Petty Thievery, much?

Some tweets from this morning hit my radar almost 19 hours later, and I feel I need to say something publicly. Over the past few months, Christopher Toth has developed and distributed Hope, a third-party application that allows a Windows user using a screen reader to access the popular Pandora service. He charges $10 US for the program, which, considering he’s a student and is doing this in his spare time, is pretty damn fair. it’s even more so when before he stepped in, this demographic was unable to use Pandora unless they also used a Mac, or an iPod Touch or iPhone. anyone who doesn’t already own one will tell you that spending upwards of $200, so they may have access to Pandora via an iDevice, though it has many other uses, is out of their budget. I’m in a constant state of broke. I get broke, I live broke, I freakin’ electrical taped my laptop charger so I wouldn’t have to blow approximately $100 on a new one. Now, let’s be honest. You may not like the developer. You and he may have had a history in the past, you pissed each other off, had a fucking teenybopper snit, whatever. Maybe you have a hair across your ass because he told you to, oh my god, read the Qwitter Readme, (which, by the way, is common sense. Download software, read the documentation). But there is no excuse as to why you cannot pull $10 out of your tight asses, to buy this program. If I did it, anybody can. Maybe the registration scheme isn’t the niftiest, most awesome and most secure thing ever, yet. I get it. But there’s no reason to be a tool and steal a $10 piece of software. If you’re that much of a spoiled brat and need everything handed to you that badly, then you have some serious entitlement issues.
Yes, I’ve punked (legal) copies of software off Shane before. Four pieces of software on this machine are legally registered to him. They’re either there because I’ll need them eventually, because I needed them on the *BOUNCE*, meaning, I couldn’t wait any longer for the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind to stop scratching their asses long enough to actually do their jobs, because they were put here to help fix the broken that is this computer, or, in one case, because shane thought one particular piece of software would make this thing work a little less like a brick than the other. Also, as some of you know, I share a dropbox with shane. Why? Because he has tons of space and said I could share. The difference, folks, is that most everything he gave me, if not all of it, is way the hell out of my price range! However, everything on here that is his, is legally registered to him, and he knows I have it, because in 3 out of 4 cases, he’s slapped the software on this machine himself. In his words, per my conversation with him as I write, “You have my permission to use it, the company *is* aware that it’s on your system. As I was using your system for a time, and felt it wasn’t to anyone’s bennifit to clean up after myself, you still have access to that software.” In other words, it’s legal, shut up, keep it, and like it. also re: The one thing he didn’t put on here himself that he handed me from 400 miles away, it became a matter of, I need this, because if the university’s networking policies eventually force me to make a certain upgrade, certain stuff of mine will be out of date and quite useless. We made the decision that him handing me a particular authorization for a piece of software was, for now, the best way to put a BandAid on the issue. What else was I going to do, learn a new screen reader in 2 days? Pull money out of my ass? Wait for a moneytree to appear? How about not? Now, if it were $10 software, I could simply go and buy it. However, there are certain pieces of software that cost more than both my parents make in a week put together. if somebody hands me a legal license, because I need that software, I won’t be kickin’ a gift horse in the ass. I will, as Shane’s fond of jokingly telling me to do when he does something major to help me out, “shut up and like it.” But people. Seriously. Hope’s a $10 piece of software. I’ve probably spent $10 in the last 2 weeks on caffeine alone. the developer may not be your favorite person, but that’s no excuse to publicly ask for a free copy of his software on Twitter. Would you like someone to do the same to you? Think about it. A little common sense and courtesy might get some of you a little farther in life.

2 thoughts on “Petty Thievery, much?”

  1. A lot of people fail to realize how much work goes into making these softwares. This is the exact reason, I believe anyway, that the blind consumer market isn’t progressing. Someone comes out with a piece of software, charges for it, and people whine because they want it for free. News flash, people. Not all of us blind people get our bills paid by mommy and daddy. Not all of us are just “hobbiest developers”–that’s a kid’s dream.
    I’ve always thought that the developers need to start treating their “hobbies” more like businesses to really push the market. Toth is someone who is doing this, which means, in the end, he’s going to be taxed on his income. This also means he has to pay annual fees to the state, send in income reports, send in sales tax, etc. Consider all that, and then consider you, the consumer, click a “buy now” button and paying $10.00.
    I have my own reasons for not using Qwitter and not buying Pandora, but if this is your type of thing, you should support the developer.

    • This is exactly my point. I see a major problem when people who are making more money than me are whining that they want Hope for free. No, the registration system, as of yet, doesn’t prevent this. Should you take advantage of that? No. It’s indecent and it’s thievery. People may have their reasons to not buy Hope or not use Qwitter. You may just really dislike Q for whatever reason. But that’s no reason to steal his software and be even more blatantly disrespectful by asking someone to hand it to you for free, publicly. That’s disgusting.


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