What you say is true, but there was upswing in pirated software across the board in recent years because of built in limitations of the software as well. You can read some of this stuff on YouTube, where people were making videos about it, you can read it in comments section even on Adobe forums. For example the constant internet connection for authentication that some companies demand. With sketch internet connection or working offline because you are on location and you have a problem where you could not authenticate software you pay for because of internet connection. Topaz Video AI version 3. something had this issue and people commented on that they have to pirate the software they bought simply because it didn’t work. Same happened to Adobe service, and in fact one of the ways this was somewhat corrected in Adobe was when they released their AI text to speech for premier pro and recent remove tool in Photoshop, where they specifically made it work offline even if its AI based. This is results of many people both complaining and giving feedback on Adobe forums that if you have to use internet for these types of features it will sabotage the very features they are promoting. And in any serious production this is a big deal. If you have to work with clients on location, last thing you need is sketch internet connection. So people started creating offline authentication even using paid software they had to use pirated version of the software just to be able to use it for work.
Also someone was making a comparison of all the junk services Adobe put in the background to communicate with servers in the cloud, do authentication and collect telemetry. Its absurd how many of these processes run in the background and sometimes eat up resources both ram and CPU, but provide no benefit to the user. So people started using pirated version to avoid this.
Recent incident was where Pantone color swatches would stop working , even if you open old projects in Adobe applications, soon as you open old project, because Adobe had some issues with Pantone they would modify your projects, because they work online. Absurd.
I posted about this in another threat.
I Have to Pirate COLOURS Now?? - Pantone Connect + Adobe split
Louis Rossmann who runs a repair shop for laptops, smartphones, etc. and is an advocate for right to repair talks about these problems across a wide range of services. He lobbies for the right to repair legislation, he advocates legit usage, but sometimes the system is so abusive and broken, pirating is morally justified and sometimes the only solution. Because greedy corporations produce inferior products and services.
There was also a story of kickstarter guy making alternative to Adobe, and getting suid for copyright.
I Was Sued For 55 Million Dollars Adobe Alternative Abode Advise
There are countless examples where greedy corporations are promoting alternatives by being so greedy and anti consumer. And some of the alterntives are not just alt tech, but also pirating. With the advent of subcription service sand “you will own nothing and be happy” agendas, its not just a matter of features, but also principles.
And this attitude and policies are far bigger than mere photo editing software niche. Its in everything from cars, to tractors to housing and smartphones, digital ID, CBDC, carbon credits etc. My point is that yes its true pirating has been around for a while, but there is far bigger clash of values and profit that is taking place on a scale that dwarfs previous ones.
For example after counter productive and idiotic policy of sanctions against Russia, now half the world is pirating everything from Netflix to cinema releases. And when I say pirating I mean showing freely in movie theaters, because even if they wanted to they can’t pay for the service. They are put under ideological and illegal sanctions. So Russians and other countries finally said, screw it. We will stream it openly as if its out own .
My point is that its bigger phenomenon than juts editing software, and editing software is just pat of that bigger phenomena and that war will continue for the foreseeable future. The best way to reduce pirating is to provide better more valuable service than pirates do. Simple as that. And its not really a matter of cost as much as one thinks, sometimes its just about functionality and values.
If you for example buy big screen TV from some companies they will actually shot ads on your home menu of the so called “smart TV”. Even if you bought the TV and don’t want the ads, there is no way to opt out of this greedy practice that does not benefit you at all and its insulting as it is annoying. Hence you will hack the darn thing and use pirated version of software, probably.
Or when you pay for YouTube premium and you get no benefit over using adblocker, but you get tone of limited functionality because Google wants it that way. . People started using API to create better YouTube app for phones, and they use adblocker on desktop. Instead of fixing this, Google tried to play dirty as they always do and threaten with lawsuit the creator of this app, even if he created the app with open source software.
Or when Google would run ads on youtube channels that are no monetized by creators. but have lot of views. And google will run ads on it just to get ad money for eyeballs. These kind of scummy tactics make people go for pirated software more than normal and they feel morally justified to do so.
Furthermore subscription software takes all the power away from users, producing inferior service, not to mention you pay for perpetual beta software and are forced to be a beta tester. With no subscription there is more balanced and healthy relations between customer and company, resulting in better service overall.
The best gift to pirates is greedy corporations, screwing over their customers.