I have recently read this article from 2010 in the Guardian about how the U.S. views governments that use open source software as ones that promote piracy and constrict intellectual property. (http://www.theguardian.com/technology/blog/2010/feb/23/opensource-intellectual-property) This, along with my recent observations that, if given the choice between a completely and legitimately free alternative that has no learning curve compared to the commercial alternative, most are much more likely and comfortable just to use the pirated original than spend 1% more effort in learning something new. (e.g. Autocad 2007 vs DraftSight). Beside the obvious legal issues of using pirated software, it is a major hinderance to the spread of open source software. Few are the ones that will venture out of their comfort zones to learn something new (and open source), but if the choice was always between a very expensive programme and a free alternative that takes a little more effort to learn, without any possibility to use pirated software, then it becomes very easy to make the choice with no funds available to learn something new. However, if those expensive programs are constantly pirated (as most small to medium architectural offices do), then there is no opportunity to pick up viable alternatives. Some of these ideas have been gathered from a discussion on archinect (http://archinect.com/forum/thread/99623/ratting-out-your-former-employer-for-using-pirated-software)

All of these topics fuel and inner flame to do everything possible to spread the closest we can get to true democracy anywhere on the world. Let’s form a network of design and non-design professionals to help promote open source as a substantially viable alternative, through professional experience to all pirated copies. Please contact me to discuss further.