One of the likely aims of Adobe’s new cloud-only business model is to reduce piracy, but will they really benefit from this? I can’t help but agree with Rick Webb that anti-piracy may have unintended consequences.
While attending school for design, I paid a total of $339 for the student version of Adobe Creative Suite in hopes that it would last me all the way to graduation. My optimism quickly dampened when I realized that keeping up with CS (and my peers) was almost impossible for any broke student without pirating the latest version.
Some time after graduation, I wanted to do more freelance work and be fully legit again, so I subscribed to Adobe’s Creative Cloud and have been very happy with it. Since I use Adobe software on a daily basis for my work, I found $30/month (reduced rate for the first year) to be reasonable – at least much more reasonable than the $1300+ lump sum cost for a retail copy that would be outdated in a year anyway. But what about the casual user who doesn’t write this software off as a business expense? Will Adobe’s monthly rates manage to get casual tinkerers and students on board, or will they get hooked on increasingly more powerful open-source applications such as GIMP, Inkscape, and Aviary and forget about Adobe?
I’m all for people getting paid for their work, including large corporations, but the free and extensive marketing power that piracy provides is undeniable. Though I am generally not a supporter of piracy, it seems to give everyone a chance to become a loyal and lifelong fan of a product, which can eventually lead to large monetary gain for that company (see Rick Webb’s article for an example).
Therefore, is it better to destroy piracy or ignore it? Would issues like this be solved by more affordable pricing?