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future of the software business/what to do about piracy

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I'm writing this post to start a discussion about the future of the way software is sold. It seems that the programming community is being split more and more between those who think all information should be free- the gnu camp- and those who gripe about piracy- the microsoft camp. This is a very old debate I know; Bill Gates was a pioneer in enacting anti-piracy law when a copy of his Basic interpreter was 'liberated' from a trashcan and copied around the homebrew computer club. But it was those same pirates at homebrew that were largely responsible for creating the internet we know and love today- which is why piracy is so easy. Which side is right? On principle, I'm more with the free software people- it seems to me that it can't be the technology which is at fault- trying to force people to use an older and more expensive distribution system for goods simply becuase there is more profit seems rather backwards. Yet Bill Gates is richer than Richard Stallman, and hey, every programmer wants to get paid for what they do! We don't work for free. Can there be a system which works for everyone? Recently I was address-banned from #gamedev for bringing this issue up. The administrator misunderstood me- he took me as trying to rationalize piracy to give myself an excuse. I'm not going to say I'm completely innocent of software piracy- but my intent here is to encourage dialogue, not to encourage robbery. Just covering by butt... FallingFrog Edited by - FallingFrog on January 15, 2001 11:58:06 PM

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well you yourself said that the programmers arent going to work for free. Who is going to pay them ? The company they work for is going to pay them. How is the company going to get money to pay them ? By selling products. If software became free, then I believe the only software that would be made is by hobbiest such as ourselves who do it for the fun of it (at least that is why I do).
However when I graduate from NC State next year, I better be paid for my programming services, or I will take my services elsewhere.


"Yo yo ma"
-Kramer

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One little question: If software should be free, why shouldn''t hardware? It takes time and money to develop high-quality hardware, and we don''t mind paying for it. Doesn''t it also take time and money to develop high-quality software? We don''t mind paying for hardware upgrades every few years, so why shouldn''t we pay for software upgrades? Don''t get me wrong; I''m not saying free software is bad, I''m just wondering why we don''t feel the same way about hardware.

==================
/* todo: insert cool sig */
Martee
Magnum Games.NET

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To answer Martee''s question: Because hardware cannot be copied with digital perfection and made available for download.

To respond to this post, though, I have to point out that it has nothing to do with "the future of how software is sold". Which, I think, would actually be an interesting topic.

Instead, it seems to focus on whether software should be sold at all, which is an entirely different issue. And since the original post painted the sides as the "GNU/Pirate Good Guys" and the "Microsoft Profit Mongers", it seems pretty obvious that this post was flame-bait.


DavidRM
Samu Games

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Ok but leave the thread open anyway.

If software should be free? Are you serious? Sure, make copies of the games I make for free... as long as you go and spend 8 hours a day in a factory or in an office or doing things for me in the same way that I make a game for you. It sounds like the questions that 5 years old children ask. I still can''t believe how Napster and all the warez sites remain alive.

About the other thing, how software is sold I think that as soon as all could have fast connections both music and software stores will fade away, it will be better for costumers and artists/developers cos it will be no distribution cost, although now there are still vinyls being recorded.


Nicole Poster (wife of Anonymous Poster)

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*hint*ads can generate revenues*hint*

How can you guys be programmer and yet be so close-minded about this ? Use your imagination, or let the the marketing people find new ways of "selling" sofware for you . Heck, why should we restrain ourselves in the typical and old-fashioned "I write a program, I sell to the user" marketing way ?

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Excuse me?
have you ever played an "ad"-game? I (and i guess so does the average user) want to enjoy games, and i want to play a good and well designed game, and that does not include watching a mcdonalds or whatever ad everytime i push a button!..

Producing games cost a lot of money, if you want to make up 4 million bucks in development costs you´d have to plaster every available surface with ads...

I think that consumers are willing to pay for good games and for that reason the "small minded way of producer->consumer sales" will not go away.


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The solution is quite obvious. You just bung the pirates in jail. I spent most of yesterday getting warez sites that have my games on them closed down.
I see no reason why the IP addresses used by warez d00dz cant be traced to an ISP, and eventually, the phone-line and hosue number responsible. Then just lock em up. Its theft and they know it. Its funny that warez pirates rant about the huge profits the developers make, then they steal my game, from a guy coding alone for a living.

http://www.positech.co.uk

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Ok here''s my little 2 cents.... One thing I don''t understand is how someone can pick up a guitar, get a few friends that can hardly play together, jam together a few catchy tunes, spend a month in a recording studio put out an album and sell it for
$24.95..... THAT IS REDICULOUS!!!!!!!!! A game company on the other hand has programmers that have been to college, and spent years learning to code..(Mathematics, engineering, physics too)(you can''t learn a few functions and write a game)
Artist with skill and talent, who can model and draw just about anything... Game designers ...TALENTED musicians, and sound engineers... Plus alot of other hard working people.. With Millions of dollars spent and from 2 to 4 years development time.
And a game is sold for only around $50 bucks... Mans thats a steal.. Plus as the game gets older the price drops from 30 to 20 to even 10 dollars... An albums price rarely ever drops....
I don''t buy albums anymore, I just listen to the radio now..
As for the future of how software is sold... For the same reson i don''t want pirated software (besides it bein illegal)is the same reason I dont want buy and download software.. I like the box, I want the cd, i want the manual.. I want the foldouts.. I wanna drive home with it on my lap... Smell the new cd case smell... I want to lay on my coach and read the manual and anticipate playing it. Theres just no pleasure in punching in a credit card number get a download complete and run installation. It cheapens the whole experience.
Well I guess I just made myself sound really neurotic... So im gonna go play my new game i got in a box at the store..

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Ads in games? Excuse me... have you ever actually bought something because you saw a banner ad while on the web? Now think about playing a game, in the middle of a huge deathmatch... "Wait, I just to go and punch the monkey... don''t shoot me"

Or how about a strategy game like AOE, where do you put the ad? Are there soldiers marching around telling you to buy things? That seems real =)


Paying for games is just right, you pay for food, yet it is a necessity, games are a luxury and you are stealing them? (nt directed at anyone... directed towards the crowd)

Trying is the first step towards failure.

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