Some time ago I've promised myself I won't be blogging about intellectual property (especially software) piracy & my attitude towards it. I've met people who seemed reasonable, but went absolutely nuts when this topic was even mentioned - so as I don't see any reason to feed the fire even more, I've decided to give up on that. But in the past week there were two similar incidents that have made me reconsider that decision - here's a brief observation I'd like to share with you:

Context

I don't steal IP. I don't download "unofficial" music / movies / utilities / games / other stuff. I just don't. Why? There are zillion reasons, but the most important is:

I create intellectual property (software) for living & I don't want it stolen by anyone. So I stick to the rule "do as you would be done by" & I don't steal from other people either. Simple as that.

And please spare me excuses like that:

... this movie is not available in my local shop, so I wouldn't buy it anyway ...

... creators of this stuff are that rich that they won't notice anyway ...

... this is just too expensive, publishers are to be blamed for piracy, because they set unrealistic prices ...

... it's not "stealing", it's "copying", no-one loses anything physical, right? ...

... I'm just testing it, if I like it, I'll consider buying ...

... whole world does like that, why do you expect me to be a moron and pay for something I can have for nothing? ...

This is all BS. Childish BS.

Back to business

Yea, the two incidents I've mentioned in the intro - both cases where very similar:

  • technical people (involved in professional software development) were having a conversation
  • they were speaking about an asset useful in their work - in one case it was a book, in the other one it was a shareware-licensed tool
  • in both cases both groups felt absolutely justified to use "the unofficial distribution means", because they've decided that 17 USD for the book or 40 USD for the tool is too much for them, but they want it anyway

Just to keep the focus right:

  • we're speaking about well-paid IT professionals
  • we're speaking about things that are supposed to increase their knowledge / boost their productivity (yes, tool is sort of 'everyday use one') - so, in perspective increase their job market value
  • they are supposed to understand the amount of work & effort to create such a book / utility - what they do in their job is not that far from that

But in both those cases, both groups of individuals felt absolutely justified to do as they did. I can't freaking get it. Really.

I wonder how those would react if one day their employer announced - "This month I'm not going to pay you. But the stuff you've done is great, we've earned helluva lot due to it. Thanks pal!"