Do you pay for your software?

How much do you love this stuff?

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Do you pay for your [music] software?

Yes
20
50%
No
19
48%
I don't use software.
1
3%
 
Total votes: 40
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Do you pay for your software?

Postby starfinger » Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:51 am

Inspired by a recent thread, and probably done before...
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Postby Kill Me Sarah » Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:28 am

I typically try to stick with freeware when possible. But I don't steal software. I paid for my Fruity Loops.
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Postby Sheail » Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:12 am

Yes, and I have a nice shiny Steinberg key to prove it
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Postby roymond » Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:44 am

Sorry to pollute that other thread, but that's where the discussion germinated...

I like freeware whenever it works well for what I need. And I often donate to the author's Paypal account because I appreciate that someone spent a lot of time and energy and creativity to create something for us. Along similar lines I've purchased many of the CDs fellow Songfighters offer for sale.

I don't support stealing software or music. I have traded things in the spirit of discovery and exploration. But if I like something, and especially if I use it to produce my own music, I pay for it.

The DRM argument about software and music "ownership" is completely misguided when it gets to the "if it's just bits and bytes then no one can own it" stage. What bullshit, pussies. It's no less of a product than a physical item. It took no less effort, training, dedication, etc. to produce and if the authors are not paid then how the fuck are they expected to produce anything between their "real jobs"? I recently had a backpack with my laptop and other assorted personal items in it stolen. Should I shrug it off because it was easy for the person to take advantage of the moment I wasn't looking? Just because it's easy to copy doesn't make it right. There is no difference between physical and electronic product in this regard.

I don't buy much commercial music because I don't want to support the system that controls and distributes it. But that doesn't mean I should steal it. They have every right to charge however much they want. If an artist I like is involved, I'm sorry they're part of the machine, but I'll buy their CDs because that's how they've chosen to distribute their music. Otherwise I love the volume, quality and methods employed by indie artists and labels, and I'd rather support that model. This is where I differ from the blindly anti-RIAA crowd.

Anyway, I guess this makes me uncool. So be it.
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Postby Steve Durand » Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:07 am

I will use freeware when I can but mostly I end up paying for the good stuff.

The people who put in the effort to make this stuff deserve to be compensated for it.



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Postby Lunkhead » Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:28 am

I paid for Cubase, but I'm still using a "demo" of Reason. Considering how amazing and relatively inexpensive that program is, I will probably pay for it at some point. As for plug-ins and samples and such, I use free stuff.
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Postby Kill Me Sarah » Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:40 am

roymond wrote:I don't support stealing software or music. I have traded things in the spirit of discovery and exploration. But if I like something, and especially if I use it to produce my own music, I pay for it.


Yes, exactly.
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Postby fodroy » Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:22 am

Technically yes, since I payed for my iBook. But I voted no because I've never paid for software by itself. I just use garageband and that suits me fine.
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Postby Billy's Little Trip » Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:43 pm

All of the free plug ins I've acquired have been offered by the manufacturers. As far as illegal software, I don't have any ethical problem with it for some reason, but I can't live with the guilt. I think the guilt thing has something to do with practically being drown in a tub of water when I was a baby, by some child molester with a funny hat. I can't believe my Mom just stood there smiling and let him dunk me like a little screaming doughnut into a cold cup of Joe. 8)
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Postby anti-m » Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:45 pm

Music software yes... other software.... intermittently. (I use an m-box / pro-toos)
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Postby Billy's Little Trip » Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:09 pm

anti-m wrote:Music software yes... other software.... intermittently. (I use an m-box / pro-toos)

Is that the getto version? :mrgreen:
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Postby obscurity » Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:22 pm

roymond wrote:The DRM argument about software and music "ownership" is completely misguided when it gets to the "if it's just bits and bytes then no one can own it" stage. What bullshit, pussies. It's no less of a product than a physical item.


I think there's a very important difference that you're glossing over here. Unlike physical items, software and music are copied, rather than taken. It's the difference between theft and infringement of intellectual property rights. In the first, you are permanently deprived of the item, in the second you still have your copy and don't "lose" anything (except of course for potential income had someone bought the thing instead of copying it).

The reason this is an important difference, rather than mere semantic nit-picking, is that intellectual property rights are seen by some of us as being an artificial invention for the benefit of society rather than some kind of 'natural' right, and we (yes, I am one of these people) are not convinced that this artificial construct is actually working to the benefit of society as a whole*. In fact, we think it's working to the detriment instead. Hell, some people genuinely find the concept of ownership of an idea to be downright offensive (I am not one of these people). Thus, for us, there is a vast moral gap (but not a legal gap, granted) between I.P. infringement and theft.

For the record, I download non-free software all the time, with no shame. However, whenever I have some spare cash I look at what software I am using the most, and buy it, because I also like to encourage development.


*(In case you're wondering: Personally I believe that the best approach would be to pay for the creation of a (song/application/whatever) rather than pay for the right to copy it. Just like my boss does currently when he asks me to write/amend software at work We seem to do OK by it.)
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Postby deshead » Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:58 pm

obscurity wrote:pay for the creation of a (song/application/whatever) rather than pay for the right to copy it.

I predict much love for that idea around here

:shock:
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Postby Niveous » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:06 pm

Why are you asking if I pay for my software? Are you wearing a wire?
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Postby fluffy » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:43 pm

I generally do. I was very briefly running a pirated copy of Logic Express in order to evaluate whether I wanted to get Logic Pro, which I did end up buying, and of course prior to that I used a fully-legal version of GarageBand, and SoundTrack before that. I also paid for Sound Studio and Intuem somewhere along the line (when I was doing video game sound design), but they were pretty cheap.

Back when I was in grad school, though, I mostly used a warez copy of CoolEdit Pro, but also a legal copy of Impulse Tracker (I was one of only 20 or so people to actually pay for it, which is why the author eventually stopped working on it).

These days now that I have a decent income I try to keep all my software use legal. I suppose that means that someday I should actually pay for Photoshop.
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Postby fluffy » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:50 pm

obscurity wrote:The reason this is an important difference, rather than mere semantic nit-picking, is that intellectual property rights are seen by some of us as being an artificial invention for the benefit of society rather than some kind of 'natural' right, and we (yes, I am one of these people) are not convinced that this artificial construct is actually working to the benefit of society as a whole*. In fact, we think it's working to the detriment instead. Hell, some people genuinely find the concept of ownership of an idea to be downright offensive (I am not one of these people). Thus, for us, there is a vast moral gap (but not a legal gap, granted) between I.P. infringement and theft.


You realize that there is a difference between an idea and the execution of the idea, right? That's why there are separate rights for compositions and performances of music, for example.

I can have someone's song in my head, and it's an idea, and other people have that same idea as well if they just heard it on the radio, but that is different than the actual physical manifestation of the song. And by physical manifestation I don't mean the medium it's recorded in, but the actual sound waves. You can copy an mp3 all you want but that doesn't actually make the noise until you play it on a device of some sort.

Maybe instead of worrying about the rights to copy the song file or CD or whatever we should instead worry about the rights to reproduce the manifestation?

Not taking any side on the debate here, just adding some food for thought.
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Postby obscurity » Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:10 pm

fluffy wrote:You realize that there is a difference between an idea and the execution of the idea, right? That's why there are separate rights for compositions and performances of music, for example.


Without wanting to get too meta here, I think that unless it's done by some automatic mechanism such as a computer, an execution of an idea is an idea itself. It is the idea of how the other idea could or should be executed. This might sound like splitting hairs, but I think coverfight gives plenty of examples of where this is a substantial idea in it's own right.

fluffy wrote:I can have someone's song in my head, and it's an idea, and other people have that same idea as well if they just heard it on the radio, but that is different than the actual physical manifestation of the song. And by physical manifestation I don't mean the medium it's recorded in, but the actual sound waves. You can copy an mp3 all you want but that doesn't actually make the noise until you play it on a device of some sort.

Maybe instead of worrying about the rights to copy the song file or CD or whatever we should instead worry about the rights to reproduce the manifestation?


Pay-to-play CDs? Can't see the benefit myself, and wasn't it tried with the original DivX thing (the disc, not the codec)?
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Postby Märk » Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:05 pm

I will go on record as saying that I use pirated software *exclusively*. I never even feel tempted to buy a valid license for anything either. Freeware stuff is mainly crap, and if I can use the 'good' stuff for free anyway, what is my motivation to pay for it? Because some poor corporate executive wants a new BMW? Hey, the coders at Steinberg, Adobe, Cakewalk, etc all get paid on salary, whether I pay for their product or not. Yes, if everyone thought like me, there would be no good music apps out there. I am aware of this. I just don't really fucking care. Some of you might think I'm an asshole because of this, and to those people, I have this to say: a) you are absolutely right, and b) bite me :P

btw, Roymond, your food analogy is severely flawed in that I can't go 2 weeks without eating food. I can go a few months without having any desire whatsoever to fire up Audition, though. Also, if I'm lost in the jungle, I can kill some animals and eat some berries or whatever to stay alive; is that 'stealing' food? I didn't pay for it, right?
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Postby roymond » Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:49 pm

Sven wrote:btw, Roymond, your food analogy is severely flawed in that I can't go 2 weeks without eating food. I can go a few months without having any desire whatsoever to fire up Audition, though. Also, if I'm lost in the jungle, I can kill some animals and eat some berries or whatever to stay alive; is that 'stealing' food? I didn't pay for it, right?

No worries. I meant it as much tongue in cheek as anything else.

We've been through this all before. I have changed my views based on very valuable debate with you in the past. I hope you are open to on-ging discussion. I aim to re-visit my ideals, opinions, dogma on a regular basis. Having studied Gurgieff (sp?) years ago, this was the big idea that resonated. That's why I introduced this again. As things evolved, new models develop and because of that impressions change.

EMI has started selling music without DRM (the kind that prevents device independence). I'm thinking that some people will start to rethink how offensive DRM is after they find they can play their purchases on multiple devices and even share them. Yes, it's still being delivered in a specific format with whatever limitations that implies, but its a huge change for the record industry.

I won't argue about being physically depraved of a stolen object vs a stolen copy of a digital file. I agree, the impact is different as far as "possession" is concerned. The concept of intellectual ownership has evolved over the years and it will continue to evolve. There are cultures where they simply have no vocabulary for such things. Same thing for land ownership. Anyone lucky enough to live in the US needs to be mindful of who lived here before us (not long ago) and how many of them had no concept of personal land rights. Again, how do we live with ourselves? There are international organizations working on how to protect indigenous IP from infringement. Seems silly, I know.

I like the copyright protections initially implemented to allow a musician/writer to benefit from use of their creations for their life time. Then let the stuff enter the public domain. Is it an artificial construct to allow someone to make a living? Sure. But then again, a wooden chair comes from god's wood and that animal you killed was god's so we should never claim anything as our own even considering the physical possession issue.

Anyway, I continue to listen.
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Postby fluffy » Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:52 pm

Nonono, I wasn't saying pay-to-play content, I was saying that by buying the CD, you get the right to play the music for your personal use, but not, say, to broadcast it on a PA in a public space. Same thing with DVDs - purchasing a DVD gives you the right to watch the content (i.e. to reproduce the ideas/imagery/etc.) but not to sell tickets to view it in a theatre.

It's for this reason that I like supporting software which has a license which allows installing on many computers even if you're restricted to running it on only one at any given time. Borland referred to it as a "like a book" license - anyone could use the physical manifestation of the book/software/etc. as long as only one person used one particular manifestation at once. It's the license Adobe used to enforce before they switched to global product activation, and the license that Apple enforces on Logic via the XSKey, and (on most other Apple software) is stated in the AUP but not actually enforced in any way.

And back in the music realm, a modification of this is what Apple enforces on their iTunes license (5 computers, some number of portable devices I can't remember, a certain number of burns to CD) - basically enough to ensure that any single listener's use cases are reasonably covered without making it feasible to redistribute the source track.

I presume that the new Apple+EMI DRM-free initiative (20% more for non-encumbered tracks) still comes with a license, just one which isn't enforced programmatically. Of course I bet the files are watermarked or something (or digitally-signed, or encrypted but with the decrypt key embedded in the file, or something), in case someone does upload the files to a filesharing network, not that I think they would since the filesharing networks still have the same tracks at much higher quality.

Sven wrote: Because some poor corporate executive wants a new BMW? Hey, the coders at Steinberg, Adobe, Cakewalk, etc all get paid on salary, whether I pay for their product or not.

This attitude is why I'm glad the software I write isn't paid for directly by the customer (and most of it isn't even used directly either). You realize that salaries (and employment) all depend on how much money the company makes from the software, right?

Actually, this makes for a very compelling argument for web-service-based software - it's impossible to pirate without some security hole into the server itself (and in a properly-designed services-oriented architecture the most you could get is the frontend anyway, and that's usually just a trivial piece of UI fluff compared to the backend). There's no way to pirate GMail or Jamglue, for example. Now I suddenly see why Adobe developed Apollo...
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Postby roymond » Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:53 pm

roymond wrote:
Sven wrote:btw, Roymond, your food analogy is severely flawed in that I can't go 2 weeks without eating food. I can go a few months without having any desire whatsoever to fire up Audition, though. Also, if I'm lost in the jungle, I can kill some animals and eat some berries or whatever to stay alive; is that 'stealing' food? I didn't pay for it, right?

No worries. I meant it as much tongue in cheek as anything else.

We've been through this all before. I have changed my views based on very valuable debate with you and Obscurity in the past. I hope you are open to on-ging discussion. I aim to re-visit my ideals, opinions, dogma on a regular basis. Having studied Gurgieff (sp?) years ago, this was the big idea that resonated. That's why I introduced this again. As things evolved, new models develop and because of that impressions change.

EMI has started selling music without DRM (the kind that prevents device independence). I'm thinking that some people will start to rethink how offensive DRM is after they find they can play their purchases on multiple devices and even share them. Yes, it's still being delivered in a specific format with whatever limitations that implies, but its a huge change for the record industry.

I won't argue about being physically depraved of a stolen object vs a stolen copy of a digital file. I agree, the impact is different as far as "possession" is concerned. The concept of intellectual ownership has evolved over the years and it will continue to evolve. There are cultures where they simply have no vocabulary for such things. Same thing for land ownership. Anyone lucky enough to live in the US needs to be mindful of who lived here before us (not long ago) and how many of them had no concept of personal land rights. Again, how do we live with ourselves? There are international organizations working on how to protect indigenous IP from infringement. Seems silly, I know.

I like the copyright protections initially implemented to allow a musician/writer to benefit from use of their creations for their life time. Then let the stuff enter the public domain. Is it an artificial construct to allow someone to make a living? Sure. But then again, a wooden chair comes from god's wood and that animal you killed was god's so we should never claim anything as our own even considering the physical possession issue.

Anyway, I continue to listen.
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Postby jb » Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:18 pm

That thing about paying for the creation of a song, not the right to copy it, gave me this idea:

What if I paid for the right to use Cubase to make a song, rather than just own it? Would I pay $5 to use it on a non-commercial project? And then $20 for a commercial project?

Seems like an interesting, different way to monetize software. I know they often cripple software by limiting projects, so it would be codable. Of course people would skirt it, but if the price point were reasonable enough you'd minimize the abuse while still allowing poor people access to the good software.

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