I found this news-item, SAP to pay $1.3bn to Oracle for theft, really attention-grabbing (Daily Tribune, 25-Nov). Mainly because, we all know that both these companies are among the superpowers of the software world. So, even if SAP is going to appeal the verdict, this highest ever verdict on copyright is going to send signals to all about the importance of protecting intellectual property rights, especially in software.
But I feel there are billions of dollars that software companies are losing not because of their competitors, but because of normal, innocent-looking, individuals who copy software, or download it, without paying anything to the copyright owner.
I understand that many software companies are actually pricing the products high because they know that once the original is out – with no matter how strong their embedded anti-duplication locks are – people will rip them, copy them, and do not give back anything to the company, the real genius, behind the making of the product. So, obviously, companies are wanting to earn as much revenue as possible with the launch sale.
My suggestion to these software companies is to reduce the prices of their original products to the lowest extent possible, so that people can be attracted to buy the originals and avoid copies.
But I believe the tactic of lowering prices could help. Then, hopefully, all across the planet, we shall see more legal copies, whether of simple Microsoft Office, or of complex ERP from SAP.