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> Questions For Imsta & Devs
bnik
post Jun 7 2010, 12:01 AM
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This is a copy & paste of an identical post in a different forum (should have been posted here). Sorry for the double up.

Hi guys.

Not intending to be provocative with these questions but I would like to see some broader perspective on the subject of 'piracy'.

Do any developer/IMSTA staff members have any copyrighted MP3s on their computer and/or iPod that they haven't paid for? Has it ever happened at any time in your life? What is your perspective on this?

Do any developer/IMSTA staff members use or have ever used a cracked copy of Microsoft Office? Why?

Have any developer/IMSTA staff members ever used pirated software of any kind?

If so, I would love to hear your perspective(s) on why you've used illegally obtained, copyrighted or unlicensed material for any purpose.

If you'd 'prefer not to answer' these qustions, some generalised perspectives would be welcome.

Cheers.
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bnik
post Jun 14 2010, 09:54 AM
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Any devs or IMSTA staff willing to respond honestly and candidly to this post?

The silence (so far) is speaking loud & clear.
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Jesus Thesecond
post Jul 23 2010, 02:54 AM
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QUOTE (bnik @ Jun 14 2010, 04:54 AM) *
Any devs or IMSTA staff willing to respond honestly and candidly to this post?

The silence (so far) is speaking loud & clear.


Yes it is deafening. It's apparent you found the IMSTA Vacuum, where no sound can be heard.

Pity, as I would also like to not only get their responses to your questions, but this one as well: Since all software is non-returnable, even unopened, and non-refundable, and EULA's contain "as is" and "right of resale" or "license only" statements, how do your members feel about or justify what can only be construed as a Piracy Policy against their customers? Riffing on your tagline: How do I un-buy the software I don't use?
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johnnymcfly
post Jul 31 2010, 03:50 PM
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QUOTE (Jesus Thesecond @ Jul 22 2010, 09:54 PM) *
Yes it is deafening. It's apparent you found the IMSTA Vacuum, where no sound can be heard.

Pity, as I would also like to not only get their responses to your questions, but this one as well: Since all software is non-returnable, even unopened, and non-refundable, and EULA's contain "as is" and "right of resale" or "license only" statements, how do your members feel about or justify what can only be construed as a Piracy Policy against their customers? Riffing on your tagline: How do I un-buy the software I don't use?



Guys I'm Ken from AcmeBarGig. I would first like to answer the question from bnik...
I personally have never knowingly used pirated software. Now having said that, back in the good ol days of computer, It was relatively standard practice around many offices to simply go and get a disk set from a shelf and install it. Many companies back then did not pay particular attention to licensing issues, so having said that, I am sure that in the past I have used software with perhaps licensing issues. That was just something that nowadays just does not happen. Every company I have worked for in the past 8 years at least, has taken licensing very serious. To me, if a company cannot afford to outfit their employees legally, then I really don't want to get invested in that company for any long term...I do, check licenses when working for someone as well.

Now thats in a corporate setting, obviously you want to know about my personal home system too...I am very proud to say that every piece of software on my personal system is paid for and licensed. Even through school that was the norm for me as well.

I hope I answered your questions, and if you don't mind I would like to dig a bit further into that topic.
I do see a lot of people pirating, my particular stance on this, although I don't support piracy in any way, I understand it. Not everyone can afford to pay for the software they need and thats just a simple fact. There are a lot of companies around that are trying to give free alternatives to the high priced software. We are one of them. So, I don't believe in piracy, but I also don't believe companies should be charging the ridiculous prices they are...Some companies that is, some are quite reasonable.

Jesus Thesecond..
In terms of un-buying software, we allow you to do that. If our software does not work for you, then by all means, we will refund your money. No questions asked...If you decide that the software is not what you thought it was, and is now something you don't want...We'll refund your cash. Of course we do have a time limit on refunds, its 30 days.

Guys its a 2 way street, we don't put any protection, challenge response, dongle or any of that other crap in our stuff because we have to trust our customers. Part of that trust is believing them when they say, "Sorry, but this is just not working for me, I can't get the sound I was looking for." In order for our business model to work, We have to take that at face value and stick to our business model. In this case its... 1) listen to the customers concerns, and get better at it, and 2) refund their money instantly.

We realize that there is going to be people who may take advantage of this, but our stance is that If the person bought it in the first place, then odds are they'll buy something else from us. So, how do you control when a customer buys 10 products and returns all 10? You don't, you simply keep taking care of your customer.

Software sales is not a traditional retail business any longer, it is an honour based business. The fact is...no one has to buy your software, they can get it free all over the place, and by simply running around like morons telling people "PIRATING IS BAD". Is a feable approach to combating piracy.

Its like this..
Software industry: PIRATING IS BAD!

Customer: I better go and work for a full week so I can buy that software...

Software industry: Thank you for purchasing X plugin. If you have problems with this, then too bad, we may have some support, but that will cost x amount of dollars, we may have an updated version, but the good news is its only half as expensive as the first version you bought. Also, we think you are a thief, so, you have to get this dongle too or the software you just worked a week for will not run, and you cannot return it, all sales are final, but once again, thank you for buying X plugin..

See how ridiculous that is? Yet thats the approach of the industry?

Now here's what the customer's alternative is...Go download a cracked version where they don't need a dongle, and it costs them only their bandwidth. So really, what motivation is there for a customer to buy your software? Very little...

Now, if the customer was given, respect, treated in a fair manner, given a great price, hmm?
What about that radical approach?

Imagine that? Treat a customer with respect!

All I have to say is try opening a burger joint and treating your customers in the way that the software industry does... See how long you're in business for?

Customer: I'll have a burger please
Waitress: Coming right up, I will need the money up front, 5 dollars please...
Customer: Sure, here you go miss.
Waitress: Thank you, now I have your money, I need to inform you, all sales are non-refundable, and you have to sign this document first or I cannot give you your burger.
1) I agree to not share my burger with anyone.
2) I will eat it over there in that locked room so that no one can take pictures of me eating my burger.
3) I will surrender my cell phone so that I cannot talk about sharing my burger.
4) If I choke and die because the cook left a toothpick in it I understand that Joe's burger shack is not liable
5) If I get a disease or sick in any way, I understand that Joe's burger shack is not liable

Yeah, haha, Sure, we're well on our way to preventing piracy aren't we?

KM

This post has been edited by johnnymcfly: Jul 31 2010, 04:51 PM
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Jesus Thesecond
post Aug 9 2010, 07:35 AM
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QUOTE (johnnymcfly @ Jul 31 2010, 10:50 AM) *
Guys I'm Ken from AcmeBarGig.

In terms of un-buying software, we allow you to do that. If our software does not work for you, then by all means, we will refund your money. No questions asked...

Software sales is not a traditional retail business any longer, it is an honour based business.

KM


Hello Ken.

I want to thank you for responding in such a frank and open manner. It was refreshing to hear your company offers refunds on software. Perhaps other vendors will consider this as way to improve customer relations and brand loyalty, which in a lot of cases, seem not even to exist. They should know that the comments section of Amazon and user boards everywhere are littered with arguments against their next sale. They should be proactively managing ways, like you are, to at least offer a refund to a dissatisfied customer.

Although you say software sales are now an "honour based business", in my online catalogs I still see most software sales in traditional retail settings, without refunds or exchanges. Amazon offers 50% refunds on some opened software, but not through partnered vendors. I still think this is a terrible policy, and in actuality promotes a "don't buy the software you use" mentality. There is no honor to be seen here.

I think AcmeBarGig should be applauded and I hope you are rewarded for a pro-customer stance.
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johnnymcfly
post Aug 9 2010, 01:09 PM
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QUOTE (Jesus Thesecond @ Aug 9 2010, 02:35 AM) *
Hello Ken.

I want to thank you for responding in such a frank and open manner. It was refreshing to hear your company offers refunds on software. Perhaps other vendors will consider this as way to improve customer relations and brand loyalty, which in a lot of cases, seem not even to exist. They should know that the comments section of Amazon and user boards everywhere are littered with arguments against their next sale. They should be proactively managing ways, like you are, to at least offer a refund to a dissatisfied customer.

Although you say software sales are now an "honour based business", in my online catalogs I still see most software sales in traditional retail settings, without refunds or exchanges. Amazon offers 50% refunds on some opened software, but not through partnered vendors. I still think this is a terrible policy, and in actuality promotes a "don't buy the software you use" mentality. There is no honor to be seen here.

I think AcmeBarGig should be applauded and I hope you are rewarded for a pro-customer stance.


Thanks,
What I mean is..It seems that some development companies are act as though it is still a standard retail environment..
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IMSTA
post Aug 12 2010, 04:36 PM
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Hello all,

This is Paul from IMSTA and I would like to thank everyone who has participated so far.

I personally do not have any MP3s or cracked software on any one of my computers.

Let me first address the question about MP3s and free music. In addition to being the executive director of IMSTA, I own a recording studio (use all legit software and hardware), write and produce music, and manage recording artists.

As a songwriter, I would like to be compensated for my work. My artists wish to get paid for their works too. It would be hypocritical of me to expect people to pay for my work while I download someone else’s for free.

Unfortunately, many musicians who complain about not being compensated for their work due to piracy use pirated software to create these same songs and deprive someone else from being compensated.

If I like an artist or a song, I will buy the music. Now, there are sites which you can visit and listen to music for free without downloading them. These sites are legal and pay royalties to the artists and there is nothing wrong with visiting them and listening to free music. They serve the same purpose as radio stations which help promote songs and artists.

When it comes to software, yes, I did use a cracked version of Windows 98 when it first came out. I bought a computer and it was already installed (along with many games that I never played). I didn’t think much of it because everyone was doing it and I thought to myself “why should I pay for it? Microsoft is a huge company and one person does not make a difference to them.”

When I was hired by Steinberg Canada and started to work in the music software industry and saw the effects of piracy firsthand, I purchased a legit version of Windows 98 and have never looked back to pirated software. One person here and one person there add up quickly to thousands. It all starts with one. You!

Anyways, people must respect someone else’s intellectual property and pay for it if they wish to use and enjoy it. The same is true with video games, movies and anything else that can be copied (books).

I hope I have answered your questions and thank you again for asking them.

Best regards,
Paul

This post has been edited by IMSTA: Aug 12 2010, 04:42 PM
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