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Should I pirate CAM software? (hypothetical question)

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  • #61
    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.
    I cannot afford or justify high end software.

    I wouldn't be interested in using some sotware that isn't mine.
    That rules out all software except that which is in the public domain. It rules out nearly all "freeware" too since very few complex programs are ever released without licences. When you buy software you do not own it. You are buying a licence to use it. Further, the conditions under which you agree to use it are not available to you until you have opened the product and are installing it. Then you may read the licence agreement and if you don't like the conditions you may refuse to install it. However, you will not be able to get your money back since you have opened the product. It is assumed that if you have opened the product that you will "steal" it and if you try to return it the automatic assumption is that you are doing so because you have "stolen" the software.

    I consider the majority of software companies to be pirates to at least the same extent as many users of the software they produce. Worse though is the fact that nearly all software contains absolute disclaimers of fitness for any particular purpose and disclaims any and all liability that you may incur by using their software.

    When a company disclaims all responsibility for the usability of their product and refuses to reveal the contractual conditions that you must agree to only after you have paid for it it does not inspire much sympathy in me when people make illicit copies for personal use.

    Copyright law is the law of the land but it does not remotely resemble the original intent of the that law when first written. Both patent and copyright law were intended to give an author or inventor a chance to profit from their work for a reasonable period of time. That time was measured in years, not decades or centuries as it is now. The intent of copyright law has been subverted to the sole benefit of the large corporations that frequently operate on the "buy a politician" business model to maximize their profit with absolutely no regard for the original principles that patent and copyright law were meant to protect.

    When the content providers act with contempt for the intent of the law and change it by exercising the power to corrupt the legal process using large sums of money then I have no respect for the "rights" that they have bought for themselves.

    Even so, I have only very rarely used "pirated" software. To avoid such issues I mostly use freely distributable software with few exceptions.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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    • #62
      Reading this thread with interest, impressed with Evans defence or advocacy of CamBam, the toolpath plots look good, I think i may give it a go one day, is there a good tutorial site or is it a mix and match youtube afair?
      Regarding the various legality issues around the various software suites like Expensive unamed and technically illegal CAM packages, what about the fact that most packages get similar feauture by reverse engineering someone elses package, say pocketing as has been mentioned?
      If the feature of the software, or the look of the software, the HCI or the code that makes it operate has in any way been the result of reverse engineering [for the most part AKA theft] then to take the tack that they wish to apprehend and punnish those that 'stole' off them seems ludicrus does it not?
      If it was the result of your own work then i understand that you would not be happy if it were stolen, but if any part were the result of someone elses work then hypothetically how is it possible to 'steal' that which was stolen to start with, if you get my drift.
      Im not saying that its right to do it as i'm playing the Devils Advocate card, however the moral implications are not without debate.
      I dont have any CAD or CAM expirience at the moment to speak of but have the misfortune or fortune to be going to FANUC and ABB for training after Christmas, God Willing
      The question is , Can one steal that which was stolen?
      Was it not Marcus Aurilius who said, rightly i think, 'Property is theft'?
      What do you think?

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      • #63
        i dont run any cnc stuff likey never will due to the over inflated cost of the software,,

        my world says you pay once for a program and use it on all the systems you darn well please thats your right as the ower of the software in my books,

        this monpoly of you have to buy the program for each and every system even micrsoft got taken to task by the US government and the government won, so now you have OEM which is one cd for one and only one computer tand thats it or you pay 3 times or more for an unliminted lincense copy of windows in which i my self own xp pro 64 bit and vista 64 bit ultimate but thats what i wanted thats what i bought and paid for .

        so take the compmanys to court make you r case and if you win then you pay the price likley 3 times the cost of 1 copy but then you are never restriced with how many systems you want to run it on ,

        bogus copies of software is illeagle in most countries but hey you try writting that software and youll under stand that some one has to make some money , but at the same time some software is still way over priced and that also needs to be taken to task to ,

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        • #64
          CamBam has a very good forum with plenty of tutorials and tips on how to use it. The program is well documented including the internals for the purpose of writing plugins. The Pro version is available as an unlimited time trial that is only limited in the number of lines of code it will generate. It's quite generous too. There are also video tutorials.

          I haven't even tried the latest version yet although I have it installed. It is a fairly major upgrade so I can't even comment of how it works compared the the previous version. No doubt it is a significant improvement.

          http://www.cambam.info/
          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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          • #65
            my world says you pay once for a program and use it on all the systems you darn well please thats your right as the ower of the software in my books,
            You don't own the software. It still is the property of the holder of the copyright. You pay for the right to use a copy. You also have the legal right to transfer your licence to another person if you delete the software from your computer.
            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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            • #66
              Interesting. It is clear that the old system is broken, never to be repaired, however what is the viable alternative for the future. It's not practical to scrap the old system and then just wait for a new system to evolve, the creators within the system will starve while they wait.

              Phil

              Originally posted by fixerdave
              Copyright laws are broken. .............
              David...

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              • #67
                So with infringement of copyright so easy, acceptable and it seems almost common practice, what is now is the motivator for the original creator?
                Alan

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                • #68
                  While that is a good question the counter is to ask what motivates so many capable programmers to produce software that is given away for free? Perhaps the signal example is the entire UNIX, Linux and ___'Nix operating systems and the vast majority of the software that runs on them. Not a trivial part of the software universe.
                  Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                  • #69
                    I'd like to break into this argument here which seems to involve CamBam and other software to inquire what anyone thinks about Rhino. It is not extremely expensive. Does it do a professional job? I own the software and have used it, but have never tried to output anything to CAD.
                    VitŮŽria, Brazil

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by jackary
                      So with infringement of copyright so easy, acceptable and it seems almost common practice, what is now is the motivator for the original creator?
                      Alan
                      Its easy and common, I don't think its entirely acceptable. The software and recording industries have spent a lot money making it not acceptable and it is against the law of land.....I don't understood why some insist that erroneously calling it stealing is the only why to define it as wrong to do, anyway, doesn't matter.

                      If I could paraphrase your question, what stops people for just copying everything and never buying it? Same with anything, Mcgyvers theory (not proven lol) on why the law is adhered to....it is either 1) the law is in keeping with your moral and ethical compass; its what you'd do anyway, or 2) the probability of being caught times the pain of the sanction is greater than the benefit of the infraction.

                      That people copy everyday (you made an angle plate, you got the idea from somewhere, you sang happy birthday, you told some one's joke) both legally and illegally will always I think make "1)" more difficult to develop as a deterrent than it is for say stealing that is so well entrenched in every culture as being wrong. On 2), the industry is making a valiant effort.....but you know, "a lot of copying is ok, and after so many years its all ok, but you just can't copy certain things that I tell you can't copy" ....will never become the ingrained moral bedrock that "thou shall not steal" is.

                      It probably is where it should be; rock stars still get rich and most of those who can afford or have to have the software buy it, if not for "1)" then for "2)". There'll always be slippage and the market is not elastic; ie sales won't double if say there was no way to copy it. I raised it as a point of awareness; this stealing idea is their PR campaign, their koolaid. The courts and law are clear that its not. The industry's job is make copyright and as long and strong and possible, its the informed citizens job to watch what they drink.
                      .

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                      • #71
                        If I make software commercially for a living and you use it without paying me, you are stealing. Maybe you want to sugar coat it. Does it make you feel better to change the defintion of the word? I do know right from wrong and live by it whenever I can. Btw it doesnt look like you can interpret grey, hence the problem. There are some who think people inherently know right from wrong, I use to think that. Then I asked myself, how would they know if nobody taught them? This thread makes it evident. I am happy that my parents and family taught me right from wrong not the government or a lawyer. Btw I sleep well and dont have any moral battles probably due to a clear vision of the truth.
                        Originally posted by Mcgyver
                        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 stealing....so 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

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                        • #72
                          Rhino

                          David D

                          To answer your question. I own Rhino which is a CAD package. I have used it to send drawings to RhinoCam which is VisualMill operating inside Rhino. I have also sent drawings to MasterCam, Z-Corp 3D printer, Epilog Lasers, Universal Lasers, as well as some large industrial lasers and waterjet machines. Tomorrow I will send some gear drawings to an EDM wire machine.
                          In all cases the success is directly related to the quality of the "art work". As is true with most CAM, it builds/cuts what you draw not always what you want.

                          There seems to be some question/argument on this thread as to which CAM package is smartest/the best. My take would be, does it produce the results you want? If so then it is what you need and should use. The high end/expensive CAM packages will do wonderful things once you learn how to use them, but if all you need are some pockets and contours why spend the money.

                          This gets to the original question of stealing software. In my book theft is theft. Just because it is expensive does not justify stealing the product. If that was not true then it would be okay to steal expensive cars on the grounds that they cost too much.

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                          • #73
                            It's generally illegal for someone to walk into someone else's house and take their stuff without consent. Despite the protection of the law, most people put locks on their doors to prevent theft (and insurance companies require this).

                            It's always struck me as odd how little care major software companies take to protect their software. Take AutoCAD; on the market for around 25 years, they've had plenty of time to develop a strong pass code, or - considering how expensive the product is, supply the product with a dongle. It's nothing to do with the bother of shipping a dongle - they're presently sending out "free" thumb drives with tips to purchasers.

                            Yet they don't. It seems that a keygen is available from multiple sites to generate a product key almost as soon as an updated version is available.

                            It's *almost* as if they don't mind it being pirated...

                            Ian
                            All of the gear, no idea...

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Evan
                              I use CamBam for all of my work and it seems to do a pretty good job.

                              Is this sophisticated enough pocketing for you?

                              for beanbag

                              this is featurecam 2.5d, it is insanely easy to use and learn. Im not sure what the program is currently going for, but I think it is around 3 thousand USD, if you want it to do 3d or 4th and 5th axis work there is various different plug ins you can buy, none of them very cheap. They use a dongle and some .paf files I have to install on any of the computers I use this program on.

                              Obviously more expensive than most home shops would ever want to pay for, but it is endlessly customizable and puts out really nice tool paths and code.
                              square tool path
                              (green lines are rapid moves, black is tool cutting, blue is the stock, and pink is the profile of features being cut)



                              weird tool path




                              3d simulation example
                              This would be better as a video, as it would show the tool cutting the material, but I dont know how to do that quickly, so this is what the end of the 3d simulation looks like
                              This can also be saved as a solid and imported into whatever solid modeling program you use, although I have never really found the need to do that

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Dangf
                                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!

                                Dan
                                I have a vendor that sends me more "conservative" emails than I care to see(Christmas is being attacked, tea bag stuff, obama jokes, cheesy emails about praying, god on our money etc), he also cant shut up about any of that stuff when he is here at my shop bringing me work(he brings me lots of work, so I just smile and listen). Anyways the guy is the biggest "conservative" I have ever met, and a few years ago he was over at my shop and we got to bull****ting about CAD software, during the convo I mentioned that I was thinking about buying Solidworks. So a few days goes by and he came by again, this time he had a big ol grin and he handed me a DVD RW that had solidworks marked on it with a sharpie, plus all the codes needed to activate it. I told him thanks, but no thanks and the old conservative bastard was almost offended that I didnt want to take the program for free and couldn't understand why I would still go shell out 5k for the real thing.

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