Software protection gets a bad rap on the whole, not just from those trying to find ways to get software by not paying for it, but also from those who have paid for the software but sometimes find themselves locked out of our own software because the protection isn’t working as it should.
I’ve been there, only this week I’ve had a piece of software installed on my machine for several days and a copy of the licence also clearly on my machine, but does it want to see it? Like hell it does!
Now our first reaction is often to think ‘stupid iLok, or Waves licencer, or eLicencer… fill in the gaps’ it’s preventing me from working, that is normally my first response.
However, let me ask you a question. If you’ve spent $10,000 on a Pro Tools system and all the software you need to run your studio and then a guy sets up across town using pirated software (cost zero) who starts to undercut you (remember, he doesn’t have $10,000 to recoup) then you are going to be p*ssed off aren’t you? In fact if a few people do that then you’re not going to have any customers. If there’s anything to test the loyalty of even the most faithful customer, then it’s the same offer for less money.
Now you can wax lyrical all day about the added value of your services, the cost of your investment, but most people are not going to care, they just need a job done at the best price.
If you’ve invested in a great studio, then I also imagine it has locks on the door and a decent alarm system. We would all love to live in a world where this were not necessary, but sadly it is.
The same goes for software - not everyone is willing to pay the cost of R&D and the thousands of man-days it takes to develop the amazing software we use, instead they steal it. In doing so they devalue the work of those who made it and also the investment of decent people who want to reward the ingenuity and investment made by the developer.
Perhaps instead of berating those who create copy protection we should be thanking them for keeping the companies who make the software we depend on in business and protecting our investment.
In an ideal world I wouldn’t have them, but in this sh*tty broken world, I for one am grateful it protects the companies who I want to stay in business and my investment to. Discuss.