Alex’s Letter to Warez Sites

Probably everyone who reads this blog has already seen this elsewhere, but in case not:

Our good friend and fellow mobile developer, Alex Kac, has written an Open Letter to Warez Sites in his forum, and asked some other developers to help publicize it. Of course I agree with what he wrote (or most of it – maybe not the “have a great day” part), and while I’m not at all convinced that this will change anything (do people really go to warez sites without realizing they’re stealing the content?) I’m completely behind any efforts to do anything to stop software (or any intellectual property) piracy, and happy to do whatever I can to help publicize the problem.

3 thoughts on “Alex’s Letter to Warez Sites

  1. Kerim Satirli

    Warez has always been most prominent under students and probably will continue to be. Big companies don’t want to get into legal troubles so they buy the amount of licenses they need, but students and teens often have no understanding of the inner workings of development and will just as easily resort to cracking software.

    Then again, there are those who spend insane amounts of money on software, just to be legit. I have to admit, I’ve used cracked software (who hasn’t?) and I’m not trying to say that it’s good, because it isn’t, but since I’m a student, I haven’t (knowingly) used one piece of unlicensed software. Yes, I’ve spent an arm and a leg (and soon: a kidney) on the stuff I need, but in the end, I hope that it’s worth it.

    I don’t go to bed with a warm(er) feeling than usual, just cause everything is correctly licensed and I don’t enjoy using the app more, just because I bought it, but I do understand that it’s the right thing I’m doing.

    I’m working freelance, mostly with the tools I bought and making money off of them, so I think it’s only fair to pay those that enable me to earn money.

    On the other hand, many of my co-students pirate software they use. It’s sad, because most of them work too and expect their bosses to pay them, yet they deprive those developers of their royalties (“well I’m only one person, that’s like $5 for the developer in question”).

    Ah well…

  2. spmwinkel

    I’ve also used warez in the first days of my PPC use. Being a student too, there’s just a different amount of money I recieve from delivering newspapers than people with “real jobs” get every month.

    However, when I came in contact with SBSH, Ilium, etc., I realized that this was just wrong, and only then I started to see the “other side of the medal”. I’m really glad to say that for a long time now all of my software is legally purchased or won through contest, so I’m 100% cool now. And in my case, it DOES feel a lot better! It just felt wrong to be registered to the SBSH forums and using an illegal piece of software. Now, with several legally acquired licenses to various pieces of software, I can truely feel that I’m part of the online PPC community that can fully enjoy what’s out there, without having problems with my concience! :D

    So in my case, the ‘ability’ to use cracked software as an ‘unlimited trial’ ni the end resulted in me getting all the software in a legal way!
    However, I realise that this is not what normally happens, I’m one of the exceptions…

  3. Kevin

    This issue is basically a big mess. You have software piracy which hurts small developers pretty badly, you have the moral problems of ‘stealing’ something, you have the sticky issue of “How do you stop people from copying digital media?” (The answer, I personally think, is, ‘You do not stop them.’)…

    I can definitely say that I used to use cracked software when I wasn’t using freely available software. I didn’t have any money, so I couldn’t buy anything. (This is when I was a teenager, and making 7 dollars an hour part time as a college student.)

    Now? I don’t use anything that’s cracked. Honest. I’ve bought every piece of ‘commercial’ software on my Macintosh.

    Stolen music? I would download music off napster because, A) i have a tremendous thirst for new and interesting music, and b) it was so easy. Lately, I tend to buy it, especially if it’s available on eMusic.

    Stealing is morally wrong. I don’t think most people are really going to argue about that. Some people will, but I’m not one of those people.

    But what about stealing when there are no repercussions? It might be ‘wrong’, but there’s nothing to enforce the sense of ‘wrongness’. If you could walk into Walmart and walk out with a new flat-screen TV and no one would stop you… why would you pay for it?

    I’m serious. People ask, “but it’s wrong, shouldn’t you do the right thing?” I think that in today’s world of instant-access and hyper-connectivity, ‘wrong’ ceases to be an issue if there isn’t an associated slap on the wrist.

    You might say, about music, ‘The RIAA is slapping people!’ and that’s true. They’re also trying to mis-use the U.S legal system to do so, which is as wrong or more than some kid downloading the new throwaway pop album from Napster, or another person getting an album off eMusic and giving it to all his friends (I’ve done that and I’m not ashamed. They wouldn’t have heard it if I didn’t do that.)

    Back to Alex’s letter, I strongly agree with his plea. As a support rep for Ilium Software, I’ve heard the following: “Such and such program does what your program does, and it’s free! Why would I buy something if I could get it for free? Your program’s too expensive, why should I buy it when I get something else for free?”

    You try calling up that free software’s developer when something blows up and see if they answer the phone and walk you through fixing it. ;)

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