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 Post subject: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:25 pm 
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I hate to be a downer, but I feel like I have to bring this up:

I find it interesting, but sad, how many people feel strongly about the evils of knock off puzzles (patented or not) but have no problem openly discussing use of pirated software and even how to steal it or assist in its theft.

I used to make video games for a living. Many, many people pirated my games. They took all my years of long hours and devotion to make great games, they enjoyed playing them, and they gave me nothing.

Pirating software is stealing, which is wrong. Just like a knock off 7x7x7 steals the hard work of Mr. Verdes, illegally using a pirated copy of SolidWorks, or AutoCAD, or any other product is taking the benefits of their developers without compensating them. The developers of these products are talented engineers and designers who put years of their effort into creating very wonderful creations (Sound familiar? Kind of like, say, a puzzle builder...).

Just because others do it does not make it right. Just because the tools are expensive does not make it right. Just because you might think those developers are paid well enough by their other customers does not make it right. These, and many others, are all just excuses to not feel bad about stealing.

I have, in the past, used software without having a legal license just as I have bought puzzles that violated patents in the past. My knowledge of both issues has been increased over time and I find I do not have the excuse that I don't know any better. Where I have done this and known better (and I have), I can only feel shame (and I do).

There are many different tools you might use for 3D modeling. Some are free, some are cheap, some are expensive, and some are very, very expensive. It is no coincidence that the best tools are expensive. Why should you get their benefits without giving anything to their creators? There seem to exist a set of tools that are free or cheap that satisfy most people's needs. I used BRL-CAD for some designs, some use the Alibre demo, and now it seems many have access to 90 days of SolidWorks (I need to jump on that...)

Whether or not you use properly licensed software is your business, but we as a community should probably do better than to encourage piracy on this forum.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:54 pm 
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DLitwin wrote:
I used to make video games for a living. Many, many people pirated my games. They took all my years of long hours and devotion to make great games, they enjoyed playing them, and they gave me nothing.

Pirating software is stealing, which is wrong. Just like a knock off 7x7x7 steals the hard work of Mr. Verdes, illegally using a pirated copy of SolidWorks, or AutoCAD, or any other product is taking the benefits of their developers without compensating them. The develpors of these products are talented engineers and designers who put years of their effort into creating very wonderful creations (Sound familiar? Kind of like, say, a puzzle builder...).

Just because others do it does not make it right. Just because the tools are expensive does not make it right. Just because you might think those developers are paid well enough by their other customers does not make it right. These, and many others, are all just excuses to not feel bad about stealing.



Post is great - but may fall on deaf ears. I have brought up this issue in the past as well (and I see Pantazis also wrote up on another thread). And all the response was NO IT'S NOT! or NO, I DON'T DO THAT, or other types of excuses or other technicalities. :( :roll:

While you may be preaching to the choir, I don't think it'll do much... It's one thing to 'say' and it's another to 'do'. Everyone will try and justify their own actions - regardless if it's legal or not.

And don't remind me of how many legal actions were taken against the company I work for... :roll: :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:06 pm 
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Yes, I have done many reports and studies on the effects of piracy on an open market and am well aware of the repercussions and benefits for such actions ranging from music, games, software, etc. I feel pirating is wrong to a degree, but opinions aside, the underlying fact is that it is by law illegal to pirate these goods. Regardless people will still pirate and I don't want to sound preachy, but it crosses a line when it is brought to these forums. How to preform illegal tasks like how to pirate software should not be discussed openly, as they then bring everyone else involved and even the forum itself into risk of penalty.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:10 pm 
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reeeech wrote:
Everyone will try and justify their own actions - regardless if it's legal or not
Indeed. I know I'm probably not going to change much behavior regarding personal decisions on using or not using pirated software (hence my "is your business" statement).

This is why I restricted my request to just the issue of encouraging or facilitating piracy on the forums. I think this, regardless fo people's personal decisions on such activity, might not be too much to ask.

If anyone gets a wake up call from this thread and decides to stop using pirated products, well, all the better. I know the discussons of puzzle design piracy (knock offs) have had an effect on many who might otherwise not really have thought about it. Sometimes it just a matter of getting someone to take a moment to think about the reprcussions.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:24 pm 
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DLitwin wrote:
If anyone gets a wake up call from this thread and decides to stop using pirated products, well, all the better. I know the discussons of puzzle design piracy (knock offs) have had an effect on many who might otherwise not really have thought about it. Sometimes it just a matter of getting someone to take a moment to think about the reprcussions.

Dave



Hmm, Perhaps a great big sticky!!!! Instead of just a thread that will disappear after awhile of no replies.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:28 pm 
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I don't think I'll be coyping the program file from school anymore. I never thought of it that way. Look before you leap idea I guess. Thanks for the shake-up. So most people might not respond they way you intended, I have. And I'll try and check out the allibre free demo and definitely the 90 day solidworks.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:02 pm 
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I will admit that before being introduced to the wonders of Open Source that I often pirated proprietary software with the mentality that 'I need this software to get work done, but I cannot afford a license', but I am proud to say that there is no illegal software installed on my computer at present(Unless the last version of DVD Decrypter counts). These days, I tend to ignore software that does not have a Linux version(or at least runs decently in Wine), and I am very selective on any software that has a price tag attached.

On a related note: what should I do about my family who insists on continuing to use Windows despite the fact that we neither own nor can afford a legitimate copy of ANY version of Windows. The Windows 2000 install on the family computer is a piece of pirated software that I wish to obliterate from our lives. The main holdouts are SolSuite(which runs terribly in Wine) and MySpace IM(I tried getting them to use Pidgin, but that did not work out well).

On the subject of pirating other stuff: I watch fansubs and I occasionally download domestic TV shows to watch them in their entirety. I tend to stockpile the fansubs until I can obtain legal uncut bilingual subtitled DVDs, and any show that I enjoy via downloads, I attempt to add to my DVD collection. Most of my CD collection is stuff I would have never heard if not for illegal downloads, and what few illegal music files I have are either out of print titles or on my to buy list. I guess you could say that I use illegal downloads the way most people use TV and Radio: to evaluate whether something is worth owning with the junk deleted shortly after viewing.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:25 pm 
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Taylor wrote:
I know in the new mass produced Mastermorphix thread, I saw it a day after it had been posted and decided to order 2 right away. Well, there was a bit of discussion after that about them being knock-offs. Why the hell didn't anyone come out directly and say they were knockoffs and that Mefferts was producing them?!?! People knew! Grrr...


I'll step in and answer this one because I'm pretty sure those "people" you are refering to is me. :lol: The bottom line is, I was asked not to say a word in the forum until it was released. But, if you read my cryptic posts carefully, you should be able to tell what "may happen soon". Go back and read that again (and a few others too boot)

This will remain unchanged. Other puzzles are being copied by companies right now that "may be released soon" from the legitimate company. It's a matter of time as to when they will come out. A long list of sellers of copied puzzles was made on a post I made a week ago. If new puzzles come out from people on that list, you can bet the manufacturer didn't give them the puzzles.

I am sorry that you got copied puzzles, but it's not always possible to say things right away. And for the record, I'm still waiting for my originals to come out. From the looks of things, you guys will have yours before I have mine.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:00 pm 
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Hello,

For those who can't afford proprietary software for their CAD needs, there are open source alternatives:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Free_computer-aided_design_software

In fact, there are alternatives to almost any kind of software. They might not be as great as the proprietary counterparts but it is a start (until you or your employer can afford the real deal).

Peace,

Skarabajo

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:13 pm 
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I was using AutoDesk inventor 2008 that I got from my school, even though the school had 2009 ( They couldn't let me have that one. :( ) and I'm getting solidworks from my dad.

I don't pirate software unless I'm testing it out. It's like quality control. A lot of places won't give you full price back on video games and such, so I'll download it and try it out. If it's a game I don't like the controls or graphics on, it's dumped. If I like it, I'll go buy it. It's what I did with mirror's edge, and I loved it enough to go buy it.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:17 pm 
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That is a great post David.

I agree with all points. At least the legitimate owners of software can enjoy full support
regarding any issues, but the pirated ones may end up running an infected patch which
will cause havoc to their PC. What goes around, comes around they say...

Regarding free software, there are many brilliant examples of free compatible software
enabling us to run almost all required programs.

But what I find most disturbing here, is the hardship and the discouragement that all this
may cause to a designer.

I cannot say that people who are using pirating software are bad people, because it has
become almost like a culture (and that is not an excuse!). This is in fact a perfect example
to show how the culture of the puzzle-copying is affecting the puzzle designers in countries
where they disregard patents. All these need to stop one day.


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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:24 pm 
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Well truthfully using a program supplied from school is not illegal. For one you pay tuition and two most schools force you to pay a computer program fee (What ever that is) that allows you to use it. I know i read one post about this and I don't find it as "Illegal" if the school publicly provides. I do have to admit Piracy will not stop. You have openly free things out on the table and people are bound to want to pick it up and keep it. Sort of like having a 100 dollar bill laying on the floor. Nearly half if not most people would pick it up and say it is mine... And possibly most of the people that did reply to this post probably pirated once or twice in there life... Its like drugs. Either you like it or you don't. However your bound to get stuck to it... I'm a person who likes legit things. Hard copy things. I don't download music off of Itunes, I go and buy the CD... If i want a game I buy it. You don't feel obligated if you just downloaded it and you feel like you want to toss it out and it ruins the value of what you had. You buy it you feel pride in owning it. Sort of like CAD or a Puzzle. You buy a legit and real puzzle from mefferts and you feel good. But if you buy a knock off... You kind of feel like blah...


Last edited by QuantumXL on Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:29 pm 
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Pantazis... what about MAME? I know for a fact that you like it a lot... but using it to emulate games that you didn't dump yourself is technically illegal. Same thing with some abandonware titles - the companies are no longer selling them and may not actually exist anymore. (The only people you're hurting in this case are the resellers on eBay or elsewhere.) I'm guilty of using both emulators - for games which are no longer being sold, mind you - and abandonware, but who am I hurting in this way?


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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:19 pm 
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Legality regarding piracy of 'digitally-distributable' content is fairly clear-cut, but the morality and ethnics is a little more complicated.

Those with the 'why buy it when I can just download it' mentality are certainly bad for the future of any product that relies on sales to keep it going, but it is arguable that those with the 'try before you buy' mentality to piracy are actually beneficial. Then there are the 'I would go without if I could not download' group that is difficult to say what their effect is.

Personally, I lean toward the viewpoint of ignoring those who freely distribute content and focusing on the bootleggers who attempt to profit from the work of others as they undeniably cause harm to both producers and consumers.

If I was a musician, I personally see myself freely distributing my music in lossy format with Lossless files available to those who think my music is worth listening too and hopefully without some greedy recording company taking an undeserved cut of the profits.

On the subject of abandon-ware and dissolution of companies: I personally feel that a copyright(as well as patents) should die with the original holder. I feel the copyright law should be amended such that a person's intellectual property enters the public domain upon their death. As for copyrights held by businesses, I think that a company should gain the copyrights of a company they buy out, but that in the case of a company dissolving without being bought out, I feel that the company's copyrights should enter the public domain. I feel that patents should have the same treatment, but I am not sure how such guidelines should be applied to copylefts(which I believe should become a legally accepted concept that runs alongside but separate from copyrights).

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:51 pm 
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I put this topic in Puzzle Building as it was specifically on the point of modeling software and talking openly about its non-licensed acquisition, but it seems to be drifting to piracy in general. That sounds like a very good topic to start in Off Topic, one I might even join (I don't check Off Topic very often).

Let's not make this a thread about what you do or don't pirate, or why you think it is right or wrong. Your actions: Your concience. You don't answer to me or this forum.

I have a few responses, however, to posts I have seen so far because I am not sure I should leave them unchallenged (yes, I know I just said let's not do this, but I am trying to close this thread up):

1.) "Just trying it out". There are plenty of legitimate rental opportunities (Blockbuster, for example) where you can try out a game within the permission of the creator. You pay the rental company, they pay the creator. If you don't like the game, you've not paid full price, but you have paid your share. The creators of these games didn't give you permission try it out and pay them only if you like it. If they wanted that, they would have made it shareware. But they didn't, did they?

2.) I highly doubt it is legal to copy it from your school. Ask to view the license the school has. Almost all licenses for schools or organizations have either fixed seat counts, network node restrictions, or restrictions that they be used only at the facility by students and staff. Otherwise they would be giving it away, and they aren't that foolish. The TechShop, for example, has licenses of SolidWorks for use with their 3D equipment. As a member, I can use it at the TechShop all I want. But I can't take it home. Companies give special deals to schools (and special pricing to students) so that you will learn their program instead of some other competitor, and then be more likely to use it as a professional (and pay them full price). They don't do it to give away free copies.

3.) MAME and abandonware. Another great thread for Off Topic. I'll keep it short and say this: If there is truly no way to obtain a legitimate licensed copy you are in an interesting ethical limbo. One might guess eBay makes this a hard situation to actually encounter.

Most of these ethical situations are fairly simple to evaluate when you consider two things: Ownership, and compensation. Consider how you have compensated the creator of the thing you are using to your benefit. Consider if they intended you to have it based on what their license *says* (not what *you* think is reasonable). If you think you are benefiting someone by copying their work outside of their stated wishes, you are fooling yourself. If they wanted it freely available (for example, to build a market for future products), they would have made it so (there are plenty of freely available programs, music and puzzle designs out there).

If you are benefiting from it, if you have not compensated the creator for it (in the manner of *their* choosing, not yours) and if the creator has not given their permission, it is clear what you have done. Please don't make excuses for it. Well, not in this thread at least.

Dave

P.S. Sorry for my strong tone. I know I am being quite pointed about this. I have worked very hard and lost money on this and so I tend to have little patience with excuses. I'm adult enough to admit I haven't met my own standard on this subject. But I try very hard, and I don't make excuses for the few times I have strayed.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:10 pm 
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I know that this is rather random, but operating MAME would not be illegal, using the roms are... And not a single company has attempted to take legal action against mame. Atari even "officially" released some games (for a short while).

But all in all, I agree with dave. On the most part.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:32 pm 
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QuantumXL wrote:
Well truthfully copying a program from school is not illegal. For one you pay tuition and two most schools force you to pay a computer program fee (What ever that is) that allows you to use it.


You have no idea how software licensing works, do you? For high end software, a license may cost thousands of dollars. The school doesn't pay the company thousands of dollars per student, it pays thousands of dollars (with probably some sort of education discount) on a machine basis. That's why certain programs may only be available in certain labs.

So just because you pay tuition means you can take anything you want? Do you go into the supply cabinet and take a bunch of pens and just tell them that you've paid tuition, so it's cool. Perhaps eat free at the cafeteria, because you pay tuition.

I seriously hope you're not in college.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:35 pm 
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Dave and Pantazis, I'm really glad to see your posts about this issue. I have been thinking about this for a while, what with all the new designs being published recently and Drewseph's instructional videos making more and more people want to try their hand and CAD. I work in the IT field at the moment, and in my previous career I was a lawyer. The casual attitude toward the pirating of software, music, DVDs, video games, and even books makes me sad. I hope that things will change for the better sometime soon, and I hope that your posts here will make a difference.

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:58 pm 
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Bryan wrote:
QuantumXL wrote:
Well truthfully copying a program from school is not illegal. For one you pay tuition and two most schools force you to pay a computer program fee (What ever that is) that allows you to use it.


You have no idea how software licensing works, do you? For high end software, a license may cost thousands of dollars. The school doesn't pay the company thousands of dollars per student, it pays thousands of dollars (with probably some sort of education discount) on a machine basis. That's why certain programs may only be available in certain labs.

So just because you pay tuition means you can take anything you want? Do you go into the supply cabinet and take a bunch of pens and just tell them that you've paid tuition, so it's cool. Perhaps eat free at the cafeteria, because you pay tuition.

I seriously hope you're not in college.


To be truthful, Yes I am in a University. I am and was not trying to be offensive neither did you have to degrade me. You are misunderstanding what I am saying. First and foremost the University I go to actually installs all the necessary programs needed. So with the assumption that they put the programs on our laptop what doesn't give us the rights to use it? Bryan, I am not saying you just TAKE the software and hit the ground running. If schools give it to you, I think everyone in their righteous mind should be able to use it. Going to a Engineering school with students who have no rights to use the software is completely ridiculous.

Sorry if i offended you, or got on the wrong side of your property.

Edit: I might have phased some of it wrong and I know now that I read it. However if the school does give you the rights to use the program, I think it gives you every right to use it.

Okay Let me get myself straight. I don't usually get this right the first time, and it seems like I'm giving off a bad vibe. Its probably because I was rushing while I was writing this the first time, and it is my fault. I do think that I have every right to use my AutoCAD 2010 since it has been supplied to me from my school which I paid a separate fee for. If I am not allowed to use it, than I really don't know why. It's like getting a Dell computer without the OS. What is the point? This was the main thing I was trying to point out. I'm sorry I worded it incorrectly, but I didn't know I was going to get flamed like that, since I only use legit things. "Copying" was probably the wrong word choice.


Last edited by QuantumXL on Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:17 pm 
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I just wrote a big post and stopped. I agree with Dave. There are certain instances when I don't think its really "piracy" but life is never black and white, there's always some gray area, I trust everyone can come to their own conclusions. Support the open source stuff whenever possible, if not for open source, we wouldn't have many things in life we take for granted.


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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:23 pm 
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QuantumXL wrote:
You are misunderstanding what I am saying. First and foremost the University I go to actually installs all the necessary programs needed.
It does indeed sound like I misunderstood. It sounded like you were copying it from your school.

If they installed it (presuming they are honoring their own license and not giving you a bootleg copy, which I doubt they would do) it sounds like you have a perfectly valid student license. Congrats on both having a legit copy and getting a doubtless good price! Now go and design a higher order jumbling monster puzzle!

Dave :)

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:41 pm 
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DLitwin wrote:
Once might guess eBay makes this a hard situation to actually encounter.


You'd be surprised how many things in this category don't turn up on eBay due to limitations of their original release medium (fragility of magnetic media or general unavailability). I have a set of ROMs for obscure Japanese games which were only released "for real" for a limited time through a download service which no longer exists. There was no other way to get them at the time and I'd be very surprised to find working copies on eBay. I don't find emulation, in this case, to be ethically wrong, even though it is technically illegal.

This is a discussion for another thread though, you're right. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:30 am 
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I wonder if as a community there could be a negotiated reduction in the licencing? Perhaps these companies would like to see "designed with xxx" on our puzzles.

Personally though CoCreate will suffice for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:18 am 
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Jared wrote:
Pantazis... what about MAME? I know for a fact that you like it a lot... but using it to emulate games that you didn't dump yourself is technically illegal. Same thing with some abandonware titles - the companies are no longer selling them and may not actually exist anymore. (The only people you're hurting in this case are the resellers on eBay or elsewhere.) I'm guilty of using both emulators - for games which are no longer being sold, mind you - and abandonware, but who am I hurting in this way?


Indeed a very interesting topic.

But I am sure you already know about the five-year window of the games to be emulated,
to ensure that the legitimate businesses are never hurt. :)
The responses from the big companies has never been negative to that.
Remember that the gaming industry is humongous, and products become old in less than a year.

Regarding ebay, a collector will always pay big money for an original PCB or cabinet, no question about it.
And this is regardless if the game is emulated or not. It is similar to playing a real rare puzzle, with playing it
on an emulator. I know, because I have bought many PCBs in the past.
(so technically speaking, playing those particular games is not illegal any more!)

;)


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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:33 pm 
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Thankfully, aside from the debate of piracy, promoting or linking to pirated software on this forum isn't allowed for all the reasons mentioned above.

If anyone does spot someone promoting the use of torrents, illegal download links, offers to copy software or anything similar in a post, please report the post with the "report post" button. I do check that list daily.

We should respect software developer's work and if we aren't prepared to pay for it (or save for it), then we simply go without. And there is always blender for the masses. I wouldn't be without it.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:37 pm 
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DLitwin wrote:
QuantumXL wrote:
You are misunderstanding what I am saying. First and foremost the University I go to actually installs all the necessary programs needed.
It does indeed sound like I misunderstood. It sounded like you were copying it from your school.


Yup, your second explanation is much better.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:38 pm 
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I don't know if this fits with this topic, or even if I'm on the right subject...

If I buy a laptop from the uni, I can get a "software package" for HK$500. It is the MS suite, Adobe professional, some other things I have no idea about. Around 25 programs.

I have downloaded editing programs, reference citation programs, and grammar checkers from the Universities I have attended. They are all purchased for student use and free to download from the libraries. I'm not a student at some of those universities anymore, does this make it illegal for me to have these copies?

Student use and downloads are something completely different (in most cases) than taking a program off the web.

At the same time, I purchased a program called phonmap for personal use. I put it on my big portable brainstick the second time I purchased it. This way I can use the program at work and at home. The original purchase (and the second one is licensed for one download only. When I tried to install it at home on the big computer, and on my laptop, the program wouldn't work. It wouldn't work at the Uni either. Not because of Uni protection, but because of something built into the program. I am sure there are ways around this (installing the program on the brain stick), but it really bothers me when something is bought for personal use, and you can't use it. I think the Schools having and giving programs for student usage is a great idea. It stops students from purchasing illegal copies of the software and it ensures they get what they need for their work. I won't even start on how much my old word disks cost me back in the day. Paying HK$7000 for a cheap laptop is worth it for the $500 software bundle that goes with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:51 pm 
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DLitwin wrote:
3.) MAME and abandonware. Another great thread for Off Topic. I'll keep it short and say this: If there is truly no way to obtain a legitimate licensed copy you are in an interesting ethical limbo. Once might guess eBay makes this a hard situation to actually encounter.

Most of these ethical situations are fairly simple to evaluate when you consider two things: Ownership, and compensation. Consider how you have compensated the creator of the thing you are using to your benefit. Consider if they intended you to have it based on what their license *says* (not what *you* think is reasonable). If you think you are benefiting someone by copying their work outside of their stated wishes, you are fooling yourself. If they wanted it freely available (for example, to build a market for future products), they would have made it so (there are plenty of freely available programs, music and puzzle designs out there).

If you are benefiting from it, if you have not compensated the creator for it (in the manner of *their* choosing, not yours) and if the creator has not given their permission, it is clear what you have done. Please don't make excuses for it. Well, not in this thread at least.


Interestingly, right before I read this thread, I found myself reading Tony's thread on people copying and selling his puzzles - how he didn't want it done. Whenever I'm in a bad mood and playing with my puzzle collection (to bring me out of my bad mood), I might find myself lamenting my lack of Tony Fisher puzzles. "He only sells a handful a year, and they go for so much money! I'll never own one. Particularly puzzle X. It's not even available for any price! I should just commission a builder to make me one."

But when the clouds break and I'm myself again, I remember that it's not at all my place to say if he has a responsibility to make those puzzles available to everyone. So, in many cases, there is "truly no way to obtain a legitimate licensed copy." Do I think this puts me in an "interesting ethical limbo"? No.

I remember reading the.drizzle's post, that he was making 25 kits for his 24-cube design, and that was it, ever. Once those were sold (and the up to 25 derivatives that could be made from them), there would be no more. There would, in effect, be "truly no way to obtain a legitimate licensed copy." Do I wish that weren't the case? Yes. Does that have any bearing on the absolutely clear-cut ethics of the situation?

The companies that own or owned the rights to those games could have released them to the public, had they wanted to. They did not. It seems to me, when I read the second and third paragraphs that I quoted, that therefore the games should not be considered to be released to the public.

I wish I could also respond to Pantazis' post, but I'm afraid that I am not part of the 'everyone' that understands what this 5-year window is about.

I do not intend to put anyone on the spot with this post (including the people I quoted or referenced in my post).

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 1:12 am 
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how do I say this.... thinking of the right words.

PIRATING IS WRONG. I purchase any and all applications I use for official business or work.

however I would like to offer a paraphrase from the main programmers at a major 3d program company when they visited my college to give a talk. A hot topic among the students was the morality of pirating the software instead of purchasing it. and surprisingly they said 'we expect students to pirate this software. This program is built for industries and the more students are able to use such software for free, the more familiar they become with it, and then more industries will buy our product because of this'

in short the speech presented the fact that their income comes from corporations using the license for the product.

this is not to say pirating is okay for official use. though I feel that in terms of learning a program there are certain alternatives.

in conclusion, if you plan to use the product for frequent use, buy a license and support the company.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 2:10 am 
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Piracy has a lot of controversy,
For starters, a lot of people do not steal a thing, they download something they did not have the means for to buy it in the first place, the company therefore looses nothing.
Secondly, sellers of those software are intentionally ripping you off. An increasing amount of bands is encouraging you to illegally download their music because nearly everything goes to the record company's, and on a software package like Windows 99% of it is pure profit. In order to protect these high prices, company's such as Mircosoft have their little researches. They claimed that research had shown that if windows would go from 200 to 10 dollars per license, no-one would buy it who had been using it illegally before, which is instantly contradicted by nearly all "pirates". If you look at computer games, most have about 10 hours of single player, then you will can still enjoy it for a month or so in replay and online value, but then it is over, the amount of content put into games keeps declining. Yet these games cost 50-70 euro each, 70-90 dollar that would be about, which is an increase over the last few years!. If you would like to have more play time, you need to buy expansion packs, especially electronic arts is good at this, by releasing about 20 of them for the sims series. All just to rake in the cash.
This does not make pirating right obviously, but in my eyes it is acceptable, and that is just a personal opinion.

I personally run my Cad, office and operating system legally, but only because I can get any of them completely free at my University, I can get solidworks students, Unigrafix NX 5, Autodesk Inventor, Autocad, Windows Vista Ultimate, etc. I can get them for free, but others also want to have a go with them, but cannot afford.
If I would like to have a few of those programs I would have to pay thousands of dollars, simply impossible for me to do, and I am willing to bet, that most of you would also pirate, if you were not as wealthy as you are, and looking at those collections, there are plenty of wealthy people on this website.

Also piracy is not your war to fight, this is a site about twisty puzzles. Obviously there should be no word here on where to get knock off puzzles or where to get pirated software, but there also should not be useless discussions (and they are VERY useless) about the morality of piracy.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 10:00 am 
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I don't think "wealthy" has anything to do with it. And I think that is an unjustified comment. Great puzzle collections don't have to cost a lot of money, they cost time and a good eye, and a lot of patience looking.

First of all, for companies, it is against the law to run pirated software. A few years back, many companies here were given a grace period of 6 months. Then the powers that be swept in and started issuing fines that were more expensive than the software. A few fines, and now the majority of companies have legal versions, or freeware that is compatable. The second point is quality. When we first moved here in 1994, the price of MS Word was prohibitive. I needed a computer for my studies, and the cheapest laptop cost around $20,000. (US$2600) That was a lot of money for a fresh uni graduate with no job and no home yet who was paying Post-grad fees. I will admit that I bought an illegal copy of the software. Thank goodness my husband is a programmer, because that copy royally mucked up my rather expensive laptop. The usable life of a laptop (realistically) is around 4 years. I've been through more than than over the 15 years I've been here (I average a new one every 2.5 years) I've bought the real versions of the software ever since that first fiasco. Why, to save money in the long run. It wasn't until I started my degree in 2001 that I discovered the student bundle and began to save money.

Bottom line, if you can get the program for free or at a huge discount because you're a student or through an alumni association count your blessings. If you can't and you take your chances with illegal software, don't cry because it fries your brainbox!

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 10:42 am 
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katsmom wrote:
If you can't and you take your chances with illegal software, don't cry because it fries your brainbox!


Let me just say that I -LOVE- brainbox. I've started using it. Anyway, onto the piracy part.

Like I've stated, I'll pirate a game to test it out (boo hiss, I know, I'm terrible.) It was brought up that I could rent games, but that's pretty much console exclusive. If you can find a place where I can rent PC games, I'd like that and I would. But until then, I'm going to test out the games.

If you've ever read comments on games and software on a torrent site, you'll see that about 1/4 of the comments are "How do I make this work?" another 1/4 are "Thanks for the upload, it works well" or "Please seed", and the other half are "This is worth the buy!".

A lot of people use these games or software as a form of quality control. And these companies know what's being downloaded. There are lists of the most downloaded movies, or how many downloads a certain application or game got. So it still provides indirect feedback to companies of what people like and what they don't like.

But if the wrong thing gets downloaded, you're in for one heck of a ride with your computer. I've never run into problems with my games, but I know plenty of people who have.

I'm not advocating piracy, just letting you know companies expect it and get feedback from it.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 12:29 pm 
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Namegoeswhere wrote:
And on a software package like Windows 99% of it is pure profit.


Wait ... WHAT? I'm sorry, I'd been lurking on this forum with no intention to post until I read this line.
I love me some FOSS and I run Linux at home, but dude, *coders like to eat*. If Windows went from $200 to $10 they wouldn't be able to pay their employees. There simply isn't the demand for 20 times the operating systems to make up that kind of difference in price. That's Econ 101 stuff.

One last thing ... what do you think happens to profit? Just asking.


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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 1:47 pm 
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Considering that there are successful software companies with paid staff who use the FOSS model of development, I must say that the prices proprietary developers charge for their products are highly suspect. I also find it insulting the way many proprietary developers, after charging such prices, refuse to make the investment to allow *nix users the use of their products and even have the gall to treat their legitimate customers like criminals. Similar can be said of any industry with digital products.

Wrongdoing on the behalf of corporations may not excuse the consumers of piracy, but piracy should not excuse the corporations of their wrongdoings either. In many cases, there is wrongdoing on both sides, with one or both sides feeding the other.

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 Post subject: Re: Piracy of modeling software
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 2:15 pm 
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Ladies and Gentlemen, let's move this discussion here, it's way off the "Please don't encourage pirating of modeling software on this forum" topic.

Move on. Nothing to see here. Lots on the other thread.

Dave :)

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