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Why Piracy hurts Open Source January 18, 2007

Posted by NAyK in Article Watch, Discussions-Conclusions-Hopes, Linux, Piracy, Software, Windows, Working with Linux.
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I remember reading this article (it’s currently downloadable as a pdf for free from TUX magazine) early on when TUX *was* free… and I was really struck by the truth of the argument.

Basically the author says that while Piracy is *free* like open source (ie you don’t need to buy it)… it has it’s cost on the open source industry. In other words, if we had a pirated copy of Photoshop CS2 which has millions of dollars of investment poured into it… for free! then of course GIMP would not match up to it. But if you had to PAY for Photoshop CS2, then more people would be rushing to a commendable GIMP. Do read the article to understand this idea further.

If we had a pirated copy of Photoshop CS2 which has millions of dollars of investment poured into it… for free! then of course GIMP would not match up to it

I see another problem in addition. Of late I’ve been trying to work exclusively on Linux (openSUSE being my current favourite medium)… and while my Windows XP Home on my Lenovo is not pirated, it is *free* in that it came as the price of the laptop. I guess in that sense this *free* copy of Windows makes it difficult to trust exclusively on Linux. However, if I had to pay for Windows separately, people may have gone more aggressively for a Linux operating system. Currently, with this pricing, it is all the more difficult to abandon Windows and move entirely onto a growing medium like Linux.

Anyway… I tried this piracy-is- not-good-for-open-source argument on a few of my friends… and well, they thought it was interesting, but they were not sold to the idea of supporting open source software. They were more into free software.

But it surely this is a better argument than say… piracy is stealing (because even the companies cheat/steal!).

Anyway. It was a memorable article. And hope you find it too.

Comments»

1. stuntgp2000 - January 19, 2007

That’s true, and I hope Microsoft takes Windows Vista & Office 2007 license validation scheme seriously and enforce it more than WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) , because this may push some people/companies that use pirated software to consider FOSS (Free & Open Source Software) as a new outlet.

By the way, it’s a nice article :)

Berdai Mohammed


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