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Last post Author Topic: Why is so much software cracked?  (Read 54334 times)

zridling

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #100 on: June 25, 2006, 05:26:35 AM »
That's odd since the Euro typically trades at 25-35% higher than the USDollar. The USDollar is so weak from our deficits that everything we buy now in the US (and abroad) is noticeably higher, including software.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #101 on: June 25, 2006, 05:53:12 AM »
Ah but the UK don't use the Euro ...

Baseman

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #102 on: June 25, 2006, 05:59:25 AM »
??? R3000 - R5200 - why is is more expensive in SA? Surely that is the same cost just converted to your currency ??? Or are you saying that pay is so much lower in SA that the cost is disproportionately higher.

That is certainly true in the UK - we pay higher prices because of the $1 = £1 conversion rate that is often applied and US salaries are generally higher than UK salaries, and the cost of living lower. (Though I think Dubya is doing his best to make sure the US cost of living increases to EU proportions from what I have read).

True, that's just the exchange rate, then there is the the mark up in the shops plus sales tax...That's why it's much higher...I see a product advertised in the U.S.A. for $200.00 from the vendor...Over here it is R1500 (Convered into Rands)Plus you pay Shop mark up + tax...which is a lot more than just the Dollar to Rands converted..Remember it's all about  import so it automatically become expensive for us...
GetBackData...Security Awareness...Beta Tester
« Last Edit: June 25, 2006, 06:14:38 AM by Baseman »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #103 on: June 25, 2006, 06:57:26 AM »
To be fair all those things apply in most countries to one extent or another. I have found Canada is particularly efficient at applying import duties (on everything) and then local sales taxes too whereas in the UK you generally don't get stung for import duty on 'gifts' (which can be useful at times) and the tax people can't be bothered applying for taxes on items under £25 - so you generally avoid import duty and VAT on DVDs etc. Software is another matter though - we end up paying $1=£1 (which is up to 40-50% hike) + import duty (~20%) + £6-9 (flat rate charge by delivery depending on who actually delivers it).

mouser

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #104 on: June 25, 2006, 10:43:46 AM »

Quote
Don’t Copy That Floppy:
Back in 1992, piracy was rampant. What could possibly stop it? An ad that you would swear was from the 80s? A horrible rap song?
..



from http://www.gadgetopia.com/



I want to reiterate my position:
It's important for us all to support authors+companies financially for their work.  If people simply take what they can, and only pay/contribute when they are forced to - i do believe that we will get what we deserve, which is that only the most agressive, restrictive and paranoid companies will profit.  if we instead endeavor to act morally, and support authors who do good work, both in commercial and free software, we will ensure that they thrive and continue to do good work.  it's important that when we see someone doing good work, we stand up and support them, as best we can.

app103

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #105 on: June 25, 2006, 12:41:43 PM »

I want to reiterate my position:
It's important for us all to support authors+companies financially for their work.  If people simply take what they can, and only pay/contribute when they are forced to - i do believe that we will get what we deserve, which is that only the most agressive, restrictive and paranoid companies will profit.  if we instead endeavor to act morally, and support authors who do good work, both in commercial and free software, we will ensure that they thrive and continue to do good work.  it's important that when we see someone doing good work, we stand up and support them, as best we can.

I agree...but a discussion like this can shed light and offer some food for thought...for both developers and software users.

and relevant to this topic is an old letter that is in the public domain:

Quote

An Open Letter to Hobbyists
   William "Bill" Henry Gates III  - 3 Feb 1976




To me, the most critical thing in the hobby market right now is the lack of good software courses, books and software itself.
Without good software and an owner who understands programming, a hobby computer is wasted. Will quality software be
written for the hobby market?

Almost a year ago, Paul Allen and myself, expecting the hobby market to expand, hired Monte Davidoff and developed Altair
BASIC. Though the initial work took only two months, the three of us have spent most of the last year documenting, improving
and adding features to BASIC. Now we have 4K, 8K, EXTENDED, ROM and DISK BASIC. The value of the computer time we
have used exceeds $40,000.

The feedback we have gotten from the hundreds of people who say they are using BASIC has all been positive. Two surprising
things are apparent, however, 1) Most of these "users" never bought BASIC (less than 10% of all Altair owners have bought BASIC),
and 2) The amount of royalties we have received from sales to hobbyists makes the time spent on Altair BASIC worth less than $2
an hour.

Why is this? As the majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for, but software
is something to share. Who cares if the people who worked on it get paid?

Is this fair? One thing you don't do by stealing software is get back at MITS for some problem you may have had. MITS doesn't make
money selling software. The royalty paid to us, the manual, the tape and the overhead make it a break-even operation. One thing you
do do is prevent good software from being written. Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What hobbyist can put 3-man
years into programming, finding all bugs, documenting his product and distribute for free? The fact is, no one besides us has invested
a lot of money in hobby software. We have written 6800 BASIC, and are writing 8080 APL and 6800 APL, but there is very little incentive
to make this software available to hobbyists. Most directly, the thing you do is theft.

What about the guys who re-sell Altair BASIC, aren't they making money on hobby software? Yes, but those who have been reported
to us may lose in the end. They are the ones who give hobbyists a bad name, and should be kicked out of any club meeting they show
up at.

I would appreciate letters from any one who wants to pay up, or has a suggestion or comment. Just write to me at 1180 Alvarado SE,
#114, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87108. Nothing would please me more than being able to hire ten programmers and deluge the hobby
market with good software.

Bill Gates

General Partner, Micro-Soft

Seems piracy was rampant back in 1976 too. 

jgpaiva

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #106 on: June 26, 2006, 03:12:46 PM »
Eóin just introduced us to a more recent form of a similar superhero,on this thread.
Here he is...


banner2.jpgWhy is so much software cracked?


Actually, although (imo) it's a lame idea because this kind of stuff usually only gets jokes around it and not real atention, it actually is well done, the drawings are not bad at all, and you can vote on how you'd like the next part of the story to go! :D

Rover

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #107 on: June 26, 2006, 05:07:18 PM »
Sorry for not reading all the way through... has anyone offered this reason?

Software is copied because it's easy.  Free serial number and hack sites abound. 

Why do they crack it?  It's a challenge... they want to be cool...

Does it make sense to the rest of us?  :-\
Insert Brilliant Sig line here

y0himba

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #108 on: July 03, 2006, 07:23:32 PM »
It's not about whether the company or author deserves to have his/her/thier software cracked.  They DO NOT.  They deserve money for thier creation no matter how crappy it is, unless it doesn't work.  Even then, they deserve payment for that software, and you deserve the refund.

Software is not cracked, hacked, or keygenned by folks wanting to steal.  It is done by folks wanting the challenge of defeating the protection, or reverse engineering.  The problem is they post it to hidden FTPs or sites, or email it, with the intention of showing it off to peers who feel the same way, not wanting to steal anything, but others who know them and have access set it up and package it for distribution on the Internet. It's not about stealing, it's about the challenge, and the respect for breaking something.

Then of course there are the less than savory characters, desperate to make money or just to be a thug, who sell counterfit software, or distribute these works for money.

The hacking culture is just like the rest of society.  We originals didn't want to cause mischief or steal, we wanted to hack.  To stand up to a challenge, to work something out as a curiosity.  Not a thrill, although a good and successful hack is like that, and once again, NOT FOR MALICIOUS PURPOSES, or to steal, disrupt, harm, or other.  Just the challenge.  Many of us report our findings to the indvidual or company who we successfully hacked, or whose software protection we defeated.  Anonymously of course, but still we report our proof of concept and the software or company is hopefully better for it.

Herein lies another problem, the person or company whom we have given the information to fails to do anything about it, leaving themselves open due to lack of action.  While this is not a reason for people to do malicious acts or steal, it is a contibution to the problem.

No one should use software that has been stolen or hacked.  We should BUY our software, and contribute to those who make what we use.  The distros you find on Usenet (grrrr) torrent sites (GRRRR) and other are just immature and pathetic.  They should not end up there. It has gotten so that kids think it is cool to use, post, and distribute hacked, cracked or keygenned software.  IT ISN'T.
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GHammer

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #109 on: July 04, 2006, 12:21:36 AM »
Living and working China I notice a couple of things.

1- There is NO way to get local money converted to another currency.
2- If you do get a bit of cash converted it is impossible for individuals to send it out.
3- Most have no credit/debit card. "National" banks only are interconnected by province.

What does that mean? Even if Wang Li wants to buy shareware, it is nearly impossible. Are you going to spend hours/days to buy any program?

4- No matter what you hear, the reality is that most Chinese earn about US$200 monthly.
5- People pay for medical care, pay to send the kid to primary, middle, and high school.

What does that mean? Means most Chinese are not able to pay US$100 for any program.Do they buy a computer? Some do, but Internet Cafés are pervasive. But if there is a computer in a home it is there as an investment in their kid.

Some companies have greatly reduced prices here. Kaspersky AV Pro costs 150 RMB (US$18) and can be purchased in several major cities. Windows is slightly less costly here and they have an option to lease/purchase a new computer and the software. Pretty good idea, but still expensive to the average Chinese.

You can't swing a dead cat without hitting sidewalk vendors with any app you can name. The prices on these are usually 8-20 RMB (US$1-2.5) and they work. Do they update? Usually not. Walk into any business in China and look at My Computer-> Properties. Chances are it is registered to Bill Gates...

So, you can either pay high prices and spend lots of time to get a legal (which is different here anyway) version or simply take what is offered and be done with it. Which do you do?

The current ubuntu (6.06) is nicely done and recognized hardware that XP Pro needs drivers provided for. Open Office is ok (sorry not up to Office 2003 and certainly not 2007). One glaring item missing is MSN Messenger. That and QQ are >THE< IM apps in China, and I think MSN is the undisputed leader elsewhere too. No MSN (and here QQ) means people will want to have Windows and if they do it'll be pirated. Yeah, I hear there are workarounds. I've tried aMSN and it is functional but incomplete by a long shot.

Listening to music is nice now days (I last really tried Linux 2 years ago) as long as you stick to MP3 and flac. Most do so no problem.

However, saying that people should use free software does not really address piracy. Ya can't steal free software.

If you use the only method I've seen that works, local pricing, then you are unfair to those who pay higher prices. And I'm not sure that would be sustainable. MS and others can do this by having the West subsidize the developing countries. But it takes REAL money to run MS and I'm not sure that US$50 is going to allow MS to do the research needed.

The main item in these discussions I have a problem with is "Lost revenue". I'll bet dollars to donuts that a pirated copy of an app is not lost revenue. The app would not be bought.

Many claim that they use pirated software as an evaluation tool. In my experience, there is a cost threshold. If you 'evaluate' an inexpensive tool perhaps you'll buy it. If the cost is substantial (to you) you'll continue to 'evaluate' it.

If I had to pay full price for Office, I'd not use it at home. I do pay for XP because it's not worth the hassle to patch to run a pirated version.

Corporate users? Different ballgame. Last place I worked was about 80% illegal though they were a software house themselves. Why? It was easy enough to do, small chance of getting caught, and the money was better used in expanding the business. I think MS has caught on to the methods and will require a license server for corporate users. I think the license server will have to validate with MS periodically.

If you have an app that needs regular, frequent updates (anti-malware for example) a username/password system is hard to beat pirate-wise. But for something like Exchange Server, once it is installed I really don't need to update often, in fact it is hard to convince me to touch a working server.

Provide percieved value and you'll do fine. Make it easy to be legal (availability and purchase) and most will do the right thing. Raise the "pain" of being a legal customer and I'll find an alternative. That includes dongles, complex licensing, and false positives on piracy detection.

y0himba

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #110 on: July 04, 2006, 12:29:29 AM »
All that is moot.  You are at the least stealing, a common petty low thief.  There is no honor in that.  Nothing justifies it at all.  Not only that, but you are not defeating the software, you are relying on other's work.  It is shameful to even think of a justification.  If I were to walk into your home, take your things and use them because I am poor, or it is too hard to go to the store, there is no justfying that.  If I were to use your bank card, there is not justifying that.  It is the same type of wrong, no matter what the excuse.
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JavaJones

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #111 on: July 04, 2006, 03:02:00 PM »
No, it's not the same type of wrong. That's the interesting thing about "intellectual property". "Stealing" it is much different in actual effect than stealing an actual item. Once you steal someone's idea, name, or software product they still have it too. In other words, unlike stealing say a car, you are not depriving anyone of a specific, quantifiable thing. You can argue that theft of a copyable thing like software is equivalent to the value of that software, but that value is arbitrary and only becomes real once someone pays for it, at which time a copy is made (or rather a previously made copy is distributed) - but the software creator still has the software, they haven't given it away and they don't have to consequently make a new one. The reality of being able to copy things to an unlimited degree without taking or destroying the original is very challenging to the traditional idea of ownership and I think that's what is missed in a lot of these considerations.

Software creation involves real work, lots of time input, etc. The same is of course true for any product. But if you build a house, once you've sold it you have to build another one if you want to sell more. With software you can theoretically sell an unlimited amount and still have more to sell. There is nothing else that works that way. Surely that shows a fundamental difference between normal products and software products, and if that's true then is it really reasonable to treat software like every other finite product?

So am I saying it's right to pirate/steal software? No. I would definitely argue however that 1: a pirated copy of software is not the equivalent of a lost sale and thus cannot reasonably be counted directly as lost revenue and 2: our current laws about copyright and property were mostly created before the advent of software and its unique properties so they don't necessarily work exactly right when applied to software and other "things" with unique properties. Insisting that copyright laws created 100 years ago can deal with every new change in the world would be the same as insisting that the lack of traffic laws 100 years ago would work just as well today.

Do you think our ownership and theft laws would be the same if taking something from someone didn't result in them not having it? In other words if you are a jeweler and have made a beautiful diamond broach and I want it but can't afford it so I find a way to make a perfect copy of it, is that really the same as stealing it from you? You still have your broach, and now I have mine. No one has lost anything, except you may claim that my ownership of one equates to a lost sale for you. But is that true? Can that be proven? At the very least it is a different type of stealing, different than that which our laws were designed to handle.

Yes, it is still wrong by the laws of the US and many other countries. But laws too are fluid and subject to interpretation and even revision. I don't think the laws should change to make piracy OK, of course. But I do think that certain aspects of these laws may need to be re-evaluated given the unique nature of software and digital products in general.

- Oshyan

y0himba

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #112 on: July 04, 2006, 03:46:32 PM »
Once again, a justification.  Over and above the laws of man or God, theft is wrong, plain and simple.  There is no justification.  Even if it is done out of desperation, it is still wrong.  Would I steal to save my family's life? Yes, but that does NOT make it right.

Stealing intellectual property is theft.  This is an original idea, owned solely by the creator, if you copy of use it without permission, you are robbing that person of that original idea, and that is theft.  The problem is too many people quibble about interpretations and circumstances.  We need to deal in absolutes here, right and wrong.  Software piracy can be explained, but not justified, and is in no way right.

As I said, if I sit in front of your home, and use your wireless that you pay for, I am stealing, whether it is out of desperation or not.

Back to the topic though, hacking is not a malicious act, it is curiosity, not meant to harm or steal, not mischevious.  Those who distribute what has been defeated are the problem.  Back in the day we hacked and phreaked out of the pure challenge and discovery of it, now kiddies are finding it cool to hack and then distibute software, movies, and so forth.  It is the attitude of the net that this is "l33t" and other ridiculous, immature garbage like that.  Software was once hacked for the challenge, not for the distributon.  Authors and companies were notified of the method and software became better for it, unless or course the company or author did nothing.  People who knew us, our "friends" not in our circles, were the ones releasing our work onto the Internet for others not in our circles, and without our authorisation.  That is how this all got started, the "warez" scene and so forth, and it snowballed into the poor, wannabe cool attitude on the Internet today, the attitude that finds it "l33t" to distibute other's hard work.

When people finally start standing up and saying "this is wrong and not cool" is when piracy will end.  The hacking will continue though.  All the efforts by the RIAA and MPAA and shareware authors, and companies are just drops into an ever increasing black hole.  They will always be defeated and piracy will continue until we ourselves stand up and say it is wrong insted of finding ways to justify it or make it appear that we have reasons.  There is no reason whatsoever that makes piracy right.
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« Last Edit: July 04, 2006, 03:50:04 PM by y0himba »

f0dder

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #113 on: July 04, 2006, 03:53:38 PM »
y0himba: s/hacked/cracked.
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #114 on: July 04, 2006, 04:10:19 PM »
Is there any difference bewteen a piece of software and ...

... a piece of music - you sing someone's song in public you have to pay 'performance rights' unless it is very old (eg. you need a license if a school wants to perform "West Side Story" in public.)

... a CD/MP3 or a film/DVD ?

... how about patents? Use someone's idea to create your own product and you're in big trouble

... clothes design (yes I know all the designers get their ideas ripped off but is it right?)

... a building - can you copy existing new structures without the original architect's permission? (Probably - I don't know on that one)

... a book that you have memorized ... can you print it as your own? Actually is it OK to photocopy a book in the library from cover to cover. You haven't stolen anything - the original is still there after all, plus it probably cost more to photocopy it than buy a copy!

... a car design - can Ford just clone a Ferarri?

These are all in the same category you describe for software - just intellectual rights - but I'd guess most of them are protected (and have been since copyright and patent law was introduced).
« Last Edit: July 04, 2006, 04:13:22 PM by Carol Haynes »

y0himba

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #115 on: July 04, 2006, 04:15:02 PM »
You are right, all of the above are protected.  It is apathy that allows this to happen.  Music is copyrighted and intellectual property.  CD/Mp3 we all know how the RIAA feels about that.  Patents are protected, thats why they are "patents", clothes desgns are protected, but copied or "knocked off" all the time, a building design is not suppoed to be duplicated, books, plagerism, Ferrari is a tradmark as is thier techical design and so forth, but they are all rampantly copied all the time.  Apathy is almost worse than the crime.
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Carol Haynes

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #116 on: July 04, 2006, 04:16:39 PM »
Thanks for correcting my spelling of Ferrari ... what do I know ;)

y0himba

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #117 on: July 04, 2006, 04:18:38 PM »
For all I know, I may have it wrong :)
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JavaJones

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #118 on: July 04, 2006, 04:49:36 PM »
There are no absolutes. Laws are creations of man and man is fallible.

Stealing is a matter of interpretation. If a nation goes to war with another and takes their land, is that stealing? No, we have invented another word, it's called "conquest". If I take something and nobody notices it's gone and I later claim it as mine, only I know the difference - in the eyes of the world it is mine. Thus the phrase "posession in 9/10th's of the law". Yes, it was stolen, but if that theft is not known, it is irrelevant because the law cannot or will not do anything about it. The same is true if I simply "find" something. If I find a $20 bill on the street with no identifying marks and there is no one around, no way to get it back to its owner, is it stealing to keep it?

Before there was copyright law it was not illegal for me to print someone else's book or sing their song. Was it still wrong then? If you would say yes, is that because it is illegal today, or because you feel it is somehow "intrinsically" wrong? If the former then you presume that all our laws today our "right" and should not be open to interpretation or change and history would argue that you are wrong as laws are always changing and being reinterpreted. If the latter, is it right to expect everyone to agree with you? Not if your neighbor with the the shotgun has anything to do with it. ;)

Laws are essentially the agreed upon standards of a society, but as I've said those standards can change, just as the standards and morals of societies do. Is there any absolute right? Not unless you believe your own word to be the one and only valid one, or if "might makes right". I don't subscribe to either perspective.

When it comes to theft of intellectual property it's even more of a slippery slope and trying to define it in absolute terms is just asking for trouble. What if I have the same idea as you, but I have the money to patent it and you don't. It's now "my" idea, but you had it too. This is clearly just an arbitrary distinction - the only difference between my idea and yours is that I was able to use "the system" to protect my claim on it. It doesn't make it truly my idea any more than it is yours, it is only so in the eyes of the law.

Back in the days before recording technology musicians performed every piece of music live and they were paid for every performance. Along came recording technology and there was a huge uproar and backlash by the performers against it. Ultimately the technology won, as it usually does, but the artists were in some ways right to mistrust the technology - nowadays the majority of payment goes to the distributors (record companies), *not* the producers of the actual copyrighted work (the music). After all nobody is saying that the CD itself is the copyrighted product, are they? There's a separate patent for that. If I rip the CD to MP3, where the bits that compose the audio signal are completely different, it is still a copyrighted work. It is the audio itself that is copyrighted, the words and music too (separately, I believe). Yet this too can be a dangerous definition because in the digital world there are ways to make something completely unlike itself, such that the copying of it should not be illegal - after all it is just 1's and 0's and cannot be independently analyzed to have any resemblance to the original work, even when "played" -  yet it must somehow *become* illegal the moment that thing again becomes liken to the copyrighted work (see below). And then we must ask how exactly we define that copyrighted work. If it is music must we listen to it to determine?

So clearly the trickiest bits are defining what exactly is copyrighted. Let's say I take an e-book and encrypt it with a standard encryption algorithm. It is now completely unrecognizable as the original work. Without the key no one may know its contents and it is effectively *not* the original, copyrighted material. Yet, almost magically, if I use a decrypting program and the right key, I can get back this copyrighted material out of "thin air", in a sense. So then what if I give my friend the encyrpted file, but not the key. Is this copyright violation? He might be able to guess the key or crack it, but then where is the copyrighted information - in the file or the key? Without the other both are meaningless.

Worse still, what if I use a file archiving program to compress and split the file in two. I give one half to one friend, the other have to another friend. By themselves the two halves aren't even halves of a book, they can't be read because they can't be decompressed. Are they still the copyrighted material they originated from? If you were talking about real-world products you would probably say no. If I take a book and rearrange its physical structure so it is in its most compact form possible then cut it in half and give each half to different friends, it's clearly not still a book. My friends can't get together and suddenly have a whole book. Yet somehow this *is* possible in the digital realm.

If my computer were to be siezed and examined for copyright violation the encrypted file would not truly be the e-book, it could not be read as such and if the key is destroyed and I have forgotten it, it is for all intents and purposes *not* the e-book and never will be again. Yet a sophisticated cracker could probably figure out the password and decrypt it. What if you decrypt random data and it creates the Mona Lisa? Highly unlikely, but possible. So then what seems most important is my intent, at least as far as what is provable and considerable to the law. Does this then come down to evaluating intent, and if so how do you prove intent? This has always been a difficult thing to deal with in court.

The possibility even exists for completely random data to be interpreted as text or audio or anything else and there is the further possibility that this interpretation of random data could resemble or even exactly reproduce a copyrighted work. This is not possible in "the real world", at least not by random chance, yet it is fully possible in the digital world. Yes these are tricky arguments, but without an absolute definition of what exactly is copyrighted, and without being able to consistently and accurately distinguish between copyrighted and uncopyrighted work, the law is meaningless since it can't be consistently enforced.

The law, as I've said before, is changeable, it is not an absolute. We did not always have copyright protection or patenting, they are not inherent rights. I would agree that some system needs to be in place to encourage innovaters to innovate and our current system was designed to do that, but let's not confuse that with some intrinsic "righteousness" for the idea of "owning" a concept. There is no such thing except where we have provided that facility, merely as a means to the end of encouraging and rewarding innovation and progress. Ownership is not the end goal, it is merely the means to that end.

I am not making arguments for pirating, rather I am showing that this issue is very difficult precisely because of the lack of absolutes in the equation. The definition of theft itself is not absolute - especially where digital elements are concerned - let alone the laws regarding it, or the items that are being stolen. Don't confuse my intent - I *want* copyright, theft, etc. to be clearly and absolutely defined so that 1: I may safely comply with copyright, etc. without confusion 2: my own copyrighted works may be safely protected without loose interpretation or vaguery. I want to know that I can protect my creations and that any creation I have is truly owned by me legally. With the above discussed uncertanties I don't feel that is truly possible. Most people just take all that for granted, just as they take many, many things in life for granted, but that doesn't mean they are not legitimate issues.

Just a few things to think about. I'm not an anarchist, don't take me too seriously. :D

- Oshyan

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #119 on: July 04, 2006, 04:59:52 PM »
i really enjoyed that post oshyan.

some more thoughts on my part on different side of this issue:

i do think there is a fundamental difference with the issues involved when talking about digital media that has no inherenent material cost.

it means that if some kid in india who makes $1 a week manages to make a copy of the Adobe Photoshop cd at some internet cafe, and use it on this ibm pc at to teach himself how to use it in hopes of getting a job one day, it's hard for me to see view that as unethical, even though it is against the law.

i understand of course that the real world issues are never this simple, and that this is an extreme example, but my point is that with digital media, some software which is priced at $1000, is not a loss of any real money in these cases.  in fact it has been argued that these scenarios actually benefit the company by increasing market share and thus future orders, while not exerting a drain on support staff.

again, i know things are never this simple - and i'm not sanctioning this.  i'm just saying that i think a differentiation needs to be made between cases where theft has a real negative impact on the author, and digital "theft" which may result in absolutely no loss to the author.

y0himba

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #120 on: July 04, 2006, 05:02:31 PM »
That was a good read.  The base problem is this:  YOU know what you did, YOU know it was wrong, so it is still wrong, very simple.  A crime needs to have malicious intent.  Therefore, you picking up an unidentifiable $20 bill is not a crime. If you right over and spend it without at least allowing for someone to claim it, that may not be a "legal" crime, but it is a moral one, still a crime, and wrong.  If someone posts an ad saying they lost it, yet you leep it or do not repay it, that is a crime.  If you give your friend a copywrited work, it is a crime, period.  Encryption doesn't matter.  If I give you my WindowsXP CD, but no key, it is still a crime.  The point isn't the law here, it is how we govern ourselves, our morality.  It is not a crime to have a website boasting "hot teens" as long as the "teens" in question are of legal age, but is it a moral crime to insinuate youth?  Yes.  It should not be allowed.  

One thing though, my arguments are all wrong.  Why?  Reality itself is interpreted.  These things we call laws, morals, governing guidlines, they are all created by the way we interpret reality.  If someone interprets reality different, does the law apply?  Majority rules.  ;D
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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #121 on: July 04, 2006, 05:09:42 PM »
i'm compelled to post yet again - it's nice to see this thread getting both more philosophical and also more interesting :)

i am always very skeptical of laws designed by ultra rich corporations in order to protect their interests.  i think for the most part, money drives the law, and lobbying money decides whats legal and what's not legal, so i do not view ethics and legality as the same thing.

i think we would all be very well served by reminding ourselves that actions have consequences.

first things first:

THINK about what you are doing.  don't just put it out of your mind because you don't want to think about your actions, whether it is stealing an apple from the neighborhood market, or making a copy of some sofware.  are your actions ethical? are you acting out of lazyness, greed, principal? do you have alternatives? are you acting in a way you can justify and would feel good if everyone acted the same? put yourself in the other persons shoes, would you be comfortable if someone else was taking the same approach to your work? I'm not saying at the end you will decide it is wrong to copy some software - you might decide it is ok.  I'm just saying - consider the issue rather than pretending it isn't an issue.

after that step, you can move on to think about the law and decide how much that does or does not affect you.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2006, 05:11:38 PM by mouser »

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #122 on: July 04, 2006, 05:13:06 PM »
VERY well put.  Instead of coming up with ways to justify what is being done, think about the actual right or wrong of it.  Over and above legalities, is it right or wrong?

Problem:  Who decides right or wrong?  Majority?
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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #123 on: July 04, 2006, 05:16:42 PM »
i was just asking the individual to consider their own views - leaving aside what your friends, neighbors, and congressmen and ceos think.  i just think it's important for each of us to think for ourselves and try to live a reasonable life being considerate of others.

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Re: Why is so much software cracked?
« Reply #124 on: July 04, 2006, 05:21:38 PM »
I agree with you 100% and was adding my own point.

Another point is, even though I am not Christian, the Bible is a very good read and a great set of guidelines to govern ourselves by.  I am NOT turning this into a religious discussion, but if you look at your point, it could be do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

I wish we could be trusted to govern ourselves.  There was a time when we could trust those governing us, now we cannot even trust those we employ, we elect to govern.
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