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Does software piracy hurt the open source community?

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Louis Suarez-Potts, the community manager for the open-source Open Office project, says software piracy also hurts the open-source community, and though it can be argued that open-source is bad for innovation, most of us love the open source community. So does the occasional pirated piece of software really hurt our beloved open source projects?

Suarez-Potts thinks it's bad for everyone including the open source community since pirated software theoretically takes "customers" away from open source projects. For example, a college student may never end up downloading Open Office since he copied Microsoft Office from a friend, but that's not to say it hurts the money-makers like Microsoft at all. A little bit of piracy helps to establish big company's products as "the standard", hurting open source projects even more and making it harder for them to get their foot into a user's door.

Now we'd like to pose a question: Like the college student used in the example above, does pirating software generally prevent you from trying Open Source software or would you have put the cash down anyway even if you couldn't get it for free?

Does software piracy generally prevent you from joining the open souce movement?
Yes463 (36.3%)
No813 (63.7%)

Tags: commercial, community, hack, hacker, hackers, open, open source, OpenSource, piracy, pirate, software