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

angeruroth

Meeb Avemcrit
In my opinion, if someone can pay s/he will do it.
Why?
1. Because no one wants trouble and, if you buy something you like, that helps the makers, so you'll be able to buy new awesome things from them.
2. Regarding sample libraries and things like creative software, there's also the issue of uploading your art. If you own a library you can do it, but if you don't... well, you shouldn't.

Also, if you can use it for free, IMO the first point still applies. If you like it you want more. You want the authors to thrive, and doing the right thing is [always] a pleasure.

On the other hand, one can think as a devil's advocate:
1. What if you don't have any money to spend? Are you causing damage? Or are you promoting the good stuff by talking about the thing (something like a viral marketing campaign).
2. What about a little children, or a student on a budget, who can become a real customer in the future?

I mean, yes, we all like to be the good guys, but piracy exists, so understanding the reasons behind it, and its real impact in business, may be a good way to minimize its impact and turn the tide.
 

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
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)?
The answer is simple. In a lot of cases, people appreciate what other people have done or are doing, and want to support that activity. It's like crowd funding. Or, a street musician with an open case into which listeners throw money. Or a snifter on top of a piano in a bar where you can tip the pianist.
 
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d.healey

d.healey

Senior Member
The answer is simple. In a lot of cases, people appreciate what other people have done or are doing, and want to support that activity. It's like crowd funding. Or, a street musician with an open case into which listeners throw money. Or a snifter on top of a piano in a bar where you can tip the pianist.
This is my thought too, also if you pay the developer there is a better chance of customer support and quick access to updates/fixes
 

ctsai89

Poem of Ecstasy
I am not a saint but I do fall under this category as an iTunes uploader:
$2.7 billion in workers' earnings are lost each year due to Online Piracy.
95% of music downloaded online is illegal.
Personally I'm neutral about this issue. I would credit that as one of the source to why musicians don't earn for the work they do sometimes. But in all seriousness, there are many musicians out there who make 6 figures or more. Armin Van Buuren, John Adams, Hans Zimmers, etc.

I think it's a good thing because then in the end it's the best of the best that matters. Not everyone deserves to make a living as a musician. Nowadays there are literally people who have no knowledge in anything trying to make dance music thinking they will become the next big DJ someday. but.. we ought to humble ourselves a bit and put our emotions away, work harder, and know how to use that talent better.
 

Sears Poncho

Senior Member
Not even a song, a movie, a CD? Good for you man.
I don't think so. The only exception might be if someone sent me something work-related i.e. I had to orchestrate something and they sent an mp3 to listen to. Movies= no. I don't have a lack of music in my life, I do it 24/7 so I don't need any more, I need less. ;)

I played as a session musician on a lot of albums. One of them was a huge hit, I still get a few grand a year in royalties over 25 years later. It's been a good learning experience to be on the other side. I try my best to respect those in any aspect of the music biz.
 

Lotias

Active Member
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.
This depends on my budget at the time, and my first impression of your company and your product. First I would find it for free (assuming this is 100% legal, of course) and then try out your software. If I had enough budget at the time, and if I liked the software, I would then buy it for several reasons.

Some of the advantages of paying for software are;
You can get support from the developer.
You get every software update available. Pirated software is often out of date, iirc.
You support the developer and hopefully, they make more software that you like.

For your question about (b), I suppose it's just a matter that the developer does not mind if I do so. It's their software that they worked on; if they permit me to go and find it for free, then I don't feel there's much problem at all in doing so. I'd still buy the software if budget permitted out of principle and convenience, but having it for free at first is like having a complete demo to make sure I like the software.
 

Sears Poncho

Senior Member
I think it's a good thing because then in the end it's the best of the best that matters.
If only it worked like that. It doesn't. The "best of the best" is often not a household name, while Fergie can sing for a national audience and stink up the joint. A lot of people don't make what one might think. I've done arena shows as a backing string player and made union scale. Most wedding gigs pay more than a mid-level symphony service. Even rock bands with big hits like "Men at Work" didn't make even remotely close to what the public thinks. Guys in bands like TSO aren't pulling down anywhere near rock star bucks, not even close. I don't think they are pulling in school teacher bucks.
 

paoling

Developer
An advantage of buying is also a social one. You can talk about a library, talk with the developers, say that you like that thing or dislike that that other thing. You can share screenshots without worrying, or show your laptop to friends and colleagues, interviews and so on, without feeling anxious. Little things.
 

bbunker

Senior Member
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.
I literally have no idea how this is a question. If someone buys your product and uploads it elsewhere, what is the "(legally)" meant to imply? That at the point of sale you've released any and all rights to the product? Why would this exist? And if someone pays you and then you allow them to upload it elsewhere and allow others to download it, haven't you basically just made a (really poor) distribution agreement? Why would I (or you) have any understanding of which distributors are preferred over others? Why would I choose the most expensive distributor?

On the "would your answer be different" bit - and "one is called piracy...etc." - well, duh? That's kind of like asking if someone should be arrested for going to the movies. In the first case, nothing happened, but in the second one, that person murdered someone during the film. Hey - they're both trips to the cinema - the only thing that is different is one is called murder because someone got killed. The point being: sometimes "the only thing that is different" has some significance, no?
 

bbunker

Senior Member
Would you take home a child who was yours? Would you take home someone else's? The only thing that is different is one is called kidnapping because the child isn't yours.

OK - I'm just having fun now.
 

mouse

Active Member
Would you take home a child who was yours? Would you take home someone else's? The only thing that is different is one is called kidnapping because the child isn't yours.

OK - I'm just having fun now.
You wouldn't download a child..
 
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d.healey

d.healey

Senior Member
I literally have no idea how this is a question. If someone buys your product and uploads it elsewhere, what is the "(legally)" meant to imply? That at the point of sale you've released any and all rights to the product? Why would this exist?
Not at all, I still retain copyright and so could dual license the software if I wish under another license. This is very common in the libre software community with licenses like the GNU GPL, this allows me to let users modify and share software legally without putting the software into the public domain.

And if someone pays you and then you allow them to upload it elsewhere and allow others to download it, haven't you basically just made a (really poor) distribution agreement? Why would I (or you) have any understanding of which distributors are preferred over others? Why would I choose the most expensive distributor?
This is what I'm wondering, would users still pay for a product they can get elsewhere for free. In the case of wordpress and wordpress plugins the answer is yes but I'm wondering how well it would work for sample libraries as this is what I'm intending to do.

On the "would your answer be different" bit - and "one is called piracy...etc." - well, duh? That's kind of like asking if someone should be arrested for going to the movies. In the first case, nothing happened, but in the second one, that person murdered someone during the film. Hey - they're both trips to the cinema - the only thing that is different is one is called murder because someone got killed. The point being: sometimes "the only thing that is different" has some significance, no?
I don't quite follow you here but what I'm thinking is that it's not that it's available for free that would prevent people paying for it. I think people prefer to buy software because they can support the developer, get updates, get support, and it makes them feel good, even if they can get it for free. For example I buy all my wordpress plugins even though many are available for free or at a reduced price elsewhere for these reasons.
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
I think it is a slam to one's creativity or lack of when thinking they need the latest to sound better. I'm still amazed when I see tunes on youtube with people using the included plugins with a daw. I'm still impressed with what people can do in FL Studio using the simple 3xOsc. A lot of people still use the EQs and compressors in Live. Whether it's intentional or not but just about every search engine when you look up any software somewhere in the first ten links have where you can steal it. It seems the sense of entitlement is an infectious disease on this planet.
 

bbunker

Senior Member
Not at all, I still retain copyright and so could dual license the software if I wish under another license. This is very common in the libre software community with licenses like the GNU GPL, this allows me to let users modify and share software legally without putting the software into the public domain.


This is what I'm wondering, would users still pay for a product they can get elsewhere for free. In the case of wordpress and wordpress plugins the answer is yes but I'm wondering how well it would work for sample libraries as this is what I'm intending to do.


I don't quite follow you here but what I'm thinking is that it's not that it's available for free that would prevent people paying for it. I think people prefer to buy software because they can support the developer, get updates, get support, and it makes them feel good, even if they can get it for free. For example I buy all my wordpress plugins even though many are available for free or at a reduced price elsewhere for these reasons.
I still don't actually understand. In this example, would the end consumer who has acquired but hasn't paid for the product have the rights to use those samples in commercial products or not? Because if I were to download this product but not have those rights, then it would essentially be a demo.

And if other people can legally distribute your product, and they choose to give it away for free, then why would I assume that there's some moral imperative to check on the creator's prices first? In this example, wouldn't legitimate vendors also sell it for the street price of zero? How is it really any different if Pluginboutique sells your imaginary product for $0, or if it sells the Sonivox deal of the day for $1.50? Is there some moral imperative to go to Sonivox and try to pay the original $250 or whatever it is?

I still don't get it.
 
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d.healey

d.healey

Senior Member
I still don't actually understand. In this example, would the end consumer who has acquired but hasn't paid for the product have the rights to use those samples in commercial products or not?
Yes, if the software is released under a GPL license the user is free to use the software in any way they wish including commercially. There is a caveat with sample libraries (and other media containing software like video games) though in that the samples themselves are an asset and not necessarily part of the "software" unless they are embedded within the plugin of course. This gets a little technical as it's possible to license the samples separately to the software and thus turn the software into just a demo, in my case I intend to use something like a creative commons non-commercial license for the samples so that they can't be reused in another commercial sample library, but it won't affect the average user who just wants to write music.

Because if I were to download this product but not have those rights, then it would essentially be a demo.
You would have more rights than with any proprietary software. You could take all of the source code for example, load in your own samples, and sell it as your own product.

And if other people can legally distribute your product, and they choose to give it away for free, then why would I assume that there's some moral imperative to check on the creator's prices first?
Well this gets to the heart of what I'm interested in, why would you buy something you can get for free and why do people buy things they can get for free. I've told you my reasons.

In this example, wouldn't legitimate vendors also sell it for the street price of zero? How is it really any different if Pluginboutique sells your imaginary product for $0, or if it sells the Sonivox deal of the day for $1.50? Is there some moral imperative to go to Sonivox and try to pay the original $250 or whatever it is?
In my particular case they wouldn't be able to sell it as the samples would be under a non-commercial license, however as I said above they could sell the software part of it with their own samples. The point of a free software license like the GPL is to give users freedom that they don't get with a EULA or proprietary license, the idea being that if you find a bug in the software or want to add a feature you are free to do so and you can pass on your modifications to others. Because not everyone is a software developer it is necessary that users are able to share the software so that they can ask someone who is a software developer to make the changes for them. Since sharing is a good thing to do (socially speaking) and it's incredibly easy to do with software it makes sense to let people share, of course the fear is that it will be damaging from a commercial point of view but I'm hoping it won't be too damaging.