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Legal use of software

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I do have to admit that when I first shelled out the money for an expensive license I was little bummed about the price. But now that I've muddled around with programming a bit I understand that its worth every penny. I'm glad someone's making it because I sure don't want to. I'd rather pay a couple thousand dollars then try to build ArcGIS from the ground up any day (not that I could even if I wanted to).

I've also wondered if pirated software really affects the price of the license - which doesn't sound like that's the case, at least for Avenza - but I bet with Adobe products its fairly prevalent. It seems that legitimate businesses would never use unlicensed software but Mappogirls post makes me wonder otherwise.

To me it doesn't really matter if other businesses use illegal software. The only thing I can do is conduct my own business is an ethical and legal manner and hope that good things come to me as result. If not then at least I know I did the right thing which is well worth the cost of a $600 Illustrator license. Sounds a little corny, and maybe a bit naive of me to think this way but oh well.

When it comes down to it using pirated software really is stealing. And in the case of really expensive software probably a felony to boot. But I don't really feel the need to advertise that I don't steal on my website or other materials. After all, I've never robbed a bank or held up a liquor store, but I don't want to put a "Never Committed Armed Robbery" site seal on my website. But it would be nice if there was a quick way to verify that you do use a licensed version of a program, in case a client asks.

19° norte

19° norte


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So how easy is this to implement in everyday practice? (forgive me if this is off topic!). Might be something we would like to implement if its not too difficult...

I haven't done it yet, but to me it seems quite easy to add a copy of the invoice (or anything that proves legal ownership of the software) to the quotation you send (even if it is by e-mail). Of course then it still is the customer's turn to decide if she gives you the job or not, but I think it might be a point at your favour that you actually lay your cards open on the table - possibly something that makes you more credible than others...?

On the other hand there are alternatives to the sloppy programmed ESRI stuff. If it wasn't for the client I'm working for, I would've stuck with FOSS (mainly qGIS and GRASS, which both are at least (!) as good as ArcGIS, but way less expensive - i.e. zero dolares). To MAPublisher I see no alternative at the moment, though, and I've got the suspicion, there won't be any in the near future.

Edited by 19° norte, 16 April 2010 - 11:42 PM.

Roland W. Hardt
19° | norte

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