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Cactus521

Illegal Distribution of software

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"I will hasten to add here; I am not a creator."I do contribute add-ons in several niche's, and your post sums up my feelings as well. These sites are owned/operated by bottom feeders, and I'd say 99 pct. of the people who participate in these forums do so because they find this site highly ethical--they are "voting with their feet" and have already made quite a strong statement against sites which poach work.There's two means to go after the poaching sites--First, boycott those who advertise on such sites. I don't care if it's the best add-on in the world--don't buy it and tell your friends not to buy it. If we buy the add-on, we support the sites--no other way around that truth. Second, these sites know that the chance of legal action is small. For any one author to prove damages is a mountain that no legal team could climb without great cost. How can we prove that our files alone are the reason users flock to the sites and pay their fees? It's the collection of stolen works and the way it's packaged that brings people to these sitesThe only way around that would be for the wealthiest of those among us to organize a class action suit. Some of the poaching sites are pretty high profile targets. And by the prose on their sites, they have pretty much admitted to stealing work by creative interpretation of the phrase "freeware", copyright, etc.... Last, to threaten to drop out of freeware because of sites that poach I don't find sincere. We are either in freeware because we enjoy what we do and the reward it brings, or we're not. I earn a paycheck, and take it home to my family every week. But at any given moment, I can be mugged or robbed (the latter happened to us last year). Do I quit working because there's lowlifes who steal? The web is full of them. Also, those freeware authors who solicit donations aren't freeware authors IMHO. They are asking for compensation. It's a hollow argument that costs should be "defrayed" for "thousands of man hours". I can't think of one project I've done where I've not considered myself the number one customer and would not have done the project otherwise. The time I invest is there for what I want to get out of the project. The sharing of the file I do because I know even if only a handful are interested, it's still more enjoyable to know my work has done a service to more than just meself.I have contributed less recently, but that doesn't mean I've done less. I just have taken offense to some comments made towards freeware titles and my own work which have nothing to do with sites that poach. They make the trouble of uploading and packaging the files not worth the effort any more, but I still create for myself and always will. And I will still share with others if I have something I just can't keep to myself :)-John

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