View Poll Results: Do you believe in using "full versions" to try software products?

Voters
40. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, and do so often

    22 55.00%
  • No, never have

    5 12.50%
  • Depends on the program/price

    13 32.50%
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  1.    #1  
    We've been having a discussion on several other boards about "full version" aps & games and whether people believe in them or not, and I was wondering what you thought about it.

    You know how you can download full versions of games & aps online from a variety of sites (some of which are warez sites).

    Do you believe in using these to try out the games/aps or should you only use the demo/trial versions?

    Personally, I find that often the demos do not open enough features to decide on whether I want to spend $20-$75, but what do you think.

    <URL removed by Moderator>
  2. #2  
    I do, but only if it's a full version that's part of the demo, like "full version for 15 days" like Wordsmith. But chances are, if the product doesn't let me try it out, I don't buy it.
    -Bernie

    "One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is 'to be prepared'.
    -Dan Quayle
  3. #3  
    Absolutely. And if those damn developers are charging for software that I don't want to pay for, I try it indefinitely. I'm so adamately against intellectual property rights that I will spend more time looking for a crackz and serialz than I will for legitimate freeware. Me and my 12 y/o friends like to quietly snicker to each other about how much pirated software we're trying.

    http://www.abunchofillegalcrap.com/
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  4. #4  
    Crippleware bugs me. I can't tell if software is going to be helpful to me if I can't use all the features.
    Ditto on softs that either don't allow saving, or do something to a saved file so it's unuseable unless you've paid/registered. I spent some time trying to find some sort of free or shareware product to allow me to make a photo-mosaic; I only have one image I want to make, and the only soft I can get puts a big red "X" thru the image unless you pay the $150, which is insane for something I'll never use again. If it were a "limited use time" I'd have done what I needed, sent the creator a thank-you and gone on my merry way.
    Speaking of "limited use time" software, on occasion I find something I can use, install it, don't use it for weeks, and find when I do try it it's expired. sigh.
    The light at the end of your tunnel has been disconnected due to non-payment. Please remit funds immediately for restoration of hope.
  5. #5  
    This thread ranks up there with some of the dumbest ones like "what flavor of ice cream will I like the most?" As if it really matters what anyone else is doing?

    Are people trying to justify their guilt?

    Justify it all you (you = guilty theives... hmmm as opposed to the 'not guilty theives' I guess?) want but in the end you are a taking without offering anything of value as a fair exchange... you are unfair, and stealing (that is not my judgement that is just a fact).

    You can get an idea how good something is from a demo, you can see the promise it has... have you ever been fooled? If so what was it that fooled you... cause it's always REALLY obvious if it's worthy or not of my money and if you're fooled then, well yes... yes you are a fool.

    Now excuse me, I'm late for a movie... if it's good I'll pay for it when it's over. Then I'm going out to eat for supper at a place that offers free demo meals but you can't swallow the food. If you like it then you can buy a new plate of food where you can injest it.

    Man some people are dumbasses ( now that is my judgement... but like piraters who take then decide to buy, I'll cast a judgment and then ask if it's ok too. :-) ) for expecting they are owed something by developers. But don't let me tell ya what a dumbass you are. Meet an old buddy of mine.... Mr Karma. He's taught me a few lessons on "How to be a complete dumbass and pay the price in the end with added interest".... I'm sure you'll get to know him if you haven't yet. Oh and he's undefeated champ in the *** kick'n dept.

    Good luck haha.

    James
  6.    #6  
    While there haven't been a lot of responses to the poll yet, it seems that most people either flat out say yes or say that it depends.

    I would say that I fall into the "it depends" category. Many of the applications are somewhat decently priced, but the games on the market are outrageously priced when you look at what they are.

    Many games on the market, even ones that claim to be originals, are really taken from old Atari and Tandy games. Also, most of the actual original games simply do not come close to comparing to PC based games, Xbox, etc in terms of value. However, these programmers try to charge the same amount for them.

    I would be willing to pay $5-12 each for most of the games that I have, but they are definitely not worth the $20-$50 that they are trying to sell them for.

    As to Kintama's comments about this being a stupid thread, well, it got your attention. Also, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind, just see what others think.
  7. #7  
    The fact of the matter is that if you don't like the price that is being charged for a program, don't buy it.

    If you don't buy it, don't use it.

    The creator has a legal (and I believe), a moral right to control use and distribution of his creation. If you don't like the terms of use, don't use.

    If the price is to high and nobody buys it, maybe the price will go down.

    As Kintama points out, you as the buyer do not have a right to dictate the price of an object. You only have the right to make a buy/no buy decision based on terms that have been negotiated and that are agreeable to the seller.

    If you use the software without the owners consent, you are a thief. Don't play with euphemisms or try to justify how righteous you are not for paying twenty bucks for a game that you are using.

    Instead say:
    Yes, I am a thief. I consider it worth having my computer equipment confiscated, my life disrupted, and possibly serving time in jail to save five bucks for a stupid game that I don't really need.
    If you said this, I would think that you were an immoral *****, but at least you were honest with yourself.

    As far as the try before you buy idea that the thread started with. A few times I have installed completely illegal versions of expensive software to make sure that they would do what I needed before buying them. After evaluating the software, I have either removed it from my system, or purchased a legal copy. When I say evaluate, I mean that specifically I have verified features and functionality. I have not used the software to perform the specific tasks that I needed the software for until after I have purchased a legal copy.
  8. #8  
    Sounds like you became that which you hate most. I mean you hate when they over-charge, so you just over-take by installing and playing your pirated games and then giving absolutely nothing back in return for your enjoyment.

    The argument of getting even for high prices does nothing to the developer that simply not buying his product wouldn't do. Either way he's not getting money. The argument is just a way to justify getting something for free (well more accurately lets call it "stealing").

    It's quite simple, you don't like the price you don't buy it, and you don't use it. If you use it, its because you find a value and you OWE. Like it or not.

    But the fact is you are not strong enough for that. You are weak. You still want it. You still find a value in it and that is why you play it. Yet, you won't give him anything for it. Weak. It's not worth working for is it? I'm sure the developer didn't work to make that for you either.

    Come on man, where are your morals?

    If you can truly justify this, you are no better than the shoplifter, or car theif. Your only better than a person that would steal while threatening a persons life or killing.... and of course that isn't saying much.

    Theives like you are the reason we lock our cars and homes and the reason for the "shady" icon on eBay. You might find something you want but feel paying anyone for it is too much (or perhaps that your too good to get a job like the rest of us and buy it.) Hey how about ask your parents for the money? Nah probably not "worth" it, stealing is though right?

    Sorry man.

    James
  9. #9  
    I just voted "yes" without reading the thread.. I thought you were referring to ho-hum normal time-sensistive demos.

    ---I don't use warez.. but i can't exactly act like I've got the moral high ground on this one...

    ...I suppose the main issue for me is who is getting victimized. In the case of Music Execs and Microsoft, I don't have much of a problem.. in the case of small-time Palm developers, I do....

    yep
  10. #10  
    A few times I have installed completely illegal versions of expensive software to make sure that they would do what I needed before buying them.
    After your diatribe about stealing is stealing, you then justify yourself doing it? What's the price of the software have to do with anything?
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  11. #11  
    I suppose the main issue for me is who is getting victimized.
    Why? A victim is a victim. Just because Microsoft is a monopoly that produces poor software, does that mean they deserve to be robbed?
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  12. #12  
    Originally posted by homer


    After your diatribe about stealing is stealing, you then justify yourself doing it? What's the price of the software have to do with anything?
    Read carefully. I have said that yes I have done this. Yes I have installed software illegally. The difference is that I have never knowingly stolen the use of any software.

    The only difference that the cost of the software makes as far as the law is concerned is whether you (or I) am guilty of petty theft or grand larceny. if a program is less than a couple of hundred dollars, I usually just buy it and take the luck of the draw. If it is good I use it. If it isn't, I throw it away. If it is more expensive, I can't afford to just try it and trash it. In this case, I will try a demo version (if available). If the demo version answers my questions, I either buy it or look for another program. If the demo is inconclusive or not available, I will try to find someone with a legal copy installed and evaluate it on their equipment. If I can't find any other way, and I have real doubts, I will install an illegal copy of the commercial package to evaluate. This has happened maybe three times. This is illegal. However, I do not and will not use the software that I have installed for evaluation to perform any of the actual work that made me look for the software in the first place.

    At a basic level, Doing some quick math, I would guess that I have spent more than $50,000 for software in the past fifteen years or so. A large percentage of it has been unsatisfactory and not been used for the purpose that was intended. There are some very expensive products that can only be evaluated with crippled versions. I freely admit that I have installed these illegally to verify functionality that was not exposed in the crippled version. A good example was an expensive desktop publishing system for the Atari ST. About a dozen years ago, I installed a full version of the software because the crippled version didn't expose the full printing capabilities of the package. I tested the program, and found that it didn't suit me. I called the developer and told him what I had done and discussed my concerns about the printing feature and told him that I would purchase the program when my needs had been met. A couple of months later, I received a disk in the mail that was a full version of the program with the features added. I tested it, called the author to thank him and bought the full version before I hung up the phone.

    Very few, if any developers will care if you try before you buy if you really will buy. The issue is that most people will just use the free version. or they will download a time-limited evaluation version to perform a one-time task and then never pay for the functionality that they have used. If you have done this and not paid for the app, chances are that you violated the license agreement and you have certainly taken income from the developer.

    I have never used any software for any task that the software was intended for without paying for it. Yes, evaluating it is illegal. The difference is (to me) a moral issue. If I actually use software in any constructive manner I pay for it. I have never cheated a developer out of his (her, it's) income. This is what I was talking about in my previous post. Self-honesty.

    To me, there is a huge difference between stealing the use of a program for a limited test to make sure that it meets your needs and stealing it for extended use because you don't like the terms that the owner is selling it for.

    BTW - I have a number of ebooks that I have downloaded that other people have scanned from copyrighted sources. In every single case, I have a print-copy of the book in question. This is a violation of copyright law in that copies have been made that have not been paid for. However, I have paid for legal copies, so that the copyright holder has been compensated. To me, this is illegal, but not immoral. from coversations with a number of the copyright holders, they tend to agree.

    If you are perfect, congrats. More likely though, you are just deluding yourself. Have you ever forwarded a news story that someone emailed to you? That is illegal unless what you forward is just a reference to the original story. How about making a copy of a copyrighted picture that you found on the web so that you can use it as your desktop background or as an avatar on a site like this.

    Oh, you've done these things but no harm was done? Well the law was broken. You are a thief just like me and just like everyone else.

    Congratulations
  13. #13  
    Originally posted by homer


    Why? A victim is a victim. Just because Microsoft is a monopoly that produces poor software, does that mean they deserve to be robbed?
    Well, I agree with you on this one.
  14. #14  
    Hey Brad:

    My point was that just using the software, regardless if you were using for actual production work, is illegal. But you agree with that, so there's no argument.

    And I hope I didn't imply that I am perfect and have never had illegal software on my machine, as I have.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  15. #15  
    Isn't this, like, the oldest discussion of the electronic/digital age?

    I seem to recall this discussion about computer software (including Electronic Arts old attempts to copy-protect Commodore software so tightly that it often did not run even when legal), cassette taping music off the radio, copying audio and video tapes, the recent Napster debates, and so on.

    As far as software goes, I like best those programs that allow you free use for a certain number of uses or days- assuming that they give adequate demo time, and that the protection program doesn't mess up some other components or chew up computer resources. For games, full access to a few levels is usually enough for me to decide.

    Maybe the publishers of the more expensive programs can come up with some sort of 'lease' option that would allow us to inexpensively use their software, with all features, for some period of time- possibly up to, but not including, the next upgrade?
  16. #16  
    Originally posted by homer
    Why? A victim is a victim. Just because Microsoft is a monopoly that produces poor software, does that mean they deserve to be robbed?
    I was waiting for somebody to chime in with that.

    A victim is a victim, sure, but the phrase "Stealing candy from a baby" didn't come from nowhere. I think that you'll be hard pressed to stick to a moral imperative that doesn't take the recipient of your actions into its account.

    Phrases of the sort: "Stealing is wrong, never steal" or "If you steal, at least admit you're a bum like the rest of us" are fun to say and provide us comfort because they spring from a world that is black and white. However, I believe that "Stealing a steak from a poor starving child" and "Stealing a steak from a rich cattle farmer" have important moral differences.

    I suppose you can say "nobody deserves to be robbed." But then again, what if the person you're robbing does? What if they're not significantly harmed by it, yet your gain is great? What if there is a positive element to your theft, that might counterbalance or even outweigh the moral wrongness of your act?

    If you want to draw a clear, white line and live on one side of it, that's your baggage (though I don't think you do, Homer...). Me, I understand that absolutes destroy, whether in capitalism, morality, religion, philosophy, or what have you (although I think Math is an ok exception...).

    So, bah, if I factor in the relative victimization of the victim, that's my prerogative, and one that is morally defensible.
  17. #17  
    Originally posted by homer
    Why? A victim is a victim. Just because Microsoft is a monopoly that produces poor software, does that mean they deserve to be robbed?
    Playing devil's advocate, the difference is the amount of damage done to the company in question. Using hacked versions of WordSmith is going to cause significantly more damage than using hacked versions of windows or downloading mp3's.

    To be honest, I was quite interested in the warez sites. Damn conscience got to me when a program I stole was no longer supported because the company went under.

    The only difference between communism and capitalism is the assumption that a lifetime of work is equal, regardless of the amount accomplished by an individual.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  18. #18  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    So, bah, if I factor in the relative victimization of the victim, that's my prerogative, and one that is morally defensible.
    But not necessarily legal - as you well know.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  19. #19  
    I don't believe that using someone elses property for personal gain without compensating them is ever morally defensible.

    I own my creations until/unless I transfer those rights or some subset of those rights to someone else. How is it morally defensible to take from me what is mine. I own it and have the right to do what I want with it. You have no rights regarding my creations beyond whatever I grant to you. This is the law, but it is also what I consider to be morally correct.

    I'm not completely sold on the moral concept of 'steal from the rich to give to the poor' unless the rich obtained the items being stolen in an illegal manner. In the case of a company like MS, you can say that you don't like the way that they do business and don't like their licensing policies. you can even say that they may have brolken the law with some of their business practices. but how can you say that this removes their rights in regard to software (or anything else) that they have either created internally or acquired from the individuals that did create their software. So moving beyond this, I think that the concept of 'steal from the rich because they are rich' is morally bankrupt and by simply trying to defend it you condemn yourself.
    Last edited by bradhaak; 12/11/2001 at 05:04 PM.
  20. #20  
    Originally posted by bradhaak
    I don't believe that using someone elses property for personal gain without compensating them is ever morally defensible.
    [snip] I think that the concept of 'steal from the rich because they are rich' is morally bankrupt and by simply trying to defend it you condemn yourself.
    Do you believe that the follwoing acts: "Stealing a steak from a poor starving child" and "Stealing a steak from a rich cattle farmer" have important moral differences?

    As I said, I believe that the kind of moral absolutism you're subscribing to is the reason we have the problematic fanaticism in the world today. I'm not arguing that it is morally correct to steal intellectual property, but merely that it isn't out-and-out "morally bankrupt," as you call it. Also, I'm not saying the reason to steal from the rich is "because they're rich."

    The problem with absolutes is that they don't allow for gradiations. More importantly, when a person holds an absolute belief they are unable to conceive of a world without it (or conceive of a decent world without it). This is why people freak out about Nietzshe still. When he said "God is Dead," he wasn't saying "The world sucks and we're all going to hell." He was just attacking an absolute. People make the mistake that you only have 2 choices: God or Nihilism. That just isn't the case.

    Same kind of this applies here. I note that there are moral ambiguities, you say I'm now "condemned". Too far. Even if we assume that there are moral absolutes, nobody has any guarantees on knowledge of them.

    I think the real root of the problem here lies in the fact that there are a number of people who find themselves rationalizing their choice to steal rather than justifying it. I sympathize with your outrage at the incredible number of people who casually steal because it's easy.

    My question is what other examples do we have of mass culture suddenly redefining a moral question? Suddenly, the answer to the question "Can I steal" has, for the majority of people, a huge blind spot. When faced with this blind spot, people stutter & rationalize. What else is like this? Homosexuality? Promiscuity? Race?

    I know for a fact that it wasn't okay to charge interest on a loan for a long time, you'd get smacked down by the church. Now we accept it as fine.

    bottom line: Whether or not there's a moral absolute out there, nobody has infallible access to it. So we deal with the hand we're dealt. The hand we're dealt now is that when the victim of theft is distant, the difficulty of theft minimal, and the repercussions of it hard to fathom, people are stealing in large numbers. What we need is an innovative way to think about intellectual property.

    ...and one last thought: maybe all the "morality" of this debate isn't about "morality" at all, it's about cash?

    ramblin, ramblin, and hopefully not offendin...!
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