I’m not trying to pat myself on the back just for obeying the law and respecting the rights of software authors and publishers. But it is a big step into the light, so to speak, to properly own so much software when — I’ll admit it — I used to have stacks of not-so-legitimate software burned on CD’s and stashed in my desk. It actually makes me feel good that I’ve left that behind; there’s an intangible but very rewarding feeling knowing that none of the registration screens in my software bear the names of friends or former employers, to say nothing of strangers or organizations I’ve never had any associations with.
Another part of it is that I just haven’t got the time to pirate software any longer, whether by cajoling friends into loaning me their installers or tracking down cracked software online. It’s just too time consuming. Who has time to do that?
I’ll bet, too, that the same goes for lots of you out there. At least the ones who’ve been working professionally for a while. In my experience, this is the pattern for software adoption: as a young and penniless practitioner, I felt priced out of legitimate software ownership and resorted to shadier means of acquiring it. Over the years, I tried to ameliorate those infractions by having my employers purchase licenses whenever possible, somewhat hypocritically dissuading piracy in the workplace. And when I finally got to a station in life where I could get the necessary paperwork together to afford the mortgage for software as exorbitantly priced as Creative Suite 3, I did. From pirate to patron, basically. I’m not condoning it, but I bet mine is not a unique journey. Am I right?