In her quest for world domination, Carol Bartz, previous CEO of Autodesk, returned from a trip to India with the realization that selling software for one price regardless of location was not going to work*. Software that may have been priced right for the US market (fast approaching saturation) was priced utterly wrong for countries like India. Software that costs many times the average workers salary can be quite unattainable in such a country. Or should I say, a legal version can be quite unattainable?
This realization has resulted in "geography-based" pricing for Autodesk products. Prices in India have take at least a step in the right direction. Inventor is about half of what it costs in the US. So, I am told, is other Autodesk software.
What is to prevent software bought in a country with "geography-based" pricing being used in the United States? For one thing, the end user license agreement (EULA)--the fine print no one bothers to read as they are in too much of a hurry to install the software.
Unlike material goods such as cars, coffee, clothes, etc. which have an intrinsic value based upon their ingredients, software has the luxury of bearing whatever price the market can bear. The cost of a CD or a download is negligible. Once software investment (the cost of writing and testing the code) has been recouped, additional licenses can be distributed for next to nothing. Of course, this thinking does not take into account support but as we know, software support can and has been established very inexpensively overseas.
*Source: Jim Lynch, VP Marketing, Autodesk Building Solutions