The Importance of Legal Software

June 5, 2010

Over the years I have always been surprised when someone attending one of my training classes will admit that they “borrowed” a copy of CorelDRAW from a friend. Let me understand this. Someone builds a business that is highly dependent on a piece of software and they don’t even buy a copy?

In years past, I could at least understand “borrowing” a copy as a way to test out software before purchase. Today, trial versions are available for most all popular software so that excuse doesn’t fly any more. There are also the users who try so hard to find the best deal on software that they take advantage of the age old “deal too good to be true.”

This past week many people learned a hard lesson on software piracy when CorelDRAW X4 stopped working for them on June 1 with the mysterious Error 24. The details of the problem were described by Gerard Metrailler along with an offer for amnesty. I saw three distinct groups of people affected by the problem.

First, there were the people who knowingly got a pirated version of CorelDRAW. Some of these users were even brazen enough to admit to this on Corel’s own Web site. They were also some of the users most upset with Corel. So you stole the software from Corel and you expect them to fix it? Good luck with that.

The second group were those who fell for the “too good to be true” deals. If it isn’t already obvious to everyone, the odds of getting legal software on auction sites like ebay is very low. Yet users love to go there and buy the highly discounted software with a seller “guarantee” that it is absolutely legal. Almost every one of these listings sells the CorelDRAW X4 DVD by itself. Sorry, but that is a dead giveaway it is illegal. These users can take advantage of Corel’s amnesty offers if they simply provide details of their purchase to Corel so that Corel’s lawyers can go after the sellers.

The third group bought a copy from a legitimate reseller. Somehow, some pirated copies made it into that distribution channel. While I know that the occasional pirate copy makes it into these channels, the numbers are very small. Again, users who got their copy in this way are eligible for Corel’s amnesty program if they can simply provide details of their purchase.

One user was absolutely furious because he claimed he couldn’t find a receipt to send to Corel. If a receipt wasn’t required, anyone could simply call Corel and asked for the highly discounted amnesty software. I understand that some users did spend money on the pirated copies. Keep in mind that none of that money went into Corel’s pockets. Corel doesn’t owe those users anything and yet they have made a very generous offer to help those users get a legal copy of CorelDRAW X4 at a great price.

Next time you are shopping for software, keep these stories in mind. If you try so hard to get a good deal that you end up with pirated software, what are you going to do if that software flat out stops working? How much harm will that do to your business to be without the software for even a few days?

I do my best to provide great offers on purchasing software directly from Corel Corporation. Often, these offers are as good as anything else out there. Sometimes they are a few dollars more. When you buy directly from Corel, you will know that the software you are buying is the real thing and you won’t have to worry about problems like this happening to you. Just for reference, you can use the coupon code of UNLEASHEDSUN to save 10% on software from Corel and you can use the code of COREL99 to get free shipping if the total is over $99.

As Corel develops new versions of their software, you can bet that they will introduce new ways to minimize the effect of piracy. This time they made a generous offer to those who were affected. In the future, they may simply prosecute. Are you willing to take that risk? When you purchase a legal copy, you are also providing Corel with the needed revenue to develop service packs and new versions. My guess is that there are three illegal copies in use for every legal one. Maybe it is worse. Imagine how the added revenue of converting all of those pirate copies would allow Corel to develop some amazing new versions!

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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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