General Question

lozza's avatar

If it wasn't for software piracy, would Adobe Photoshop be the Market leader it is today?

Asked by lozza (307points) March 4th, 2008 from iPhone

I have a theory that piracy makes the world go round and that actually, it can add some real long-term competitve advantage.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

17 Answers

squirbel's avatar

muhaha, loaded question but I agree. Yarr

ishotthesheriff's avatar

although it’s so pirated, i think a lot of studios, companies, schools, etc. are too concerned about copyright infringement to actually use pirated software. maybe not, but at least the IT department i work for is.
i don’t really know why, as long as no one knows but the people putting it on the machines then. . .
anyways, i think photoshop would def still be the “market leader”

i don’t understand how piracy can add competitive advantage though?
enlighten me please ]:

squirbel's avatar

It is passive advertising. People come to trust the name and are willing to spend if they must.

Here is an example where book publishers are testing it -

Is Piracy The Leading Indicator Of Innovation? -

How Pursuing Software Piracy Hurts Proprietary Software Firms -

I will quote ”How Pursuing Software Piracy Hurts Proprietary Software Firms”:

While organizations like the BSA and the SIIA play silly games and announce bogus numbers about the “costs” of software piracy, it’s nice to see the whole thing beginning to backfire. We’ve already pointed to the backlash against the BSA for its activities, and now we’re seeing how these kinds of crackdowns are doing exactly the opposite of what BSA/SIIA members would want: they’re looking for open source alternatives. Following the ongoing “international crackdown” on software piracy, it appears that the Vietnamese government is the latest to start promoting open source alternatives. Of course, for proprietary software makers, this should be seen as worse than piracy. After all, as Microsoft and others have long admitted, you’re much better off if someone is using an unauthorized version of your software, than if they’re using the competition (especially if that competition is free). If they’re using an unauthorized version of your software, then at least there’s a chance that they’ll either buy it at a later date or convince others to buy it. However, by putting such a big effort into cracking down on software piracy, all the industry has done is highlight why people are better off going with free alternatives. This is a key point we’ve tried to highlight in the past. The issue isn’t piracy at all, but the fact that the competition will eventually learn to embrace “free.” Focusing on “piracy” only helps accelerate that process.

ishotthesheriff's avatar

oh i see i see. thanks for the links
haha squirbel knows all

squirbel's avatar

nope, i only act like i do, and because you can see links means i’m at my comp and not on my phone. helps me type faster >.>

two hands ftw

waiting for john is so excruciating… can’t wait to see what wisdom he brings lol

jrpowell's avatar

I pirated Photoshop back in the day. I actually had a job a few years later that required me to have it at home. They bought me CS2 so I could work from home.

Most people dorking around are not going to buy it. But to have a massive userbase that knows how to use your complicated program can’t be bad. The dude in his basement making a LOLcat about smoking weed isn’t going to pay 700$ for the program to do it.

So yeah, I don’t think piracy is hurting Adobe.

ishotthesheriff's avatar

haha good point.
i like the imagery of LOLcat and weed.

jtvoar16's avatar

I can speak from experience. I have “acquired” photoshop and the entire adobe suite in the past. That got me ready for college were I proceeded to get a job focusing on photoshop which led to me buying CS2 and now CS3 “pro edition” what ever they call it. If i had never pirated the softwear I would never have taken the classes in college and then never spent, to date, 4,000$ on their products. So yes piracy helped them.

squirbel's avatar

I started using photoshop at version 2.0, and it was a demo. I had to screenshot my work and copy-paste it to jasc psp which was free, save, and copy back.

I went through college, acquiring the newest versions, and finally bought my own CS2 from freelance earnings.

ishotthesheriff's avatar

haha ballinnn
i started with cs2
i now work with CS3 extended.

paulc's avatar

Well lets go back in time when Corel gave Adobe a good run for their money. The competition to Photoshop was PhotoPaint. It was good but always lagged behind. Having said that, CorelDRAW! (their vector package) was far superior to Illustrator at the time. Adobe took the lead with Photoshop as digital photography got popular among pros (well before you could buy a consumer digital camera for under $3k). That pretty much cemented it I think. I kind of miss Corel Suite but CS3 is pretty damn nice I must say.

Now through all that I remember seeing Photoshop on the zeroday ftps and on IRC bots way more than Corel. Practically every designer I have ever met with an ounce of experience on the web has admitted to having a pirated copy. They get hired at a firm and ask for the product, Adobe makes the green. I think piracy is a huge boon for Adobe.

squirbel's avatar

I remember that faintly… But I had no clue what vectors were outside of physics class…

…not to mention layers. Pretty sure I didn’t figure that out till photoshop 5.0

jtvoar16's avatar

Most of the guys I went to college with only decided to go to college for design because they were one of those kids “that just dicked around” and now, like my self make 80,000$+ a year and purchasing adobe products all because they work beneath a pirates flag.

lozza's avatar

Great answers. I think you all basically confirmed what I thought. We mostly start off young with a pirated copy of any software from wherever and then by the time we start work, we’re the ones that are the buyers and users for our companies and they purchase things legally.

gcoghill's avatar

I think mostly though, those that pirate are never planning to purchase that which they are pirating. And the whole “passive marketing” thing to me is a cop-out. It’s like the old “do my logo for free, and you’ll get free advertising because I will use it and tell people you created it”. No thanks.

Restaurants don’t give out free meals for word of mouth advertising. If Adobe wanted free advertising this way, they would make a “lite” version of the software, give it away for free themselves, and then charge for the advanced versions with more features. But they don’t do that.

Just because something is easy to copy doesn’t mean that it’s OK to do so. These days there are plenty of open-source software applications for just about any task you want to accomplish. They may not be as great as the paid versions, but that’s the trade-off.

If Photoshop were free and it sucked, it wouldn’t become dominant. And I highly suspect that Photoshop dominates precisely because they pay their software coders well to create great products. If everyone pirates it, where does the money come to pay these coders? Would you work at your job if you weren’t getting paid? I didn’t think so.

sbose64's avatar

i,m into software freebies and heavy user of most toprated freewares.adobe photoshop being a priced shareware,its out of my domain.i,m aware that its one of the most popular professional photo editing software.adobes products are market leaders and top of the notch.its runtime driver media software adobe air is quickly becoming market benchmark as many web applications are being launched on this platform.its flash player,similarly,is a pioneer must have,despite many existing similar products.any brilliant product easily find many,i feel,photoshop,s popularity come from the merit of the product, and rampant piracy is a fallout of that.

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