I have just got off the phone with a developer that has left me feeling sad, angry and depressed.
It’s a small plug-in developer, just a few of them, all working out of a passion for music and great audio and at the same time trying to pay the rent, put the kids through school and take one holiday a year.
It was when he told me that one of their plug-ins has only 3% of the users who are legal owners. Perhaps like me you think ‘f*ck off, tell me that again’ which is exactly what I did, I asked him to repeat it. Yes I heard it right, just 3% of those using it have paid for it.
That means that most of the time the guys spent working on that plug-in, they are not getting paid. This is scary especially when you have family responsibilities and the average plug-in takes around a year for the team to develop.
There’s no such thing as a victimless crime - someone pays for it somewhere, be that developers who go bankrupt or give up trying or buyers who have to pay for the protection in the cost of the software. With figures like this it is no surprise that developers feel they have to invest in protection systems, the cost of which is passed on to the real consumers… the ones who actually pay for the software, so if you are one of the people who pays for your software, piracy is as much your problem as anyone elses.
We accept that there will be a hard core of people who will continue to share and download content they haven’t paid for and take no notice of this, as they say the scorpion will always sting you… it’s what they do.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. As sensible, reasonable creative people we can turn the tide, so here are some suggestions to help change this culture of not paying for creativity is acceptable.
Don’t be tempted, to go hunting on sites looking for a cracked version of a plug-in. Many of these sites make their money buy selling advertising, this relies on traffice, if traffic drops so does their ability to sell advertising. Go to the developer’s site, download the demo, try it out, and if you like it and want to continue to use it, buy it. If you cannot afford it then use one of the genuine free plug-ins out there. Check out our free plug-in database.
Educate Others About The Real Cost
Tell those who you meet the real cost of using cracked and pirated software, someone pays for it somewhere, even if they don’t. If you are a tutor in a college then you can do this when you teach, if you are in forums you can take a stand and explain that copy protection is there for a reason - of course we all wish we didn’t have to use it, but don’t blame developers, blame the people who steal, share and download the software.
Don’t Turn A Blind Eye
By choosing to ignore those around us using cracked software we unintentionally give tacet approval. So if you see people using cracked software, speak up. There is also an organisation FACT, you can find out more about software theft and report the use of pirated software, visit their website here.
If we can turn the prevailing wind, little by little, one person at a time, then we can sow good seeds, so when it comes to harvest time we reap a bumper crop.
After all, if we want people to pay for our creativity, we must be prepared to pay for the creativity of those who provide us with the tools to be creative.