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Do you use pirated software?
Thread poster: Emma Goldsmith

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:24
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Jun 23, 2014

First of all, I realise that if the answer is yes, you won't want to discuss it in public.

I met someone last month who was keen to tell me about all the pirated software he used. This prompted me to write a blog post about it:
http://signsandsymptomsoftranslation.com/2014/06/23/pirated-trados/

Please add your vote to the poll "Do you use pirated software?" at the bottom of the post and any other comments either here or below the post itself.

Many thanks,
Emma


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:24
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes, for testing purposes. Jun 23, 2014

Hi Emma,

I'm going to go out on a limb here and give you an honest answer.

I don’t have a problem with people using pirated software to test programs they are considering using and purchasing. Many trials and demos don’t allow you to properly test a program so as to decide whether it is going to be useful in the long run. Once you know that you are going to use it, you should definitely buy it, for various reasons.

1. The developer deserves to be paid for his or her work (especially small developers; I believe in doing business ‘locally’)
2. If you pay for the program you can use its support department and partake in its forums
3. If you pay for it you can tell everyone you own a licence for it, which sounds very professional.

However, there is another aspect to this, which relates to the way that the translation industry is structured today. More and more these days, idiot LSPs insist on forcing their translators to use a specific CAT tool (they have very good reasons for doing so, none of which are my concern). However, they didn’t all choose the same CAT tool. Some chose Wordfast Classic, some Wordfast Pro, some SDL Studio 2011, some SDL Studio 2014, some still use the old Trados, some chose memoQ (maybe version 4, version 5, version 6, memoQ 2013, and now memoQ 2014), a few chose DVX2/3, etc. Oh yeah, and none chose CafeTran or OmegaT.

Hmm. Anyway, so what does this mean? This means that I have agencies constantly telling me they have a job for me, but only if I use their CAT tool. Now, there are a few CAT tools out there that can handle a large number of CAT tool file formats (sometimes in the form of so-called ‘packages’), and many of them in fact pride themselves on their ‘interoperability’. However, it is often not good enough to only use their CAT tool to process these file formats from other CAT tools. Sometimes you really need to run it through the native program once before delivering your project to your client. So what are we translators to do? Some people solve this by just buying everything (like my friend Hans):

SDL Studio and/or the old Trados, memoQ (4,5,6, etc.), Wordfast (Pro and/or Classic), etc.

That’s great. They can sleep well at night in the knowledge that they have done the right thing. But is it really the right thing? Is it our fault that every agency insists on using yet another CAT tool, when they could very well just ask their translators for:

(1) A final word .docx
(2) A project TM as .tmx
(3) A bilingual review file as .docx (which can be reimported into the CAT tool, allowing the TM to be updated)
(4) A bilingual review file as .html
(5) A project glossary as a tab-delimited UTF-8 text file

Yes, you guessed it: the above 5 (or less) files is what my clients get from me.

Michael


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Helena Chavarria  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:24
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I don't Jun 23, 2014

Mainly because I don't know where to find it or don't trust it!

I'm one of those old-fashioned people who actually buys music, books, films and software.


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 06:24
English to Polish
+ ...
Nope Jun 23, 2014

Nope, but I do believe there should be some of way of testing expensive software before purchase and that software companies should not necessarily be allowed to charge however much they can get away with while restricting competition.

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Peoplesartist  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 09:54
Member (2007)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Agencies pay too much less amount to translators of third world Jun 23, 2014

Dear friend, its not possible for developing countries translators to purchase all software. Because they are less paid people and they have also meets the demand of ounsourcer. Some time clients ask for revision of Indesign CS6 files or Quark Express files, leave the demand of CAT. In this scenario people tends to use Torrent sites like thepiratebay.com. Everything is available there except Wordfast Pro.

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Frankie JB
France
English to French
+ ...
Pirate software Jun 23, 2014

I used to when I was a student and some time after graduating, as I had little money and needed those applications (including the full Trados Professional Suite and MS Office), but when I started to earn a living I had to buy originals because I had promised it to myself and because I consider that using pirate software for professional purposes is inacceptable, while for private use it's less dramatic.

I think that what does the agency owner you mention on your blog is, obviously, unprofessional, but also very shameful because he's MAKING MONEY through stolen ware (no to mention boasting about it and offering free copies!). His personal integrity is close to nil and I wouldn't be surprised that his agency doesn't have much respect for translation quality...


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Frankie JB
France
English to French
+ ...
Third World countries using pirate software Jun 23, 2014

Peoplesartist wrote:

Dear friend, its not possible for developing countries translators to purchase all software. Because they are less paid people and they have also meets the demand of ounsourcer. Some time clients ask for revision of Indesign CS6 files or Quark Express files, leave the demand of CAT. In this scenario people tends to use Torrent sites like thepiratebay.com. Everything is available there except Wordfast Pro.


Not untrue! I didn't think of TW countries... In this case it would be much less shameful in my view...


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:24
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
No Jun 23, 2014

Michael Beijer wrote:
I don’t have a problem with people using pirated software to test programs they are considering using and purchasing. Many trials and demos don’t allow you to properly test a program so as to decide whether it is going to be useful in the long run.


I don't use pirated software. I own dozens of pieces of software, from donationware to packages costing into the thousands of dollars. My view has always been that if it's going to be a useful tool and increase my productivity, the cost is worth it.

I do have a lot of sympathy for Michael's argument above that sometimes you need to test an application and a trial isn't really possible. Still, compared to 10 or 15 years ago most companies seem to be better at facilitating a good solid test of the product.

If I'm going to be using something, I buy it. If it's too expensive, I make do with something else. If I can't afford Adobe Illustrator, I use Inkscape. If I can't afford Microsoft Office, I use LibreOffice. There's always an alternative. In fact, many of the most important pieces of software I use everyday are free software.


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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 12:24
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
No Jun 23, 2014

But I will just say that the purchasing power of a working adult is very different from that of a student.

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Ali Bayraktar  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
No Jun 23, 2014

I don't use.
I believe that using them contaminates the user.
Users of pirated software become more tolerant to illegal and immoral activities.
They just unaware of that, but it steals something good inside the man.

Also I can say that those who are not registering and paying taxes for their incomes are also included in this group. They are also pirated.

Regards,

M. Ali


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Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 01:24
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I don't! Jun 23, 2014

I'm proud of having purchased all the software I need for doing my translation business! And I live in a developing country, the rates I'm paid just for living here are lower than the rates paid to those living in Europe or US, but still, I can afford to pay for those tools.

I wouldn't like to ride a taxi whose license is stolen. I wouldn't like to go to the dentist and knowing that he has not paid for the tools he is using to fix my teeth. I will consider that they are not professional. The same with translators.

Regards

Clarisa


[Edited at 2014-06-23 18:58 GMT]


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:24
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
I'm not sure that alone is an adequate reason Jun 23, 2014

Lincoln Hui wrote:
But I will just say that the purchasing power of a working adult is very different from that of a student.

Which is why students, for example, cannot usually afford to spend hundreds of dollars dining out at expensive restaurants. So would it be acceptable for a student to steal the food from the restaurant, perhaps by eating a meal and then running away before the bill comes? Or should the student simply not dine out at places he cannot afford?

Surely the appropriate response is to say to oneself "I can't afford that now, but I'll work hard and work smart and one day I will eat at that restaurant".


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Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 13:24
Japanese to English
+ ...
Not a great comparison Jun 23, 2014

Dan Lucas wrote:

Lincoln Hui wrote:
But I will just say that the purchasing power of a working adult is very different from that of a student.

Which is why students, for example, cannot usually afford to spend hundreds of dollars dining out at expensive restaurants. So would it be acceptable for a student to steal the food from the restaurant, perhaps by eating a meal and then running away before the bill comes? Or should the student simply not dine out at places he cannot afford?

Surely the appropriate response is to say to oneself "I can't afford that now, but I'll work hard and work smart and one day I will eat at that restaurant".


I understand the point you are trying to make, but this analogy breaks down when you consider that many agencies require that a translator uses Trados (or another "name-brand" CAT tool) in order to receive jobs. Eating at an expensive restaurant is not in any way required for anything, it's a luxury. You can get just as much nutrition eating at a soup kitchen for free.

If agencies merely required "any CAT tool," and not a specific one, the argument would be more valid. But this is not the reality of the situation in my experience.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:24
Member (2008)
Italian to English
No. Jun 23, 2014

Q. Do you use pirated software?
A. No. Especially not on my Mac. I would imagine it does all kinds of damage to the OS. And probably contains hidden stuff I'd rather not have on my computer.

[Edited at 2014-06-23 19:22 GMT]


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:24
Italian to English
A restaurant is a luxury; CATs are tools Jun 23, 2014

Orrin Cummins wrote:

I understand the point you are trying to make, but this analogy breaks down when you consider that many agencies require that a translator uses Trados (or another "name-brand" CAT tool) in order to receive jobs. Eating at an expensive restaurant is not in any way required for anything, it's a luxury. You can get just as much nutrition eating at a soup kitchen for free.

If agencies merely required "any CAT tool," and not a specific one, the argument would be more valid. But this is not the reality of the situation in my experience.



I can see your point, Orrin, but it's not really fair.

If the customer requires me to deliver the translation in a specific format, it is up to me to find some way to comply or lose the job to a competitor who can deliver the product the customer actually needs.

Believe me, different CAT tools do not produce seamlessly compatible texts.


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