Choose Freeware. Choose Original!

Photo courtesy of : Pirated copies of MS Windows XP and computer software sold in China

When I was about 8 years old, there’s this distorted lyrics of the Christmas Song “12 Gifts of Christmas”. It goes like “On the 5th day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, limang pirated CDs…” As a kid back then, I know what a CD is but the word “pirated” sounded foreign to me. I went to ask my aunt who was a lot better in explaining things. She said pirated means not original, a copycat but looks, sounds, and feels like the original but cheaper than the original and went to show me a pirated copy of her favorite movie “The Parent Trap”.

As a kid, I said to myself then, if that’s so, pirated maybe good only to find out later that it’s the other way around.

By definition, the act of illegally copying someone’s product or invention without permission or the unauthorized use of another’s production, invention or conception especially infringement of a copyright is known as piracy (Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2016). Products created by this act are what we call pirated ones like the mentioned earlier, a pirated CD.

Pirated products can be a CD of your favorite movie, a copy of your favorite online game and the like. One of the most commonly pirated objects nowadays are softwares of our personal computers and/or gadgets commonly manufactured by software companies such as Microsoft Corporation and many others.  This is another type of piracy known as software piracy.

Pirated softwares are cheaper that the market for these kinds of products continue to thrive. Original ones usually are twice to five times the price of the pirated copies thus customers would opt to buy pirated softwares. Though good for the customers, adverse effects are evident to software companies that a big part of their supposed to be income are eaten by this pirated software manufacturers. This is true mostly for countries that lack a comprehensive piracy policy and implementing agency such as our country, the Philippines.

However, there are also software manufacturers that offer these products for free known as “freeware”. Take the case of Microsoft Office application we usually use as office tools for reports, etc. Open Office.Org had already released its version of this office application that we can use. Open Office tools are free and most of all original. So for those who still choose to use pirated softwares I think, it is their choice to use pirated copies instead of original ones.

Software companies can also help lessen if not eliminate the use of pirated softwares and products. For instance, companies can at least lower the price of their products so those who really want to avail them can get a bigger chance of doing so. Another is, software companies who develop freewares should actively promote and extensively advertise their products highlighting the benefit of acquiring the product through “free downloads”. This may be reinforced by free banner ads in commonly visited web and social media sites such as Facebook and the like. Software companies just need to be creative and innovative in marketing these products.

In the Philippines, I know that we are not guilt free when it comes to patronizing these pirated products and softwares. Even, I cannot say that I haven’t done it but at least through various blogs like this and discussions on the internet, we can be aware that piracy is more detrimental to companies in the long run than beneficial. After all, we Filipinos wouldn’t want to end up in top list of the worst in the world again, right?

So, cliché as it sounds, Stop piracy! Choose original! 🙂

Or better yet, Choose freeware! Choose Original! 🙂





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