Do you think open-source community is immune to piracy?
Honestly speaking, I never even thought about this. I mean this cause-effect relationship between open source & pircay never came in my thoughts. Today, I was reading an article on computerworld which highlighted a fact that piracy indeed hurts open-source too. Open-source community develops when people in society are willing to contribute in vairous possible ways – coding, testing, using apps. But when the same set of people have an easy access to proprietary software, the open-source community looses its user base. Louis Suarez-Potts, the community manager for OpenOffice.org highlighted this fact during a discussion at 10th annual O’Reilly open source convention. Potts commented that “Piracy hurts open source because open source asks people to help give back and contribute code, but they say, ‘Why should I help? I have Microsoft Office for free”.
He pointed that governments across the world are realising the fact that they are at a loss due to piracy in different ways. Nations realise that despite being active participants in open-source communities which can help technological and intellectual growth, its citizens are becoming consumers of stolen technology. This obvoiusly hits the nation’s economy in more than one way. First, the nation gets a bad publicity in outer world when piracy is high, highlighting the fact that government is not protecting intellectual rights. Second, since pirated softwares/movies/music/books are finding a way into the market the actual owners are hit and adversely affects the economy and market and the content creators.
Open-source when encouraged helps encourage innovation, creativity alongwith intellectual and technological growth for the people involved in the projects. The Nations want to develop an intellectual bank in their backyards so that they can compete better with other countries, who have already taken a lead in this field.
Washington based Business Software Alliance (BSA) reported last week that six U.S. states – California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio and Texas — make up $3.93 billion in pirated software losses in the U.S., or almost half of the $8.04 billion in national losses to software vendors from pirated software last year.