Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why Does Piracy Exist?

As I have mentioned many times in my previous blogs, the issue of piracy is an issue about economics. It is not an ethical conundrum, but rather how the economic forces push the average individual into piracy.

How much do you earn in Malaysia? Below is the average wages of Malaysian workers.


Average Wage

Degree Graduate

RM 2500


RM 4000


RM 7000

Now let us compare the prices of some of the common software being sold in Malaysia.



Windows 7 Home Basic

RM 380

Windows 7 Ultimate

RM 770

Microsoft Office Home & Business 2010

RM 650

Microsoft Office Professional 2010

RM 1700

3ds Max

RM 14,300

AutoCAD 2012

RM 14,888

Maya 2012

RM 13,650

Photoshop CS 5.5

RM 2820

Photoshop CS 5.5 Extended

RM 4030

Illustrator CS 5.5

RM 2420

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5

RM 1620

Painter 11

RM 1650

A fresh graduate will not be able to afford even the basic requirements for a computer. A Windows 7 Home Basic and Office Home & Business will cost him as much as half month’s salary.

How is a Graphical Design student supposed to practice his skills after graduating when purchasing a 3D design software requires twice the salary of a Manager?

At the same time a pirated copy of all the software listed above will only cost RM 120. If he downloads it, it’s all free.


How to they type with their hooks?

I do not condone the use of pirated software in any way. But what other options are available for an average computer user in Malaysia? I offer 3 simple suggestions to the problem.

First, reduce software prices or introduce different pricing solutions.

Second, to introduce and enforce more competitive salary scale.

Third, use open source software.

Whatever the real solution maybe, what is needed at the end of the day is the opportunity for the user to purchase legal copies of a software. For now, the opportunity itself is not within the the user’s grasp.

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