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cracked software

We hit you with our first weekly poll a couple of weeks back which you can see here What Type of Mobile Phone Do You Use? [Poll] What Type of Mobile Phone Do You Use? [Poll] It is time for another MakeUseOf poll! I hope you are all ready and excited ““ it has been a while after all. Today’s poll is going to be about mobile phones — what do... Read More . The answers were astounding and here were the results:

    – Plain old cell phone (22%, 324 Votes)
    – iPhone (21%, 306 Votes)
    – Android (15%, 223 Votes)
    – Symbian (14%, 200 Votes)
    – Blackberry (11%, 161 Votes)
    – Windows Mobile (10%, 151 Votes)
    – Other (2%, 35 Votes)
    – Other Smartphone (2%, 24 Votes)
    – Pre (1%, 18 Votes)
    – What’s a mobile phone? (2%, 17 Votes)

We had a little over 1,000 responses and it looks like the plain old cell phones like the Razr and Nokia bricks are still the most popular seconded by the iPhone and then Android. Symbian and Blackberry also topped Windows Mobile which is pretty shocking!

Today’s poll asks Do you buy software or prefer to use a “cracked” version?   Please answer the poll below and if you feel an option has been omitted, let us know in the comments and I will add it! Thanks guys.



  1. Sun
    March 30, 2010 at 3:35 am

    Got the new Kaspersky antivirus key through Kaspersky china website. No need to download a pirated copy or buy an original one. Many software like av music morpher are providing free keys only need to register. Rest are assured on your thoughts.

  2. Terry
    March 4, 2010 at 10:56 am

    I just cannot get on board with cracked software, at all. I think it is one of the lowest forms of behavior that the internet has inspired. Many people are pirating antivirus software then having the nerve to speak against those companies then they get viruses bundled in with their pirated software...unbelievable.

  3. deska
    March 4, 2010 at 8:24 am

    The funniest "internet piracy == theft" argument I ever saw was in the opening "FBI warning" portion of a legally bought DVD. There was also no way to skip past it, which made me want to pirate the original movie. It consisted of many deliberately shaky shots of some lady wearing a leather jacket. A man ran by and grabbed her purse. Suddenly the words "Stealing MOVIES is just like THIS" in my country's language appeared on some bizarre diagonal slant. So simply not giving the producer either ten dollars (=in the theater) or forty dollars (=official DVD) is now equal to stealing a purse full of credit cards and IDs? While I think piracy is not a good thing, acting like it's stealing a car is going overboard so far that you warp around the world to your boat and fall off again. Like Weird Al so cleverly said, "It doesn't matter if you're a grandma or a seven year old girl / they'll treat you like the evil hard bitten criminal scum you are".

  4. See
    February 28, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I refuse to pay for any software from Microsoft as I think they are way too expensive and I do not like their business ethics. So, I use Ubuntu and Open Office.

  5. Dan
    February 19, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    I haven't been able to buy software in years.
    Does anyone actually sell software in the retail market?
    However, I sure have paid for a bunch of Licenses.

  6. Jamie
    February 19, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    I once downloaded cracked software because
    1. I didn't know about free alternatives
    2. I come from a third world country where pirating is normal ( inever knew what the copyright symbol meant till recently-LOL and up to now i though if it is written "Copyright 2002-2005" it means the copyright expired in 2005 and it is now free.)
    3. can't afford to pay, I do not work but play music and do video and photo editing stuff so i need th software...

    However, I stopped pirating but still sigh and visit purate website just to stare at the download links before i kill the temptation by pressing the close button. I'm saving to get Photoshp and adobe Premier (currently using Paint.NET and VidoSpin) but truth is,

    1. Freeware never is better than the actual shareware, (GIMP is no way better than photoshop) and Shareware has all the features i want.
    2. by pirating or not pirating, it doesn't make a difference to a company. it's gonna be long before I afford the program.
    3. By buying the program, i wonder how much really goes to the developer, (Some programs have prices that are not justifiable)

    PS> I enrolled in un for Software engineering so i feel personally interested in the copyright debate, so my final word is, I like developes who offer free software and then a "Donate button"

  7. Ravi
    February 19, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    I have used a lot of pirated softwares; but not always, I still use some free/open source softwares which are better than their shareware counterparts.
    I think piracy is a matter about whether you have the money to pay for the software or not; when I was in school I always used pirated AV, but after I got a job I started buying AntiVirus, however there are other softwares which I come across occasionally and I don't pay for them.Why should I pay for a software which I use once in a month or even less.

    Have a Good Day,

  8. Jerry
    February 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    The main reason that people pirate anything is the greed of the publishers of these media.

    Even many actors/performers said that they wouldn't mind their movies/concerts either to be free for download (after the cinema/TV sale cycle) or much, much cheaper. After all, it would promote them and their art even further...

    There are the PRODUCERS and other agencies who want to milk the consumers to the last possible drop of money. Sure, they will cry in rage that piracy deprives the ARTISTS of their rightful income, but in reality it's their (PRODUCERS') corporate greed that doesn't know the limits...

    If the movies/games/software were so cheap, that it would be not feasable to crack/copy them, everybody would buy the legitimate copy. It would be simply to hard not to... People would be too lazy to bother with illegal copies if the legitimate ones were very affordable. There would be close to 100% of legitimate copies of any media in the use.
    And by the same token almost 100% revenue from their sales would come to the... PRODUCERS... But they are too greedy to see it...

    Sure, there always will be some die-hard dudes who just want to prove the point that they can do it, but it would be a hobby rather than a business for them...

  9. Pegister
    February 19, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    I will only Adobe products they are really expensive but great.

  10. Jim Shank
    February 19, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I don't engage in software piracy. People work hard on this stuff and I believe they deserve their due. That said, I often, after purchasing a legitimate product, look for a NO-CD hack so that I don't have to carry the CDs around with my laptop. Largely this is games, of course, but it comes up in other titles as well. When I can I do have a tendency to use freeware in place of expensive applications when possible (in fact, 90 percent of the software on my laptop) instead of resorting to piracy. Another interesting piracy story for me has to do with a damaged CD I had. I found an ISO of the CD online that came with all the Piracy tools to make it work. I downloaded it, ignored the piracy tools, and used my legitimate licence key.

    Have a great day,

  11. Name
    February 19, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Like I would tell you if I pirated stuff(like if I wanted prison)...well... I guess I sort of just ...did. Hehe. But legitimate software is always better.

  12. lookatme
    February 19, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I use open source, not cracked software

  13. Lou
    February 19, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I use freeware when it suits my needs, but I don't mind paying for a cool utility if it works well and saves me development time. I worked for a small software house 10 years ago and know the struggles we had with license issues. However, some of the larger commercial packages are priced way out of line. I purchase educational versions when I can.

  14. Amber Shadow
    February 18, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I don't ever pirate games or software.
    But I'm fine pirating other media. Strange but true.

  15. IT Admin
    February 17, 2010 at 12:47 pm


    1) Not all cracks have trojans. Using Insight for Active Directory and File Monitor will show you virtually everything that is happening on a Windows system.
    2) There are a number of sandboxes that can be used to test whether a like: Deep Freeze, Sandboxie, chroot jail, Windows SteadyState, etc.
    3) Some anti-virus/anti-malware applications will alert on cracks/keygens because the AV company does not like them.

    Theft requires that the lawful owner is deprived of something. When my car was stolen, I no longer had use of it. If I were to download a copy of a $50,000 program and use it, the author would not be deprived of it. Nor could it reasonably be argued that they lost a sale, since the funds required for the sale don't exist (I don't have $50k).

    While copyright infringement is illegal/immoral, it's not theft.

    It does not have to be theft for it to be wrong. However by arguing incorrectly that it is theft, the result is that any further points you make will be ignored by people who disagree with the stretching of the term "theft". In fact, the more forcefully people incorrectly push the infringement==theft argument, the more alienated their audience will become from their point of view. In other words, what you're doing only convinces people to do it more.
    Much of the software that I use is open source.

    There are a number of shareware/commercial programs that I use and pay for.

    I have also downloaded software as a demo to determine if it's something I want to use as well as to simply see how it works. Sometimes I'll do this with 5 or 10 programs that seem to be the favorite ones in a given category to see which one I want to use/buy. Some of this software has a legal demo, some does not. Some of the software I've tested out costs multiple thousands of dollars, which I could never afford. However when I recommend it to an employer; my recommendation is based on the knowledge that the software is good, and not on marketing BS.

    Games, are a different story altogether. I used to buy games and then download the no-CD crack since the CDs often get scratched and/or lost. At some point, game publishers started bundling DRM frameworks which have many things in common with rootkits with games. They're generally hidden, they run all the time, they often "phone home" without permission, on rare occasions they can cause system instability, etc.

    These DRM schemes have gotten more and more invasive to the point that in the past few years I may buy a game, but I play the "Hacked" or "Pirate" versions because they provide FAR fewer headaches. I've gotten exactly ZERO viruses or trojans from this. While I am careful, I have downloaded a few infected installs but one or another anti-virus software I run caught it. I'd estimate 98% or more of what I've downloaded was clean. On the other hand virtually every game published now wants to install something I don't want on my system.

    The publishers are destroying the game industry. I wanted to buy Starcraft 2, I had a pre-order in. I've canceled it however since I found out that my wife and I will not be able to play it on our laptops without internet access. Requiring internet access for LAN games also means that US soldiers who are deployed overseas will not be able to play LAN Starcraft 2 games to blow off steam.

    Good Job Blizzard!!! Way to support the troops...

    I've bought damned near every game, except for WOW, that Blizzard has ever published, and some like Starcraft I've purchased 5+ copies of. Starcraft 2 will be the first Blizzard non-MMORPG that I won't buy. If I payed for it, I would be saying that I'm ok with the terrible way they're treating their customers (me included). I may download the improved version, if the pirates can figure out a way to fix the LAN gaming portion, but I sure as hell won't support their behavior.

    • Jerry
      February 19, 2010 at 6:01 pm

      Very well said!!! I am backing you up 100%

    • Aibek
      February 20, 2010 at 2:10 am

      Thanks for valuable comment, totally agree on the gaming DRM issues.

  16. DrPhilGood
    February 15, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Why pay for software? Or Movies Or Music?

    Isn't the price included in my Internet subscription

    • Karl Gechlik
      February 17, 2010 at 12:54 pm

      LMFAO! Good answer :)

  17. TheHenz
    February 15, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    If it ain't legal I ain't interested. Freeware, shareware, original software based on the idea of commercial software, fine. But, crackers are like hackers - usually spoiled geek types with a technological flaire who like to mess with other people's (companies') software. It is theft! for the dummies who are interested...

  18. Thisismyname
    February 15, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I only pirate things that 1) I cannot find or 2) have onerous DRM that punishes legitimate users. I like supporting companies that make good products so I usually purchase them. If I have to use something I can't find or they have ridiculous DRM then I do not believe whatever company is doing this deserves my money. I usually also check to see if there is an open source alternative.

  19. JK III
    February 15, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Where I live, it is extremely easy to "buy" pirated software (at less than even 1% of the original price in some cases). In fact, you'll have a hard time finding an original CD for a game or software. Even in my school, the computers are full of pirated software. Still, whatever morals are set by the society, the truth is that pirating is stealing and the developer has the right to be paid if I am using his product.

    But from another perspective, it's developers' fault that they make prices so unbelievably high. A person who earns $3000 per month can easily buy a software for $200 , but what about people who earn $300 per month? My friend recently bought a used desktop for around $80, now do you really expect him to pay $300 for installing an operating system on that machine? Developers should have some special pricing for developing countries where people can buy computers, but unfortunately cannot afford software.

  20. Jason
    February 15, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I used to do the 'try before you buy' style of piracy, but now I stay away, mostly due to the trojan factor. That and the fact that, if you wait long enough, Steam (or someone) will have it on sale for *practically* free in any event. (Games are the only software that I'll buy--everything else is open source.)

    I suppose that, if I was annoyed enough by the 'anti-piracy' mechanism of a particular game, I might download a crack for it after I bought it. Haven't gone that route in quite a while, however. These days, if a publisher wants to treat me like a criminal for using their software, I just won't buy (or pirate) it.

  21. JK III
    February 15, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Still waiting for a free alternative to Adobe Flash. And don't tell me about Synfig, it's not the same thing. :(

  22. Bittermike
    February 15, 2010 at 10:30 am

    o_0 buy software??? what is that?? software is free... Have you ever heard of Linux? Open Office? Gimp? Asterisk?

    • Bittermike
      February 15, 2010 at 10:32 am

      Also, ALL CRACKS ARE INFECTED WITH TROJANS. Just check the cracks at everyone of them infected with multiple trojans.

  23. OpenSource
    February 15, 2010 at 10:21 am

    You need to add an "I use Open Source first!" option!

  24. Katrin
    February 15, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I prefer Open Source apps as it corresponds to my beliefs. but if I can't find free analog I do usually buy software (or don't if it's ridiculously expensive)

  25. MrSelf
    February 15, 2010 at 9:15 am

    The only time I use a cracked version is if it is very expensive and I'm not going to be using the software for professional purposes. Like photoshop but not limited to JUST photoshop.

  26. Ylod Sean
    February 15, 2010 at 9:07 am

    I generally buy the software unless is way too expensive and I can't simply afford it. In that case I look for a free version or a similar free software..

  27. Paula Burns
    February 15, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I use freeware and free Open Source software. I prefer not to pirate anything, when there's a free alternative available.

  28. Kurtis Miller
    February 15, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Open-source or try-before-buy all the way! I have downloaded a few "cracked" programs, but always either try it and delete it, or buy it if it's worth it.

  29. So&So
    February 15, 2010 at 7:33 am

    It depends on the app. I won't pirate security software or OS just because of how easy it can be to embed malware into the software.

    But other apps sometimes I pirate, but don't tell anyone

  30. John
    February 15, 2010 at 7:30 am

    I've pirated 2 or 3 programs over the past 30 years. (That's less then occasionally). I normally look for a free alternative and when I really need something that's a commercial program I will pay for it.

  31. Jacob
    February 15, 2010 at 7:21 am

    I use Open source software.

    Why use cracked applications when you don't know what was added to it !?!

    Stay safe and encourage open source.

  32. Rouj Chalabi
    February 15, 2010 at 5:01 am

    i use ubuntu

    • Kameth
      February 15, 2010 at 6:17 am

      And Mandriva Too...

  33. AussieRodney
    February 15, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Some poor bugger has worked hard to create that software & deserves payment for it.

  34. Dennis Beatty
    February 14, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    I use pirated sometimes when there's a glitch with the demo version and I want to see if it exists in the full before I buy (for instance, the Poser software demo didn't render on my laptop, and it turns out there was a compatibility issue and I'm glad I checked first because I was thinking maybe it was just a problem with the demo). I realize how much hard work the software producers put into their products though so I try to legally acquire most of my software.

  35. Amir
    February 14, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Occasionally. I'll try to find an open-source alternative before downloading pirated sruff

  36. Dave
    February 14, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Nice to see the "Occasionally I buy but mostly I pirate" option in the poll.

    ...oh wait

  37. Araxhiel Khy
    February 14, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    If an app doesn't have a 'free' version or 'free' alternative (like: Photoshop == GIMP, Office ==, and I really need to use THAT app... I use it pirated xD if no... then I'll run for the 'free' version...

    (FREE = GLP, CC or similar Licences or even the Freeware version of some app (like WinAmp...), don't refers to ShareWare versions)

    • Bob3000
      February 15, 2010 at 4:45 am

      This is my standard operating procedure as well.

    • JK III
      February 15, 2010 at 11:36 am

      Me too! :) Though in future I have plans for finally buying them and paying my debts.

  38. Reuben
    February 14, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    I use the pirated version as a sort of demo, play a game once then buy or just get rid of pirated version.

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