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Should I pirate CAM software? (hypothetical question)

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  • #46
    Technically, whether you're using software in a money-making operation or not, you're still using it for your own advantage, otherwise you wouldn't be using it at all. Maybe you're just making an ornamental Christmas present for your wife- you paid for the metal and the machine, but not the software. Let's just say for instance that instead of a software requirement, you needed a mechanism of some kind to do the project. Now it's a tangible thing. Where do you get that mechanism- borrow it? From someone who bought it and was kind enough to lend it to you- Or maybe you had to rent it, or maybe you had to pay a business to make the part for you on their mechanism. Either way, somebody paid for the mechanism.

    Where it's software, you don't have to write it anew for everybody that wanted it, as you would basically have to do to fabricate for each mechanism that anybody would want to have. As such there's no continuing cost to the company to produce copies of mechanisms- instead just a file transfer at the cost of a fraction of a penny in electricity, and the same low cost in computer time. Still, you're using the product and getting value from it, so it should come at some cost to you. If you used it free, that's essentially the same as the developer saying to you 'sure, go ahead and use this thing for free that I spent time, dollars, effort and experience making'. I do agree, many companies hope the 'news' of their software gets around, and may decide that a certain amount of piracy is within their 'advertising plan', but it's not you that decides that. Where you make that decision, you are stealing their work. If it's given to you in some way, such as 'demo version', or 'trial period', it's completely legit.

    It's a tough call- say you pirate a copy of some software and you try it, then don't like it- you find that you wouldn't have bought it anyway. If there's no refund policy on software, then why should you be forced to pay for a product only to find that it isn't what you wanted or needed or could use. To me, that's basically thievery by the developer. I'd love to be getting money for a product I produce, but that nobody likes or uses once they try it- and I don't have to give the money back. But from those who do use it, I want my price.

    This 'problem' has been ingrained into people pretty much right from the start, and continues in force today. I'm not talking about software now, but about the willingness, and compellation, to take an advantage when it presents. To start with it's a survival instinct. In further refinement in developed society, it continues- 'us or them'- why not all of mankind? I see it at work- people would gladly allow you to do a job for them, even it meant, and they knew, that it was costing you money as opposed to making even a small profit. People don't mind if you spend money for gas in your vehicle and drive them around to get their business done- so they don't have to spend that gas money and vehicle expense themselves. The way it works is that those willing to help others are automatically trodden on, and their only reward comes from inside, in their own hearts and minds. The guy who pays for software can rest assured in his own character- but he is going to be out the money.

    I don't have the answers. I've both paid for software and used it freely where technically it should have been paid for. I've never made any money from using any of it, but I have been entertained for hours by using it. Worth the $5k- $27k in one case- not even close. I don't feel bad about it. Should I?

    I feel bad when I tell someone I'm not interested in helping them do--- whatever it is. In many cases, I know they would not give me the same effort and personal cost to help me. I don't want them having any software I've written unless they've paid for it. No, you can't borrow my jigsaw, no you can't have this five gallons of gas, no I won't fix that amp for you for free. No I'm not willing to let you steal from me, you a-hole. When I see my chance, I'm going to step on you- like you step on me, or countries step on other countries-

    Not a rant- just an observation of human nature. You see it in the chinese goods syndrome- somewhere within each of us, I believe we know it's hurting our own country, but we still buy the cheap product- we'd even steal that if the opportunity was easy for us, like it is with software. In fact, we are almost at the point where we think to ourselves 'if it's that cheap, shouldn't it be even cheaper?' For what is called a technically advanced people, we sure are a bunch of a-holes, aren't we-
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


    • #47
      Problem with software and any other "intellectual property" is that it will never be tangible. The closest thing that programming and tangibility become one is when you write firmware for a processor.
      I could never sell my firmware for any amount of money, however it is much easier to sell that firmware if I load it into an atmel processor. That way people have something tangible for their money.
      Music? Please, it is not worth money, no more than some one recording the sound of rain, and trying to sell that.
      Nothing is as bad however as computer games that want you to use real life money to buy "objects" inside of a game... Sorry but if anyone ever does that, they need to be beaten and sent to "Camp Dave Ramsey" so they can learn to appreciate the value of a dollar.

      I want to start a company that makes high end airplanes for flight simulator, I want to model an L-1011 tristar to the depth that I could nearly get the FAA to sign off on it. I know full well that within a few hours of it being released it will be on the pirate bay. It don't matter, that project will be a labor of love for me.


      • #48
        Looks like a ramped entry to me. Those loops aren't connected. How does it go from one loop to the next?
        It's ramped because it's a rectangle. It does a stepover to move to the next path out.

        3D simulation is available.

        You can make any toolpath you want.

        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


        • #49
          Originally posted by RB211
          Nothing is as bad however as computer games that want you to use real life money to buy "objects" inside of a game... Sorry but if anyone ever does that, they need to be beaten and sent to "Camp Dave Ramsey" so they can learn to appreciate the value of a dollar.
          Like this?


          • #50
            Originally posted by RB211
            Nothing is as bad however as computer games that want you to use real life money to buy "objects" inside of a game... Sorry but if anyone ever does that, they need to be beaten and sent to "Camp Dave Ramsey" so they can learn to appreciate the value of a dollar.
            How about this guy who made $500K of real money selling a virtual asteroid

            Take, for instance, what just went down on Planet Calypso, where one of Entropia's wealthier players has sold off his interests in a "resort asteroid" for an eye-popping $635,000.

            The seller is Jon Jacobs, also known as the character 'Neverdie'. He originally purchased the asteroid in 2005 -- eventually converting it into the extravagant resort 'Club Neverdie' -- for the then-record price of $100,000. For those keeping score, that's a gain of over $500,000 in just five years. In nerdier terms, that's an ROI of 535%.



            • #51
              Just because the courts say it, doesnt mean its right. Lawyers have been misconstruing things for years. Always have, always will. Did you buy it? If you didnt, how did you come to use it? You even say its wrong in the lead in to your sentence. Even though I love my country and its systems, it can be wrong at times.
              Originally posted by Mcgyver
              It might wrong, unethical, illegal, can get you in trouble and cost a bunch of money but it is most certainly not using stolen property. Read Dowling vs the US.


              • #52
                You can make any toolpath you want.
                Evan, Cambam is a fine hobby level software but nothing like the pro level stuff. Give some of the high end stuff a try and you will be very impressed. The toolpath strategies and options available in the highend $$ cam are much more advanced than with hobby level cam.

                My favorite of all the mid to high end cam such as Mastercam, Solidcam etc is HSMworks.
                This is just 1 example of a more advanced toolpath than you will find in something like Cambam-
                Adaptive clearing -
                The adaptive clearing strategy creates a roughing/clearing toolpath inside closed curves both with and without islands. This strategy avoids full-width cuts by progressively shaving material off the remaining stock. The generated toolpath ensures that the cutting conditions remain constant with a stable load on the tool, as a result the feedrate can be increased significantly, reducing the machining time by 40% or more in addition to improved surface quality, less tool wear.

                But, I'm not sure how many of us with hobby level cnc machines would see much benefit from running pro level toolpaths.



                • #53
                  Originally posted by RB211
                  Call me crazy, but I believe it is to the advantage that people pirate their software, "IF" the people doing the pirating are young, and doing it to learn the software..
                  What better marketing strategy could a company have than a piece of software that everyone knows how to use?
                  If you ask me, the companies all know about it, and some probably let it happen on purpose.
                  MasterCam provides sample disks for my students if I ask, but it does not save anything. I ask for screen prints for their assignments as proof.

                  Not pirating, but the students get experience and know this software.

                  All my software has the dongles and reciepts.

                  I may have missed it, but where does one get info for CAMBAM?
                  Last edited by spope14; 12-20-2010, 09:25 PM.
                  CCBW, MAH


                  • #54
                    Ok, here's my take on it. I'm kind of a nerd/jack of all trades so I know where to get the programs I need to do the things I need to do.
                    For instance ACAD , I could get a copy of the latest and greatest ,but I need it only once or twice a year. First I check youtube for all the new tutorials, then if I think I have it I will go download the 30 day trial, full. If that is not quite long enough to finish, I will use the crack to finish. I then remove it. #1 software is too bloated and eats up a lot of disc space, #2 I have to look at this guy in the mirror every morning.
                    Most companies will give you the extention if you need it.


                    • #55
                      it's a question about ethics.
                      Yup. And it sounds like you're hoping that your peer group will either pull you back or push you over the edge. Hitler youth was peer group. So is your favorite Church. There are plenty of others. You either take your direction from the particular set of lemmings you feel an affinity to, or you think for yourself and take responsibility for your own actions.

                      Only you can decide what you're comfortable (or uncomfortable) with, and why, and only you will have to live with the consequences.

                      Good advice on machining here. Ethical advice? A crap shoot.
                      "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Fastest1
                        Just because the courts say it, doesnt mean its right. Lawyers have been misconstruing things for years. Always have, always will. Did you buy it? If you didnt, how did you come to use it? You even say its wrong in the lead in to your sentence. Even though I love my country and its systems, it can be wrong at times.
                        where did you get the idea that I think its right?.....I clarified that its not stealing or a criminal offense - that is not sayings its right or moral, but its very different than is say rape; if someone pointed out rape's different from stealing its hardly an endorsement of rape.

                        it matters , else how do you interpret the grey? Stealing has been against the tribe since the first caveman, intellectual property laws are a more recent construct and are surrounded by ambiguity. There was no thou shalt not copy - and we all do copy things daily that are perfectly legal to do. That is never the case with stealing. Even copyright stuff, one day its illegal, the next (when it expires) its not! So some copying is ok and some is not - thats not how stealing works.

                        For a glaring example of the ambiguity look at a graph of the timespan of copyright. It has gone from say 30 years to 100 years - so which legislators (politicians) got wrong, yesterdays or todays? That trend bespeaks powerful industry lobbying - how do you even associate right/wrong with something that's gone from 30 or 100 simply because of powerful lobbying?

                        If you read what i wrote I'm hardly saying copying software is right, but I also think calling it stealing is both incorrect and drinking the industry's koolaid; what it is is copyright infringement and its against the law. But its not stealing or criminal (unless its counterfeiting) and assertions otherwise break down when you start thinking about what you do in the grey, like with the manual scenario i gave
                        Last edited by Mcgyver; 12-20-2010, 10:11 PM.
                        in Toronto Ontario - where are you?


                        • #57
                          Ok, after rereading all of this BS , I see that liberals think its Ok to steal from big software companies, but not from movies, books,etc. IT is not OK to steal anything period!



                          • #58
                            How's this?

                            Copyright infringement is against the law. So's patent infringement.

                            The government (that means YOU, at least theoretically), gives a creator (or holder of the rights) legal protection so they can exploit the idea or creation with exclusivity, in return for it becoming usable by anyone and everyone after a certain time period. In the case of copyrights, that is longer than many countries have been in existence, and for patents it is very much shorter.

                            The point is that infringing is against the law, it makes you an offender against civil law. There are remedies available to the holder of the "property"* against you. There are penalties, etc, pursuant to which a court will issue a judgement against you if the owner goes after you.

                            So...... you gonna be a "perp"?

                            * it is property because it can be bought and sold. The only reason it cannot be "stolen" is that after the 'theft" the owner still holds the property and rights.... it is an intangible.

                            Keep eye on ball.
                            Hashim Khan


                            • #59
                              Copyright laws are broken. They used to work before the information revolution; they don't work any more. They just don't work. Well, they work if you're a lawyer, but for the rest of us, producer or consumer, they have utterly failed and should be junked.

                              Despite years of corporate rhetoric, many, many people still have the OP's moral dilemma. Why, because your Mama taught you to share and taught you not to steal. Piracy is a little of both. Okay, piracy is not really stealing (it's not, it's copyright infringement) but it does still feel a little wrong to most people, but then not sharing feels a little wrong too. When large numbers of people feel this way, it's a CLEAR indication that the issue is not settled, that it's one of those gray areas that society hasn't worked out.

                              Society will eventually throw out our existing notions of copyright. It's inevitable because the very notion of selling something that can be copied for free is just plain stupid. Unfortunately, we have to deal with the transition.

                              You won't get an answer on this forum... there is no answer yet. Until then, you have to make your own choices... break the law, call it civil disobedience like some do if it makes you feel better, or fork out the money. Personally, if I NEEDED some application that didn't have a viable alternative for home (non-commercial) use, and the providing company didn't offer a price I thought was reasonable, well, I'd say ---- it and double-screw the company by pirating the app and then spend what I thought was reasonable supporting an open-source alternative. If enough people did that, then the problem would just go away, along with the stupid pre-revolution company that can't see the writing on the wall.

                              I've written about this a lot... not that it really matters:

                              oh, and
                              (told you I've written a lot )

                              However, as an aside, since making the transition to the Linux ecosystem, I've basically found 99% of what I need/use in Open-Source... no, sorry, not much for 3D CAD/CAM yet (last I looked) but then the last thing I want to do when I go home is muck about with computer code. Pretty much every commercial app out there is now in my "not even worth stealing" category.



                              • #60
                                I wouldn't be interested in using some sotware that isn't mine.

                                Furthermore, If you have any sort of proffesional license with your state, it's possible that a conviction in federal court or even state court could cost you your license if the conviction were to be considered moral turpitude. It doesn't do to quibble over whether it is or is not stealing. They are getting horrendous fines nowadays for even downloading music without payment.

                                Frankly, it's not worth it.