Donate Buttons On Sites

I’ll admittedly say I’ve downloaded way more than my fair share of illegal copies of software many, many times. Even was originally built with a piece of software which I downloaded the demo then cracked the serial number during high school.

Not that this would solve the solution, but it would be nice if companies had small “Donate” buttons on their sites somewhere, much like shareware sites have. I would love to send $100 bucks or so to Adobe to thank them for their software I’ve used for so many years, but there’s currently no good way of doing this.

Not that $100 makes up for the price of the software, but at least it’s something I can afford and would be willing to send. Perhaps companies should setup these “Donate” accounts to where the company takes 15% of the pot, and the rest is somehow divided up to the developers. This would be like a virtual “Tip Jar” for the software developers.

Pictured: Me giving Photoshop a hug.

When I was in high school and college there was NO WAY on earth I would pay for software. This was especially true for things like Adobe Photoshop which cost well over $1,000 to legitimately buy, but are also extremely easy to download for free from various sources.

From what I know about companies like Microsoft and Adobe is they make a majority of their money from businesses that must legitimately buy their software. They make much more here than in the individual consumer market.

So suppose one day when (if) I grow up, I have some sort of firm that deals with graphic design in some way and I eventually have to buy software to support this. My most logical choice will be an Adobe product since I’ve happily used their products for years with great satisfaction.

However right now it almost seems illogical for me to pay $1,000+ for the latest version of Photoshop when I can so easily go to or some other BitTorrent site and download a full version completely gratis.

A while ago I put a little inconspicuous tip jar on NevBlog on the bottom-right navigation bar…

…and its actually got a couple of donations! Perhaps I should put one on HouseOfRave too in case someone enjoys the free videos or pictures, would like to send some money, but doesn’t necessarily want to buy anything.


Speaking of these little virtual tip jars, I always thought they can be used as an interesting way to get a bloggers attention (like Steve Pavlina or some other big dog blog). You could send them a series of small denomination donations: $1 the first day, $2 the next day, $3 the next day….just to mess with them :-)

Blog posted on: October 11, 2007

13 comments on “Donate Buttons On Sites

  1. Millionster

    Adobe, how I love thee let me count the ways.

    Imagine if Adobe had some sort of tip jar for people who download and use their software illegally to later send them “guilt” money.

    That’d probably be a bad idea since you’d basically be stamping “Sue Me” on your forehead.

    Good idea for Adobe though if they wanted to bait some of those guilt-ridden pirates. Arrrrrg!

  2. Johnie

    Are you serious? Are you publicly admitting to software piracy? Are you also suggesting that companies should put up a tip jar to legitimize software piracy?

    $100 tip? Really? $100 divided by their $6000 employees just to make you feel better?

    Back in HS, many of us dabbled in pirated software. But as I’ve gotten older and had an income, I believe everyone should be getting their fair share for what they’ve created.

    The thing that is even worse is your stealing other people’s products to make money. I think there would be a difference if you are learning to use it. But you are using it for income to your company.

    Can you tell me the difference between that and someone else taking your images and videos for their site?

  3. Anonymous

    To me that sounds like you’re using pirated software now, and certainly pirated software in the past, to run your commercial websites.

    a) You’re not charging enough on your websites to meeting basic running costs if you can’t afford the tools of production.

    b) Mind if I take some of your house of rave merchandise if I promise to throw you a couple of bucks at some point in the future?

    c) I bet this entire posting and it’s comments will be deleted/heavily edited by the end of the day.

  4. BDoyle

    As a hobby software developer, my entire copy protection system consist of exactly four lines of code.

    Meh. Pirates either can’t or won’t afford the software. It has been that way for thirty years. Whatever. I’m not going to devote my life to copy protection. I already know that pirates can crack the world’s best encryption.

  5. Baz L

    Yeah, yeah, yeah….we’re all quick to be all self righteous and stuff, but Neville makes a good point.

    I used to live off of pirated software before I moved to Linux. Come on, I’m in high school/college….I need to “borrow” photoshop for 3 hours to make a quick logo….Am I really going to shell out a grand? Oh please…

    Even if you generate revenue. Yeah, if you’re clearing thousands a year, fine; but we’re talking about using this on some recreational sites, probably selling a few sites for $500 or so…Come on.

    I’m just glad that right now, Freeware providers have decided to step up and make some quality software. I frequently donate to stuff I use that’s freeware. Eg.
    WinRar vs. 7-Zip
    UltraEdit vs Notepad++

    I was just happy when I finally got to college and could get a group license for Windows XP and I didn’t have to keep up with all the Validation cracks. I’ve even gone as far as using reverse engineering programs and live debuggers to crack my own software when crack weren’t available. It was kinda like a hobby.

    Bottom line, software will be pirated. Period. That’s how it goes. If someone makes $1000 off of some photoshop stuff (over the course of a LONG while) do you think they’re gonna give up 90% of their revenue? There are a lot of people out there whole think like Neville. It would actually be a large source of income.

  6. Anonymous

    Oh s&!*

    And here I am, often openly supporting Neville when eh is being flamed.

    So yes, this DOES sound as if you are using pirated software.

    On your sidebar (yes, 8/3/2007) it says 45K on hand, yet you do not BUY Photoshop for 1K?

    And you can probably deduct it as a business expense.


    Especially as there ARE viable open Source alternatives.

    GIMP. If you need the Photoshop feel, there is a plugin that changes the UI to look like the Adobe product (Gimpshop, if I remember correctly)

    Try as another alternative.

    Try using the Lite version of Photoshop (Elements) for loss money.

    Buy a scanner with bundled software.

    But using pirated software for your business is actually more than stupid, it is asking for legal trouble.

    Still hoping you will clarify this and have bought your software.

  7. Anonymous

    Poor Nev musn’t be getting the attention he needs, as he is now posting that he stole Adobe software (as well as other software) and makes money on the illegal copies because he uses them in his business.

    But wait! Nev is such a swell guy, he is willing to give Adobe $100 whole dollars.

    Adobe’s lawyers will surely be interested in this posting, no?

  8. Anonymous

    You can buy a legitimate full version of Photoshop for less than $300 (educational of course). Using the excuse that you can’t afford to buy expensive software as a high school student doesn’t justify illegally downloading photoshop and then wanting to pay them back later. If you want to reimburse them for illegally downloading their software, legally purchase it. The rest of the world that legally purchases software has no sympathy for you.

  9. Payday Land

    At work, it’s mandatory to have individual computers to have their own copy of Photoshop installed. Prior to working there, I would never have had the skills and knowledge of Photoshop if it wasn’t for piracy.

    It allowed me to actually pursue graphic design with the experience gained by using such expensive software. It practically opened my eyes to a new art medium that ms paint would never do. Yes, I come from a lower income home. Yes, I know you didn’t ask if i was.

  10. Nicole

    Hi Nev,

    I’m 26, just starting out like you and trying to save money and have fun… I’m also not a finance/business major but it is something I’ve always been interested in.

    I’ve just started a financial blog myself and I’d love to interview you for one of my posts.Would that interest you? If you want to look at my blog, it’s Just comment on my blog if you are interested in this.

    Keep up the good work.

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