Lunchtime is a good opportunity to mingle with developers around the world, and I recently met a chap from India who had a refreshing view of pirates and their role.
He explained that he'd be out of his job (Office developer) if piracy was curbed. If a mint copy of Office sells for hundreds of pounds very few people are going to buy it and this gives a huge incentive for a local software vendor to come up with a low cost word processor or spreadsheet and corner the low cost market.
But if they can buy a pirated copy of Office for a few pounds there's no incentive for local programmers to undercut that. In the meantime the pirate copy users learn to use Microsoft software and sooner or later a proportion of these will buy a legitimate copy.
"Every time I see a pirate I smile at him. That's my future employment prospects he's got spread out on the pavement before him," he grinned.
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