I bought a new laptop last April, and there is no any Microsoft in it, so I bought a Microsoft office which cost me like 150 dollar, I take home and my roommate call me a idiot because she know a website that can download this Microsoft for free, which definitely annoyed me for the later days, I try to comfort myself by keep telling that the full price one is more safe for my laptop, or maybe the free downloaded one have virus in it, however, I’m still regret I didn’t call my roommate before I bough the Microsoft. If I can download a free one, why should I pay for150 dollar when other people can get it for free? Why pay for a 2010 version of software, when there will be a 2011 version come out soon? As a software consumer and a no income student, I just feel the 150 dollar is too expensive for me, if it is 30 dollar, I think I will just give the money and feel very happy and satisfied. However, the Microsoft just don’t want drop down their price. I have no idea about how to make software or how much money it cost to develop a new software, but if any laptop users need to spend 150 dollar to get their Microsoft office software, the Microsoft totally gained a lot money from us. So, it is not the fault of the people who do the download or the people who uploads the illegal copy, it simply because they asked too much. In addition, why I should pay 150 to get the whole pack of Microsoft office that include power point, word, excel, and entourage which I even don’t know what is it use for. Why can’t I just get Microsoft word only? In addition, what if the people cannot afford the software, when a laptop already cost them a lot? Then, illegal downloading becomes the only way they can access to the software.
It is pity for Microsoft, and they are really unhappy for the revenue lost in China. CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer in his talk at Beijing this Wednesday has complain about the situation in China, he argues that if people can afford a PC in China, they definitely can afford the software.
However, even the sell of PCs in China has the similar number between China (US$63.8million in 2010) and American (US$75million in 2010), the revenue from China is less then it get in Netherlands, which only have 3.5 million PC shipment in 2010, and fewer then 17 million population (Fletcher &Dean, 2011) The revenue in China is only close to US$ 2 million, compare with the $US36.2 million in American (Fletcher &Dean, 2011) . Personally, I think Ballmer didn’t know the situation in China. Partly from the price, the price for a office (student and family version) is RMB 388 (US$ 58) and RMB48999 ($720)(for professional)
But average income last year in China is only US$4382, compare to the US$47172 in Netherlands, and US$47289(IMF, 2010). Microsoft want have same revenue from China, why they don’t they make the price cheaper for the Chinese consumer? A student in China usually has no income, and US$ 58 is a pretty high price needs to pay on the software. An American in China will see the price for Microsoft office is quite cheap in China, as the price in is US$149 in America, however, his income is about nine times more then an average worker in China.
Some anti-advertisement just failed to outline the consequences, but only limited on the surface, such as telling people: if you buy piracy you infringe the law, and cop will come and find you! or materialize the intellectual property as a handbag, or a car and hope to pass an idea of “piracy= crime”. They need to meet Manovich, and learn about language of new medias, as they are still stay at the era when things shifted is gone, digital information can be duplicated with cost nothing.I want to say, piracy is even less painful then borrow someone something that you need to concern if the thing might get dirty or destroyed , because piracy is like produce a car with nothing, but you paid millions on the car while others just can get it for free, while the car industy spent millions on the steel, wheel, design, engine, but you just need a simply click, it doesn’t matter if you download the pirated version as no one is actually lost its car, or $$$. However, if pople stop producing the real version, then that is the problem because you never will get the priated version.
When the entire world is facing the glorious industry that generated by Web2.0, none materialized property has embedded with the features of new media, including its modularity, automation, and transcending, which resulted the digitalized ideas are easier and convenient be shifted and duplicated (Manovich, 2001). It is so conflicting for me to think about the spreading of knowledge through commercial trade when knowledge is supposedly to be shared without boundaries. The ambiguity to choose between the free-shared piracy or pay- to – accessed information, has evaluated the knowledge through moral and commercial practices for people to decide which one to sacrifice.
Thus, the “share to make a better world” theory raised by Mark zuckgurg, and the statement of making a freer world that can be accessed universally (Nelson& Berners-Lee, 2002) has become a utopia with the commercialized idea, since quilfied knowledge are charged with money. People paid to produce ideas, which then be encapsulated into softwares and demonstrated worldwide, to help improved the knowleage of others.
Isn’t the stuation of piracy projecting the social, technical, finacial conflicting between the hypostatizing concepts of communism and capitalism? respectively represent the utopia/ reality, free share/paid access, harmony/unrest, equality/ inequality, universual accessible/limited access, open codes/ close code. When regulations are made to protect to Hollywood motion pictures, serials number are demand unlock the software, where is the place that the culture flow heading to?
Reference that didn’t provide links:
Nelson,T. & Burners-Lee, T (2002), ‘Everything is intertwingled’, in Adam Brate (ed.) Technomanifestos: Visions from the information revolutions, New York and London: Texere, pp214-239.