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Sarah Nathan: Copyright and Pirating Software

March 31, 2014

I thought it was interesting that Harrington devoted a section of Chapter 17 to discuss copyright infringement as it pertains to pirating software. It was a soapbox moment, but one that I think is interesting. It got me thinking, and it sure makes me feel hypocritical.

We’ve talked a lot this semester about protecting our copyright and not selling ourselves short when it comes to work. Yet, how often have you been tempted to, or followed through with pirating software?  The fact of the matter is that there is a high financial bar that is set when entering the professional photography realm. Especially as young photographers, after spending several thousand on gear, it can be daunting to scrounge up another several hundred, if not thousands more to purchase the software you need.

My initial reaction to Harrington’s soapbox about software was, “Yes, but so much of this software is so crazy expensive! They make it virtually unaffordable for the creative types who use it and need it most.” (I know the creative cloud student edition is super affordable  and FCPX is only 300..but you get my point.)  I realized however that this may be what is running through the minds of many people looking to purchase photographs from photographers at dirt cheap prices. “How can this photo cost $$$? Didn’t it only take 2 minutes to shoot it?” Its about education. I have no idea what goes into the process of making a piece of software like Photoshop and I shouldn’t be so quick to balk at a price and consider pirating as a valid alternative.

I’m going to try hard to keep this in mind next time I need new software.

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