Now, being a software developer, I, obviously, am for selling commercial software. But for large applications, like 3D Studio Max or any engineering level CAD program (programs that range in the $2,000+ category) is there an alternative?
I've heard the expression (there are variations):
A $2,000 program pirated by a 13 year old, with a net worth of $13.50, deprives the publisher of $0.
Which is true. But opening up piracy makes it so those that CAN afford it and SHOULD buy it can get it for free. I like how MS gives away copies of their software to universities to sell to their students for $5 (I got VC++ 6 for $5). Even the small starting businesses to have something would be a major step. Think from the publishers mind:
If we can give these guys a copy of 3D Studio Max to design their game, now, then if they become big, we can sell them the newest version, and they're already knowledgable in the product to sell it to them easily!
Honestly, if I started a company, and used linux and free tools, what is stopping me from using them after I've become a big company?
There has to be better alternatives. These products are made to be bought by companies, so why be so strict to the individual? The question is how to allow those that can't afford it to use the product (and buy it if they can afford it in the future), and keep those that can afford it from not pirating it... Any ideas?