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Old January 10th, 2008, 09:57 AM   #1
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Good Reason To Not Be A Software Pirate?

I've been trying to free myself from software piracy. Because of that, I edit with Windows Movie Maker 2, use GIMP instead of Photoshop, etc.

It's not so much the actual cost of those packages (although I would probably not want to buy anything over $200) that bothers me, but the hoops I have to jump to be able to buy anything online because I'm from a developing country.

But Windows Movie Maker 2 simply isn't enough.

It makes me feel like a fool to be jumping all these hoops to buy some bits and bytes when everyone around me is a software pirate. I want you guys to convince me that I'm not being a fool buy going through a lot of trouble to buy a legitimate copy of, say, Sony Vegas.

I don't want to feel like a self-righteous fool. Thanks!
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Old January 10th, 2008, 10:29 AM   #2
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If you want to split the difference, check out Vegas Movie Studio Platinum, pretty much the same functionality as full blown Vegas, but fewer video and audio tracks (still more than moviemaker). and can be had, legally, inexpensively, though if B&H is still running it you can pick up Vegas 6 for a song.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 10:31 AM   #3
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Well Seun, I really don't know what you would consider a proper answer to your question. I don't know what kind of troubles you're facing in your attempt to buy software online but it simply isn't reasonable to think that because everyone around you is using pirate software, you should do the same. Using the same reason, you should, for example, start shooting people because others do so. Does that seem correct? I don't think so.

I might agree with you on the fact that perhaps some software is expensive but think that, especially video software, addresses a rather specific target group that, in most cases, can afford the package. For example, if someone buys an Avid Xpress Pro package, he will be investing on a long-developed software that is used by almost every big production studio on the planet. Don't you think that should be paid well?

Now, as for your country's support system towards new professionals, I am not aware of that, but I can tell you it's pretty important. In my country this policy has been "sick" for many years now and I myself had to work for a long time before I could build a turnkey system that works and can earn me my living. Unfortunately, with video software the race with technological evolution is endless but that's part of our job.

All I can tell you is that I understand it completely if you face difficulties making it through in your work and you have every right to make dreams and plans for the future like everyone else. But if you want to setup a personal business in the video editing area, you must buy the real thing. Besides, more than enough pirate software doesn't work right, causing even bigger problems and you just can't get access to updates - who also malfunction more than enough. My advice is: work with what you have for the moment and, when you raise enough money, invest on a platform that works best for you. Just remember, it's not so much what you have but what you do with it.

Best regards
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Old January 10th, 2008, 10:52 AM   #4
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I agree with Themis. When I was in college I decided then that I would only use software that I paid for - there was a lot of pirated stuff floating around so there was the temptation for it, but I decided to either use the school's computers or buy my own software.

One thing I've realized the most in this area is that paying for my software makes me serious about working hard to pay for it. Also it's valuable stuff, and it gives me a good financial return, so they deserve a cut of that.

I'd choose the software you want to use, find a way to pay for it and get it to you, and make it work for you. I doubt you'd be sorry in the long run, even if it's a bit of a hassle in the short term.

Also, maybe you can buy something you could download - not sure if Vegas offers that or not.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #5
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Seun my philosophy is dont buy anything that you cannot try before hand. I use Pinnacle Studio 11 and that does every thing I need I do wedding videos and I find that my nle is good enough I do not know what kind of end result you are after but I dont see the point in spending more money on a product that has more bangles than I can use or in other words why buy a racing car if you only want to go to the shops for a loaf . So look on the net most nle producers do a trial product. The best reason for buying a legit copy is that you will get an instruction manual and be able to get product support and up dates. Even with trial software it can be a real pain in the arse trying to find out how to do something and I know that most software if not all comes with a help guide built into the program but even they can be a pain in the bum, especialy if you are new to editing and if you find what you are looking for there is usually limited explanation. I tried a few trial nle's and found that it took me hours of searching to find out how to transfer the video into the program to begin with so if you are new to editing look for a reasonably priced nle. As for software piracy I should imagine that software manufacturers take piracy into consideration when they decide on the price and lets face it Mr.Bill Gates did not become the richest man in the world by pricing his products to give us all a bargain and he does not even supply us with a product that does not keep giving us problems. So I can't blame all software pirates but as I said earlier there are advantages to buying the software. I might add that all my software is 100 percent legit.

Alan
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Old January 10th, 2008, 12:05 PM   #6
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You want a good reason? Well, it's illegal. It doesn't matter how you turn it and what you feel about it, it's theft of property.

I also think that more software should and could be made available cheaper or free for private or student use, or for countries like yours were people don't have as much money. But that's the property owner's decision, and if they decide not to do that, it doesn't give you the right to steal their product.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 12:36 PM   #7
 
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In the end, I suppose, it's not going to boil down to the philosophical discussions of what's right and what's wrong, what's legal and what's illegal. These kinds of discussions are great mental gymnastics to engage in.

So what really matters? How do you FEEL about it? How would the victim feel about it? Can one stand in the victim's shoes to experience it? What does committing the act do to how one feels about oneself? If everyone abuses their children, should one feel no remorse for likewise abusing their own children? What were YOU taught, as a child?These are worthy questions to ponder.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 01:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ravens View Post
In the end, I suppose, it's not going to boil down to the philosophical discussions of what's right and what's wrong, what's legal and what's illegal. These kinds of discussions are great mental gymnastics to engage in.

So what really matters? How do you FEEL about it? How would the victim feel about it? Can one stand in the victim's shoes to experience it? What does committing the act do to how one feels about oneself? If everyone abuses their children, should one feel no remorse for likewise abusing their own children? What were YOU taught, as a child?These are worthy questions to ponder.
I don't think the subject should go that far, Bill... :-) OK, we all agree it's illegal and we would all prefer to buy the real thing not because we must, but because it just works. But, personally, I wouldn't make such a big deal out of it and neither should anyone else. The piracy issue is not my problem to solve, it's the companies' that want to protect their products and that's what they should do, since piracy is theft of property. All I can do as a person - and each person for himself, of course - is to NOT use or download pirate software. But let's not try to turn Seun's despair into a matter of life and death. For all I know, Seun is expressing his urge towards piracy, while he could have already downloaded and used pirate software. Let's help him understand why he shouldn't do it, not make him fell remorse for every pirate in this world...
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Old January 10th, 2008, 01:48 PM   #9
 
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Themis...

of course! It wasn't my intent to heap the world's guilt on Seun. It isn't his.
I admire his honesty in raising the question. It was simply my response to his dilemma. These are the questions I ask myself when faced with a decision of unclear integrity.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 01:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
For all I know, Seun is expressing his urge towards piracy
Come on.

The last time someone I wanted to work with on an indie project asked me what I use to edit video, I couldn't answer him because my answer would be "Windows Movie Maker 2". And if he asked, "why don't you use Adobe Premier" I'll have to say, "because it's expensive". And he'll be like, "but you can get it for $3 at computer village?" And if I tell him why I can't do that I'll look like a self-righteous lunatic. Because even the churches use pirated software.

If one buys a low cost version, it's usually crippled. That is, the most useful features are removed. Whereas the pirated version has no such limitation. So if you find yourself in a community where everybody steals software and no-one feels guilty about it, what do you do not to feel like a fool? That's the question.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 02:25 PM   #11
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So, my question is whether you want to go anywhere else in the world.

While the potential may be remote, do you want to risk that somewhere else in the world you could be considered a criminal for the piracy and possibly have a warrant out for your arrest ? On top of that, on the civil side, do you have projects that might earn a profit in the future, that could be the subject claims by companies whos software was used to produce those projects.

I have personally seen civil and criminal cases here in the United States that are being prosecuted against foreign companys for piracy of software and video.

So if you can get Vegas for around $200 legally, why not go that route, and just avoid the possibility, no matter how remote the possibility. You can go that way by ordering Vegas 6 from BH Photo, then downloading Vegas 8 for another $ 80 bucks or so.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 02:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seun Osewa View Post
Come on.

The last time someone I wanted to work with on an indie project asked me what I use to edit video, I couldn't answer him because my answer would be "Windows Movie Maker 2". And if he asked, "why don't you use Adobe Premier" I'll have to say, "because it's expensive". And he'll be like, "but you can get it for $3 at computer village?" And if I tell him why I can't do that I'll look like a self-righteous lunatic. Because even the churches use pirated software.

If one buys a low cost version, it's usually crippled. That is, the most useful features are removed. Whereas the pirated version has no such limitation. So if you find yourself in a community where everybody steals software and no-one feels guilty about it, what do you do not to feel like a fool? That's the question.

If you find yourself in a community where everyone kills each other or steal from each other and they don't feel guilty about it, what do you do? That is another question. Don't imitate other people's behaviour. Be yourself.

Anyway, to give you a brief solution to your problem: go to www.avid.com, register to their download center and download legally the Avid Free DV version of the software. I think you'll be more than satisfied with it
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Old January 27th, 2008, 05:11 PM   #13
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Actually, I have a different perspective(well sort of). I do understand what he is saying from the standpoint of economics, not because I am in a nondeveloped area, but simply because of economics. I will just say this, that it really isn't worth it to obtain the pirated software. It really isn't. And of course, no, you sholdn't do it because of "right is right and wrong is wrong", but at the same time, you want to do your work and opportunity can sometimes slip because of your limitations and experience with the higher ended software.. Or at least it was that way for me..

But, and this is a strong but.. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason. For example, I am a single person company/editor for the most part. I have a friend that helps me, but for my projects, I have had to accept that they are and I am not large scale and at this point in time am not going to be.. But I am much further along than when I first started. It has taken me time, I mean years to obtain the software and hardware that I have(I began this is 2000). I have been into editing for 8 years and I just obtained my first copy of Illustrator and After Effects year and a half ago. I simply could not afford it. At times, it made me feel bad because I had used the trials of After Effects and could not use them because it takes time to learn it and I couldn't do that in the time I had on the trials. I also started with a Matrox RTX10 card because it was the most affordable thing to get myself into an editing card when you add in the fact that I had to build my own pc(I spent 389 dollars to build my first Athlon based machine) for the card, I had nothing left after that. I had to wait six months to save up the money for that X10 card. I then had to wait another 3 months to buy my first dvd burner. The funny thing is that I didn't have my first camcorder until almost a year after that time and it was a Sony TRV19(which I just gave to my uncle after upgrading to a FX7) minidv camera. During the time I waited and saved for my camcorder, I converted my Dragonball Z vhs tapes to DVD and learned about Premiere and the authoring process. I then had to wait another series of years to upgrade my camcorder. This was all due to economics. But I didn't use pirated software.

I have had to make decisions and choices with the editing software/hardware combinations. Simply because of budget. I also have self taught everything(with the help of a few Lynda free tutorials on AE) I know because of the fact that I can't afford something like Total Training. I also have gone through a divorce that pretty much wiped me out. So even though you are in an underveloped part of the world, there are others out that that deal with economic constraints and don't revert to pirated software. Some things you have to be creative on, you have to make some sacrifices, you have to realize that today is not tomorrow or the next ten years and that things may and do change. Always do.

If you keep trying, you will be able to figure out a way to work "around" your issues. You may as others have indicated have to use lower versions of the software such as I until a year and a half ago, I used Photoshop Elements always wanting Photoshop. But I did what I needed to and could. I also learned in the process.I simply could not afford it. But I held out hope. I knew that one day, I would have all of the editing software I wanted, I just had to be patient.

So dude, if you want any reason to not use pirated software, use my example as a thought. When I began, I never imagined I would have the things I have now as far as software. I never thought it would ever be possible. But then, at the time, to be honest I didn't have a strong need, I didn't know how to use the software, so it wouldn't have made a huge difference. I couldn't even afford if I remember Elements for a few months. I have had to let Audition go and not update, I have had to make quite a few adjustments, but what do I have now thanks to my determination and patience?

I have a RTX2, a FX7, CS3 Prod Premium, a pretty strong machine(quad core) and I because I constantly upgrade "as I can" my technology stays current. There are advantages to everything. Sometimes as they say "the race is not won by the most swift". I actually though, I may never produce a major film, I may never even make enough money to in it's equivalent pay for a BMW... But I have learned alot and I have learned patience.

Just hang in there and start small. Work with what you can afford. Don't be ashamed that you don't have "the highest end software or hardware" because as someone extremely intelligent and a fantastic editor and engineer told me and I will never forget, "some people that think they know, don't have a clue and some that don't think they know, are the most advanced and creative". What category you fall into you have to decide and determine.. But have patience and you will have everything you want and you in the process will be able to sleep easier also... Its just not worth it man..

Just my experience and .02

D
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Old January 27th, 2008, 06:11 PM   #14
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Here's the last word on this subject: Software piracy is theft.

It is not a topic for debate here. Thanks to all who participated,
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