Morality of software patches


Nick Bradbury, creator of FeedDemon, wrote a familiar-sounding short piece about evil software crackers stealing his livelihood. This lead to quite a bit of discussion on other sites (with Aaron Swartz and Don Parks taking the polar ends of the scale).

I just wanted to add this: the Windows software I've bought recently (which isn't much, as I don't use the PC often any more) includes The Bat!, Tag&Rename and NewzCrawler. I used cracked versions of two of those three for at least a year before buying them once I was sure I needed them.

On the other hand, I tried the newly released Windows RSS reader FeedDemon out for a few days, and found it was a bit awkward to use - I would have had to have adjusted my way of working to adapt, and I wasn't willing to invest that effort just for a 30-use trial (though the tabbed windows were nice). As there are no transferrable licences between software products, ie I can't transfer the £20 I paid for NewzCrawler over to FeedDemon for a while then switch back again, I'll be sticking with NewzCrawler and SharpReader (free/donationware) for now. If I had a cracked version of FeedDemon though, I'd probably keep it installed alongside other RSS readers and would be more likely to switch over to a paid version at some point (assuming regular updates and reasonable pricing).