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Topic: Your opinion on piracy? (Read 61325 times) previous topic - next topic


There will always be some piracy. Not a statement of right or wrong, but a simple statement of fact. Living next door to a third world country - Mexico - I can see they why - The products are advertised to a group of people who earn (on average) approx $70.00US a week. Some things cost less, but many things cost much more in Mexico. SO they see the advertising, they have little money for the product and someone comes along with a prated version.  Are the going to spend 250 pesos, or get the pirate copy for 25  pesos ($2.00US)?

Another factor that drives piracy - The perceived value of the goods is far below the price of the goods. Don't want to pay that much for crap goods. OR - you buy the CD for $20.00US and there is only 1 good song and a bunch of crap songs as filler. No wonder teh 1 song was copied and shared. (probably less of a problem now that there are single song plans like iTunes out there)

A few years back a guy by the name of Phillippe Kahn (camera phone and Borland Turbo Pascal) wrote about piracy - related to Turbo Pascal - and admitted that there were many pirated copies of Turbo Pascal out there. And there were also many copies of Turbo Pascal that no one was using. He also believed in keeping the cost down so people COULD afford it and buy it. He delivered a product with a high perceived value and profited from doing that. Treat the customer well and he won't steal from you.

And another factor for piracy - Companies that treat their customers like crap. Customer no longer has any loyalty so he doesn't feel like he is hurting anyone, except for some screwed up company that just want to rip him off. Customers, like employees, are treated more like a liability than a asset. Companies that treat their customers properly will deal with less piracy. I don't want to rip off someone that delivers on their promise to me.


May 10, 2012, 12:34 am Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 12:55 am by focalist Reason: 1
Pretty much all of my paying gigs do come as an offshoot of my volunteer stuff.  Headshots and portfolios for the theatrical people, that sort of thing.  If I were a business, I guess you would call it advertising.. except that the hours of volunteer work ratio to the amount of paid work is ridiculously low.  A couple of headshot gigs for a hundred bucks each, from a theatre production lasting two months.  Not a workable income, at best it just helps offset my costs in wear and tear and expendables.  Think I may have made a total of a grand last year, and probably spent nearly as much on equipment repair.

The larger issue is that these laws are for the company's benefit and protection.. not for protecting the work of the people who create or assuring that the creator in any way gets some kind of a fair cut of the action.

Think of it this way.. there's little you could do legally if someone took an arduino project you made and wrote up, and took and made a commercial product from it.  However, referencing the writeup and the project might be able to get you a job.  Maybe as the janitor of the company that is making the product, mopping the CEO's office for minimum wage.  See, it's all a matter of perspective!  

How many businesses and online stores RIGHT NOW are based upon Arduino hobbyists?  Quite a few.  Does the Arduino team see any of the profit generated by these businesses?  In some cases I think donations have been made, but by and large, I would suspect that Arduino sees very little despite the immense amount of effort put in... however they do it as Creative Commons by choice, as I do.  Now, think about companies that are producing clones, capitalizing on the Arduino name.. I believe they ought to donate back to the project financially, but there's no law that is going to make them.  If I were one of the core Arduino team, this might make me pretty angry.  However, the last thing I'd want to do is spend any more energy being frustrated by it, or even worse, spending money trying to rectify it legally somehow.

For every person wanting to do something decent in the world, there's ten in line behind him trying to figure out a way to manipulate whatever it is to their own personal advantage.  Nature of humans, I guess....


Many good points being made here on the issue of intellectual products flowing from creator to customer. I think it's the steps between creators and customers that lead to most of the problems both perceived and real. I think the only real long term answer is for the creators to try and use the modern Internet world to market and distribute products directly. I know it would take lots of lean times and luck to get 'noticed' and gain a following but there is real opportunity I think in trying to eliminate all the middle men and serve your customers directly.

Being independent in any profitable effort has never been an easy task but I do think that there are means that were never avalible in the past.



I can't imagine trying to make a living as a musician or art photographer these days.

A good friend of my is photographer and he created a book - http://odeaanijsland.nl/een-kleine-preview/?pid=51 - and he is ing (photographing) tourists in Iceland.

It maybe not made him a rich man but he has the time of his life :)
Rob Tillaart

Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -
(Please do not PM for private consultancy)


a musician friend of mine started this campaign:


imo the current copyright/patent laws are far outdated. I dont really know how to fix them though.


I would consider culture as essential to my life. So if someone only has the option of pirating music, or never listening to music, I would go with pirating. I myself have the option of not pirating, however I download a lot of music, as I am unwilling to pay prices which I find too high and which hardly benefit the artist. I do go out of my way to buy self produced CDs that artists sell at shows.

I also get really annoyed when people are not able to spare 2$ for the artist, but spend 10$ on beer the same night...



What if we lived in an alternate universe were lets say arduino stretches were music and micro-controllers(code) as a whole were the film/television/advertisement industry. How would we all feel about that.


What if we lived in an alternate universe were lets say arduino stretches were music and micro-controllers(code) as a whole were the film/television/advertisement industry. How would we all feel about that.

It would be a lot harder to dance for one.


May 11, 2012, 09:05 pm Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 09:08 pm by iyahdub Reason: 1
Piracy is a crime, whether you can afford it or not. If u speak about food, is one thing, but  dont come saying it is alright just cause u cant afford it !! I cant afford a Ferrari- Im gonna nick one !! I have no choice- Its either live without it o nicking it  and having it to drive around( as if i cant walk lol) !
Lets say your boss tells you- I cant pay you because all the code you programmed for the last month for that client was somehow robbed, so i didnt got payed, and now i cant pay you... I bet youd be straight into Court with him !!
So thats cheap excuses. Actually that kind of crime i advocate hard sentences !

There is more and more commons licensed music online, so no excuse to not having music to listen to
10 LET Loop=Infinite
20 GO TO 10


If I steal a Ferrari from you, you no longer have the use of it. That doesn't apply to downloading, say, music.

The thing that annoys me about "anti-piracy" is that it actually annoys the honest consumer. Say I buy a DVD movie. I have to sit through screen-fulls of stuff, in various languages, which I cannot fast-forward past, telling me not to steal it. But I haven't stolen it. Then there is the "you wouldn't steal a handbag, you wouldn't steal a car, so DON'T STEAL THIS VIDEO!" promo they make you watch. Again, I haven't stolen it.

Then they region-encode it, so I can't watch a video I buy legally from Amazon, because it isn't available here in Australia, in Australia.

Hey, but guess what? If you get a pirated copy, you don't get insulted. You don't get the "you wouldn't steal a car ..." promo. They aren't region encoded. So it's like the video industry has adopted the position: annoy and insult the customer.

Let me put it like this ... if you went into a shop, and a guard stopped you at the door and started SHOUTING at you: "hey mate! don't you dare steal from this store!" and then repeated the message in French, German and Spanish, before even letting you inside, you'd walk away wouldn't you? Insulting customers is not good business.
Please post technical questions on the forum, not by personal message. Thanks!

More info: http://www.gammon.com.au/electronics


Im with you there, Nick...Still the analogy of the Ferrari was a cheap one (pass the pun), and not really suitable ! Do you know how much i spend to put a release out ?!? The amount of money that i have to invest before i can even be allowed to press any Vynil, CD's etc ?!?
We cant be selective about what laws we should or not abide to ! Otherwise we will all end up in the republic of bananas.
Im the first one to advocate for open source and whatnot ! I actually am one of four members that have founded a label to put out every so often some free download music albums with the best of the genre around. So, its not like i dont like giving away music. BUT ONLY AND IF I DECIDE TO... PERIOD !
Now if we talk about come with a solution for  people less privileged, thats another matter !
I am involved in a lot of charity personally and individually( and i mean involved and not just the give 2 pound a month kinda crap scheme)s., and am quite aware of the situations in what they call 3rd world countries and kinds situations. But still...No excuse for breaking the law !! Plus they taking food out of my mouth ! and my kids  ! NAH !!
10 LET Loop=Infinite
20 GO TO 10


And that is the difficulty for the subject at hand. There should be fair rights for both the creator of the product and the customer of the product. Outright unlimited piracy is certainly not a solution, but certainly some of the industry practices to combat piracy does punish legitimate customers in such ways as Nick stated. I don't pirate stuff (at least not on purpose) but I certainly understand the temptation to do so if it's easily available on the web. I don't know if there will ever be a solution that satisfied all parties. In the mean time I would suggest that people do respect the rule of law where ever they live and work to change the laws if you feel you have a winnable solution.


May 12, 2012, 02:01 am Last Edit: May 12, 2012, 02:02 am by iyahdub Reason: 1
Look at the Arduino, for example=Open source, and peolple can trade copies of it; Still it is up to the person to decide if they want to support the original project or not...And it is a fact that the market is more and more getting flooded with ILLEGAL CLONES, CHEAP AND LOW QUALITY COPIES of the arduino...WHY ?!? When they can try trade under another name legally ?!? Not fair !!
People are what they do, and how they behave.
It is the situation that reminds me the words of MARTIN NIEMÖLLER..."AND THEN THEY CAME FOR ME". Only when it touches their own poket people tend to get a straight point of view, instead of the selfish most tend to adopt !!
10 LET Loop=Infinite
20 GO TO 10



I think you might be stretching the definition of what cloning arduinos represents. As far as I know the Arduino's only restrictiveness on remanufacturing is not use it's trademarked name 'Arduino' on the board. No other restrictions or limits are claimed or asked by the Arduino company. And not all 'clones' are of lower quality, some are equal at least. I own both arduino built boards and 3rd party arduino compatible boards (those with additional features and/or changes from the original design), and outright 'clone' copied boards. I know that there are those that feel no one should ever buy a standard arduino board built from other then arduino company, but I think that is more of a personal moral statement then valid legal advice. 


Arduino's only restrictiveness on remanufacturing is not use it's trademarked name 'Arduino' on the board

yea well what is arduino's true hardware design? avr with a crystal and a serial converter ... not exactly rocket science, though they do put it in a nice package being backed up by brand recognition to make a compelling product 


My understanding of the Arduino concept (after watching their video) is that it was intended as an educational exercise. And I think it has succeeded brilliantly in that respect. One of their design criteria was to keep it cheap, compared to certain competition. And if the clones make it cheaper again, well that is part of the idea is it not?

My own posts about making a "breadboard" Arduino are intended to help along those lines:


This "cheap" alternative might be very practical for, say, a classroom of kids where all they have to buy as a $5 chip each, another $1 of other components, and a $5 breadboard. Plus there is the educational value of assembling it yourself.

Mind you, I bet the Arduino concept has sold a lot of Atmega chips.
Please post technical questions on the forum, not by personal message. Thanks!

More info: http://www.gammon.com.au/electronics

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