fix to the piracy problem

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Fix to the piracy problem

Hi, my name is Martin Quijano. I am a seven-teen-year-old informatics-highschool student in Argentina. Here, in Latin America, where the middle class is remarkably poorer than the middle class in other regions, something that all students struggle with is paying for software. Most of the population turns to piracy because of two main ideas.

Firstly, it is simply not worth to buy software that one could download for free but not keeping up with updates from a pirate site. The ease of downloading the chosen software from a site like YouTube outstrips not only paying, but the hustle of having a program constantly reminding us to update a program that already has all we need may bother some.

Secondly, price is always a problem. In a region where economical stability is nowhere near the global economical stability, and the constant difficulties to buy something online from a company abroad due to taxes, the price of legitimacy is just too high. In addition to that, having to pay monthly subscriptions may be a turnoff for most of the users, in a country where 20 dollars is much harder to get, having to pay monthly for software that one can simply download from the internet is illogical.

Finally, the fact that the difference between the pirate, offline version is the same as the online original option is none makes piracy a stronger option. I am strongly against piracy, I avoid it as much as possible, but there are cases that it becomes the only logical way. To put an example, one of my friends wanted to play Assassins Creed recently and asked me where he could download it for free, as he was not going to pay the full price. I told him that I bought that game in a huge discount it developers made. The discount was such that I bought the game for 2 dollars and never got to play it, as I had acquired so many games that I put it at the end of a long list. His answer, which did not surprise me, was that he was not going to pay for an offline game, as the difference between piracy and legitimacy is none, functionally at least. Another example is an application called Wallpaper Engine, an app that easily puts gifs as a background for your computer. When one buys it, access to the community workshop, where there are thousands of photos and gifs free to download. If you acquire the program pirately, access to the community workshop Is forbidden.

We all know that piracy is bad, but for some, even more in countries where wealth is not common, the functional option beats the moral and expensive option. In my opinion and considering these three problems, I would make the following changes.

·         Make buying the better option, by giving online exclusive content based on what is trending. For example, when opening Photoshop, some online courses and styles pack and other resources could be offered for free.

·         Make software a one-time inversion; once one buys the program, it is theirs forever, and the price should not be high, software should be accessible and not a huge inversion.

·         I am not aware of the situation in other parts of the world, but associating with schools and universities to give free student-versions of software could be strongly beneficial for both parts, as students could use programs not having to spend money on them, and buy them once they finish studying and can make a living of said software, and for developers such as your company this could be a form of advertisement. Being that they learned by using software developed by your company, the logical next step would be to buy the software that they are already familiar with

I really hope you follow on this advice, as changes like the stated before could benefit your company by increasing sales, and for users, who would not have to spend money each month to keep using software.
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Martin Quijano

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Posted 3 months ago

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Warren Heaton

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Software piracy is indeed a problem.  Software publishers have little direct control over those that use their software as if it were freeware.  

Many of your suggestions already exist, but none are likely to prevent piracy.

Adobe provides a good amount of free training and it's accessible directly from within the software.  I'm sure you've noticed the Learn button on the Home screen in Photoshop.  Since it's on the Adobe web site, it's available to anyone with online access and an Adobe ID (which is available at no charge).

For a very long time, Photoshop was a single-purchase for use.  Even then it was pirated.
There is good academic discount that is very easy to qualify for in the United States that reduces the cost of the Creative Cloud for Individuals by quite a bit.  The Photographer's bundle, if you don't need Illustrator and InDesign, is a great value at its introductory subscription price.  Fortunately, Adobe has left it at that price.    Some colleges in the US include the creative cloud subscription in the tuition cost, so it's not free but at least not a monthly fee.  It's no secret that software piracy among students happens, but it's unprofessional and should be discouraged.



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Giordano

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if you don't desperately need smart objects (the only real feature that, in my opinion, makes the difference with other software, although live filters are available in some packages), there are other cheaper and one-time-buy options out there.
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Dave Grainger

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You are to be commended for understanding that piracy of software is illegal and immoral. It is very hard to resist temptation when all of those around you are stealing and have created their own "justification thinking" to hold their conscience at bay. In the end, remember "Karma Kops Never Sleep"
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Jerry Syder

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Karma and the above mentioned professional aspect is irrelevant if you're in a 3rd world county and literally have little/ no options. It's easy to demonise these actions when one has never experienced living in a place where the number 1 goal is food on the table, yet wanting to explore creatively with no tools available. I am not condoning piracy in any form, instead, I'm flagging empathy which is hard to come by, if one hasn't seen or experienced the living conditions in said countries. I also won't call it "justification thinking" as anyone(as much as I'd deny it), would eat a pet or another human in order to survive(I felt the need to push it this far). p.s. no need to defend that his isn't a case of survival as this is just an analogy. It's never easy to put things into perspective. I'm happy that the OP is doing the right thing because he can. I'm also happy that he's standing up for others that can't. 
(Edited)
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Dave Grainger

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Having lived through WWII where a whole nation thought that the ends justify the means, and having watched education morphing  in the world so that the idea of taking other's property is OK because one wants to, I am saddened that so many people conflate empathy for less privileged with license.
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gwena

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This mindset is problematic in my opinion; Adobe deserves far less than it is asking, and its method of distribution itself are deeply flawed. Let us examine the moral and economic mechanisms at play:

Adobe wishes for compensation for a product. 
  • Why do they deserve compensation?: They have put time, effort, and capital into the production of a product. Because labor was expended on the product, the market would dictate that the creators receive compensation in direct relation to the labor time put into the product's creation. Because this exchange is the method by which most if not all modern economies function, it is generally "moral" to compensate.
  • What should they be compensated for?: Products produced by Adobe are not standard goods. They are infinitely reproducible. The IP of the product took time and effort, yes; however, the actual product that a costumer purchases is not the result of labor, it is a copy of a single original product. Because the product can be reproduced after production with no more than marketing and server costs, the product has a finite amount of production labor, but a hypothetically infinite potential earnings because of its pricing structure. As mentioned earlier, products have value because of the labor that goes into them, not because of how useful they are (this is why air is free). Because the potential earnings of Adobe is infinite, while labor time is finite, the method of sale of Adobe products is amoral within the modern economy. Adobe's income should be directly related to the effort involved in the production of their product, which it is not.
  • What about supply and demand?: Adobe *can* charge what they charge. This leads many to believe that the product is worth what is being sold at, because that is how the market works. However, the supply of Adobe products is infinite, there is literally no scarcity, and that is not even including the myriad competitors to Adobe. The supply demand relationship would actually dictate that Adobe products, and any other infinitely reproducible products are worth nothing. That is problematic, so instead we must look at the IP, not the product itself. The IP was and is in demand, and because there are a finite number of products that fulfill the need, there is value associated with the underlying IP. Thus the supply-demand price would be proportional to demand for the specific Adobe product IP. Since other products fulfill this demand from other companies, the demand is split, and this should be reflected in the price (this is an automatic process in markets), which should result in competitive pricing. Normally, a price of a single unit of product is the labor value multiplied by the total number of customers divided by the number of units of the product (this is just the supply demand slope multiplied by the initial cost of production). However, reproducible products, as discussed, don't follow this relation. Instead, the *correct* price is be the initial cost of creating the IP (which includes the worth of the time invested), divided by the number of customers. This is the necessary relation, because this formula exactly compensates the creators for the time and effort that went into it, without the calculation relying on a finite supply. This is the only possible equation for the cost per unit that results in the creators receiving what the product is actually worth (for those who understand labor theory of value, this is the exchange value of the IP, instead of the product). 
  • So, what is the product worth?: The product is worth, in the end: (value of time used to create the IP + the cost of servers + the cost of marketing + the value of time expended on customer support + any other recurring or initial costs not mentioned) / (the amount of customers). Basically, it's just costs divided by demand.
           
This number is complicated more because of things like discounts, group purchases, etc. However, this addresses the general pricing mechanism correctly. Now that that is clear, we must address the moral issue of paying for current Adobe products.

  • Are the current Adobe products priced fairly?: Lets look at some numbers. According to this business tracking site Adobe had a *net* profit of 3.232 billion dollars for the 2019 fiscal year. That's pure profit. That means that of the gross 11.150 billion revenue reported by Adobe that year, significantly more than 25% was pure profit, even after paying the costs of production of all service IP they made, and all other costs *including salaries*. They are quite simply charging more than the value of any of their products. This figure even accounts for multi-hundred-million dollar acquisitions. They are charging more than their IP is worth, and they are getting away with it.
  • Why are they able to charge so much more?: The market is meant to regulate, and constrain producers to the actual value of products, and for the most part it does. However, the free market as conceptualized by Adam Smith was an atomized collection of competitors. When large corporations join the rat race, they don't need to listen to the market, they can go against it; this is a form of market warping. Adobe can warp the market in various ways, specifically, they can manufacture artificial scarcity of what is in reality an infinitely reproducible product. They do this by, for instance, large scale marketing campaigns that limit visibility of competing software, thus creating a virtual monopoly. Further, Adobe has made itself into a "name brand" meaning that the service they provide has changed slightly, now they offer the original service, in addition to selling ownership of their brand. Because this form of market warping makes the brand itself a product, this means that Adobe has a natural monopoly of that service and can charge whatever they wish. Of course, this monopoly doesn't exist for the actual functions o the software, only for the brand. However,  one often doesn't have the option to simply choose a competing software, because the market uses Adobe software as a standard. Many businesses essentially have to use this software either to be taken seriously as a business, or have a product that is considered credible. For instance my mother is an architect, and she does not believe that she could be taken seriously or succeed in her profession without using Auto cad. Yes, these things aren't necessarily Adobe's fault, and they are clearly not inhumane or even uncommon actions. However, these practices are abusive of the creative markets that Adobe sells to, not through any true fault of its own, but rather because that is how the market works.
             So is it amoral to pirate Adobe software?: No. Adobe is an abusive company. It warps the market, and charges far more than its services are worth. The individual customer doesn't owe anything to Adobe, its a company, its feelings can't be hurt. The things that we as consumers are responsible for protecting are those that work for Adobe, and the economy on the whole. It is economically justified not to support an abusive company, at least until prices for products return to a reasonable level. However, we must be careful not to harm Adobe employees. They rely on the company for their income, and it is important that they are able to maintain that security. Of course, many people will continue to pay instead of pirating, and that can support the company. Additionally, the market is less likely to encourage pirating once the price of the product is equal to its actual value. And finally, Adobe could easily earn far far less money and still employ all those who currently work there. In conclusion, Adobe is more or less essential for many creative professions. If you don't have the financial security to pay, then don't; they are an abusive quasi-monopoly, you are actually fighting that abuse by pirating. If you have the money, I would encourage you to think about the morality of the act of pirating. Yes, it is a crime; it is theft. However, you may feel the moral compulsion not to support such a company. The choice is yours.

PS. I'm 17 too! cool, nice to see other intelligent teens in the world.
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Warren Heaton

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It would be amazing if Photoshop was shareware or freeware, but it's not.

For what it empowers one to do creatively and for the career that one can build around it, $10/month is a deal.



-Warren
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Giordano

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I have mixed feelings toward Adobe, but pirating is not the answer, reason why I bought my son (turning 13) both Clip Studio Paint and Affinity Photo.

There are more effective ways to boycott a company you don't esteem, and buying from the competitors is one and is legit. Hit'em in their wallet.

p.s. I'm still trapped as a user (since 2013..) because, as you intelligently pointed out, clients want me to use Adobe software.
I rent Adobe software (PS & LR) as if they were intermediaries between me and my clients, and as such I feel obliged to compensate them. $10/month is, indeed, a deal.

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gwena

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My issue is only that they have the ability to trap you. If they didn't have that quasi-monopoly then price regulation would function and this wouldn't be an issue. Also, I am lucky enough to have been able to go with a competitor, I don't *want* to pirate. Thanks for the intelligent comment :)
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gwena

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Also, yes, $10 a month is very reasonable for many people. However, as I pointed out it is actually overpriced considering the demand and the nature of the infinitely reproducible product. And even then there are many far more overpriced Adobe products. But that's just the opinion of someone who can't afford it.
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Dave Grainger

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A rant from a confused teen who has been brainwashed by the liberal education system. 
When you grow up and get a real job and get mugged by somebody who thinks the way you do now, you should reflect back and see that stealing is still stealing and is still WRONG.
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Warren Heaton

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Heya... I have a liberal education (UCLA, CalArts) and very proud of it.  Please don't use that as an insult.  Thank you.
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Giordano

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How come conservatives can claim to be the moral (or even legal) champions?

Stealing is wrong, or at least so taught me my liberal education.
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Dave Grainger

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Hey, Warren! Class of 1962 at UCB myself... Lost touch with most classmates; we are all getting long in the tooth, unfortunately. Dave Grainger
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gwena

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Physical violence or targeted personal attacks are absolutely different than economic violence against a company. The fact that you conflate the two makes me question your intellectual honesty. I am not brainwashed, either. I've read Das Kapital, sure, but I read On the Wealth of Nations first. I didn't attack you, and I didn't even draw a final conclusion on the morality of the act. The fact that you resort to attacking me instead of discussing the ideas I presented is exactly what is so problematic with modern discourse. I am not partisan, but your assumption that I am of "the other side" because I have opinions you disagree with shows that you clearly are. 
To be clear, I'm not attacking you here. I am asking for a fair and reasoned discourse on the topic, based on factual information. If you make good points I am happy to change my mind. I only ask that you respect that discourse and refrain from ad hominems targeting minors  on the internet. I would encourage you to reply to this with the ideas of mine you disagreed with, and why. Presenting a counter view would also be appreciated. I'm not your enemy, I'm just trying to have an important discourse in a reasonable way. 
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diannedawn

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I love this! It really bothers me that so many people are unable to have a debate and stick to the issues these days.
Do they no longer teach debate in school? I also thought your original post was very well thought out and I agree with much of it.... most of all, this part... “the market is less likely to encourage pirating once the price of the product is equal to its actual value.”. Unfortunately, there are many things in today’s world where we are paying far more than the actual fair value of what we receive.
Maybe Adobe could have program like many drug companies do; where you can get their drug at a reduced cost if you qualify for financial assistance?
I see some people here use the ‘it’s only $10 a month’ and ‘skip a few lattes’ reasoning.
I personally resent that Adobe moved from the stand alone products to a subscription model. Now people are locked into that $10/month... $120/year...$1200 in 10 years, whether they benefit from the additional features or not. Let’s get real... Adobe did this BECAUSE they knew they could squeeze even more money out of their customers.
As a hobbyist, I have a harder time justifying the expense.
There is only so much discretionary money.
(Edited)
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gwena

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Fair Adobe Prices, and the Morality of Piracy.

This was originally a response to a post on reducing piracy, but it got a bit long and digressed; so here we are. Some background on me: I'm 17, so I don't have any sort of disposable income, but I need various Adobe products for the creative fields I'm interested in.


Adobe deserves far less than it is asking, and its methods of distribution itself are deeply flawed. Let us examine the moral and economic mechanisms at play:

Adobe wishes for compensation for a product. 
  • Why do they deserve compensation?: They have put time, effort, and capital into the production of a product. Because labor was expended on the product, the market would dictate that the creators receive compensation in direct relation to the labor time put into the product's creation. Because this exchange is the method by which most if not all modern economies function, it is generally "moral" to compensate.
  • What should they be compensated for?: Products produced by Adobe are not standard goods. They are infinitely reproducible. The IP of the product took time and effort, yes; however, the actual product that a costumer purchases is not the result of labor, it is a copy of a single original product. Because the product can be reproduced after production with no more than marketing and server costs, the product has a finite amount of production labor, but a hypothetically infinite potential earnings because of its pricing structure. As mentioned earlier, products have value because of the labor that goes into them, not because of how useful they are (this is why air is free). Because the potential earnings of Adobe is infinite, while labor time is finite, the method of sale of Adobe products is amoral within the modern economy. Adobe's income should be directly related to the effort involved in the production of their product, which it is not.
  • What about supply and demand?: Adobe *can* charge what they charge. This leads many to believe that the product is worth what is being sold at, because that is how the market works. However, the supply of Adobe products is infinite, there is literally no scarcity, and that is not even including the myriad competitors to Adobe. The supply demand relationship would actually dictate that Adobe products, and any other infinitely reproducible products are worth nothing. That is problematic, so instead we must look at the IP, not the product itself. The IP was and is in demand, and because there are a finite number of products that fulfill the need, there is value associated with the underlying IP. Thus the supply-demand price would be proportional to demand for the specific Adobe product IP. Since other products fulfill this demand from other companies, the demand is split, and this should be reflected in the price (this is an automatic process in markets), which should result in competitive pricing. Normally, a price of a single unit of product is the labor value multiplied by the total number of customers divided by the number of units of the product (this is just the supply demand slope multiplied by the initial cost of production). However, reproducible products, as discussed, don't follow this relation. Instead, the *correct* price is be the initial cost of creating the IP (which includes the worth of the time invested), divided by the number of customers. This is the necessary relation, because this formula exactly compensates the creators for the time and effort that went into it, without the calculation relying on a finite supply. This is the only possible equation for the cost per unit that results in the creators receiving what the product is actually worth (for those who understand labor theory of value, this is the exchange value of the IP, instead of the product). 
  • So, what is the product worth?: The product is worth, in the end: (value of time used to create the IP + the cost of servers + the cost of marketing + the value of time expended on customer support + any other recurring or initial costs not mentioned) / (the amount of customers). Basically, it's just costs divided by demand.
           
This number is complicated more because of things like discounts, group purchases, etc. However, this addresses the general pricing mechanism correctly. Now that that is clear, we must address the moral issue of paying for current Adobe products.

  • Are the current Adobe products priced fairly?: Lets look at some numbers. According to this business tracking site Adobe had a *net* profit of 3.232 billion dollars for the 2019 fiscal year. That's pure profit. That means that of the gross 11.150 billion revenue reported by Adobe that year, significantly more than 25% was pure profit, even after paying the costs of production of all service IP they made, and all other costs *including salaries*. They are quite simply charging more than the value of any of their products. This figure even accounts for multi-hundred-million dollar acquisitions. They are charging more than their IP is worth, and they are getting away with it.
  • Why are they able to charge so much more?: The market is meant to regulate, and constrain producers to the actual value of products, and for the most part it does. However, the free market as conceptualized by Adam Smith was an atomized collection of competitors. When large corporations join the rat race, they don't need to listen to the market, they can go against it; this is a form of market warping. Adobe can warp the market in various ways, specifically, they can manufacture artificial scarcity of what is in reality an infinitely reproducible product. They do this by, for instance, large scale marketing campaigns that limit visibility of competing software, thus creating a virtual monopoly. Further, Adobe has made itself into a "name brand" meaning that the service they provide has changed slightly, now they offer the original service, in addition to selling ownership of their brand. Because this form of market warping makes the brand itself a product, this means that Adobe has a natural monopoly of that service and can charge whatever they wish. Of course, this monopoly doesn't exist for the actual functions o the software, only for the brand. However,  one often doesn't have the option to simply choose a competing software, because the market uses Adobe software as a standard. Many businesses essentially have to use this software either to be taken seriously as a business, or have a product that is considered credible. For instance my mother is an architect, and she does not believe that she could be taken seriously or succeed in her profession without using Auto cad. Yes, these things aren't necessarily Adobe's fault, and they are clearly not inhumane or even uncommon actions. However, these practices are abusive of the creative markets that Adobe sells to, not through any true fault of its own, but rather because that is how the market works.
             So is it amoral to pirate Adobe software?: No. Adobe is an abusive company. It warps the market, and charges far more than its services are worth. The individual customer doesn't owe anything to Adobe, its a company, its feelings can't be hurt. The things that we as consumers are responsible for protecting are those that work for Adobe, and the economy on the whole. It is economically justified not to support an abusive company, at least until prices for products return to a reasonable level. However, we must be careful not to harm Adobe employees. They rely on the company for their income, and it is important that they are able to maintain that security. Of course, many people will continue to pay instead of pirating, and that can support the company. Additionally, the market is less likely to encourage pirating once the price of the product is equal to its actual value. And finally, Adobe could easily earn far far less money and still employ all those who currently work there. In conclusion, Adobe is more or less essential for many creative professions. If you don't have the financial security to pay, then don't; they are an abusive quasi-monopoly, you are actually fighting that abuse by pirating. If you have the money, I would encourage you to think about the morality of the act of pirating. Yes, it is a crime; it is theft. However, you may feel the moral compulsion not to support such a company. The choice is yours.
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Dave Grainger

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Gwena:  Your lead paragraphs are the false labor theory of value, straight from Marx! I don't fault you, but I do fault the leftwing educational system that has only exposed you to Marxist thought.

You are quite articulate and clearly intelligent., but very misguided. I hope that as you grow into productive adulthood you will open your mind to that truth: Marxism has never succeeded in improving humanity nor governance, not in all the years that it has been used by various countries. It has, actually, been used to fool citizens into ceding freedom and power to ruthless regimes over and over again.
(Edited)
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gwena

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I agree that is a flawed theory of value, but I do believe that is a useful model for value that easily explained in the context at hand. I'm not a marxist, or anything like that. I don't think I am particularly misguided, though I am sure I'm wrong about my fair share of subjects. If you think you can explain my misconceptions that would be appreciated, or even just pointing to resources and explaining how they apply. 

Also to be clear, nothing I described came from a schooling system. I read source material myself, including Das Kapital, as well as The Wealth of Nations, etc. I'm not claiming to be an economist, but I do claim to have enough knowledge to formulate coherent opinions that deserve discussion.

Also I appreciate you dismissing my Ideas without being particularly rude, although I'd prefer you didn't dismiss me. 
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Butch_M

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So let me get this straight ... you have ownership or access to a modern digital camera and lenses capable of capturing images that could be further enhanced by professional level software. You have ownership/access to a computer to install said software on to perform the tasks desired but purchasing the software license is a bridge too far that justifies piracy because in your opinion,  the developer charges too much?

Did I get that right? Asking for a friend.
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Dave Grainger

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She apparently does not know about student discounts nor the very low price for CC Photo bundle, chooses just to display The Politics of Envy against "Evil Big Corporations.."   She might be shocked to see how many people earn their bread and butter by working at Adobe. That bread and butter is paid for by income from sales of Adobe products. Also, a very large proportion of those employees are quite young too. Does she hate them individually, collectively, or pretend that they are not there?
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Butch_M

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I agree. It is quite baffling to see gifted young people who actually believe they have all the answers when in reality, they have absolutely no clue as to what the questions actually are.

People who would never think it's ok to steal a camera or computer from a store shelf (or maybe they do think such actions are permissible) think it is morally superior behavior to pirate software.

I wonder if they would feel the same way when its their turn to be a victim of theft. Would they report the the theft or simply write off the incident as another person's moral compulsion of fairness.

If Adobe's business model is so abhorrent and they earn too much money from their efforts ... how could anyone sleep at night with their apps installed on their computers regardless of legal licensing or if it was pirated ... let alone compose lengthy essays on the subject to a user forum.I agree. It is quite baffling to see gifted young people who actually believe they have all the answers when in reality, they have absolutely no clue as to what the questions actually are.

People who would never think it's ok to steal a camera or computer from a store shelf (or maybe they do think such actions are permissible) think it is morally superior behavior to pirate software.

I wonder if they would feel the same way when its their turn to be a victim of theft. Would they report the the theft or simply write off the incident as another person's moral compulsion of fairness.

If Adobe's business model is so abhorrent and they earn too much money from their efforts ... how could anyone sleep at night with their apps installed on their computers regardless of legal licensing or if it was pirated ... let alone compose lengthy essays on the subject to a user forum.
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gwena

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I've responded to another ad hominem above, but there were actual points raised in these so I'll address them.

I didn't draw conclusion about whether it was moral to pirate. The moral claim I made was that it was not necessarily amoral for those who can not afford the software to pirate it. This is due to multiple reasons I previously elaborated on, but the main one is simply that creatives require Adobe products to be successful to some extent. They have a pseudo monopoly on the products they produce. 
I did say I believe they charge more then they should, and I thoroughly expounded this stance by describing why I believe this, what the price should be, how they are able to do this, and further actual numbers. If you disagree with me, good. I think there is a healthy discourse to be had, but you need to actual describe the issues you have with what I said. I think its worth noting that I haven't actually pirated the software, I have had to make do in other ways. I'm not your enemy, I'm simply interested in the discussion. 

Edit: To be clear I have less issue with the other markets you enumerated because they are not infinitely reproducible commodities, and because they have significantly more competition (though still not nearly enough).
(Edited)
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gwena

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To Butch_M: First, I want to be clear that I don't believe I have all the answers, I don't even have a complete one. However, I think it is important to have discussion of problems to reach a cumulative decision. 

To your theft comparison: I don't believe this is a logical extension of my argument because the context of an act matters for its morality. Under specific circumstances theft can be a moral thing, just like homicide can be in moral under situations such as self-defense. I am very specific about when I think it is not amoral to pirate, and I don't even describe it as a moral act, just not a reprehensible one.

Theft against me personally would also be moral under certain extremely specific conditions, although personal situations would be more difficult to be objective about. 

Lastly, I don't believe that Adobe is evil, I don't ascribe morality to inanimate corporations. It is a company, and so will behave according to the actions (boycotting, pirating, voting) that we as citizens and customers perform. That is why this is an important discussion in the first place. 
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gwena

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@Dave Grainger: Again, I don't ascribe morality to inanimate corporations. I simply opened a dialogue on moral conduct surrounding the issue, if you disagree explain why.
Additionally, you clearly didn't read through the post, as I detailed the moral responsibility we have to those employed by Adobe. Further, a previous draft had the statistics for employment at Adobe, so I doubt I would be shocked. Its a bit over 20,000 people, and I don't want any of them to lose their jobs.
Read the post, stop using ad hominems over the internet directly at minors, and present a coherent reasoning process for why you disagree, or stop talking. I am trying to have reasoned discourse to benefit everyone, you are the problem here; not me.
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Dave Grainger

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Why don't you just go throw rocks at Starbucks to vent your adolescent misconceptions... This is not a forum for this kind of political ranting anyway.
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gwena

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its not really political ranting, its targeted at the corporation and its users around this site, and it is in response to a post on discussing piracy. I don't really understand why you feel the need to insult me, especially when I've made it clear that I am not trying to attack you or anyone else. If you don't want to have that discussion don't reply to my comments.
Other than that, I can only assume you are enjoying a feeling of smug superiority in your perceived ability to dismiss my legitimate ideas with casual insults and passive aggressive comments. That is a sad way to live your life, and I would never treat another human being like you are treating me right now. You said you lived through world war 2, meaning that you are at a minimum approaching 80 years old. How do you justify insulting a minor who is legitimately attempting to inspire open dialogue? 
I wouldn't throw rocks at Starbucks because I'm someone who actually cares about being empathetic and moral. You are a used up sad old man, and don't tell me this isn't the forum to speak my mind when you seem to believe it is an ok place to attack others. 
I'm not going to engage you anymore. I don't enjoy pointless arguing, and I don't enjoy insulting people. If I were you I'd take a serious look at how I ended up like this, but then again, you don't seem like the kind of person to be able to think critically about the world, much less your own actions.
This really makes me sad actually. I wrote what I did because I care about the people involved in the creative fields, and that includes you. I feel like I've undermined the seriousness of my points by engaging in this useless fight.  I am not my ideas. I don't know what  I did to antagonize you, honestly, but I'm legitimately sorry if I somehow worsened your day. That was never my goal. 
I know you don't care, but I hope that you take away from this that you have legitimately hurt another person, who is by many years your junior. Who has many fewer years experience with life than you. I might be dead wrong about every single thing I said, but that does not mean that I deserve to be attacked for my ideas. I really wanted nothing more than a conversation with other people effected by this issue. But I don't think that you'll give me that.
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Jerry Syder

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Well done on standing up for yourself
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Dave Grainger

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Jerry: She  could give up two Latte's a month to pay for her CC subscription!
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Butch_M

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To gwena ... your entire thesis on pricing is absurd and even ridiculous.

According to your premise ... solely basing a price point upon cherry picking criteria ... a photographer would be immoral to charge little more than the cost of paper and ink for a print of their work. Totally inaccurate. The value of the finished print is based upon the content on the paper.  The price of that print should be established by what the market determines, not the value of the materials to create the print.

Also, your assertions lacks any historical perspective into the current pricing structure by Adobe.

Did you know, in the beginning of Creative Cloud they only offered single applications at a rate of $20 US per month with a one-year agreement?  ... or month=to-month for $30 per month. At that time, the only way to get Lightroom with a CC subscription was if you purchased the all inclusive package for $50 per month (although you could still buy the Lr perpetual license at the time.).

It wasn't't until later on, after receiving a great deal of input from photographers that Adobe offered the Photography Package of Ps and Lr for $10 per month. That price point was extremely fair and reasonable to all parties. If anyone can't justify that cost, they should seek out other options. Just like you would for any other commodity item.

I don't care how meager your means are, stealing any item of value is immoral considering there are indeed other options that are either freeware , shareware or at a much lower price that can suffice.  Justifying otherwise because you deem a company immoral is ludicrous.

Trying to justify piracy based upon affordability is completely absurd.
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Butch_M

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So, does your form of trolling actually achieve your desired goals, or are you simply bored?

Asking for a friend.
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Jerry S'alur

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These dumb forums are full of sad git trolls.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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If you think so little of these forums, why waste your time here Jerry? I'm sure you have much better things to do.
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Warren Heaton

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The irony of Jerry's dislike of the forums is one of the quickest ways to master Photoshop's complexities is to interact with experienced users.  It's too bad that he doesn't see that.
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Dave Grainger

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Absolutely right on! I come here to learn and share what I DO know,  however limited that might be...
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Dave Grainger

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Anyone becoming aware of an act of software piracy can notify the owner of that intellectual property directly and or by making a statement on line to the Software Publisher's Association. 
"The Software Publisher's Association (SPA) is an 1,100-member trade group representing the legal interests of U.S. software companies. Founded in 1988, SPA fights COPYRIGHT infringement from its offices in Washington, D.C., and Paris. SPA is a division of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), which offers rewards of up to $50,000 to individuals who report verifiable corporate end-user PIRACY to SIIA through the SIIA hotline or through the SIIA Corporate End-User Piracy Internet Report Form. Its chief goal is to eliminate the unauthorized duplication of computer programs."

Here is the link to the parent organization, SIIA:  https://www.siia.net/

The SIIA focuses on discovering piracy by users that are inside organizations, and the SPA will pursue individuals, such as students or others stealing intellectual property.

There is a POSSIBILITY that they have monitored this thread...
(Edited)
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Giordano

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And they were certainly able to understand these somehow pretty self-explanatory words:
" Also, I am lucky enough to have been able to go with a competitor, I don't *want* to pirate. "

Are these your only arguments, demeaning or trying to scare people?


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Dave Grainger

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Giordano: Facing the facts that there are consequences for software piracy is not "trying to scare people."

I interpret that statement "As I have gone with a competitor, I don't want to pirate..." as indicating that the person would have pirated otherwise.

Having raised five kids and having gone through their teen years, I am well aware that there is a biological reason called the dispersal mechanism which is intended to make youngsters reach independence by discord with their parents. I suspect that is, in part, what we are seeing here.

In past years, I worked with a couple of major software firms in investigations leading to fines and in some cases, prison (that was for foreign counterfeiters who operated with millions of dollars worth of fakes.) This is NOT a subject to be dismissed cavalierly.

Now, again, this is a forum for people with tech questions about use of Adobe software who are seeking help. It is NOT a forum for social justice warriors to argue their points.
(Edited)
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Andy Hewitt

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It's simple enough to me. We all have choices when it comes to paying for products and services we want to use, or whether to find methods to use them without paying, or choosing something else to use.

If you're a pro, and earning money from selling photos, then it's easy to justify the cost of any equipment and software needed to make money, and you should be able to afford those costs.

If you're not making money, then you may need to choose your equipment and software based on your financial capabilities, or own justifications on expenditure.

If you can afford it, then buying pro software is obviously a choice you can make if you so desire. Otherwise there's plenty of options out there that can both manage and edit your photos at lower costs, or even for free legally.

As far as I see it, if you can afford to buy a DSLR for personal use, then you don't need to pirate any software - not that you should anyway. Regardless of how much a vendor is selling a product for, if you think it's too expensive, or doesn't present good value to your needs, then choose something else that does suit your budgetary limitations.

As for the moral implications, that just down to an individual to decide what they can live with.

Personally I think anyone that puts time and resources into producing any product or service should be entitled to gain reward from it (assuming a reasonable quality of course).

All the best.
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Dave Grainger

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@andy Hewitt: you wrote "Personally I think anyone that puts time and resources into producing any product or service should be entitled to gain reward from it (assuming a reasonable quality of course)."

They are entitled to try to sell their product and to convince customers to buy it. Making a profit by so doing is a function of how well the business is operated, controlling costs and maximizing efficiency.  Success in gaining customer acceptance is not coupled to work performed in invention  nor production; it is how they approach the market place with desirable products. 

They are not "entitled" to make a profit. They are entitled to keep one if their business practices have produced one.  That's a big difference from saying that they are entitled to a profit regardless...

What is NOT OK is for the public to simply raid the store and pirate software or take anything that does not belong to  them. 

Early in this thread I was struck by a concept espoused by one writer, but also perfused through part of society: If I want it, I am entitled to have it by any means, purchase or theft.

Just because one WANTS a beer, it is not OK to swipe one from 711.

I sense that we are essentially "on the same page" but with some adjustments, detailed herein.

You also wrote "As for the moral implications, that just down to an individual to decide what they can live with."

No, my friend! There is an absolute difference between right and wrong. These are not individual choices.  If you can't do the time, don't do the crime...
(Edited)
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Andy Hewitt

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They are entitled to try to sell their product and to convince customers to buy it. Making a profit by so doing is a function of how well the business is operated, controlling costs and maximizing efficiency.  Success in gaining customer acceptance is not coupled to work performed in invention  nor production; it is how they approach the market place with desirable products. 
Yeah, that's why I said 'assuming a reasonable quality'.
They are not "entitled" to make a profit. They are entitled to keep one if their business practices have produced one.  That's a big difference from saying that they are entitled to a profit regardless...
You're finding meaning where it was not intended or implicated. I didn't say they had to make a profit, or were entitled to one. I said they should be entitled to being rewarded for their time and resources. That may be simply a feel good factor with no profit, or just covering their costs, or making a huge profit if the market dictates as such. Reward doesn't have to be fiscal.

But discussing the merits of business and whether you should make a profit or not is veering away from the point here.
You also wrote "As for the moral implications, that just down to an individual to decide what they can live with."
Yeah, I'll stand by that.
No, my friend! There is an absolute difference between right and wrong. These are not individual choices.  If you can't do the time, don't do the crime...
I agree with that last bit for sure, but it's not for me to dictate/preach to another individual. I can try an influence them, or appeal to their conscience, but how they behave is their own choice.

All the best.
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avpman

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"Adobe offered the Photography Package of Ps and Lr for $10 per month. That price point was extremely fair and reasonable to all parties."

The problem with the pricing plan is that's what the cost is now. At some point, it's bound to go up. If one can't afford the increase then you lose PS all together. I firmly believe if Adobe had a way to buy out a current version the piracy issue would be less of a problem. I do not condone piracy as an alternative to paying for a subscription.
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Dave Grainger

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avpman:  Same thing applies to everything we buy or consume. Beer Might get expensive, so don't drink beer?     Are you saying that more people will shop lift beer if the price goes up?
(Edited)
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Andy Hewitt

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That's probably not such a daft assumption.

If something is priced well, and affordable (and obviously has to offer good value to the end user), perhaps more people will just buy it.

A higher cost for an item does sometimes result in people finding other ways to obtain that 'benefit'.

Personally, I see a high price, and just look for a more affordable alternative. I would have bought Capture One a long time ago, based on what it can do for me, but it was too expensive for me, so I chose to buy something less costly to me.

If Lightroom gets too costly (or circumstances change, so I can't afford it), I'll simply look elsewhere, there are plenty of alternatives that are cheaper, or even free, without needing to resort to piracy.

As long as the Photography plan stays at its current level, then I'm OK with it. As you say, it has been at its current price point for some time, so an increase will become inevitable sometime - or will it? If they've hit that sweet spot and development costs are not increasing but customer base is, and profits are increasing, then it may not need to increase at all.
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Dave Grainger

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Given all that has happened in the world economy and given the vast amount of government spending / borrowing without tax revenues, it will impossible to avoid a significant inflation on the near horizon. Ergo, the dollar denominated price of everything will go up even though no increase in actual value occurs.  

Those with indexed incomes will be better off than those on fixed incomes. Those without income are still broke.
(Edited)
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Andy Hewitt

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That's a good point of course. I live in the UK though, and actually it's worse here for the future, as we have to deal with the double whammy of the virus aftermath, and also the upcoming 'Brexit' aftermath too - all of which is terribly uncertain (and I suspect an opportunity for profiteering using everything happening as a 'reason').

In all of this though, there will be losers and winners too.

Certainly we may, or may not, be hit with a price change by Adobe, but local taxes and exchange rates could play a part for sure.