It's the baseline of the internet era: if you want a piece of software, it's likely you can find a free copy on torrent sites.
I started editing videos with cracked copies of Ulead Video Studio. Then I used Pinnacle. So we all do it.
Now, leaving aside that fact that this is a form of stealing, the most important matter for you is that you may lack the sense of urgency and responsibility once you get your free software. If it's free, it almost has no value for you. Since it has no value, you're not incentivised to use it as often.
This is about scarcity and how something that is hard to get makes us want it more. I found this to be true for myself - once I bought my editing software, I took my work as a videographer more serious. I spent money, hence I was invested into this kind of work - the end result: I was more productive and I did better videos.
I can get virtually any software for free if I want. You can get it too. They're all a few clicks away but that's not the point. The point is that companies are actively working to stop piracy and the current state of the web is already enabling them to do that.
Sure, you can get cracked copies on torrents but it seems this won't go on forever because companies are moving their software in the cloud.
There's this investment site called Fool.com and they also feature software companies in their stock analysis. This cloud thing is quite big now because there is money to be made there (people don't have any alternative than to pay for cloud based software).
You won't need processing power on your machine
If you try to edit HD files at a high bitrate you'll immediately notice the limits of your hardware. You can't edit smoothly with a poor computer these days when even a phone can output high bitrate footage.
But the ever growing internet speed allows software companies to host their processing power in the cloud. The guys at Fool.com compare this shift in how software will be delivered to the way we now consume electricity:
- You don't need to create energy on your end to consume it, you simply receive it via a wire
- The utility company crates the energy for you and you only pay for what you consume
- Cheap omnipresent (at ridiculously high speed) internet
- You'll have gadgets (tablets, laptops, smartphones) with less processing power
- The cloud will host and manage all the power and all the files you create
- Your internet connection is your access to your always powerful and always up-to-date software
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