Piracy & price of Software in Developing countries

Piracy is bad and I believe that especially students studying Computer Science should not pirate software – how can you expect to earn a living by writing and selling software when you are yourself stealing other fellow programmers?

One of the reasons why software piracy is rife is: Why would you bother paying for a software when you can easily get it for free? Your friends are offering you that, loads of sites on the Internet allow you to download those? Well it’s just about being honest; why do you bother buying vegetables, just steal off your neighbor!!!

So if you won’t steal veggies, don’t steal software. However, while you won’t get your greens free, good software is available freely and it’s just a matter of getting used to using it. OpenOffice is a good replacement for Ms Office as is Firefox which is a more than adequate replacement for IE!

However, can you live with only free software?

While I’m a big fan of Linux (it’s free, stable, you don’t get viruses, sypware, …) I unfortunately need to agree that it’s not as straightforward to use as Windows! But guess what, Windows Vista is about $100. It might be peanuts if you live in the US where the average monthly salaries are I guess around $2000 but when you live in Mauritius and the average monthely salary is around $300, it’s just unaffordable! Half of your pay to buy Windows is just crazy!!! Even if you are a Uni graduate and you earn maybe about $700 (which is very good), spending 1/7 of your salary on buying  Windows is crazy and it shouldn’t amaze anyone that piracy is rife.

Special Pricing for Developing Countries
While I don’t think an IT graduate should be scared of Linux and be pirating software, I cannot blame others for not using only Open Source or Free software. However, unless special prices are introduced for developing countries, we are simply inviting piracy. We cannot expect someone to spend $40 dollars on a game!

As long as software will be essentially created in Western Europe and the US and spread round the whole world, we cannot expect prices to fall. We thus have only two choices:

  • push for Open Source at all costs (yet I don’t see Computer Games being Open Source or free anytime soon)
  • start developing good software that everyone want to use in developing countries. It’s time to be creative and productive!

7 responses to “Piracy & price of Software in Developing countries

  1. Pirating software is bad. I code programs, and all programmers will tell you (even if they love programming) that writing software is tough, demands energy, concentration and takes loads of time. Pirating software means robbing somebody’s efforts and time, and not even bothering to offer a simple thanks.

    Why pirate when there are loads of free software which do the job just fine. Linux is one, although not very noobie friendly yet. (Although it’s becoming friendly very fast).
    However, there are still many freewares available for Windows which do a fine job. Ok, you might not get ALL features, but it’s a good beginning, and you don’t have to struggle against your conscience.

    Do a rapid googling of “XYZ free alternatives” where XYZ is the name of your commercial software first, before pirating anything. You’ll surely find something worthwhile.

    I gotta admit that some programs are utterly irreplaceable yet by free alternatives. The most famous is Photoshop. The GIMP is there but it cannot match PS’ ease of use and features. Paint.NET looks great, but dependent on .NET. For these softs, I fear that developers will have to cope with piracy, since the price is just exorbitant for casual users. Either that, or use PS Elements (relatively less expensive, a little less powerful, ~$300).

  2. I use linux… The only reason why i use Windows is for gaming… 😀
    Else all the official works (Programming, Surfing the net and other basic tasks) i use Ubuntu and the free software… I really like Ubuntu and There are also other open Source software for Windows… Therefore I try to use Open Source on Windows as well as far as i can…
    Open Source is a really nice alternative to commercial software and they are as good as the commercial software…

  3. Well on my MAC (1 month) and Linux (2 years) – None till now. On Windows, I’ve got one “art” software which is just too expensive.

  4. One thing, to make a balance,why don’t companies kind of make their s/w “free with limited options”,but the user can buy more options if he wants to.One thing about piracy,I am against it,but I do it!wat alternative i have?I can afford an original Windows,but wat abt antivirus?how many companies sell original antivirus here?decent ones i mean?only Norton!We don’t actually have great exposure to buy s/w.Only thru torrents (which is pirated s/w)
    Also Ya,I used Ubuntu for like some months,I loved it lots. But still i cnt get help or anything, if u guys know a place or website which kind of give us information about how to use Ubuntu,just let me know.One problem i had with it is that it doesn’t contain a decent version of MSN(where i spend most of my time)also doesn’t quite support webcams etc…:(
    but I would love to use Ubuntu or any other alternative they rock.

  5. i’ve not read the whole thread, but lately i have got this kind of thoughts like secretly willing to corrupt people so as they can indulge in piracy.. pirate people pirate… :p the more you pirate, the more people into the security business will be needed, the more chance i hope i can get a nicer pay hopefully :p hahahahaha

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