Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...

Subject: Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...
From: Andrea Saez (
Date: Sun Nov 13 2005 - 11:27:43 EST

I didn't want to get into this obviously huge and controversial
discussion (and considering Kevin is actually my teacher!) .... but
yes, agreed, as a student, I can say that buying a software worth
$600 isn't within my budget, and it is always a lot easier to get a
copy from someone else or get a warez. Although morally incorrect to
infringe copyright laws, most students decide to overlook that and go
for what's easy - the cheaper (or free) stuff.

Now.... if the university provided students with all the software,
even if it was for a small fee we could all afford (say ... $10?), I
can assure you less and less people would be trying to crack software
all the time.


On Nov 13, 2005, at 11:23 AM, Owen Grant wrote:

> There is a huge catch 22 here: how does the student -- often on the
> bread line -- afford to by their compositional tools? And how does
> a student learn to create music without the tools they need to
> compose?
> Although there are free alternatives to many of the big software
> programs, they are rarely as easy to use. Many students have enough
> problems understanding electro-acoustic music, never mind trying to
> learn how to operate non-user-friendly software. Moreover, the
> lecturers that have greater experience with music software are
> often provided with the big-name software on behalf of their
> institution. While students, presumably, have to use less user-
> friendly software such as PD, so they can work on things outside
> the University walls.
> J. Simon van der Walt Wrote:
>> Owen Green wrote;
>>> Absolutely - as far as software is concerned, open-source is
>>> invaribly
>>> the better way, both ethically and pragmatically.
>> I agree in principle, but not necessarily in practice; in terms of
>> functionality, ease-of-use, documentation and stability. I can get
>> stuff
>> done in Max/MSP, and my students can figger it out just by hacking
>> around.
>> pd is rocket science with a blunt penknife by comparison.
> They are required to learn twice the software -- for home use, and
> university use. They are required to put up with inferior software
> -- way to go, make things harder for students!
> If a student surgeon was told: ďSorry, we canít afford surgical
> knives for student surgeons; youíll need to make do with that
> chisel.Ē there would be a riot!
> Why should student musicians accept this double standard?
> Universities arenít supplying what the studentsí need, and the
> capitalists are pricing out the creation of new art.
> I think that a lot of students arenít as morally bereft as you
> might think. In fact, quite the opposite -- I think that a lot of
> students are consciously deciding that they think it morally
> acceptable to use cracked software. And whether anyone believes me
> I actually think that most students desire to replace cracked
> software as soon as their financial situation changes for the
> better. Students often feel forced into this criminal activity, and
> although I have never heard it expressed outright anywhere, I have
> a suspicion that students -- if not expected -- are tolerated in
> engage in this criminal activity.
> The question we should be asking is why arenít further education
> institutions supplying the tools students' need? Why do further
> education institutions have these student-lecturer double
> standards? Should the software companies be offering almost-free
> yearly rental of their software to students?
> Owen
> Owen.C.Grant

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