On Illegal Downloading, Warez


I got this email this morning and I literally LOL’d. First, I was impressed that one of the community members had the courage to outright admit what they had done. And second, I laughed because it’s honestly doesn’t bother me that much.

But, I wanted to share with you my response, in gist, and then expand on it a bit…

When I was younger I downloaded software for free from all of the sites that I could possibly use. I was in IRC channels torrenting (and seeding) movies, games, utilities, and more. I can’t imagine how many copies of Windows 2000 Server I passed around or even Photoshop and Flash.

But something hit me like a truck when someone close got “caught” for their illicit activities and was fined a ton of money. I realized that despite the amount of money that I may be saving it was not worth spending time in jail.

And, later, as I matured as an adult, I realized that as a software engineer myself, that buying good work was worth the price of entry and that supporting developers and creators was just the right thing to do. It keeps the lights on, quite literally, for some of these folks.

I understand the motive and I deeply empathize with being on both sides of the table. I’m not judging more than I am simply telling you my own personal story of where I stand today.

And even now, I purposely chose the Apple Store to be my sole distribution channel. Could I spend time building the app to be distributed outside of that ecosystem? Sure, of course. But I haven’t, and I don’t plan on it anytime soon.

With that in context, it means that I don’t mind giving Apple it’s “share” of the pie of my work. So, my response to this person was simply this:

Just buy it from the Mac App Store… because if I’m okay with it being there then you can be too.

And that’s that.