Browsing the webIllegal downloading of applications is probably just an inevitable as the sunrise every morning. No matter what companies do to protect against it, hackers always tend to find a way around it - at times, rather quickly. Is this something that should be taken lightly, or seriously by the companies and law makers?

After conversing with a number of people regarding this issue, it seems like the most common excuse was the following: "If I'm not a professional and won't be making any money from it, why should I pay for it for only playing around with it?" Technically speaking, this is a pretty valid response, but what about people who do make money off of it?

Without a doubt, Photoshop (or any other application package from Adobe) isn't exactly the most affordable. There are a lot of people out there in the world (pros and non-pros) running cracked versions of software of all different types. A lot of these people have it just for the sake of having it, while others actually make money from them by offering professional services to those in need. This is my primary issue. More after the jump...

Should people who can't afford the software have any right to use the cracked versions to make some sort of a living? Morally speaking, I would immediately say no because I am an optimist and believe that if someone really wanted something, they would go out of their way to get it. Unfortunately, this is not the case - people simply take advantage of the fact that they can run the software for free without getting caught, and make money off of it, too.

Company Logos

After the amount of research I've done and the knowledge that I've gained, I cannot ignore how much time, effort, skill and money goes into the development of these applications. Just thinking about all the applications that Adobe makes, and how most of the design world revolves around their software makes me feel obligated to pay my respects (literally).

On top of professional applications, video games also face a very similar problem. They're always getting cracked and ripped in so many ways that if all the illegal copies were actual purchases, profit margins would be miles higher for some game companies. Now, I can't say that I am not guilty of pirating myself, but those days came to an end a long time ago, and I now fully support the industries I take part in.

My intention of this post is not to make people stop pirating software, but to at least spread the awareness of what's going on. If there was less piracy, wouldn't it help companies develop better products through proper budgets and funding? I am sure there are many who think that too much money for these companies would spoil them, or that these companies already have more than enough money as it is.

Which side are you on? Comments appreciated. =)