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Should I pirate CAM software? (hypothetical question)

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  • #91
    Perhaps another reason why Mastercam, Solidworks et. al. may not chase the casual pirate too vigorously is that it actually hurts their competitors as much or more than it hurts them.

    If the only way to get MasterCAM was to shell out $3000, it might not lead to many more MC sales, but it probably would lead to more sales for Vectric, BobCAD, Dolphin, and CamBam, which is a net negative for SolidWorks.

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    • #92
      Let's see:

      - The software vendor owns all rights to the work.
      - He agrees to allow you to use the work under certain rules, if you pay the license fee. He doesn't want you to use the work for free.
      - You are using it for free

      I don't see any way how this can be ethically justified ...
      Last edited by taydin; 12-21-2010, 09:08 PM.

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      • #93
        Generate a key to run that puppy? Yep, you just ran afoul. There was a reason software makers were grinning about it.
        The DMCA make defeating encryption illegal. Generating a key is not the same as breaking encryption.

        1: As I explained earlier, the value of the software is diminished as more unlicensed copies are created. You can rationalize/justify it by claiming only hobbyists are using the pirated copies and they really, really do promise to never use the product in a commercial sense, but are you kidding yourself?
        I am not rationalizing or advocating anything. I am simply pointing out the true nature of what the original poster is asking about. All the talk about theft, stealing and illegal activity is not applicable to the question at hand.

        "As I explained earlier, the value of the software is diminished as more unlicensed copies are created."

        That is not a given. Once people learn a particular CAD/CAM product they tend to stay with it since the learning curve is steep. Software makers give tremendous discounts to schools to encourage the use of their products for that very reason.

        "they really, really do promise to never use the product in a commercial sense, but are you kidding yourself?"

        Are you? I and many others do this as a hobby, period. The very few items I have sold in the past don't even pay for the time and materials I used. I have no plan to turn my hobby into a business as that would spoil it for me. My wife is still waiting for me to make a few more bow tying blocks. I will, someday.

        You can whine about the thousands of dollars in costs, but a free ride is just that. I suppose I could go down to a BMW dealership and pretend to be interested in buying a Z4 roadster just to take a test drive for fun. After all, victimless crime?
        That isn't a crime. I don't whine about the cost of high end software. I simply do not use it ( I could) or hack it (I could) or download it ( I could ) or have anything to do with it. In fact, When I need a tool path that I cannot hand code or that my current CamBam copy ( I beta test it for Andy) can't generate then I write my own software to do it. You want spiral tool paths in CamBam? Use my Spiral Pollygone script. It's FREE.
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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        • #94
          Originally posted by Ian B
          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.


          Ian
          I buy AutoCad Inventor each year, pretty keyed up all said and done. I would imagine hard to pirate with the server licences I need. Takes me forever to set up the first station and I always seem to have to go through layers of security to just get, purchase, and confirm the stuff to get it going in the first place. I do agree with your general premise though about how so many companies have laxed in security.

          This may be why so many software companies will be supplying their future software via "the cloud". Google has started it with the free OS "Chrome", which even stores your files and some software aps., all on hteir server, never needing to have hard drive storage. How long before every computer has to be hooked to the internet to operate, the days of buying the stand alone computer without any internet access for even the basic standards are numbered. Microsoft is already offering several office based programs licenced via "the cloud" or through total internet access. Your MAC address becomes a part of your "key".

          With several of the newest programs I have purchased, the licensing is checked over the internet already, and parts of the programs require the internet to access.

          More on the "cloud", how long before our files and access are monitored and limited by your "cloud provider".

          Here's one for you, we all get worked up when the Chinese (and all) take away what we invent and make it at 1/2 or less the price through basic espionoge or just plain theft and reverse engineering what they never invented or made in the first place. Heck, they probably even pirate our software for their industry ..... Are we speaking double standard or selective morality here?
          Last edited by spope14; 12-21-2010, 09:25 PM.
          CCBW, MAH

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          • #95
            Originally posted by spope14
            I buy AutoCad Inventor each year, pretty keyed up all said and done. I would imagine hard to pirate with the server licences I need. Takes me forever to set up the first station and I always seem to have to go through layers of security to just get, purchase, and confirm the stuff to get it going in the first place

            Here's one for you, we all get worked up when the Chinese and all take away what we invent and make it at 1/2 or less the price through basic espionoge or just plain theft and reverse engineering what they never invented or made in the first place. Heck, they probably even pirate our software for their industry ..... Are we speaking double standard or selective morality here?
            Well... Think again..
            I see 2011 suite, everything included on a popular website for download... All 18 gigs of it.

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            • #96
              Eighteen Gigabytes!!!!

              Ridiculous. Totally ridiculous. I bet they have padded it just to make it harder to distribute. Talk about Bloatware.
              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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              • #97
                Originally posted by spope14
                I buy AutoCad Inventor each year, pretty keyed up all said and done. I would imagine hard to pirate with the server licences I need. Takes me forever to set up the first station and I always seem to have to go through layers of security to just get, purchase, and confirm the stuff to get it going in the first place.
                Originally posted by RB211
                Well... Think again..
                I see 2011 suite, everything included on a popular website for download... All 18 gigs of it.
                See what I mean? U can pay big bucks and then jump thru all these hoops to get your software running, or....

                get it once for free and be done with it.

                Who is the one being punished and treated like a crook here?

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by Evan
                  Eighteen Gigabytes!!!!

                  Ridiculous. Totally ridiculous. I bet they have padded it just to make it harder to distribute. Talk about Bloatware.
                  Very Evanesque,

                  Keep it coming.

                  Brian
                  OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                  THINK HARDER

                  BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                  MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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                  • #99
                    Originally posted by spope14
                    I buy AutoCad Inventor each year, pretty keyed up all said and done. I would imagine hard to pirate with the server licences I need. Takes me forever to set up the first station and I always seem to have to go through layers of security to just get, purchase, and confirm the stuff to get it going in the first place. ...
                    Installing software is a big part of my job and the current level of Digital Rights Management (DRM) annoys me to no end. I bet if you downloaded the pirated copy of AutoCad it would be much, much easier to install. Why? Because all the DRM would be stripped out. I can't use the pirated versions... we're a legit shop, everything must be licensed. You, I suspect, can't for the same reason. Basically, everyone that pays for the software is in the same boat. They must use the DRM-protected software to stay legal. Everyone that doesn't bother paying can install it the easy way. It's crazy. If all DRM was eliminated in favour of voluntary license compliance, I suspect the sales of this software would pretty much stay the same. DRM is useless; the world will be better off without it, as would all the companies using it.

                    As for making a living selling this stuff... Well, the trajectory of software is pretty clear... once the OpenSource alternative is good enough, all you've got left to sell is marketing. Take MS Office verses Open Office. Why would anyone pay for MS Office? All MS can do is add more features that nobody needs, and that just get in the way of using the features people do need, so that they can justify selling new versions. We pay for MS Office at work. Why? Inertia, glacial decision making, ignorance. I suggested we switch to Open Office when they ramped up a training program for Office 2007. They thought I was crazy. Today, they're starting to listen. The days of MS Office (at least being sold) are numbered. MS may eventually give it away to slow down the Open Source alternatives.

                    With CAD/CAM, well, it's more of a niche market so the whole process takes longer. But, sooner or later, there will be an Open Source alternative that does meet all the needs of most users. When the tool-paths are identical, when the interface works, when the results are the same, what will the commercial vendors be selling? All software packages will eventually reach the point where innovation becomes counter-productive. At that point, the rapid dollar-fueled commercial development will be overtaken by the slower-progressing Open Source method. If you want an Open Source CAD/CAM package to happen sooner, then contribute. There's probably enough interest around this board to build a perfectly functional system in 5 years. It's not like there's a shortage of CAM projects on SourceForge. In 10 years, all these commercial apps people are raving about, you know, the ones with the great tool-paths, would be in the "not worth stealing" pile.

                    And, thus, I'll get around to my point (sorry for the digression). As others have mentioned, any intelligent software company that made their living selling high-end packages to large organisations would be much, much better off by ditching the DRM and giving the hobby market people free copies to use. Why? Because this will slow the development of an Open Source version. But, most of these companies are as much dinosaurs as the people buying their products... so they screw them up with DRM and saber-rattle about copyrights. Both are counter-productive. If I worked for one of those companies, I'd be looking for alternative employment.

                    David...
                    http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

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                    • Very Evanesque,

                      Keep it coming.
                      The average full length novel takes about a megabyte or less when reduced to ascii data without compression. That means that 18 gigs is equal to about 18,000 books in a library. Using lossless compression that can be doubled to 36,000 volumes on the shelf. One gigabyte is enough for a thousand high quality large format jpeg images. There is no possibility that the complete Autocad package actually fills 18 gigs of data.
                      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Evan
                        The average full length novel takes about a megabyte or less when reduced to ascii data without compression. That means that 18 gigs is equal to about 18,000 books in a library. Using lossless compression that can be doubled to 36,000 volumes on the shelf. One gigabyte is enough for a thousand high quality large format jpeg images. There is no possibility that the complete Autocad package actually fills 18 gigs of data.
                        To take the book analogy further...

                        It would be easy to fill said library if the instructions you were writing said "use page ### from book XXXX, followed by paragraph X on page ### from book YYYY" and so on and so on... Using one page out of each of those 36,000 books is pretty much a description of modern library-based programming This is especially true when book XXXX references YYYY such that YYYY has to be there even though the original program uses a completely different part of XXXX and has no use whatsoever for YYYY. Welcome to to the world of un-optimised code. But yeah, 18G that's almost enough to install Windows 7!

                        17.9Gb of library code that never, ever, runs Sometimes I miss the purity of assembler, not that I'd ever want to code in it again. nop, nop, nop.

                        sorry, couldn't resist

                        David...
                        http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                        • Assembler is all about control. Absolute and total control. By far my favorite way to code but not on an X86 machine. Give me something with predictable instruction timings.

                          About total control, do you know how to trash a hard drive with only 17 bytes of code? I mean trash, not erase. No, I won't post it here.
                          Last edited by Evan; 12-22-2010, 02:25 AM.
                          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                          • Assembler is all about control. Absolute and total control. By far my favorite way to code but not on an X86 machine. Give me something with predictable instruction timings.
                            Processors stopped having predictable instruction timings when caches and MMUs became needed.

                            On a modern PC, the only integer instruction worth considering cycle counting is division.


                            - Bart
                            Bart Smaalders
                            http://smaalders.net/barts

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                            • Originally posted by Evan
                              The DMCA make defeating encryption illegal. Generating a key is not the same as breaking
                              Well, I'm not going to argue forever. The understanding I had from discussions with some folks that deal with it was that the crack is itself a violation. The key is generally an encryption algorithm and reverse engineering it to generate one without authority is circumvention of copy control. Eveyone is of course free to operate on thier own understanding. As I said the odds of a federal prosecution is low for a dude at home.
                              Last edited by photomankc; 12-22-2010, 04:38 AM.

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                              • Photomankc wrote:

                                Everyone is of course free to operate on thief own understanding.

                                Great typo - was it intentional?

                                Ian.

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