, but Adobe doing the same thing is pure evil. Yep, makes sense.

          And before you go into that, yes, I realise that Linux (or rather, some versions of it) is free to download. Red Hat is not, however, so that would be akin to comparing Photoshop to GIMP. They’re both in the same “family”, so to speak, but they’re not the same.

          Further, both Red Hat and Adobe offer a free 30-day trial, so do explain to me why Red Hat is good and Adobe is bad? Frankly, shouldn’t it be the other way around, given that Red Hat took something freely given and made some modifications to it, and is now selling that, and Adobe actually coded Photoshop themselves?

        3. next_ghost

          No, just amazed at the double standards. Red hat sells something by subscription is perfectly fine, but Adobe doing the same thing is pure evil. Yep, makes sense.

          Adobe charges for licenses and sues people who use their software but didn’t pay. Red Hat charges for additional services and doesn’t sue users who didn’t pay (just doesn’t provide those extra services to them). That’s all the difference in the world.

          From http://www.redhat.com/about/subscription/howitworks.html

          What happens at the end of my subscription?

          If you choose to let all your subscriptions expire and have no other active subscriptions in your organization, you retain the right to use the software, but your entire environment will no longer receive any of the subscription benefits, including:

          Further, both Red Hat and Adobe offer a free 30-day trial, so do explain to me why Red Hat is good and Adobe is bad? Frankly, shouldn’t it be the other way around, given that Red Hat took something freely given and made some modifications to it, and is now selling that, and Adobe actually coded Photoshop themselves?

          Making money from something that’s available for free is perfectly OK if you can do it. Treating some of your users as criminals is evil.

  24. Chimel

    Things are not so black and white. Yes, they are asking you for money before you even make money out of your production using the tool, but it’s how economy works. You can’t get money from, say, selling farmed poultry if you don’t pay or loan in advance to build a barn, buy some chicks and feed, etc. And there is no guarantee for the software editor that you’ll ever make money from using their tool. Maybe you’re working for free, producing work for “the commons.” And by using their software, you’ll be teaching yourself valuable skills on the tool.

    Now I don’t want to look like an Adobe shill, I totally agree that their product is way overpriced, does not take into account the financial resources of the users, by now Photoshop has been paid back in full and then some, and probably other issues, but it’s difficult for one single American company endeavor to reform the economical model of the world. It’s a huge task that would require collaboration between all software editors and all countries. The new model could include cheap rental, free usage for non-commercial purposes or for new users or kids, to create a whole ecosystem around the software and thus increase the market penetration of their product.

    But yes, there is something indecent in the profits that some software companies make. That’s capitalism for you, and more than just convincing the managers, you’ll have a hard time convincing the shareholders who invested in these companies for profit or their retirement plan. Any new model would likely mean a huge decrease in revenues. These companies have grown so big and unsustainable that they now need millions of dollars every year just to pay for stuff like rent and electricity.

  25. Chimel

    Basically, this article is just negativism, a rant, with no constructive proposal to keep software editors in business.

    1. Anyone

      why should we come up with a plan to keep them in business?

      If they want to stay in business, maybe they should come up with a plan

    2. gurrfield

      Finding more efficient ways to do things is not “negativism”, it’s progress.

      However a real issue to tackle is how to deal with the unemployment that follows tech progress. People need to feel they are doing something useful in a social context… Computers and robots make very many jobs unnecessary and frankly, vast majority of new jobs are also “unnecessary” from a practical point of view, but maybe good in reducing social damage.

      However it is really counterproductive when real useful jobs such as in healthcare pay less than jobs that are artificially created in entertainment because of the monopoly of producing copies. Who wants to produce new work for each new dollar rather than ride the gravy train of idols, artists and superstars?

      We’re all gonna get sick and/or old and need that care at some point in our lives.

      It’s either not gonna be there for us if we keep upholding monopolies on immateria, or it’s gonna be dependent on class division and/or immigration and if you look at the vote counts for xenophobiacs in Europe alone last vote… it’s really not very reassuring that will work out in the long run. Not a stable way to build a society.

  26. Angry Photoshop User

    The installation of Adobe PS also writes something in the MBR of the harddisk. This screwed up my GRUB multiboot. I find this a huge impertinence! This is a complete disregard of the users sovereignty on his computer, and I find this to be outrageous. I can wholeheartedly say: I hate Adobe.

  27. Doesn't Make Sense

    So do you donate to Adobe when you started making money off the pirated version?

    By the way, Adobe put up older versions of it’s software for free so no need to ‘stick it to the man’ by downloading pirated, bug ridden pieces of crap. Or you could just use GIMP.

    I used to pirate all the time. 10 years ago. Then I grew up and live within my means. If I can’t afford the full version I find a free version, save up or do without. Nothing justifies stealing and maybe you don’t understand that until someone freeloads off your work.

    1. Doesn't Make Sense

      By the way, it doesn’t matter if it is “unlimited” software. Adobe owns the copyright. You do not. Right now they have it set up that if you want their software you have to pay. If doesn’t matter if you think it’s fair or not. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like the way capitalism works or not.

      People & companies have the right to make money off their work. Or maybe I should assume that you like working for your clients for free and you like them paying you later when they’ve made a little money off you or not at all? I would like to see how you would justify that.

      Be honest with yourself and your readers and just say that you like Adobe’s software and it’s just that you can’t or won’t pay for it. Stop pretending it’s some magic robinhood twist on ethics.

      1. gurrfield

        Copy”right” is not capitalism, it’s a monopoly upheld by the law. I.e. using the law to restrict other peoples freedoms.

        People doing professional work by using Adobes products – it will be in their interest that Adobe can keep doing their thing(s). They have become dependent on Adobes work to be able to do their thing and then that Adobe can keep doing future work has a value for them.

        I agree that it is desirable that work in demand can be financed, but it is up to you (or other copyright proponents) to explain why charging for the copies is the only way to accomplish that.

    2. Per "wertigon" Ekström

      I do agree that not pirating proprietary software and instead use free software is the better option. That is why I too has stopped pirating software.

      I do not, however, agree that Adobe has a right to each and every copy ever made in the world.

      And finally, I do agree that yes, Adobe has a right to all revenue coming from their software.

      The future of copyright lies in controlling revenue, not copies. Enough said about that.

    3. gurrfield

      If you use something they’ve done as a tool in your professional work, it should have a value for you that they can keep doing it. You would only be fooling yourself if you “freeloaded” something you were dependent on and as a consequence of that the company becomes bancrupted. You would have an incentive to keep their business running if you are dependent on their work.

      Just not necessarily by paying “by the copy”.

  28. frank87

    The argument “I will pay, when I earn money withit” should sound very good to all copyright maximalists. They always tell us: “You make money with it, so pay me” . Strange that all those copyright defenders hate it so much.

    But please, keep things simple: When you sell something, it’s out of your control.

  29. Werner Van Belle

    I’m seriously wondering how comment systems can be improved. There are two people in this thread who have been repeating the same arguments over and over and over and over and over again ad nauseum. Even the threading display had problems following it. Yet they keep on repeating the same thing. That does not mean their argument holds water. Maybe a commenting system with bare logical arguments that does not allow for repetitions should be considered. So that the commenters in a sense build a tree. I say this -> someone else argues that. And then NO REPETITION OF THAT SAME ARGUMENT CAN BE PRESENTED, only build upon. Maybe people can vote for an argument with true or false, but generally, it should cut down on the blurb and name calling and insults. Same on Techdirt for that matter.

  30. socialist

    why Zacqary particularly chooses Adobe as the Capitalist Meanie Archetype i don’t know. I’m happy to agree with the notice that Adobe–and for that matter virtually every piece of entertainment or media slapp’t onto DVD and sold by major distributors or producers–has an major interest in seeing that everyone has to buy their product, for a high price.
    but Zacqary’s utterly contradictory proposition that we shd pirate Adobe software, and THEN turn around and engage in exactly the same capitalist structure and enterprise (by making our own ‘products’ and selling them) selling “our” stuff for top dollar just shows his ridiculously superficial understanding of Capitalism, and how it works.
    being a socialist i follow a different rationale than one is led to in Zacqary’s accounts here.
    The real analysis of what is wrong with Adobe would apply to ANY outfit that wants to try to get top dollar for stuff that is inherently NOT property. And here we want to distinguish the difference between the cheap piece of plastic that DVDs are made from, versus the code, or encoding, that shd be in public domain.
    It’s easier for me to argue my case using “movies” or “flicks” that one can in fact download, either with torrent pirate sites, or by paying Netflix a few dollars.
    The question of what is ethical comes to a head if we take a specific case, of say, Me downloading a movie because i want to see it, not to then use it to make a profit.
    same is true of any song (pace all musicians of the world who want to make big bucks from sales of their ‘tunes’) yo, dudes, tunes are FREE, if i can whistle it, shd i have to pay YOU (or anyone) for it.
    Now this is a long seminar in how to learn the uses of Socialism, and how that cooperative system works holistically.
    I won’t continue my argument here, till i get some intelligent inquiry or argument back . . .
    i know where i’m going with my rationales, and my debate on this matter.
    i’ll give one hint, tho, for what’s down the road in my critique of Capitalism (fundamentally, and specifically fr mkt capitalism as the domineering system of most of the world, and certainly of all the wicked legislators who are trying to see that, for instance, the internet is DIVIDED up, into Fast broadband lanes–that;s for the rich boys–and some shit speed for all the rest of us.
    my hint is hidden in the word “Copyright” . . .
    guess what copyright actually is, rather–what the legal basis of copyright is, i mean, answer this question: What is the purpose and use of that particular set or branch of ho ho ho “jurisprudent” law?
    hmmm?
    here’s a Kloo: it has to do with PROPERTY and how to protect OWNERSHIP.
    nuff said.

  31. William Lee

    I completely disagree with the premise of the article. A few reasons here:

    First, I’ve been using The Gimp for several years, and see absolutely no point in using photoshop. Anything that can be done in photoshop can be done in Gimp. It is far better to use & support open source. That is a bigger blow to Adobe/PS than anything else you can do, including so-called ‘piracy’.

    ‘Pirating’ PS doesn’t really ‘hurt’ adobe in any way. In fact, it helps them (corollary: MS ‘allows’ Windows to be ‘pirated’ to condition people into becoming reliant on their OS in favor of any genuinely free/libre OS).

    In short, the most ethical choice is to flat-out ignore Adobe/PS as the irrelevant crap they are and refuse to use anything that isn’t free/libre/open-source.

    1. Anonymous

      to william lee. it seems you’re a thinking man. and you make some good points, seems to me.
      i never heard of “gimp” till now.
      but now i have.
      i like your remarks about how those i call the corporate thieves or banksturs, given the present game in town, called capitalism, simply can do no wrong;
      when the game’s rigged to allow the meanings “copyright” has come to have in court, there is no real way to correct a problem, about which the writer of this article only confronts in the way one mole-smacks at symptoms. Not understanding the DISEASE, and giving it its right name means you can’t ever defeat it.
      just my mean two sense, har, on the matter.

    2. Anonymous

      to william lee. you’re a thinking man. you make some good points, seems to me.
      i never heard of “gimp” till now.
      but now i have. and i’ll check it out.
      i like your remarks that relate to –those suits that i call the corporate thieves or banksturs: Given the present game in town, called capitalism, THEY simply can do no wrong. Cause, when the game’s rigged so that it allows such interpretations of “copyright” as are wielded in the courts,
      there is no real way to correct a menacing and basic problem–which the writer of this article only confronts like mole-smacking at symptoms. SO–
      Not understanding the DISEASE, and then calling it by the right name is an indication that you are unlikely to ever defeat it.

      just my mean two sense, har, on the matter.

    3. Anonymous

      i tried to erase my prior poorly worded reply to william. anyway. of two comments i made, use the second one pls. chow for now guys.

      1. Karl

        You’re a nut. shutup already.

        1. Anonymous

          well, whale . . . ! sounds like a teabaggin’ rebooplikin’ here.

          use the debating line “shut hup”!!! good move.

          now, if you want a link that might open your eyes, possibly,
          just read this recent news, someone more practised and skilled, and in a position to be heard (this means you Karl!). it concerns
          the RIGGED GAME. is that the kind of game you want to buy in to??

          now, if i can only figger out what six minus one is, spambot,
          here’s the linque:

          http://www.thenation.com/blog/180723/elizabeth-warren-offers-democrats-more-2016-candidacy-she-offers-2014-agenda

  32. kramlat

    I disapprove completely of copyright law, censorship, and trademark law, and choose to use archlinux as my operating system, gimp as my graphics program, inkscape for vector graphics (I prefer it over adobe illustrator), and blender for my 3d graphics, I even use audacity for audio editing because I feel that I prefer not to feed the beast. If we are going to have a truly socialist world, we should not back proponents of capitalism in any way. Karl Marx, did not ask for fascism like we see everywhere, including places that claim to be communist. I see those places as counterfeit anyways. A truly socialist world does not benefit a select few, but benefits the working force. I feel it should be organized by the people for the people, rather than controlled by an elite few autocratically. Isn’t that the true dream of the manifesto? What we tried to do with democracy, but failed?

  33. Julian

    Zacqary whose side are you on? This seems more like a satirical written by the copyright industry.

    I totally accept the premise that people should not be able to lobby for their business which is what Adobe may do if it depends upon copyright prosecution. But your whimsical ethical justifications in this article are only good for a circle jerk amongst teenagers. I cannot send this article to proponents of copyright with an intention of converting them to principles of integrity. Rather I could see them sending it amongst themselves as a satirical. Your way of thinking here is depraved and fallen right into their propaganda trap.

    My advice: start again and simply stick to the principle “aggression against peaceful people is wrong” then let all your deductions flow from there. The rest is irrelevant and may be used to work against your original intent.

  34. You Make Too Much Sense

    Another completely epic article I couldn’t agree more with, on every point. Seriously, I adore your brain. <3 I also love the way you write, it's just my style & you say what I feel, pretty much the way I'd want to say it. So thank you, thanks for putting yourself out there & writing articles that rock.

  35. Beej

    It’s not GNU/Linux. It’s Linux with, usually, a bunch of inferior GNU software coming with it.
    Stallman is an egocentric asshole.
    So there!

  36. D.S. Gruntled

    I use a variety of pirated proprietary software programmes; many of them by Adobe. I feel not one jot of guilt for my “thievery.” Corporations sit at the top of the food chain when it comes to piracy. Since my elected officials do nothing to protect ‘me’ from corporate piracy and abuse, why should I feel guilty about downloading a free copy of Adobe Illustrator CS6? As I see it, piracy is an individual citizen’s only resort to any sort of compensation for the trillions siphoned out of the American economy and the consumers pockets by blood-sucking pirates like Walmart and Goldman-Sachs. I’ll lose no sleep tonight over the unauthorised Adobe software sitting on my hard-drive. I prefer to think of my actions as reverse piracy: getting a little something back from the pathological crooks who cheat and steal from me on a daily basis, and on a far more massive scale than my activity could ever compete with.

  37. Wyrm

    “Throughout history, the ethical stance that wins is usually the one that belongs to the people who have power.”

    So, your reasoning is that “Might makes Right”?
    Not saying you are right or wrong there, just wanting to make this point clear. :)

    If that is your view on the matter of ethics, then you have no point of complaining about Adobe trying to lobby for laws against so-called “pirates”. You can only see that they have a power (influence over lawmakers) and you have a power (technical knowledge to bypass Adobe’s DRM), and the “ethics” will be on whoever’s side comes out on top.

    Their business model is no more disrespectful then you are when comparing them to dogs dirtying the floor… Or actually, the disrespectful one will be determined later, at the end of the conflict between these two “ethics”.

    I tend to disagree with that definition of “ethics”, but I won’t deny you that History does tend to be written by the winners.

  38. virility x3 review

    It’s an awesome piece of writing in favor of all the internet viewers;
    they will take benefit from it I am sure.

  39. Jarrod

    Can I ask where I can get an actual pirated version of Photoshop? I’ve tried like four different ones, but they all just end up being bull.

  40. Belialith Gurdjieff

    I really liked your thoughts in this. It shows that the psychopathic way of Adobe is not the way of the people, or as you call, the commons. Where’s the love? You know? The love is in sharing and caring, and they don’t have it.

  41. Adam

    If you believe that it should be free, then you use the free equivalent. Why not use Inksape and GIMP instead of Illustrator and Photoshop? You’re advocating theft. There is a free alternative, yet you go out of your way to get Cracked and DRM free versions of these programs that the owners have decided they want to charge for. Without the wealth provided by people buying these tools, they would not be the quality that they are in. Good luck creating a product as viable as Photoshop or Illustrator with the dual currencies of “good will” and “ethical stances”

    Adobe needs to pay programmers, marketers, and etc in order to make their product. Why do you think you are entitled to it for free? Because you can do it while avoiding the law? Because they can’t guarantee you money? Both ridiculous. I can punch somebody in the face at night and the police won’t catch me, that doesn’t make my idelogy “win”. Adobe can’t guarantee you will profit from photoshop (A tool that they developed) any more than Home Hardwarecan guarantee you’ll manage to paint your room with a bucket and a brush. They charge for the tools, not the profit.

    I hate to say it, but it looks like you just feel entitled to the hard work of other humans. I should just reproduce all of your art, and sell it on my own distribution platform because I can (and it’s infinitely reproducible), and then maybe send you a portion of the profits. You know, out of my spirit of good will.

  42. af

    wrg

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