Fact: most audio plugins have been pirated/cracked/hacked and are widely available on torrents. But I just can’t bring myself to partake in this world.
Part of it is the creepiness factor. The installers for these things invariably include some `80s style hacker avatar with a stupid tagline like, “Team XYX: All Your iLoks Are Belong to Us” [sic]. I imagine a pack of loner kids cranking on Red Bull and wishing they were named Neo. But more importantly, full machine access gets granted to the installer while it runs, which means it could easily install malware too. You can bet on it, actually.
The other concern is ethical. I write software for a living. It’s a time consuming, expensive process. The more this stuff gets cracked and shared, the more likely these companies are to fail, the more likely consumer prices are to rise. I look at these applications as tax deductions, not freebies. And I feel good buying them. I don’t have to worry about losing the hacked version or what it might be doing to my machine. I’m also supporting a rather cool side of the software world too, one for which I’d love to work. And more generally, we live in a world where everything digital gets stolen. The long-term effects are simple: entire industries are getting destroyed, industries we should try to protect.
My audio plugin wish list remains large — Lexicon, Waves, Abbey Road. Yes, I want it all. But I’m not going to steal it.
Thus ends another one of my sanctimonious tech posts. Thank you for the fish.