Photoshop and Piracy

PhotoshopWith yesterday’s post I tried to show why a high-profile band should want their material to be pirated. This extends to print media such as books, magazines, and comic books. If people like your work they will want to buy it to get the best copy possible. Your pirated material serves as free advertising and good will, causing your stuff to be out there in the public consciousness. Consider the situation where people don’t want your stuff, even for free — that would be tragic! But what of software piracy? The most powerful case can be made for a big expensive package such as Adobe’s Creative Suite, particularly Photoshop. Someone does get hurt when Photoshop is pirated but it is not Adobe.

I have seen many people using pirated versions of Photoshop. They all use only the most basic of features; mainly cropping, but some get as adventurous as adjusting contrast and brightness. The vast majority of people who own illegal copies of Photoshop could easily get by just as well with the simplest of picture-editing software just as the majority of Microsoft Word pirates could get by with the simplest of word processors for the few features they actually use.

Adobe and Microsoft greatly benefit from pirates who would never dream of buying their products. There is no money lost if a purchase was never going to be made. But the awareness is spread that these are the obvious de facto products to be used.

PiratePirates are the evangelists. Pirates are the free in-home tech support. Pirates cause more “honest” people to choose what they support and to ultimately buy the high end product instead of the software that would best suit their simpler needs.

And there’s the rub.

When you pirate Photoshop and don’t feel guilty because you could never afford or justify buying it because of your light and infrequent use, it prevents you from buying a more affordable program that would be easier to use and thus ultimately be better. The smaller software maker never gets a fair shot at making an honest buck only because people are pirating and promoting a more expensive and difficult-to-use product.

In my particular instance on the Mac that product would be Pixelmator. The Preview app that comes free with every Mac will do everything most people need on a daily basis. You can crop, adjust color saturation, contrast, brightness, sharpness, and a few other things. Why Preview is not highly touted is a mystery to me since it will also edit PDF files. But the big photo editing app on the Mac is Pixelmator. There you can do free rotation and a ton of fancy things most people won’t ever think of wanting to do. The price? $15.00 USD. FIFTEEN BUCKS! It is an awesome program, easy to use, and does a ton more than the vast majority of Photoshop pirates would ever dream of. And it is affordable.

iTunesIt’s funny. Apple has driven down the price of software and made it so that if one person buys a program they can have it installed on up to five different machines. That goes to four other people whether they are family or friends. What has cheaper prices and limited sharing done? The major pirating sites for Mac software have shut down not for legal reasons, but because people stopped going there. So cheaper prices combined with allowing some sharing has destroyed most of the piracy.

Again. Apple sells songs at a reasonable price. They removed the copy protection so you can pirate your socks off. AND THEY SELL MORE SONGS THAN ANYONE!!!

StealThisBookWe should be clear now. When people pirate your material it puts you out there into the public consciousness. If they are aware of you, if they are focusing on you, then they are ignoring your competition. If they like you and you are affordable and portable then they will buy you; otherwise, you never stood a chance to begin with.

6 thoughts on “Photoshop and Piracy

    • Just tried to go to FG’s site, it is gone as if taken down. Also her gravitar does not list any of her other sites and there were several. She was going to visit family to be in the immediate vicinity of her mother and one sister. Maybe she took it all down. I don’t know when it vanished, I thought she just stopped posting while being there since she does vent about family history and might not want to do that while there.

      I doubt she got suicidal and then got busy cleaning up loose ends, that is not the dynamic of being genuinely suicidal. So in a sense all that stuff being wiped or taken down is not necessarily an indication that anything is wrong. It is a big question mark to be sure. Very strange and I don’t want to speculate as I’ll start whipping up all kinds of what ifs.

  1. Interesting post. I am currently considering my options as I complete my first novel in a couple weeks. I have posted very little of it, and I’m holding off until I have a chance to consult with a literary agent and potential publishers. I do want to broadly distribute it for readership, but I believe it will be quite marketable and I’m setting up a trust fund for my children should it reap significant royalties. I’m planning on consulting with a number of people before I simply put it out there.

    • If you can’t find a publisher you might try self-publishing through such venues as iTunes and Amazon, iBooks and Kindle respectively. I will explore these avenues with you if you decide to go that route. I have been curious myself but without a finished book to publish and no one else to help the real motivation has not been there. A how-to or pointers and how to move in that direction could make a good blog article. Keep me/us posted.

      • I actually have another book (a devotional autobiography) I’ve finished which I plan to publish after my novel. I have already found a local publisher to work with for that one. For a modest up-front fee, I receive proofreading, editing, book cover design, typesetting, formatting, and some marketing with Amazon, Barnes-and-Noble and other major sellers. If the book sells 400 copies, I make my service fee back. Then, I make somewhere between $3-$7 on every book that sells after that. This does not even count potential e-reader sales.

        For my novel, however, I have a good deal of confidence that I will find a conventional publisher. It’s a book within the Christian fiction genre and people I’ve consulted who know that market well have given me much hope.

        I will keep you posted. Thanks for the comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s