I know that piracy for ArchiCAD always was sensitive subject. Early versions of ArchiCAD had very strong protection with hardware key, I also know that in version 7 protection was so strong that been giving possibilities to create really "uncrackable" software (that as I understood Graphisoft never used on all 100%).
Anyway - pirate versions of ArchiCAD existed always, people been using them, using now...
From one hand - if software is available free of charge - it increases amount of users. From another hand - company cannot develop software without receiving money for that.
Software like Blender is funded by big corporations. And as a result - anyone can use Blender free of charge.
Of course ArchiCAD cannot switch on the same model of funding, it's impossible. But, maybe, it would be nice idea to make old versions of ArchiCAD free of charge. Keep let say 5 versions as a buffer and let everyone to use version 19 for free.
I think it make sense. Everyone who is interested to work on the latest version - because they understand that made improvements have affect to their business - will pay for the licenses, keep their service prescriptions.
But small practises, who draw a little bit something, practises that thinking to switch on ArchiCAD, all who wants to learn the system - can just start on old version.
Don't think this is viable.
How would you pay to make sure that a 5 year old version runs in the current OS? Who pays tech support to handle the users complaining that their version does not run in the new Macs, etc?
Also GS already has different pricing options that can minimize initial costs, like monthly subscriptions.
Students get it for free which IMO is the way to go.
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB Another of the forum moderators. Macbook Pro 2.4 i9 32GB ram OS X 10.XX latest AC25 US/INT -> AC08
That the point - the old version is not getting any technical support. Does not receive any updates, bug fixings or support for the latest OS. All that only for payable version.
Free version is old and exists "as it is" - this is why it's free.
I think, as clever management move on the BIM market, it might work. Especially after this scandal with Revit (open letter from leading architectural firms - that it does not work and terrible expensive).
Please don't forget, that Sketchup became so popular because it's free.
Autocad did this I believe on purpose. Everyone I knew had a pirated copy. We went to another application that was much better. But for 10 years Autocad grew for that sole reason. It is a weak product with now a huge base.
Eric Milberger, Architect | Master Planner
Windows 10 64bit