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Your Suggestion Here

Incentives! Think about it. Let's not only concentrate on ``more software in the box''[Footnote] but also on ``more value for the legitimate user.'' Sure, let's continue to defend against piracy and deter people from thinking of it. But let's also scour our brains for ways we can deliver additional value to the good guys--our legitimate customers, while denying those benefits, inherently, to the black hats who choose not to pay.

There will always be software piracy; all efforts to reduce it must aim at reducing the incidence, not eliminating it. No vendor has been able to find a technological fix, an ``Astrodome impregnable defence'' against piracy. No vendor or consortium of vendors has been able to deter piracy, except at the margin, by threats of legal action. Let's see what we can do with incentives. Can we come up with things we can make our software and our company do which, together, make it obvious to the person tempted to pirate our software that they're better off, in a purely economic sense, being inside the circle with a legal copy than skulking outside with a bootleg one?

If we can, we could not only end the adversarial relationship between software vendors and users but establish a new partnership between vendors and customers. Autodesk could, by doing this, define a new standard of ``customer-orientation'' for the software business in this decade and those that will follow.

And the bottom line? Well, every dollar that makes it there came, originally, from the pocket of a customer.

Editor: John Walker