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Freeware vs Warez!

It wasn't that long ago that the Internet was a place for sharing, a place where you could quite easily, happily (and not to mention legally!) download a variety of applications and utilities fit for a specific purpose. Nowadays, it would seem that the corporate monster has taken over transforming what was once a virgin playground into a massive sales pitch with everyone grabbing a piece of the action and saturating the net.

As the years have passed, new idea's and ventures appear giving birth to a whole new generation of entrepreneurs and innovative platforms such as blogs, forums, social networks and probably one of the biggest things this decade ... Warez!

Warez has had a massive impact on net users and their attitudes. I say attitudes because many warez users, in particular the younger generation, don't actually see the problem with warez and are more than happy to browse the vast array of such sites, registering with one after another in the hope of searching and finding something new and exciting to download!

The fight

More recently however, the authorities and in particular the media giants have began waging war on such sites and the people behind them, and in some cases pursuing those utilising the sites, however my personal opinion is that although they may be making an impact on a small scale it is seriously unlikely that they will win the fight outright for some time to come!. It would also appear that after attempting (and I mean attempting) to go straight to the organ grinder and shut these sites down they quickly realised the task ahead, not to mention legalities, so changed their tactics and tried targetting those using the sites. Both attempts failed miserably leaving egg on the faces of those responsible for the attack. However, while it may be true that the first major campaign against warez and general copyright breaching was not as successful as the 'authorities' would have liked, make no mistake that they will be back - and this time with the backing and co-operation of your ISP. The big boys of media are loosing a great deal of cash and so it's not without drive that they move forward through the courts and go down the 'incentives' route attempting to make everyone responsible, right from the YouTube's and P2P's to the ISP's and it's users. In reality, all it takes is one change or addition to the law, to make everyone involved in the electronic transferring of copyright material to be responsible for their part of the transfer, either uploaded or downloaded (this then comes down primarily to the ISP!). Other countries have their own laws regarding copyright infringements and hosting files, some of which do not forbid it or at least don't recognise such therefore the fight there is probably a different one (until your ISP notices you downloading it in a country which is covered!).

That said, I have been confused for some time now as to why people find Warez so lucrative and although I can understand the 'something for nothing' mentality I was never truly able to justify the risks involved in Warez. True is the fact that movies and music lure the majority of down-loaders, though I often find that the vast majority of Internet users complain that their computers run slow or become unresponsive only to find that they have contracted an endless array of ad-ware, spy-ware and viruses through browsing the first warez site they come across. As soon as they have functionality back and they're off to the warez sites again!

The Alternative? - Works For Me!

I found out about 'freeware' some time ago and have admittedly came across some truly shocking examples of it, although I have also been stunned by the level of commitment and skill amongst the freeware world.

The term freeware is often associated with simple or inadequate solutions and rarely used by the home user, although the vast majority of freeware is well written, compiled and tested thoroughly. I personally and professionally have used freeware for many years now and know of many who also followed suite and admittedly, whilst we have the odd clanger filtering through there are 10 great titles which follow it!. Put it another way, freeware authors do not have deadlines to meet, budgets to consider and senior management to please whereas the commercial authors do. In my opinion, this means freeware authors are, at the very least, producing work just as good as commercial authors, and often we find it is actually better!. Freeware can often fit a particular need whereas commercial software can over-complicate the matter offering 10 tools when we need only 1.

With all the hype of the authorities cracking down on those sites and individuals who participate and gain in illegal file sharing and distribution could it be that freeware is now the sensible alternative?

Mark Williamson

Source: www.articlesphere.com