Would you pay for software you can legally get for free?

d.healey

Music Monkey
I see a lot of posts on forums from sample library developers looking for ways to prevent users sharing their libraries illegally but, with the exception of certain dongles, there is pretty much no way of doing it. So this means that at some point all of the major (and most of the minor) sample libraries are available online at zero cost. So why do you pay for libraries?

No, I'm not advocating piracy, I'm trying to find out about why we purchase things we can get for free .

Let's say, for example, that I release a sample library for a nominal fee, and I also give you permission to share it if you wish. Would you (a) buy it from me or (b) find a free download of it? The only difference between this situation and piracy is that I'm giving you permission to share it.

If you say (a) what is your reason for purchasing something you can get for free, legally?
If you say (b) what is the reason you would download my library for free but you wouldn't download a pirated product (one that the developer hadn't given permission for their users to share)?

I have my own thoughts on this but I'd like to see what you guys think.
 

chillbot

Sock Muppet
Short answer, I am lucky enough to make money writing music so I pay for samples. If I was a hobbyist, I'm not sure whether I would feel the same way?

Longer answer: I bought a computer once from a company that builds and sells music computers to run VEPro on. (Not going to tarnish their name but it was NOT VisionDAW which I normally use and should have used.) They said they would install and authorize all my libraries for me and I thought, great! So I get the computer, and all my libraries are on there and everything is working fantastic. Maybe 5-6 months later when a new sample library came along that needed a newer version of Kontakt, I find out that they installed a cracked version of Kontakt to bypass authorizing all the libraries. Huge mess. I still use that computer and everything is legit and authorized but it still gives me issues I think are related to that cracked version. I should have completely wiped and reformatted the drive. There are a lot of logistical issues.
 

bozmillar

Member
My answer today would be different than it was 10 years ago. To me, it's less hassle to buy software than it is to go searching for it for free, even if the free version is legal. What am I getting from an unknown source?

Also, I find that if I'm unwilling to pay $50, $100, $200 for something, it's because I don't actually need it, so getting it for free wouldn't be any better.

Now, there have been plenty of times where I thought I needed something, bought it, then found out I didn't need it, and at least wished I would have had a good trial run first, but I guess that's a different topic.
 

Replicant

Active Member
I didn't smash out the windows of the music store for my guitars, so I don't see why I should for virtual instruments either.

Also

• Don't have to go to malware-ridden sites.

• Less hassle (most of the time)

• You can get customer support and free updates (software depending)

• Cracked software has this problem where it tends to not work properly anyway
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
I don't pirate because it's ridiculous in many ways. I just don't feel like it.

I don't wanna go through the nonsense of looking for shady websites, torrents, or however software is being illegaly distributed today. I don't wanna deal with incomplete data packages, broken downloads, junk and ransomware, all the nonsense.

I also don't believe in stealing. That's just me. I work a lot and pay a high price in other areas of life for it. And because of this, I'm not gonna lift a finger for anyone without getting paid for it. I expect nothing different from anyone else.

Finally, in times of abundancy, wastefulness and meaninglessnes, I'm trying to attach value to the things I do, immerse myself in and spend time with. Pirating is just a form of compulsive hoarding. Most people who pirate tons of movies or software only do it to "have" it, but make little of it. I read an interview with Ritchie Blackmore once. He begged his parents to buy him a guitar for years. This was in the 40ies obviously, different times. When he finally got one, his father told him: and now if you don't learn to play that damn thing properly, I'm gonna smack it over your head.

I limit myself, I pay for my stuff, and make it count. I could download another 40 gigs of samples to one of my drives from some shoddy place and then it's just another thing in my "vault". The stuff I pay for, I really learn to treasure and use to the fullest. Pirating won't make my musicianship better. Paying for stuff will.
 

ctsai89

Poem of Ecstasy
If you pirate, I would suspect that you don't get updates from developers where the product will probably stink from bugs.

Also although I'm not sure if it's real or not, there's a thing called Watermarks to at least scare you.
 
OP
d.healey

d.healey

Music Monkey
It's simple really - cause it's the right thing to do.

With all do respect, it's a question that shouldn't have to be asked.
I think my title has mislead from my post. I'm more interested in if you are legally allowed to download a product for free, would you? Or would you pay for it? I'll change the title I think, make it more clear what I'm really getting at.
 

kimarnesen

Senior Member
I think my title has mislead from my post. I'm more interested in if you are legally allowed to download a product for free, would you? Or would you pay for it? I'll change the title I think, make it more clear what I'm really getting at.
Do you mean like giving a voluntary donation or something?
 
OP
d.healey

d.healey

Music Monkey
Do you mean like giving a voluntary donation or something?
Not really no, I mean if I offer a product for $50 and someone buys it and uploads it elsewhere (legally) and offers it for nothing who would you get it from? And would your answer be different if they offered it illegally, without my permission? The only thing that is different is one is called piracy because permission of the copyright holder has not been given.
 

C.R. Rivera

Popper @ his favorite toy.
It's simple really - cause it's the right thing to do.

With all do respect, it's a question that shouldn't have to be asked.
One might like to believe so, but in this day and age, it seems, particular for some folks that doing the right thing SEEMS harder to do than doing the wrong thing. As an educator I see the path of least resistance is an "enticing" way to get ahead---which is often disputable in any case.

Cheers

CRR
 

MatFluor

Senior Member
Speaking completely honestly here.

Yes, I pirated when I was younger - Can't buy a software without money in that sense. But also, I never made money from it. I used linux (I remember the hassle with SuSE 6.2 back then). Yes, back then it was easier to find it online than in a shop - I was lucky that the mentioned SuSE distribution was in stock in our local electronics shop.

I come originally from a relatively remote place (St. Moritz) - which basically means, you either have to order everything online, or take a two hour drive to the next bigger City (Chur) to shop. Needless to say there was no internet, or very limited internet back then. So when Internet became feasible - a couple hours of waiting "for free" was easier than convince the parents to drive to Chur (or take the train), buy the pack at the next big retailer and drive back.

But that's exactly what I did with all my guitar stuff aka Hardware. You can't download hardware (yet), so my big guitar setup was bought by myself with either hard earned cash, or hard earned money from my parents. My parents also showed me to assess value to things then.

Nowadays with sample libraries, I don't pirate at all. I prefer open source whenever I get the chance, but that isn't there with quality sample libraries. So, my hard earned money goes there. I want to support the devs and also don't want to do illegal stuff. It might sound ridiculous, but I don't want to run the slightest chance of someday, when a big gig is incoming, somehow somebody shows up an I get jailed for piracy. Bye-bye career.

I actively try to convince people not to use pirated software - with more or less success of course. I understand people come from different background, different monetary situations and all that. I am also very liberal concerning pirating a library for trying out (since somehow Demos are no longer as widespread as they used to be). But - in my opinion - everybody has a certain amount of money - hobby costs money, business costs money. Do you just want to make music for the sake of making music? Hell, get GPO for $150 or take some stuff that is shipped with other stuff. The expensive libraries are professional (semi-pro/sophisticated amateur) grade - do you need that? You don't need bloody Sage accounting program, which costs $1k+ when you can use GnuCash for you household budgeting. Why do you need photoshop, when there's gimp or Krita?

I know Professional tools are always preferred - but when you can't afford it, you bloody can't. Save up. Just because software can be easily obtained doesn't mean that it should be pirated (same goes for movies and music of course). Oh, that shiny new library that is so cool costs $500? Come on - if you come from a country where the overall salary is $1/Month, I get it that pirating seems to be the only option. But then again - do you need a professional tool for yourself?

But that issue goes further of course. I can afford a $500 Library, even though I might think twice over it. That doesn't mean everybody does. So - If that would cost me x% of my income - why not price a library accordingly for a foreign market? Yes, I know that doesn't work, but I hope you get my point.

I hate pirating if it's for the reason of "I just want to have it". I am ok with it, when it's an "inoffical demo" when you purchase the product later (or delete it). I don't support a damn kid who thinks he needs the best, and since he can't afford it, he downloads it illegally. I am honestly on the fence with people whose income just is bad, even though they are hard working and (in another country) could easily afford it.

Bottom line: I am against it because a) professional tools for professionals - and businesses can afford it, b) If you want to go professional, you should do so with the financial backing needed, ergo you can afford it (take GPO instead of Berlin), c) usually there's a reason why it's expensive - yes, some overpriced stuff is there, as always, but people are trying make a living there as well (see Polo shirts from e.g. Ralph Lauren vs No-Name. Yes, Lauren has a certain quality, but still is rediculously overpriced).

My thought here might have jumped a bit, excuse, if anything is not clearly articulated, sorry ;)
 

bozmillar

Member
Pirating is just a form of compulsive hoarding.
I think this kind of sums it up. I think people who pirate software tend to just want stuff without knowing why they want stuff. I think eventually the excitement of owning every piece of software sort of subsides when you realize you are spending more time looking for software than you are using the software. When you buy something, I think you are more likely to learn how to use it.