Those who installed illegally acquired software in their PC have many reasons as you can imagine. Some say buying pirated software is the best alternative to very expensive proprietary software. Another argue that if it’s not used commercially, there is nothing wrong about it. Some point out that without that pirated software, they can not run their PC because license is too expensive for an ordinary user.
I will not over-emphasize here the economic and social impact of software piracy. I will do that in separate article. This is my response to several reactions among friends who said that advocacy against software piracy is like bumping one’s head to blank walls and likened it fighting against windmills (Don Quijote dela Mancha). It seems there are no other ways than to use pirated software.
I see free and open source software (FOSS) as the best alternative. For example, why risk yourself by using illegally acquired Windows OS when you can use Linux or FreeBSD? There are many free OS available. However, I don’t discount the fact that many users are familiar to Windows environment than any other operating system. But for users who prefer to do what is right, what is legal, and what moral, he will find ways to learn linux – that is if he can’t afford Windows OS.
OpenOffice is considered as popular desktop application installed and used in many internet cafe. That is a good sign because internet cafe owners are now aware of the legal risk of using illegally acquired office applications not to mention the moral and ethical aspect.
In my post, Peering into Software Piracy, I mentioned that an illegal Microsoft Office 2007 installer is sold at 80 pesos. It is far-off lower than the real price of buying that software. At 80 pesos, you will enjoy the features of Office 2007 yet you are risking yourself, the IT industry and and our national economy as a whole. Instead, why not use OpenOffice when you can have the same results. No hassle. OpenOffice is free!
Many will agree with me that many Photoshop users acquire that software illegally. Even corporate end-users consent the use of that pretty good image manipulation software. The raid to some companies by Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT) will support this contention. Let us just remember that Photoshop is not alone in this world. The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) can do well as Photoshop for your image. I am using GIMP and so far I am more than satisfied. It helps me improve the screenshots used in online help and guides which RoboCapture of RoboHelp cannot do. Unistall that illegally acquired Photoshop from your PC to avoid risk. Install and try GIMP. It’s hassle-free. No cost!
I can’t name all the alternatives for expensive proprietary applications that you can use. You can always find one if you have the will. Sourceforge can surely help you.