Piracy hurting Blender?

Edit: Since I had reactions on the first part of this post, thus taking focus away from the intended subject, I have decided to take it out.

Is piracy hurting Blender? My answer is yes, and it’s probably the same for a lot of other good open-source software. Why chose an open-source software you hardly ever heard of when you can get a commercial equivalent just as easily from a number of wellknown p2p-networks? Granted, most of these applications are superior to Blender in many aspects(although Blender’s work-flow rules;) But 90% of the people that download the pirated copies aren’t capable of harnessing 10% of their power anyway. So for them downloading Maya, Lightwave or even 3ds MAX is like buying a new pair of Levi’s - you get them for the sake of the name. It’s kewl to own a copy of the application used for the FX in Harry Potter or whatever, but soon most grow tired of the complexity and it ends up just taking space on their HDD. If software-piracy wasn’t as widespread today as it is, Blender would probably have an a lot bigger community-base than it already has. And how many manuals do you reckon would have been sold then, to the benefit of the developers? How many more great artists would use Blender as their platform? Granted, there would be a lot more crap - but there’s a prize for everything, right? I won’t lie to you - I’ve been tempted many a time. I chose Blender not because it’s the best there is, but because I would like to contribute to such an amazing initiative, and help make it the best it can be, the way most of us are able to - by having ideas and supplying inspiration. Anyway, I’m starting to rant here;) Any thoughts?

Trust me it’s been discussed before :wink:

And yes of course a lot more people would use blender if they couldn’t get their hands on a cracked copy of some hugely popular other bit of software. In the end of course it comes down to finding the program that suits you. And yes because of the way things are perhaps a lot of people won’t even consider blender.

But well… it’s a bit of a mute point isn’t it? Blender is like the Gimp for 3d. I don’t think any opensource software will ever be used as widely as something you can buy in the shops. That is… unless things change dramaticly. Or unless one day someone makes something hugely popular in blender. As soon as the latest big animated movie has been made in blender, that’ll change a thing or 2. Or if the big companies find a way to make their stuff unhackable.

I’m not holding my breath and don’t really mind. The good thing about all this is however that currently the blender community is mostly made up out of true enthusiasts. There’s not that many “wannabees” in here. Of course we all want to be great, but the people in here seem to work at it hard in stead of a lot of kids that get premium grade software and then hold their breath till something grand just appears… cause dude… it’s great software… so you should be able to make great stuff just like that no??? hehe if you get my drift. :wink:

Trust me it’s been discussed before

Yeah, I figured that - I just felt I needed to ventilate my thoughts anyway, cause I never thought about it from that perspective before. It’s strange though, that what is targeted at $multimillion companies hurt open-source initiatives the most. Kind of a backlash, don’t you think?

what someone should do is take the blender ZIP file and rename it to something like 3dsMax_6.zip and put it on the gnutella network. See how many visitors that brings up!

I agree on that!

Or better yet, Maya 6 ! haha

what someone should do is take the blender ZIP file and rename it to something like 3dsMax_6.zip and put it on the gnutella network. See how many visitors that brings up!

Why not hack the Blender opening splash to read 3ds MAX 7:D Now, that would make for confusion;)

Those ideas are delightfully devious 8)


the people would say: "Gosh that new 3dMaX 7 is soooo good, and just a few MB´s. Finally we lost all that superfluous shit. "

Heh, that would be cool. But I don’t think Open Source projects suffer a lot from piracy. I know where I can get all software, but I haven’t felt the need yet to download Maya or 3Dsmax, I prefer a free program to a paid one, even if the paid one is slightly better. I think I wouldn’t even have started on 3D modelling if I had to wait in que to download it…

blender is open source!
any time i wonder why it does not what i expect i go to the sources and look what happens. aks one of theese 3dmayamax guys to look into their code.
or try to add a feature to it!

naa… leave them alone in innocence
do not even think of getting 'em here.


Sorry, but plain and simple, piracy is theft. I’m not excusing the high prices of some software or even claiming that software piracy is the cause of those high prices. You might even succesfully argue that some companies “steal” from their users through high prices, bad software and bad support. Heck, I’d even agree with you on that. But it doesn’t change the fact that piracy is theft. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

I’m not directing my comments at you Bellorum, at least in the sense that I’m claiming you’re a pirate or a bad person in some way. I don’t know you well enough to make those claims or allegations. In fact, what I know of you from your posts I’ve seen in the forums wouldn’t support any such allegations and I generally think you’re a good guy. My comments are directed at the basic assumptions that so many people have today in regards to justifying their piracy.

Its those basic assumptions and attitudes that people have that have cost me a lot of money. And I’m not talking money that would make me rich, just enough money for the small software company I’m part owner in to actually pay me a full income. We hated to have to do it, but we did have to take legal action against some of our customers. They had the exact same attitude and didn’t think they were hurting anyone, but they definitely were. It was almost to the point that we closed the company and that would have hurt everyone that was using our software as the software would have stopped working at all after short period of time.

It was a choice of protecting our rights by getting filth on our hands by dealing with lawyers (man I hate lawyers) or throwing the towel in and allowing the pirates to hurt ourselves and the other non-pirating customers. We gave every pirate ample notice that they were stealing from us and how, most understood and apologized, a few ignored every attempt to discuss the issue with them and we were required to file law suits against them, which all ended up settled out of court. Did I mentino I hate lawyers ? :slight_smile:

As for the other points in your post. Interesting concept. I’m not sure. Running linux gives me few options for software to do what blender does. So, in some ways it doesn’t affect me. However, I’m not one to use pirated software anyway and I like contributing to open source projects when I can, so even if I knew where to get a pirated version of Maya and wanted to run it under windows, at best it would be to take a look at it, but only if I couldn’t get a demo from them and definitely not to use it.

I don’t think those that would actually be capable to and spend the time to contribute to blender in the sense of moving it forward by writing code or performing other non-coding tasks (documentation, web admin, etc.) are likely to be much involved in the pirate/warez scene either. Blender might loose a few users to pirated software, but I don’t think those types of users would ever be more than just users so not having those people use blender impacts on the numbers and not blender itself.

Blender may suffer from the “open-source” stigma, meaning most people will consider it: (1) hard to use, and (2) less than powerful enough. GIMP, Blender, and other great open-source projects are the exceptions to the rule. The reality is the most open-source apps really don’t cut it.

But there are ways to change that. When open-source software gets reviewed in a publication, it gets attention from many people that may be overlooked. That’s why reviews like http://www.atpm.com/10.01/blender.shtml make a difference, one step at a time, to change the general opinion that free-and-open-source means poor quality.

There are also major companies that are embracing open-source and its benefits. For the last few years Apple has been trying to push users to switch to OS X, their version of a BSD OS. In that process, they openly promote the advantages of open-source apps and encourage open-source developers. For a while (don’t know if they still do) Apple even gave price breaks to open-source developers to encourage them to also develop for OS X. Apple is still encouraging this by offering excellent developer tools to anyone who buys their OS in the form of Xcode. IBM is also heavily into the open-source models. It’s an ongoing battle, but apps like Blender and slowly changing the general population’s opinions of open-source software.

Just give it time… let the “big companies” spend their money changing public perception and before you know it Blender and similar excellent projects will become mainstream.

I tellya, Blender is good … quite in addition to being free … and it excites me to see just how rapidly and in how many ways it is actively evolving.

I don’t perceive Blender as a “tool of last resort,” i.e. something that you would use only if you can’t steal something else. And I never have.

It’s hard to say whether a huge 3D animation studio would, or would not use Blender. I have no stats but my gut-feeling is that quite a few of them do. It really is a fine tool. And if they decided to use it, it’d be for the same reason.

But no matter what tools a big-boy company might use, I’ll bet my last dollar that if you walked in their front door and flashed a U. S. Marshal’s badge at them, you’d find their licenses are all paid-up and neatly documented. If it’s a tool of their trade and it’s for sale, they paid for it.

After all, how could you possibly make and sell a valuable copyrighted piece of property (an animation or a movie) with a stolen tool? :-? … Everybody in this biz lives or dies by that little “circle-C.”

I agree stealing is stealing. No greys about it.

The small issue I have is that the arguments I hear (and read in your posting) to further accentuate beyond stealing and to give it a personal touch, is from a company’s point of view. That account you told was very complicated indeed.

However, I only will go so far to support that line (beyond stealing) IF that employer practices fair hiring practices. i’m not sure how it is anywhere else, but in the States IT jobs are based 1) who you know or b) the exact tool you know. The bubble of Open Source (or getting trained at a traditional University) shields many from this one fact (knowledge is knowledge in the Open source community and skills ar eknown to transfer. This is NOT true in the commercial sector). Try to get a web designer job when the job explicitly states “2 years demonstrated knowledge in photoshop”. Forget if you have 2 years in GIMP. It doesn’t matter. The HR weenie that looks at the app (only good at string searching not comprehension) makes a decision that tools are the minimum criteria for interviewing. Someone who has 2 years Oracle background applying for a SQL Server DBA won’t get looked at past the HR screener unless the candidate pool is shallow. Look at the job ads out there. The phrase of the week now is “demonstated knowledge in…” meaning you either a) lie about using the tool to get into the interview or b) get the experience on the tool somewhere. Underlying concepts in this day and age are sacrificed for tool experience. Granted, senior level positions should be that specific to tools but junior and entry level ones?

The industry (companies that USE software products) itself is fostering pirating. My belief is that companies don’t know how (or don’t want to) train their employees. It is too costly for them (except in the most unusual circumstances) so they expect their employees to be pre-trained.

For instance: Are the graphic and animations houses looking at people with similar backgrounds? Would an ENTRY LEVEL Maya position even consider a Lightwave user? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It is a shame that the software companies get screwed like this but it’s the companies that legally USE their product to create their derived seperate product that are screwing them over.

But to restate: yes, in the end it IS stealing.

I personalized the stealing aspect of it to drive home the point, although I make no claim to originality in that argument, :). Not all piracy becomes that personal, but at some level it affects individuals whether they are employees, owners or shareholders in that company, or perhaps even users in higher prices or adoption of various horrible copy protection schemes. The bigger the companies are, the less personal it appears, but in the end it does affect individuals.

Having been on both sides of the hiring coin, I can understand your frustration. HR people tend to be very clueless and know nothing about the candidates or positions, other than the buzz words on the resumes or position descriptions.

Its tough breaking in. I started my programming career out by working for next to nothing for a startup. I left a job in a factory I was working at while I was trying to decide what to do about college and got paid maybe half of what I was making before. I worked 80+ hour weeks a lot, both to get the code written and to teach/prove myself (to both myself and my employer).

5 years of that allowed me to learn a wide range of things and when I left, my effort had paid off well, both for me and my employer.

Too many years later to admit, :), I sit with lots of experience and have worked at many large companies as a consultant for much more than they’d ever pay their employees. At most of these large companies, I’d never get considered for employment because of their HR policies. If I ever did take the job offers I get from these companies (managers I worked for) I’d get dead-ended unless I wanted to play their paper (diploma) and other HR games. So, yeah, HR people, or at least the policies they try to enforce, aren’t on my list of favorite people/things in general.

On the other hand, I’ve hired people that look good on paper and claim to have experience. Some of this is pretty basic. I hired a “Lead C Programmer” once who couldn’t program his way out of a wet paper bag on simple projects. Nor could he even learn. I spent 1 month of my time trying to train him after which he was given a week to complete a very simple programming task that should have been doable in 15 mins to an hour. He wasn’t able to do it even though all he had to do was convert about 10 lines of pseudo code into proper C. BTW, he became a csci tutor at a local college after he was fired … I’ve always wondered how that worked out, :).

Its a risky situation for both sides in many cases. Employees sometimes get promised many things that don’t happen or things change after they are employed. Employers get too many incapable people misrepresenting themselves as capable and end up reacting to that.

Go get a job with a small or startup company if possible. You’re more likely to actually get to talk to the person you’re going to work for and not some HR dweeb who knows nothing about the job. When I’ve hired, I’ve always tried to look at the person and their potential, not just their list of things they’ve done on their resume. Big companies have too many procedural requirements in place most of the time for that to happen. Too many times the managers in big companies know nothing about the work their employess do and are just trying to cover their butts to climb the career ladder, thus they won’t make anything but a safe decision anyway.

Please read this:


Hopefully this will enlighten you.

Piracy may not “hurt” industry executives, it does hurt the grunts like you and I who code all day long for a measily amount of cash.

As far as stealing is concerned, those little sensors at the front of clothing stores are there for a reason, and the clientele of high-fashion botiques are the worst offenders of all. But I think my friend had the best take on all of that when he put a magnificent 12-string guitar in a cardboard case with a puny little lock on it. The lock was there, he said, “to keep the honest people out!” (It was never stolen.)

Some people will always steal whatever they think is “not bolted down.” But shopkeepers know that they can’t bolt-down everything. They take precautions against thieves but don’t assume that everyone who walks in their doorway is one, because they’re not.

Anyone who’s at-all serious about this business is going to select the right tool for the job, then (most likely…) buy it, and then proceed to make many-times the purchase price of that tool in profit. That’s the real name of the game. If you’re really good enough to make it, you’re good enough to buy your tools.


this is clearly off topic, so I move it in “Off Topic”

furthermore it is also a delicate matter since software piracy is illegal and elYsiun wil not allow any post supporting it. THe discussion looks, up to now, correct and polite, keep it like this.


I’m not directing my comments at you Bellorum, at least in the sense that I’m claiming you’re a pirate or a bad person in some way. I don’t know you well enough to make those claims or allegations. In fact, what I know of you from your posts I’ve seen in the forums wouldn’t support any such allegations and I generally think you’re a good guy. My comments are directed at the basic assumptions that so many people have today in regards to justifying their piracy.

Hey, I chose to use Blender, right?:wink: Heck, I’m trying to explain why I’m beginning to think Piracy is bad. Maybe I shouldn’t have included those first lines - I should have expected someone to take it personal. I just wanted to start a debate, which is somewhat of a habit I have(which is why I don’t have so many friends, for some reason;) I appreciate your input:)

Piracy is badddd … Mmmmm Kaaaayyy. :slight_smile:

Well, if you’re refering to me, I didn’t take it personal as in I thought you intended to harm me or someone else. I don’t think you intended any offense and I took none. I did however, as you may have noticed, :), feel it was important to point out that one issue.

You’re hanging around with the wrong people if they don’t like to have a good debate every so often. As long as people are rational and it doesn’t degenerate into a bunch of swipes at each other, debates are good mental exercise.