Last year a joint American-Thai commission was formed to see what could be done about software piracy in Thailand. Microsoft donated all the computers, and an office was set up in Bangkok. After a while, some Microsoft big-wigs came over to see how it was going. Within days they realized that all the computers in the office were running bootleg Microsoft software.
I can tell you that when they brought this up to the Thai commission members they would have been met by that, "Farang have the damnedest ideas" look, like adults being patient with petulant children. What did you expect? You think we're made of money?
Anyone who wants hundreds of dollars for a cd and a badly written pamphlet is asking for it, and in Asia, they get it.
My new lap-top, for instance, came with a teaser version of Power DVD, a good program, it sunsets in thirty days, the teaser that is. It says, come to our website and get Power DVD now! Bear in mind, this is an Asia lap-top, Asian company, Asian electronics and plugs, Thai keyboard, all Asia. I went to the website and they want one hundred dollars for the program, as a download, no hard copy, get back to us if you want it on your desk-top as well. That's one hundred dollars American, $100, which is about Baht 3,700 or so. That's half a month's pay for a new teacher, not to mention the half of the Thai population that is just out of the lap-top-luck doing shitty jobs for about the cost of the program for a month's work.
Now also bear in mind that you can go to any computer mall and buy Power DVD for about B125. One hundred and twenty five Baht. And what do you expect people to do?