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Do You Pay for Your Shareware?

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the free-software-is-nice-that-way dept.

Programming 898

geddes writes: "Ambrosia Software, an independent Macintosh shareware developer, has just published an article about the effect Piracy has on thier small business. They recently implemented a new serial number scheme where the software connected to thier server to verify reigistration, and found that in two days, of the 197 of the users trying to verify thier codes, 107 were using pirated ones. Crime always hurts the little guy more."

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Shouldn't that read... (0, Troll)

Spackler (223562) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941519)

Do you pay for your Spyware?

Re:Shouldn't that read... (2)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941522)

I didn't have to. Ad-Aware tells me I've got lots...

I didn't pay for any of it either.

Re:Shouldn't that read... (2)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941532)

Cough. Online registration. Read the article.

Re:Shouldn't that read... (5, Insightful)

ColdForged (453024) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941622)

Ah yes, the lovely sound of a knee jerking. The people upon whom this software is "spying" are the people who:
  1. Entered a pirated key into the registration box.
  2. Found that the key needed to be renewed to match the new scheme.
  3. Clicked on the "Renew" button that connects to a server to renew the key

I can here the cries of foul clear across the Internet. "How dare they verify the information I sent before giving me a new working key that I so justly deserve when I elect to attempt to renew a pirated key!!"

Modded down by the man.

Yawn (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941520)

tell us something we don't know...

WHAT THE?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941521)

A PRIVACY VIOLATION and no SMART ASS remark from Timothy?

Who are you and what have you done to the slashdot editors!

Re:WHAT THE?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941526)

a privacy violation? excuse me but a serial number validation system has been in effect with games like quake 3 for years and arent you skirting the issue? i for one have no problem with legitimate validation of a serial number for a product, you do though, i wonder why

Re:WHAT THE?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941647)

You make assumptions and put words in my mouth...

Typical slashdot strategy for arguing...

Timothy seems to jump up and down when any company decides to even think about doing anything that vaguely resembles anything to do with breaching a user's privacy.

Also, the Quake 3 client never actually verifies itself. The Quake 3 server can choose to verify the CD key to make sure it is correct. There is no actual forced registration of the key should the user not want it to happen.

Please check your facts and please come again.

Product activation one step closer to reality (5, Interesting)

selderrr (523988) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941525)

this will make microsoft's point of product activation stronger. I fear that for most commercial and semi commercial packages, PA is inevitable. Mark my words : in the near future a service like PayPal will distribute source code to handle PA with their servers...

It sucks, but it is inevitable. I have written 2 small shareware packages, and sold exactly 6 copies at 10$. Today I still receive help requests from users on a weekly basis... Definitely more that 6 users out there !

Re:Product activation one step closer to reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941543)

If some one builds a piece of software and wants to get paid for the use of that software, they should. Some software will fail because they enforce pay for use, no matter what license scheme or payment terms they have. Other will not be hurt. The market will decide if this is the correct policy or not.

Re:Product activation one step closer to reality (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941544)

Why not charge people for help then? If they can't demonstrate that they've paid for your software, then charge them for questions.

Re:Product activation one step closer to reality (5, Interesting)

selderrr (523988) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941563)

I can't charge for help because the program is simple as hell, and the questions usually range from 'duh, why doesn't this run on XP ?' (answer : because it's mac software sir) to 'can't you make it process MS Word files?' (answer : no sir, this is a bitmap batch procesisng tool, not text)

This remark also holds for games. You live off support fees for a game ! There are free web communities for that...

You have to understand that there is *A LOT* of software that simply needs to be payed for, albeit only a little amount. Unless people are forced to pay for it, they won't. I have given up on shareware development at all, concentrating on lage project development. Tools that I make in those projects are no longer distributed because the effort of writing documentation and making a good interface remain unrewarded. For me, this is not a drama, but for companies like ambrosia, it's hell. Shine on it the way you like, but PA is the only solution for them.

Ambrosia needs to copy others (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941666)

My fave quote from the web site: "I need to evaluate my competition. What if that takes longer than 30 days?" Then buy the software, stoooopid.

Vertical market devs are usually so complicated they CANNOT be used without a tech support phone call. This is expensive of course, and it's only available to paid-up users. So, you bozos at Ambrosia, you know what to do.

Re:Product activation one step closer to reality (1)

Deanasc (201050) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941547)

There you go. Give the program away free and charge for help. This is especially lucrative if the program is complex.

Re:Product activation one step closer to reality (3, Insightful)

nusuth (520833) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941569)

But that is against the goal of making a program user friendly and well documented. I'd rather pay for a good user interface and documentation than good support. The former means program is professionally made, the latter means company is doing its best to hide the fact that the program was not professional.

Re:Product activation one step closer to reality (1)

selderrr (523988) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941571)

sure, and what if the program is dead simple ?

the whole point of the top article is that comanies like Ambrosia make simple soft, like a screenshot utility (snapz) or cool arcade games. You can't charge support on that kinda stuff.

all of you l33t d00dz are so spoiled with free stuff written by other geeks in their spare time, that you don't realize the fact that some people actually have to live off their products !

Re:Product activation one step closer to reality (1)

bbcat (8314) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941582)

> There you go. Give the program away free and
> charge for help. This is especially lucrative if
> the program is complex.

Considering that most programs that people want
to use don't need much help you'd be working
for nothing or not selling anything.
If if get a program with no help and need to
pay on a continuous basis for that help I delete
it and forget about the moron who issued such a
ridiculous program.

Re:Product activation one step closer to reality (1, Interesting)

nusuth (520833) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941610)

PA with MS products is dumb, they are shooting themselves in the head. Just how did MS became what it is? By selling their crappy OSes and then-crappy office suit? No sir, they are what they are because legally bought or not, nearly every damn PC had their software and most had the latest versions so they could push their new, incompatible standarts. That made everything MS made defacto standart, from IE compatible HTML & java for internet, to brain-dead windows 9x platform for development target.

Now with PA, dedicated pirates are turning to enterprise & similar non-activated versions, no benefit there. Preloaded stuff does not need PA anyway, they are legal, no benefit there either. That leaves sixpack pirates who know how to borrow from a friend but nothing else. Some will buy the OS, some will stick to old versions and some will move to a new platform. Now, every non-MS OS used out there hurts their monopoly position, every old version hurts their ability to push new standarts. I don't think that few extra sales from sixpack-pirates makes for the possible fatal loss.

hmm.. (5, Insightful)

heideggier (548677) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941528)

I think that the mistake that these guys are making, and they will find it out pretty soon, is that the people who pirate their software will not use their software if they where forced to pay for it, The reality is that people who pirate their software are an assent in mindshare.

The people are appling the same logic the gambler uses when he curses himself for not betting $100 instend of $10 think that he has just lost $90.

All that is going to happen is that their punters are going to go somewhere else.

Btw someone will crack this is ten seconds anyway.

Why not use pirated software? (3, Troll)

andres32a (448314) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941530)

Software, unlike hardware is not prone to wear and tear. Moreover, it doesn't cost as much to produce an additional unit of software, as say to build another engine.

Sure, software companies would argue that they spend a lot on R&D, and that they have the right to profit as much as they can from what they have made. But there is such a thing as making something for a buck and selling it for 10, and every reasonable moral person knows that something is wrong with this axiom.

Furthermore, one of the reasons why software isn't held in as much material regard as hardware is simply because that it is fundamentally intangible. In a sense, the human psyche therefore construes that it has little material value. Common folks in general don't really know the processes that occur within a program and it would be too cumbersome to educate them.

Though this is not an excuse to buy pirated software, it is clear that people are simply not ready to pay so much money for something that they simply can't physically hold on to as much or something that simply offers them marginal benefits, how much of MS Office does a typical user use anyway?

The balance still has to be struck somewhere, but with the fact that there are so many who are growing disproportionately richer selling software, and with most consumers only receiving marginal benefits from their applications, we begin to realize that there is something definitely wrong with this equation.

There are of course exceptions to every rule.

Re:Why not use pirated software? (3, Insightful)

Alex (342) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941548)

"But there is such a thing as making something for a buck and selling it for 10, and every reasonable moral person knows that something is wrong with this axiom."

Its called the profit motive - its related to something called capitalism - you may have heard of it. Theft is theft - justifying it by saying that companies charge too much is attempting to skirt the issue.

Re:Why not use pirated software? (5, Insightful)

DoorFrame (22108) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941551)

"But there is such a thing as making something for a buck and selling it for 10, and every reasonable moral person knows that something is wrong with this axiom."

No, there's absolutely nothing wrong with making something for $1 and then selling it for $10... if people are willing to pay $10 for it. I also have nothing against making something for $1 and selling it for $10,000. Mainly because, you don't have to buy it. If you don't think the product in question is worth $10, then don't pay for it... but don't bemoan the fact that someone else is trying to make a living.

If their product is worth 10 dollars, than people with pay 10 dollars for it, regardless of how much it cost to produce. Cost of production is irrelevant, all that matters, in terms of pricing, is how much it's worth to consumers.


Re:Why not use pirated software? (0, Troll)

Nephrite (82592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941575)

Your point may be right in an ideal market where there are a lot of firms and their competition is regulated only by their price politics. But in the real world we have such nasty things like monopolies, you know. Doesn't M$ use aggressive advertising politics, FUD, buying competitors and such? Wouldn't you be willing to pay a $1000000 for the very last piece of food in the world?

Re:Why not use pirated software? (3, Insightful)

DoorFrame (22108) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941649)

Microsoft does not control "the last piece of food in the world", they control an operating system (one of many) and a few programs. If you don't like their operating system, go use Linux (hell, it's what this whole webpage is about) or MacOs, or any of the other OS options... or don't use a computer.

You're not obligated to use an Operating System (unlike food), so if the cost for Microsoft software upsets you unduly, simply don't purchase it. Find an alternative or choose not to use computer software at all. They haven't mandated you give them money, all they've done is offered a product/service for a price... you make the decision if their price is worth your money or not.

Re:Why not use pirated software? (4, Insightful)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941554)

IOW you want the software, but you don't want to pay for it. Why don't you just use free software? Oh, what you want isn't available free? Tough luck. Instead of pirating (rather cheap) shareware, why don't you just program it yourself - and give it away for free? Is it because you can't program or because your time has some value to you?

Re:Why not use pirated software? (1)

Nephrite (82592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941562)

I agree completely. Also I want to add something to your words.

software companies would argue that they spend a lot on R&D

True, but automobile companies for example also do a lot of R&D, but their autos still have reasonable price. Compare a Mercedes for $10k and 3d studio Max for $5k. In first case I at least get about a ton of iron :-)

Mercedes at $10k (???????) (1)

bbcat (8314) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941605)

> a Mercedes for $10k
On which planet do you live?
Aren't you mixing the Mercedes with the Lada?

Re:Mercedes at $10k (???????) (1)

Nephrite (82592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941637)

Oh please. A Volkswagen or Nissan would be better?

Re:Why not use pirated software? (5, Insightful)

spongebob (227503) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941565)

I don't think I can agree with your opinion of people not having the right to profit. Everyone has access to most of the same building blocks to write programs that fit their level of productivity. The problem is that they don't have the first clue where to go. Hence we have a basic law of economics called supply and demand.

I don't begrudge the mechanic who buys a part for $20 and charges me $100 plus the $15/hr to put it in. I either don't have the knowledge or don't want to do it, so I pay for the process to be done for me.

What you are confusing the issue with here is the anominity that the internet provides people for now. People are willing to steal software because nobody is being punished for the fact. Once things get a little more high profile in the college raids and such, people will become less likely to take what's not thiers. At minimum they will contemplate it before they take it.

As for your equation with disproportionate distribution of profit over benefit of products, I would have to say that this is ludicrous. How many non-geek people do you know that are power users of any software. The bottom line on this is that the majority of the people using computers don't have the first clue about what they want to do. They have heard there is free porn and games online so they jump in that direction. They don't really expect much out of the programs that they use and those programs really do alot more than most people ever need. Your comment is basicly unfounded.

Re:Why not use pirated software? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941568)

How is it immoral to charge $10 for something that cost you $1 to make? The market might not be interested in your product, but how is it wrong to charge anything you want? This I believe is a part of being in a free society. Noone should be forced to pay your prices also of course.

Re:Why not use pirated software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941580)

"Though this is not an excuse to buy pirated software, it is clear that people are simply not ready to pay so much money for something that they simply can't physically hold on to as much or something that simply offers them marginal benefits, how much of MS Office does a typical user use anyway?"

Agreed. I believe the tab should be moved from software licences to support licences. Linux and the GPL will be helpeing software go this way.

Re:Why not use pirated software? (2)

hrieke (126185) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941590)

Software however is prone to the OS which it runs on. Upgrades can cause all sorts of problems to a program, and cuase quite a bit of expense to the developer.

By your logic here, if software costs anything, it should not be above a dollar. To take to funny logic futher, to an extream if you will, then medical care shouldn't cost more than a buck either, or auto insurance, or homes, books, or all the food that I could eat. People shouldn't be allowed to profit from their abilities or specialized skills.
Accually books are a good example to use. A good book takes just as long to write as a good program. It too has a high RD value so to speak of. The first copy of that book to be published costs a lot of money. After that, each copy is dirt cheap.
Guess what? You still have to pay the publisher, the press people, shippers, paper suppliers, truck repair people, gas, electric bills, press repair people, insurance, etc, etc, etc, from the sales of that book.
Any you still have the right to go to the library and read a copy for free (try it out if you will), and when you are done with it or the due date is up, you return it (stop using the program).

Re:Why not use pirated software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941591)

Your justification is nothing but a freaking lie. Oh yes since someone gets rich its ok to steal from them. Who the hell do you think you are. Robin fucking hood ?

Jesus here you are legitimising theft. It's nothing more. You steal most software is petty larceny...steal photoshop and its grand larceny.

You are a common criminal in the heart.

Get the fuck out of my country you dirty bastard

Re:Why not use pirated software? (-1, Flamebait)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941620)

You steal most software is petty larceny...steal photoshop and its grand larceny.

Let's see.

I can afford Photoshop so I burn a copy of it at the work so that I can use it at home too.

Does Adobe lose money? No, because I wouldn't have been able to buy the software in the first place.

Does Adobe lose property in general? No. I burned the copy on a CD-R I bought myself. Adobe has not been deprived of a Photoshop copy either because an unlimited number of copies can be produced (unlike for hardware).

Does Adobe benefit? Yes, in fact they do. I know their product and I know how to use it. That is, they have one more potential customer in the future.

Re:Why not use pirated software? (0)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941626)

I can afford

That should read: "I can't afford..."

Re:Why not use pirated software? (1)

fred911 (83970) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941642)

"You steal most software is petty larceny...steal photoshop and its grand larceny. "

Just 'cause Joe Lam0r has a copy of photoshop or flash from the warez d00dez doesn't
mean he knows how to use it, or would *ever* buy it.

Simple, if you use it you should pay for it. (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941623)

"Though this is not an excuse to buy pirated software, it is clear that people are simply not ready to pay so much money for something that they simply can't physically hold on to as much or something that simply offers them marginal benefits, how much of MS Office does a typical user use anyway?"

Sorry, but if you are using it it benefits you. If you don't need all of Office you can buy the piece or pieces you need. It is not a valid excuse to pirate it because you only need it every other Thursday or because; in this case as example; its evil Microsoft.

"The balance still has to be struck somewhere, but with the fact that there are so many who are growing disproportionately richer selling software, and with most consumers only receiving marginal benefits from their applications, we begin to realize that there is something definitely wrong with this equation. "

Uh, the balance is that if you need to use it you should pay to do so. Just because you don't need it all, or not all of the time does not justify depriving someone else of their profit from their work and ideas. Consumers receive FULL BENEFIT from the products they buy IF it does what they want.

Your just running the same old tired lines that pirates use everyday to justify their OWN greed and selfishness. Your mantra is one that of "I will take what I want and screw you". People pirate software because its easy not to get caught... just like the loudmouth flamer in the chatroom who only exists because of the anonymous nature of the net the software pirate is just another example of the spineless twits that ruin the system for the rest of us.

Pirates lead to over regulation, overly silly EULA's, Product Activation, CD-KEYS, and all other sorts of incovenience. They provide the "evil software" companies all the excuse they ever need.

Re:Why not use pirated software? (3, Interesting)

Cy Guy (56083) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941630)

From the Snapz Pro X website [] : "The images Snapz Pro X generates are all web-ready, as are the QuickTime movies it makes -- just upload 'em and go! Snapz Pro X can even capture images and movies that are playing on your DVD Player [] " (Note: link is copied directly from site to document the intent of DVD QuicktTime capture function is to capture quicktimes from copyrighted DVD films)

So Ambrosia can set up schemes to ID licensing scofflaws, but seems to have no problem creating and selling a product designed to violate the copyright (at least in the DMCA sense, if not in the traditional fair-use sense) of Hollywood movies. Why hasn't DOJ gone after them for violating DMCA when the product is clearly just as in violation as DeCSS? Personally I think fair-use trumps DMCA, but current law makes selling such as product just as illegal as failing to register shareware, or using pirated codes to register it. They need to make up their mind whether they believe infromation should be free, or whther we need the government to come in and enforce copyright laws.

Re:Why not use pirated software? (1, Flamebait)

mrfiddlehead (129279) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941654)

You are an idiot.

Paying for Shareware?!? (0)

TheDick (453572) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941531)

Thats like paying for Sex, sure you CAN, but its embarassing. All us 31337 d00dz know how to crack our own software...... Oh wait.

Pay for that shit if you use it, thats all I gotta say.

Shareware - Pay? (0, Redundant)

mocllc (193984) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941533)

Probably just some people trying the software and will pay if they find it usefull otherwise the hits will just go away. Or not.

Is this really suprising? (5, Insightful)

Tryfen (216209) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941534)

I think one of the biggest barriers to shareware is the price tag. I've no problem paying a few for something useful - only problem is that most places charge too much.

Let me explain. If I want to pay a $ price on my credit-card, I have to pay an extortionate amount for currency conversion. Added to the fact that credit card payments necessitate a minimum charge etc. Add to that price discrepancies (it cost 0.75 for a can of Coke in my country - cross the border you pay more, cross the Ocean you pay less)

I think, we need to return to a barter system to get round these currency problems. An Amazon-esque wishlist is nice start, but what about an alternate internet currency supported by the big players? Say, "Amazon-Bucks"? Where I can convert my currency into AB which I can "wire" to a developer which he can exchange either for goods or currency.

Ya... talking off the top of my head AND out of my arse... great skill that.

Re:Is this really suprising? (3, Funny)

Deanasc (201050) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941570)

.75 euros for a coke is cheap compared to what I'm paying. That's less than a dollar today and I get ripped $1.25 for the same thing. Also you get your coke with real sugar and I have to make due with high fructose corn syrup.

And to make matters worse lately every coke I buy calls me a looser or at least a "sorry not a winner". I wish I could pirate cokes as easily as I could pirate software.

the problem is the cost (5, Interesting)

spoot (104183) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941535)

People are going to steal... just a fact of life

But personally I find the real problem is the cost of shareware. Most of it is just priced to high. As an example; running osx on my ibook, I downloaded a search enhancement called "watson" the other day. It essentially adds more search function with a osx skin. Stuff like movie times and the like. I would have bought the app for 5-10 bucks, but the shareware fee is 30 bucks. You start adding up 30 bucks a pop for shareware and it gets real expensive. 5 or 10, no problem. I'm there. The high cost of a shareware app like this leads to piracy. After all is the functionality of one click to worth 30 bucks... I don't think so.

Re:the problem is the cost (2, Insightful)

gabriel_aristos (265988) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941549)

I agree. For example, the cost of Serve-U is $45, whereas some perfectly functional free alternatives exist. For $10, I'd probably buy it, but $45 is significant enough to make me want to find the latest copy of Serials2000 or Surfer's Serials (Mac), both of which are updated more or less monthly.

Re:the problem is the cost (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941579)

I considered buying a solitaire-like shareware prog for windows once. except it was 29.95.

Why use shareware if there is better freeware... (0, Flamebait)

XRayX (325543) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941537)

at least for Linux...

Re:Why use shareware if there is better freeware.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941585)

I agree...why does every ho hum little piece of shit software for windows or mac have to be shareware? I can download an entire operating system for free, but if I want to use some shitty ripoff of a freeware unix program that someone ported to windows, i'm supposed to pay $20. I make it a policy never to pay for commercial software or shareware...the world would be better off without them anyway

They deserve better. (2)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941539)

Back in 1995, Apeiron [] was my favorite game for a little while. Well worth $15 for all the hours of fun it gave me. Better than the original "Centipede" by far :-)

Shareware, Prices of Commercial Software (5, Insightful)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941541)

I released some shareware awhile back; had hundreds of users, and a dozen or so registrations. Very low hit rate, and people claimed to love the program and rely upon it. Oh well, lesson learned, and I haven't done any since.

I think the big trick is to lower software costs. More than any other product, software has the ability to be distributed at close to zero cost (download from the 'net). Yet most popular software package distributeds online, tend to be sold at the same pricing levels as software that has been mastered, burnt to CD, manuals printed, boxes made, and shipped through multiple levels of distribution, each marking it up.

If things were 1/4 the price, I'm sure piracy would be a lot lower. Most people wouldn't bother.

If I wanted to get a copy of a classic movie on VHS, I wouldn't bother renting the tape and copying it, I'd just buy it for $7.95. DVD's are starting to get to that point, too (although new releases are still nuts).


Bother to do what? (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941617)

If things were 1/4 the price, I'm sure piracy would be a lot lower. Most people wouldn't bother.
Bother to do what? search: "program name" serialz? Typing in the first three letters in Serialz2000? Face it, shareware piracy is usually easier and faster than typing in a registration form...

Besides, it's a twofold thing... unless the product really needs to connect to Internet to work, I wouldn't accept it trying to connect anywhere, I'd stop it dead in my firewall. If they hadn't warned me in advance that an Internet connection was required I'd want my money back, if they had I wouldn't have bought it in the first place.


Re:Shareware, Prices of Commercial Software (5, Insightful)

t14m4t (205907) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941655)

one problem with this is that alot of people don't pirate stuff just to save a buck. alot of people pirate stuff because they're too lazy or too disinterested to pay. they want the program, are willing to pay for it, but no one is egging them on to do it (e.g., cashier as they walk out the door).

there are only a few ways to fix this is. one would be to implement the product activation stuff mentioned in other posts. another would be to actively police the software, as MS does with windows.

the latter option gets the company bad press. the former is something of a privacy invasion issue unless it's done as the result of a button click, and even then doesn't get the people that aren't on-line when they install the software or (for whatever reason) don't go on-line by choice.

the only one i've seen work in a way for which i can't see a hiccup is the safedisk thing i've seen with many games (Diablo II, Black & White, etc.). the disk is copyable, but the registration code won't work with a copied disk. I don't know how it works, and yes I do realize that this can be gotten around, but most people won't go to that level of trouble (I'm assuming) because then it's actually easier to pay for the software than get around the protection (see paragraph one). this may make fair-use backups very difficult, but most people won't go to that trouble, and I'm sure the company would be willing to send you replacement disks if you sent them the original (now-bad) CDs.

i'm no expert; there are probably other ways of protecting against piracy. but actually protecting the company without stepping on users toes is really hard.


asdfasdf (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941542)

i usually crack that shit or make keyfile generators... its quite cheap and entertaining.

Do I Pay for Your Shareware? (3, Interesting)

slittle (4150) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941552)

If it's worth it, yes. Which isn't often..

A lot of shareware isn't worth a pinch of shit. For some reason, highschoolers learning VB think the little utility they whipped up in class is actually worth $40.

Other shareware is easily replaced with Free software (eg. you'd have to be a real MS/IBM fanboy to buy 4DOS/4NT/4OS2 rather than use Bash).

Much of the remainder might be merely a good idea, something I didn't know I needed. Unless it's a large project, I'll simply write my own version (hey, imagine that, another geek knows how to code! And I'll be keeping my $39.95 too, thanks), written exactly how I like it.

they should stop complaining (1, Flamebait)

markj02 (544487) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941556)

What do they want? Nobody promised them that shareware was a viable business model, and nobody knows whether many people would pay a dollar for their software if they came up with a way of forcing people to pay. There is a reason why real software companies pay lots of money for marketing, packaging, demo versions, and sales. Shrill cries of "piracy" are misplaced.

Personally, I view shareware as pollution of the software marketplace. By being effectively "free", it threatens real free software, and by being supposedly a piece of "commercial software" it undercuts developers that really do pay what it takes. There is no hope that shareware will go away, but I'm not sympathetic to their plight.

I'm honest, but am I in the minority here? (5, Interesting)

g051051 (71145) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941557)

I don't pirate software or music. I have licenses for shareware that I use regularly, including Winzip, AtomTime, and the games from Mountain King Software. My (reluctantly used) upgrade copy of Win98SE is fully legal, because I purchased every upgrade along the way, starting from a full IBM DOS 6.0.

I also purchased every game that Loki ever released, and have bought copies of RedHat, Caldera, and Cygwin (when it was sold in stores) to use on machines at work.

I was raised to be honest. You don't take what you don't pay for. If I don't like the price for something, I don't buy it. I want to play Return to Castle Wolfenstein, but I'm not about to pay $55 for a game, so I'll wait until the price drops. If it takes a year, so what? That's about how long I waited until Icewind Dalebecame reasonably priced.

As far as I'm concerned software pirates are in the same class of people who shoplift, leave restaurants without paying, or drive off from a gas station without paying.

I'm curious about the people who don't pay for software. What's the rationale? I can you justify that kind of behavior?

Re:I'm honest, but am I in the minority here? (4, Interesting)

johnburton (21870) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941587)

I'm not trying to justify it in any way, but it's not the same as shoplifting, or driving off withoug paying.

With those things you have prevented them from selling their stuff to someone else and therefore activly cost them money. With software "theft" you have not deprived them of the ability to sell as many copies as they like. You've not cost them any money at all. That's wh the term "theft" is wrong here.

That's the difference. Whether you think that it's equally bad is a matter of opinion only.

Re:I'm honest, but am I in the minority here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941599)

I can justify software piracy...firstly, pirating software is not really stealing in the traditional sense since it doesn't actually take anything away from the takes *potential* money they'd make if I bought the software...but since I never buy software the potential money argument isn't that strong for me. secondly, software is ridiculously overpriced...i don't mind paying the occasional $50 for a game...but hundreds of dollars for operating systems and office software? i spend lots of time using computers and the internet and if i actually paid for everything i'd be shelling out $1000s a year...and for what? for some shitty software that doesn't even work as well as the linux freeware out there? forget it

Re:I'm honest, but am I in the minority here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941602)

You want the rationale for this kind of behavior? Ok, here's the rationale but I think you already know the answer. Unlike many of the people who do it and don't know it themselves.

I pirate software, and I do it for the same reason that I will steal if I feel I can get away with it. Cuz I'm selfish. That's right, I'm selfish.

But at least I admit it, unlike most of the people who make up half-baked excuses like "the record companies screw over the artists, so i'm going to just take what I want" or "Micro$oft is a bad company, so it's ok for me to steal from them". I take what I want, and I do so because I am selfish.

A long time ago I used to feel like I should try and help society and all that. Most people don't break laws not because they're afraid of being caught, but because they believe in the system. Well, I stopped believing in the system after it screwed me over a couple times. When you realize the system isn't looking out for you, you stop looking out for the system. Being that I no longer am out to help society, when I feel that the risks of doing an action (stealing, pirating, etc.) are outweighed by the benefits of doing an action (getting free stuff, etc.) I do so.

So there's your rationale. Maybe you never thought it out loud before, and maybe neither have most of the thieves. But there it is in all it's glory. It's a sad world.

Re:I'm honest, but am I in the minority here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941607)

Not everyone is a shining beacon of morality like you are.


Re:I'm honest, but am I in the minority here? (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941635)

Its non physical so it doesn't feel like stealing (i.e your not depriving someone of a physical object, only a theoretical sale) although you can argue as much as you want either way, thats just the way some people feel.

Also, taking the example of and expensive piece of software (for sake of argument 3DS Max, which costs 1000's) if someone wants to use the software as a hobby, they are not going to pay all that money for it, so, they will either not buy it, and go with out, or they will get a pirate copy. Does this affect sales in any way? no, they were not going to buy it anyway, full stop, if it wasn't availiable to pirate, they would go without. In the case of this software, if they learnt to use it (the pirate version) and one day got a job as a pro animator, which software do you think they would persuade their boss to buy? the program they learn't to use for free! The boss will easily pay for it, a few 1000 is nothing to a big company.

Its much easier for the developers to go after the big companies that arn't paying their licenses, than the individuals.

As for other software like games, thats a different story. But they over charge, anyone who as played a god sim will know that there is a balance to find - if you reduce the price more people will buy it, if you raise the price, less people will buy it. Considering that a cd costs almost nothing to press, you can sell a game pretty cheap and still make a profit. But the main advantage of selling cheap, is that more people will actually pay for it instead of pirating. Why would you spend ages downloading something that has cut-scenes and the manual and the box left out, when you can buy it very cheaply. The alternative is that much fewer people will pay for what they see as an expensive bit of plastic that costs nothing to make - a rip-off

Re:I'm honest, but am I in the minority here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941658)


hahhhahahahah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941561)


shareware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941566)

I tought this shareware model went away with pkzip.
But it looks like some dudes still rely on nagware and key locks to make money.
Folks, why don't you consider finding some guys which want to pay for it and then develop some Opensource solution?
The project should grow faster and you get benefit from the OpenSource hype and diffusability (think of all those distros out there)
Eventually, when your opensource project will be well-known, some angel will come to you and say: "i love what you do, could you develop some solution just for me?" and bingo!

Shareware as always been a dream for the little wannabe 37337 cause there is plenty of it and nobody wants to pay for that crap (please admit that the shareware plague throws a lot of discredit to software developping).

FLAME ME! Oh yeah, that hurts!

Insert obligatory Mac user joke here...... (0, Flamebait)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941573)

That, or 107 of the people trying to register were too gawd damn stupid to enter the serial number correctly.. These ARE Mac users were talking about, people who find buttons on mice to be "confusing".


Shareware mentality. (1)

AntipodesTroll (552543) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941574)

A lot of the problem is that Shareware Authors are too used to being plain greedy.

Such authors need to realise that US$500 for a 5-user licence for an X-Windows server for Win32, that is simply a port and compile of work already done by the X Consortium/XFree86, is a plain ripoff.

Another example I saw once on was a shareware program that sat in the Windows Systray, that could eject the CD drive tray. Hello, why pay for something that is already coded in Windows, and accessable via the RMB context menu?

There is some really nice Shareware that is worth the asing price, but (now no more, anyway) quickly showed me that such authors were greedy, and 95% of their wares were utter crap. Top of my hate list would have to be Steve Gibson of GRC, who I wouldnt mind him selling his crippleware, if he would atleast get his facts straight. (And if you cant tell, this is my opinion. You are welcome to post yours too.)

Few concerns about this.. (1)

Molt (116343) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941576) it just me, or does this article contain a piece of an 'actual server file', listing the IP addresses and names of some of their valid registrants? Yes, the text is 'shrunk' but it's still readable.
If they're going to be quite so clueless as to divulge this in an article is it any surprise people are going to try to register with stolen serial numbers?

They also say 'For our paying customers with an internet connection the hinderance is mininal'.. with them sending an email to Ambrosia and getting a reply back within a day. What if they don't have internet access? Finally, whilst the hinderance is minimal for a single piece of software imagine the disruption a full reinstall would be should you have thirty to fifty games/utilities using similar registration methods?

Okay, there goes my cheeriness for the day.

Re:Few concerns about this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941615)

I believe they mentioned some sort of high technological device called a 'telephone' as a way to contact them... but I guess if they don't have one of those strange machines in addition to the entirely unavailable "internet" then they are truly out of luck.

it should be gpl.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941578)

If it isn't GPL, you should at least be able to copy the binaries. Its a basic freedom.

It's all about choice (2)

pennsol (317791) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941581)

I like developers Who, with the shareware/ freeware setup gives the user a choice. as it is most shareware is crippled.. as i mean not fully functional.. for full features you need to pay someone.. that's all fine and dandy, but if i can't use it or get the full expirence, how do i know what i'm paying for. Most of you are fimiliar with Winamp, thier policy says here it is, fully functioning, if you like it cool ,if you don't fine but it did take us time to make please send us $10 so we can keep improving the product. that was such a open honest thing hey i like i use it. for $10 you can't beat it so i sent em the 10 bucks.. that was 2 years ago i still use it and they have realeased new skins/better functions and such.. it just stuck me as a good way to do business..

p.s. plese don't flame me cause i use windows, i'm learning my linux and getting pretty good at it. Just using WWinamp as an example.;)

Re:It's all about choice (0)

Cheesy Fool (530943) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941668)

Well, there is winamp for Linux (don't know the link off-hand, buts its there).

Slashdot Readers are petty thieves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941583)

For those of you who bitch about "gasp" having this done to them. How dare they !

It re-enforces the idea that slashdot readers are petty thieves

Re:Slashdot Readers are petty thieves (0)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941597)

I agree. If they were good little consumers like they should be if they want to keep living in this society, they'd be buying tech stocks and new software every couple of weeks.

Yes I do (2)

Zo0ok (209803) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941584)

I find paying for non-free software I use a very good way to motivate myself to use free software.

As soon as you consider Windows and Office non-free it is easy to convice yourself to use something else. Many people I know likes and uses Windows and Office all the time but they have never, ever paid full price for it.

On the other hand, when it comes to Windows, MS charges you for what should be free upgrades. And when you buy a laptop with Windows 98 and the installation tools are on a special partition, and you feel like trying Solaris on it - how the hell do you get Windows 98 back in a legal way ;)

Re:Yes I do (2)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941640)

As soon as you consider Windows and Office non-free it is easy to convice yourself to use something else.

Until it comes to actually using the alternatives. I just switched back (again) to Windows 2000 after spending several months using Linux. Ignoring (painfully) all the lack of hardware support, the additional bugs, the lack of support for mozilla on certain webpages, the general crappiness of netscape and mozilla, the difficulty in installing software, etc, I finally reached the breaking point with a certain java applet I use regularly which crashes every half hour on linux and almost never on Win2K.

Pay for software ? (1)

d0n quix0te (304783) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941592)

Heck no all software should be free, at least we'll drag the shareware developers kicking and screaming to the GPL altar.
But seriously folks.

Ambrosia has made some excellent games and utilities for the Mac. Back in the day when I owned a Mac they had some amazing games Escape Velocity, Capt. Hector ?, Aperion were all top notch games sold for a steal... But being on a graduate student income, I did 'share' the games with my friends...

After reading that article I am inspired to buy the new G4 Dualies, buy all the latest Ambrosia games and register them all as a form of repentance... But then Ambrosia games are so bloody addictive, I won't get any real work done...

Pirating (0)

Nero216 (552926) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941601)

I can't really fathom pirating software from a small company like that. They need to make a buck to get their bills paid and be sure to get their beer and pizza! Andrew Welch (el presidente of Ambrosia) regularly goes to MacNN Forums, and since he's been doing that...I personally find it a challenge to rip off someone who I talk to on a forum.

Duh stupid people (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941606)

When will they realize you can no longer charge for bits.

You can charge for tech support :-)

I can see a whole new horizon of abbreviations and such in the dialogs instead of english.


It is not the to hig price that is the problem (1)

T.i.m (149429) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941608)

I spoke to a woman the other day. She had put up a website with alot of different guides (SQL, html, etc, etc) they were well written and surley helpfull for the people who found them.

She used a payment scheeme similar to sharware. You were alowed to read as much as possible and if you were happy you could donate some money to her. That wouldnt give you much more benefit then peace at heart.

But you could donate as little as 1$ and it was verry easy to do it so nor the price nor the work was the problem.

She have thousands of visitores but a just a fraction of those donated anything at all.

People just dont want to pay for what you can get for free, shareware can only work if it gets imensly popular or you give out a light version for free and charge for the premium version I think.

this ofcourse is to bad but unfortunatley true :-(

Dark future for shareware in OS X (4, Insightful)

Zo0ok (209803) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941609)

Now that so much UNIX (free) software is available for Mac OS X, I beleive many shareware programs will disappear.

A long time ago, I used the shareware program StuffitLite on my Mac Classic II (I did not pay for it). Now I realise that those compression utilities for Mac usually are based on free software. Since tha Mac culture was to pay for software it did make sense to use open cod/algorithms, packet it for the Mac and sell it as shareware. In todays UNIX culture the same tools are available for free.

yes. (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941614)

I registered mIRC. 2 days later i discovered BitchX on my school's main server. What a waste of money.

quote from page (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941616)

You see, the company I work for writes and publishes shareware -- software that encourages users to make lots copies and share them to friends

No thanks. I'd rather use free software.

The problem is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941618)

It's not just the skript kiddies out there who don't pay - it's the average user, who by now, knows to go look for 'crackz' for 'software'.

Yeah, fucking over the little guy is really great, eh?

Cost has nothing to do with it (5, Interesting)

da_Den_man (466270) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941621)

This argument that the cost of the shareware is too high is just plain garbage. I used to write applications to manage my systems. One was a virus utility (back in the day...whew I feel old) and another was a CD Database system with search and catalog functions. They were nifty utilities, so I thought I would throw them out to the arena. I don't take a whole lot of worth in my code, so I decided I just wanted to see what the use would be.

I priced each registration at $1.00.

The software was fully functional, although when the Virus scanner ran it displayed a banner to the user with my tags on it, and the CD would only search the first 100 discs (not files, Discs) before displaying a banner.

Out of the 1000 downloads, I received ONE registration. Out of the Year I updated the software, I received one registration.

Yet I saw the programs used on tens of dozens of systems. I even downloaded a "crack" that extended the use of the catalog program to 150 discs *Memory limit and it degraded performance horribly*

So this argument of "If it was *insert low price here* I would PAY for it is just talk. If the software is used, and you like using it, you will pay for it. If you don't want to pay for the use of it, yet you like using it, you will find a way around it. Plain & Simple.

Problems with simple methodology they use (2, Interesting)

EQ (28372) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941624)

Their methods are naieve, and smack of BSA "bs" methodology.

Out of the 107 "pirated" how many were:

1. user error (mistyped)

2. user dupe - a backup copy (allowed by law or license - one a work one at home)

3. "real" pirates, but whom would never have paid for it to begin with? (i.e. not a lost sale)

I am willing to bet that once you wash those out and arrive at the real "losses", the number will be much smaller.

Shareware Author (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941625)

As a shareware author that's sold 1000s of copies, I'm suprised the percentage of piracy isn't higher. The logs show where the links come from to my site, and the majority of my traffic for certain versions are from appz or warez sites.

Every version I've had to increase the security - and it still gets cracked - it's a fact of life at this point.

I can understand cracks from counties where $39 might represent a months pay. But I don't understand it from countries or companies where it is not. You can rationalize it anyway you want - it's still stealing.

People wonder why Microsoft went to the new licensing scheme - I don't.

Here's another indepth discussion. (1)

//violentmac (186176) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941628)

The mac forum of ars technica covered this already. HERE! []

If you want to make money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941629)

Don't develop programs for a dead machine, stupid!Who's still using Macs those days apart from gays ?

It depends, (2)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941631)

I do, but it depends on how much I need it.
In the world of Windows shareware, there is too much junk, and too many greedy people who wants money for nothing. Which is why I love *BSD/Linux so much. It takes me back to the old BBS days where you still could get good software for you PC for free. If I should mention a good program the is free for personal use on the Windows platform it must be Daemon Tools [] .
I think I buy about 2 or 3 programs every year.
One must is that they use some form of online payment that doesn't look too fishy. There are a couple of site that deals with payment for "kitchen programmers" so they won't have to establish a secure payment system themself. A good idea.

The Hitch Hiker's Guide to my anus (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941633)

The Hitch Hiker's Guide to my anus

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of my anus lies a small unregarded yellow poo.

Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green penis whose ape- descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think anal watches are a pretty neat idea.

This penis has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the faggots on it were full of cum for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green Taco snots, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green Taco snots that were full of cum.

And so the problem remained; lots of the faggots were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with anal watches.

Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the giant dildos in the first place. And some said that even the giant dildos had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the gay bars.

And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a giant dildo for saying how great it would be to be nice to faggots for a change, one anal bitch sitting on her own in a small gay club in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and full of excrements place. This time it was pervert, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.

Sadly, however, before she could get to a backroom to tell anyone about it, a terribly stupid gay gang rape occurred, and the idea was lost forever.

This is not her story.

But it is the story of that terrible stupid gay gang rape and some of its gang Taco snottings.

It is also the story of a anal probe, a anal probe called The Hitch Hiker's Guide to my anus - not an blueboy disco anal probe, never punished on blueboy disco, and until the terrible gay gang rape occurred, never seen or heard of by any blueboy discoman.

Nevertheless, a wholly remarkable anal probe.

In fact it was probably the most remarkable anal probe ever to come out of the great punishing houses of OSDN - of which no blueboy discoman had ever heard either.

Not only is it a wholly remarkable anal probe, it is also a highly successful one - more popular than the Celestial Home Care Vibrator, better selling than Fifty More Things to do in gay bars, and more controversial than Oolon Colluphid's trilogy of philosophical blockbusters Where CmdrTaco Went Anal, Some More of CmdrTaco's Greatest Gang Rapes and Who is this CmdrTaco Faggot Anyway?

In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of my anus, the Hitch Hiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Analitica as the standard repository of all perversion and scum, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects.

First, it is slightly dirtier; and secondly it has the words Don't Suck Dick inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.

But the story of this terrible, stupid Thursday, the story of its extraordinary gang Taco snottings, and the story of how these gang Taco snottings are inextricably intertwined with this remarkable anal probe begins very simply.

It begins with a butt-plug.

shareware (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941639)

I think there is a moral difference between pirating software by a major corp and software written by a small company. If you are using shareware and the price is reasonable then buy it.

That being said, the implentation of this key scheme these guys made is awful. It assumes people have access to the internet. If I buy a program and recieve a key to use it, then I bought that program forever. I frequently wipe programs off my system I dont use, and if I want to reinstall it later I better be able to. If my computer is not hooked to the net, apparently with this guys system it would not work. I suppose I could set my computers clock back in time and install, but that leads to other problems.

I write shareware. Some people buy it, some dont. I have even for the hell of it looked online and found reg keys for my software. The thing is that you have to make a business decision about if you can support yourself or not with the shareware apps you sell.

People who are using keygens or other peoples serial numbers are in reality most likey not going to buy your software no matter what you do. Expect that! Its reality. If you cannot get enuf people to buy your software, either stop writing it or do it for reasons other than money.

I for one realize the apps I write are not going to pay my bills. I have a day job. I write shareware mostly when I want a small program to do something for myself. I share it with others. If they pay that is great, if not then I dont worry about it.

Think about the name SHAREware. If someone can afford it I would like them to pay a small price for the program. If they cannot then id rather have them use it than not. If you are making 20 dollars an hour or more is it worth your time to track down a serial, cracker, keygen?

Shareware had its day, its over..... (3, Informative)

CDWert (450988) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941641)

There was a time for shareware...when developers were far and few and could count on the generosity of like minded people that could appreciate their effort and would pay, this probably in reality ceased by 1987. Economic factors, ill pay later when I can afford it. I dont use it that much. etc . contribute to the decline of Shareware.

That saidsome of this crap being peddeled as "Shareware" couldnt be farther from Shareware as I remeber it from about 1982-1994 or so. Time limited software isnt shareware, its just that time limited demo's. Feature limited software is just that , feature limited software demo's . Shareware WAS a complete functioning game or program, that if you liked were supposed to do 2 things, Share it , (this was to spread the program and increase popularity), and Pay for it if you liked it.

The people using computers arent the same as they were , they were appreciative of other programmers efforts, I had MANY friends that although they pirated software on a regular basis , WOULD pay for certain pieces of software, the Original Castle Wolfenstien was one.

Times have changed. Software revenues must too, some things I GPL, some I dont , and sell , I have a package thats sold over the last 4 years about 50 copies at over 1000 each. Its a revenue source, I need. so dont blast me with I should open source it. BUT it contains, what has so far benn an unbreakable product registration scheme. Funny part is I wrote it to check and log , etc. I have only had one person attemt to crack it, and ten only by regedits, etc. They eventually bought it. Its a web app, and pretty useless without connectivity, SO i can prety much guarentee the WILL be online to use it , hence the ability to contact the server running my reg app.

This is Dumb. (2)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941643)

The whole point of shareware is to encourage copying so that you can get money from those people who actually care to pay for it. Copying is part of the business model -- just as Microsoft succeeded through copying of their operating system, just as Photoshop has become the de facto graphics app, etc.

Trying to make money off selling (rather than developing) software may be a thing of the past -- even MS is moving towards a services-based model. Shareware authors, if you are not doing it for fun, you are wasting your time!

fair exchange (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941646)

It is sort of like the mentality I saw in some article a while back (salon? suck? someplace) where there guys running the valley all too often had demo or promo copies of software, and basically had the attitude of "only the foolish actually pay for software"

It is slippery ground because of the need for legitimate fair exchange between folks. The problem comes when one side says that fair exchange means "All your base are belong to us"

This is where you find people objecting to MS, and justifying piracy. The fact that MS also has engaged in a sort of a legalized piracy is also part of the trap.

and so you get the system being supported by decent folks trying to do the right thing. No one likes the idea that they are getting ripped off, customer or company. I have no problem letting someone make a fair markup on something. But don't try to play me for a fool.

Leave the job of making me look silly to me. I can do that well enough as it is ;-)

WinZip and PKzip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941648)

How many of you moralistic fucktards actually have registered the WinZip or PKzip that you use at work everday?

Re:WinZip and PKzip (1)

Foundryman (306698) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941660)

I've registered and paid for approximately 20 copies of WinZip at work.

Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941650)

What I think the author overlooks is basic supply and demand. Assuming that all of the pirated users are going to register is naive.

At $0 (effective price with piracy) the quantity demanded is huge. If they succede at raising this price by excluding non-paying customers, the quantity demanded will fall.

All moral issues aside, the actual amount of money they are losing is quite small.

As an interesting project, release your next project as $100 billion dollar shareware. When someone doesn't register, claim that "piracy has literally cost me billions of dollars."

Get the point?

Reasons for Bypassing Protection (5, Interesting)

Foundryman (306698) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941651)

I've bypassed shareware/trialware protections schemes in the past and I've done it for one of two reasons:

1. The protected version was crippled and I couldn't truly try all the features before buying.
2. The trial period was just too short

After I could really try all features for a useful evaluation period I bought the ones that proved useful and scrapped the others to try something else.

Proxy servers are a good example. I tried about 3 before I decided on Fortech's Proxy+. When I decided it was worth it I bought two 10 user licenses. After I outgrew these I upgraded one to the unlimited license. Fortech's trial only allowed 2 users which wasn't all that bad, but I really needed to see how it worked under the heavier loads I'd be putting it under since my bandwidth is limited (3 bonded 56k dialups)

Another good example is VMWare Workstation. In the 30 day trial I was unable to convince the boss how useful this program was. After I was able to run it for 5 months I had finally shown him enough examples of it's usefullness that he not only bought me a $299 license, he also bought himself one.

I've gone through similar things and finally paid for programs like:
CuteFTP, ZMud, WinZip, and an assortment of games.

Ambrosia are not Microsoft... (2)

tonywestonuk (261622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941665)

What pisses people off about M$'s product activation scheme, is that.

1. It makes it impossible to install Windows on more than 1 Computer, even if you own more than 1 computer..... Ambrosias scheme allows you to install on as many personal systems as you like, however, if you distribute the code publicly (over the internet), then you will loose your shareware licence when the code is discovered to be Pirate. This is an active deterrent to persuade you not to redistribute their shareware unlock code!

2. If you need to reinstall a million times, then you can get a renewed code a million times.. (Though it would probably cause suspicion within Ambrosia). Try activating M$'s products more than a few times, and that's it.


Unbelievable (1)

sparkyz (256676) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941667)

It's absolutely amazing, the rationale people will come with in an attempt to justify what is theft, plain and simple. It's not theft because you didn't take a product in a way that prevents a future sale? What kind of shit is that? If it costs money, and you use it without paying that price, it's theft. Webster, Oxford and American Heritage will all set you straight on that.

Shareware developers are greedy?

It costs too much?

I don't use it enough?

I can't make money with it?

I don't perceive the same value here as I do in a car?

There's a word for this folks - it's "denial". Any dime store psychologist can see right through this. I've got a nine year old that knows better. These aren't reasons to pirate it, these are reasons not to use it.

No I'm not a shareware developer, I'm not a member of the BSA andI don't find the privacy invading practices of some software developers even remotely acceptible. But shit, given that the alternative is to rely upon the apparently non-existent conscience of the consumer, I can certainly understand their determination to find a way.

Apologies for the rant. I know plenty of folks have made some very sensible points in this thread; but the rest of ya - this sense of entitlement you are walking around with is sad, sad, sad.
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