Software Piracy

I consciously choose not to use any pirated software. There are a few reasons why I made this decision:

  • I work in software development, so using pirated software is like ‘biting the hand that feeds you‘;
  • When you install pirated or ‘cracked’ software on your system, you are potentially opening your system up to all sorts of nasties included in the pirating process; and
  • I have found viable free and/or open source alternatives that remove the need to use pirated software in the first place, so I am not really missing out at all.


So what do I use instead? Here’s some commercial software and the free/open source alternatives that I use:

A lot of these alternatives use open standards and formats, which is a good thing to encourage. The more people who use open standards and formats, the more commercial software vendors will feel the need to support them.

The other benefit of using these alternatives is that if you decide to switch operating systems then most of these are cross platform, so you don’t need to change your software that you use.

Which brings me to my final point. The more you start to use these cross platform alternatives, and the more things are done on the web (email, IM etc.), the more you start to question why you need a commercial operating system.

Most of the packages above work on Ubuntu or other flavours of Linux, so there’s no reason not to switch to a non-commercial operating system as well.

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is an Excellence Wrangler for Automattic.

4 thoughts on “Software Piracy”

  1. It all depends… while I basically agree with your article, there are quite many exceptions that justify the usage of a commercial operating system. Take digital photography: There is practically no way around Lightroom and/or Photoshop if you want to be really productive – I know this because I do a lot of photography. Sure I use Gimp and its O.K. for most of the stuff, but when it comes to organizing many thousands of pictures, I have to use Lightroom. I did try some open source “alternatives” but they were a pain.
    Take music production: Do you know any professional sequencer that’s free + offers all the bells & whistles that you would find in Ableton or Reason?

    You get the point… there is no way around win/mac. Yet.


    1. I agree it’s different for someone who is heavily into photography or music, I guess a semi-pro. I am mainly talking about myself who dabbles in this and that, mainly creates basic photos, and does writing and listening to tunes.

      As to answer your specific question, I don’t know of any professional sequencers because I have never really got into music production.


  2. This is a great article. I have been using your suggested list of software for a while. I prefer VLC over all media players. It recognizes all of the video formats I have thrown at it. Gimp and AVG are also great products that I recommend.


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