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Not really. You'd be amazed how easy it is actually. Read the book I linked, starting from the chapter on porn and haute-couture. There is very little overlap between those who'd spend $2000 for a PRADA handbag and those who buy the chinese version at $5. Analogously, there's little overlap between those who'd buy full price photoshop from adobe and the kid who will download it from rapidshare.



> There is very little overlap between those who'd spend $2000 for a PRADA handbag and those who buy the chinese version at $5.

If anyone could buy the Chinese knock-off for $5 (in a legal fashion), then the people with $2k to spend on the 'official' version would probably be less likely to do so because it would seem less 'exclusive.'

> Analogously, there's little overlap between those who'd buy full price photoshop from adobe and the kid who will download it from rapidshare.

The difference here is that the full version Photoshop is not a status symbol. People don't flaunt the fact that they paid 'good money' for the latest version of Photoshop.

It also increases Adobe's bottom-line because poor university students learn to use the tool by downloading the pirated version while they are in school (the 'edu' version of Photoshop was still $300 last I checked), then they pay for the full version once they are actually using it for business.

If those same students could not pirate the latest version of Photoshop, they may well learn Gimp or PaintShopPro or something else, and use that once they get into the industry. This would affect Adobe's bottom line in reduced sales.

It's the same argument for Microsoft and Windows. Pirated version of Windows increase the install-base for Windows. If those same people said "fuck it" and used Linux (or something else) instead of pirated Windows, then Microsoft would have less marketshare (and mindshare).


You're inverting a business positive into a consumer negative. Of course businesses want loyal repeat buyers. Of course businesses will all use similar tactics to win loyalty. But "evil and monopolistic" could only be the case when you're talking about an application or platform like Photoshop or Windows that influences an entire ecosystem of other work. Businesses based around content like music or games stand to benefit from piracy equally well; it's an opportunity for the best creators to rise in popularity and build their brand outside of traditional publishing mechanisms. As pointed out earlier in this discussion, content pirates aren't content buyers and their demographics are wildly different. If they become part of the pool of buyers at a later time(e.g. when they have disposable income), they're going to seek out familiar brands and buy from them. But this doesn't impact any other content business, since it's based almost entirely on the strengths of the work and not lock-in.


> But "evil and monopolistic" could only be the case when you're talking about an application or platform like Photoshop or Windows that influences an entire ecosystem of other work.

Are you sure that you're responding to the right comment? I said nothing about 'evil' or 'monopolistic.'


It also increases Adobe's bottom-line because poor university students learn to use the tool by downloading the pirated version while they are in school (the 'edu' version of Photoshop was still $300 last I checked), then they pay for the full version once they are actually using it for business.

Actually, Adobe's edu prices are actually very reasonable. Looking at my colleges sales site (well, SUNY system's), the minimum edu discount given is upwards of $1000, and usually closer to $1300. CS5 {Design, Production, Web} Premium are all $385, Design Standard is $220.

I could definitely afford $225, let alone $385, if needed. As could most others that I know (even if they would complain about the price).

The software company that I havent found this to be the case for is Quark, with XPress. And thats when selling to colleges directly, not to students. Its still $600-$700 off for students to purchase on their own (totaling ~$200). And SUNY has an even better discount, bringing the cost down to $100.


For comparison as an engineering student I spent 100 dollars for matlab, something I end up using all the time for class, for a convenience factor as I don't really pirate anything but if I were a design student I really wouldn't want to fork over 300 dollars for a program I can't use commercially (and as a student 300 dollars really isn't something easily within my budget).

Other examples from engineering/architecture/math: Pro/ENGINEER and Mathcad are only ~100 dollars for students, mathematica comes close to 100 and Autodesk gives software to students for free.


Whats your point? Or rather: How does your point differ from my point?

You're not getting one program for $385; you're getting multiple programs in one suite. 5-6 programs at $385 or 3-4 programs at $220. For example, Adobe CS Design Standard suite ($220) comes with 3-4 fairly big programs; Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat. Four big programs - two of which (Photoshop, Illustrator) you're near guaranteed to use at some point if you're doing digital art. Comes out to less than $100/program.

I only focused on Adobe and other creative programs because that is what the OP I was responding to mentioned. My point would still stand if I used engineering/math programs instead of art/design programs.


My only real point was that 300 dollars wasn't ever really in my budget but I go to college on scholarships and other such things so I'm probably different than many.

The engineering tools, especially what you get with many of the student editions are equivalent to programs sold for well over 3x and more than the price of commercial design suites but something that many of the engineering businesses have come to understand is that having students use their products gives them an advantage for when companies choose products. As well as the price difference between engineering software and design software many of the student editions come with large amounts of expensive add-ons for free and this is more than equivalent to a design suite.

The thing about photoshop and the other design items is that they are the de facto standard so instead of treating students as students they instead choose to lower to a still high price and expect students to buy rather than pirate.


"If those same students could not pirate the latest version of Photoshop, they may well learn Gimp or PaintShopPro or something else, and use that once they get into the industry. This would affect Adobe's bottom line in reduced sales."

Since the industry doesn't use Gimp, those students would be putting themselves out of the market.

"It's the same argument for Microsoft and Windows. Pirated version of Windows increase the install-base for Windows. If those same people said "fuck it" and used Linux (or something else) instead of pirated Windows, then Microsoft would have less marketshare (and mindshare)."

This idea may work with a handful of apps. It doesn't work with the mid-sized software company trying to make a profit.


    "Since the industry doesn't use Gimp, those students would be putting themselves out of the market."
Your making a chicken and egg argument. The reason the industry doesn't use Gimp is because no one in the industry uses Gimp. If a whole graduating class of students skipped Photoshop and used Gimp for price reasons then the picture could and likely would change.


"Your making a chicken and egg argument. The reason the industry doesn't use Gimp is because no one in the industry uses Gimp. If a whole graduating class of students skipped Photoshop and used Gimp for price reasons then the picture could and likely would change."

no. I'm saying since the industry doesn't use gimp, it's not in the best interest for the students to use it either.

How Photoshop actually became the industry standard is another topic.

If a whole graduating class used Gimp, the whole graduating class would be disappointed when they went to find a job and couldn't find one due to lack of experience.

Students don't set the industry standard. They follow it.


> Students don't set the industry standard. They follow it.

I don't think this is entirely true, which is one reason companies have student-discount programs, often pretty aggressive ones, sometimes going all the way to basically giving the software away for free to students (Microsoft does the latter fairly often).

If nothing else, what students are familiar with affects the cost/benefit analyses of companies making decisions. If a lot more graduating students are familiar with technology X than Y, then a company will find it harder to hire for Y, and will pay more for the employees when they do, which pushes some companies to choose X. Obviously how much effect this has depends on a lot of factors, like how big and how persistent the imbalance is, how entrenched the industry standard is, etc.


The reason no one uses Gimp is because the user interface is terrible. Photoshop kills gimp.


I can't use Photoshop because it lacks Gimp's right-click-to-do-anything menu. Less mouse movement = faster work. If Gimp just sorted the tool palette into categories, it would quickly become ten times easier for novices, but once you learn the keyboard shortcuts (or reconfigure Gimp with Photoshop shortcuts), Gimp is as easy as Photoshop.

Usability is a separate issue from deep color support, Pantone, etc. Any traditionally "religious" discussion (Gimp vs Photoshop, Vim vs Emacs, Win vs Lin, etc.) tends to be unproductive because both sides will make broad, sweeping, inaccurate, or unprovable statements, and when one side wins a point, the other side changes the subject, instead of people honestly comparing and contrasting.

...and to avoid further derailing the conversation, I'll stop here.


> Students don't set the industry standard. They follow it.

There are exceptions to most rules, including this one. Consider for example what has taken place with Blender. I know a lot of people who would have been learning 3DS Max (or Maya, etc.), but now know and use Blender instead because that's what they can afford.

And these students don't have to venture forth into The Industry. They can create their own that will topple the existing one. There are plenty of growing startups who would be more than happy to hire someone with "3D Skillz", and many of them don't care what tools they use, so long as the work gets done.




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