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How to retrieve serial number of OS or CPU for copy protection?

P: n/a
In order to protect software from being copied without licence, I would like
to use something like a key, which fits only to the current system. The
serial number of the CPU or the current operating system would be
appropriate. However, I do not know how to retrieve the information.

Could you help?
Klaus

Jul 21 '05 #1
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79 Replies


P: n/a
Klaus,

To get that information is not difficult.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/de...classtopic.asp

It are all collections which holds collections.

The processorID you can find in Hardware -> boards -> processor ->
processorID.

However, be aware that not every processor has an ID.

I hope this helps?

Cor
In order to protect software from being copied without licence, I would like to use something like a key, which fits only to the current system. The
serial number of the CPU or the current operating system would be
appropriate. However, I do not know how to retrieve the information.

Could you help?
Klaus

Jul 21 '05 #2

P: n/a

"Jakob Christensen" <jc*******@pension.dk> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:85**********************************@microsof t.com...
You can obtain this information using WMI. E.g. to get the serial number of the OS, you would use the Win32_OperatingSystem WMI class. You can use WMI using the System.Management namespace of .net

Let me know if you need some more information on how to use WMI from .net

:-)

Jakob,

This seems to be something like a product version number. It is probably not
unique among users. I am looking for a serial number, which is unique for
each system, something like the CD key of the operating system.

Best regards,
Klaus
Jul 21 '05 #3

P: n/a
There is nothing like that. A NIC's MAC address should be unique but not
everybody has a network card and some cards allow you to change their MAC
address.

Jerry

"Klaus Bonadt" <Bo****@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:ek**************@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...

"Jakob Christensen" <jc*******@pension.dk> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:85**********************************@microsof t.com...
You can obtain this information using WMI. E.g. to get the serial number

of
the OS, you would use the Win32_OperatingSystem WMI class. You can use

WMI
using the System.Management namespace of .net

Let me know if you need some more information on how to use WMI from .net

:-)

Jakob,

This seems to be something like a product version number. It is probably
not
unique among users. I am looking for a serial number, which is unique for
each system, something like the CD key of the operating system.

Best regards,
Klaus

Jul 21 '05 #4

P: n/a
Hello,

Jerry Pisk <je******@hotmail.com> wrote:
There is nothing like that. A NIC's MAC address should be unique but not
everybody has a network card and some cards allow you to change their MAC
address.


NDIS allows to distinguish between physical MAC address and user-set MAC
address (locally), so this is not an issue if the driver is written
correctly.

Of course, if the MAC is written by changing the NIC's firmware, this
can't be distinguished.

Anyway, there have been reports that hardware manufacturers give the
same MAC address more than once to their cards.

Regards,
Spiro.

--
Spiro R. Trikaliotis
http://www.trikaliotis.net/
http://www.viceteam.org/
Jul 21 '05 #5

P: n/a
Joining in at the end of this....but for what its worth....

Compuware uses a MAC address as part of its authentication for Devpartner
Studio.

Cheers
Stewart

Spiro Trikaliotis wrote:
Hello,

Jerry Pisk <je******@hotmail.com> wrote:
There is nothing like that. A NIC's MAC address should be unique but not
everybody has a network card and some cards allow you to change their MAC
address.


NDIS allows to distinguish between physical MAC address and user-set MAC
address (locally), so this is not an issue if the driver is written
correctly.

Of course, if the MAC is written by changing the NIC's firmware, this
can't be distinguished.

Anyway, there have been reports that hardware manufacturers give the
same MAC address more than once to their cards.

Regards,
Spiro.


Jul 21 '05 #6

P: n/a
The number one problem of a copy protection algorithm is identifying
machines. Is there a number that uniquely identify a computer? Letís call
this number as "Serial Number" (SN).

What are the requirements for a Serial Number? There are two:

1. A Serial Number must be different on different computers.
2. A Serial Number must be the same on the same computer.

Todayís PCs do not contain such a hardware id which meet these requirements.
Because of this, we should loosen these hard requirements. Iíve modified the
second requirement this way:

2. The Serial Number must be the same on the same computer, but if somebody
successfully changes the serial number on a computer, it involves serious
consequences.

I think, there is such a "Number" in Windows XP, itís the following value in
the registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\WPA\SigningHash-*...*\SigningHashData

Itís a byte array and it contains the Windows Product activation signature.
Itís hard to overwrite (the kernel protects it), but it isnít worth to
overwrite, because the attacker canít reactivate his copy of Windows again.

You can read that value in C# in the following way:

public static byte[] GetHardwareIdBytes()
{
using(RegistryKey rk = Registry.LocalMachine.OpenSubKey(@"SYSTEM\WPA",
false))
{
foreach(string subkey in rk.GetSubKeyNames())
{
if(subkey.IndexOf("SigningHash") == 0)
{
using(RegistryKey rk1 = rk.OpenSubKey(subkey))
{
return (byte[])rk1.GetValue("SigningHashData");
}
}
}
}
// It should never happen:
throw new Exception("There is no hardware id on this computer!");
}

This solution has two disadvantages:
1. It works only on Windows XP (or later)
2. The SN changes, when the user reinstalls the operating system.
Kazi
"Klaus Bonadt" <Bo****@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:ue****************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
In order to protect software from being copied without licence, I would like to use something like a key, which fits only to the current system. The
serial number of the CPU or the current operating system would be
appropriate. However, I do not know how to retrieve the information.

Could you help?
Klaus

Jul 21 '05 #7

P: n/a
Thanks Kazi,

This is very interesting and indeed, at least for Windows XP, this approach
seems to be more appropriate than scanning for MAC addresses.
One additional general question:
Are there legal consequences when binding software to hardware? Under which
legal constraints this could be a way for selling software in different
countries?

Best regards,
Klaus
Jul 21 '05 #8

P: n/a
> One additional general question:
Are there legal consequences when binding software to hardware? Under which
legal constraints this could be a way for selling software in different
countries?


Even in America I this is agains the spirit of the copiright law,
although not illegal.

The copyright law applied to software was explained at some point
by some specialists this way "the software should be like a book".
Meaning can be used on one machine at a time, if I move it on a new one,
I cannot use it on the previous one.

So, in theory, I can install it on my desktop at home, my laptop,
my desktop at office. If I don't use them symultaneously, I am legal.
The only way I know to enforce this is with a dongle.

Now, the software manufacturers don't give a dime about user's rights.
Tying the software to a certain computer violates the spirit of the law.
But who cares? Put it in a disclaimer in EULA and you are free to do
what you want!

But if I have a choice between your "protected" software and a
non-protected one, guess what am I going to choose?
No, I am no pirat, I pay for my software, but I expect it not to take
away some of the freedoms that are in the law.
Same with the music. I want to listen to it in the car, at home,
on my desktop in the office, and keep the original CD in a safe place.
Can I be in 3 places at once? No. Then I am ok!

--
Mihai
-------------------------
Replace _year_ with _ to get the real email
Jul 21 '05 #9

P: n/a

"Klaus Bonadt" <Bo****@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:e7**************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
Thanks Kazi,

This is very interesting and indeed, at least for Windows XP, this approach seems to be more appropriate than scanning for MAC addresses.
One comment about MAC addresses:
You can't read the MAC address of a network card, if the driver of that card
is disabled, and it is not a rare case, especially in a notebook computer.
One additional general question:
Are there legal consequences when binding software to hardware? Under which legal constraints this could be a way for selling software in different
countries?


I don't know the laws relating to this question.

I'm a shareware developer, and I use the following method in my software: if
a user wants to install my software on a new computer, the user must ask a
new license for installing the already paid software on the new machine. And
the users accept this method. The problem is in the case, when a user
reinstalls the operating system. The users understand this issue.

The .Net 2.0 library now contains managed interfaces for the crypto api. I'm
developing a new shareware software protection system based on the crypto
api, which means, it will be strongest method as it can be.

There are two methods for cracking software:
1. A cracker reverse engineers the license checking algorithm, and he
creates a license key generator (keygen).
2. A cracker removes the license checking algorithm from your software.

I'm developing a license checker algorithm, that uses the public key
infrastructure (PKI), which means, the cracker can't create a license
generator (keygen) utility, because he don't know the private key. It's
impossible to create a keygen program without the private key.

The .Net library contains a possibility to avoid code modification: strong
name assemblies, which based on digital signatures. There is a possibility
to create libraries, that can't be modified.
Jul 21 '05 #10

P: n/a
The theory is good, but the code is not correct a bit.
Itís not impossible to deceive it.
public static byte[] GetHardwareIdBytes()
{
using(RegistryKey rk = Registry.LocalMachine.OpenSubKey(@"SYSTEM\WPA",
false))
{
foreach(string subkey in rk.GetSubKeyNames())
{
if(subkey.IndexOf("SigningHash") == 0)
{
using(RegistryKey rk1 = rk.OpenSubKey(subkey))
{
return (byte[])rk1.GetValue("SigningHashData");
}
}
}
}
// It should never happen:
throw new Exception("There is no hardware id on this computer!");
}

Jul 21 '05 #11

P: n/a
I have also been working on a PKI solution as well for licensing. I
must warn you against using MAC Addresses. I have tried this in the
past with software for some servers, but found that some MAC addresses
are not perminent. This burned me with one client in that all of
there MAC addresses changed one evening when there network staff made
changes to the network.

"Kazi" <no****@please.com> wrote in message news:<ef**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl>...
"Klaus Bonadt" <Bo****@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:e7**************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
Thanks Kazi,

This is very interesting and indeed, at least for Windows XP, this

approach
seems to be more appropriate than scanning for MAC addresses.


One comment about MAC addresses:
You can't read the MAC address of a network card, if the driver of that card
is disabled, and it is not a rare case, especially in a notebook computer.
One additional general question:
Are there legal consequences when binding software to hardware? Under

which
legal constraints this could be a way for selling software in different
countries?


I don't know the laws relating to this question.

I'm a shareware developer, and I use the following method in my software: if
a user wants to install my software on a new computer, the user must ask a
new license for installing the already paid software on the new machine. And
the users accept this method. The problem is in the case, when a user
reinstalls the operating system. The users understand this issue.

The .Net 2.0 library now contains managed interfaces for the crypto api. I'm
developing a new shareware software protection system based on the crypto
api, which means, it will be strongest method as it can be.

There are two methods for cracking software:
1. A cracker reverse engineers the license checking algorithm, and he
creates a license key generator (keygen).
2. A cracker removes the license checking algorithm from your software.

I'm developing a license checker algorithm, that uses the public key
infrastructure (PKI), which means, the cracker can't create a license
generator (keygen) utility, because he don't know the private key. It's
impossible to create a keygen program without the private key.

The .Net library contains a possibility to avoid code modification: strong
name assemblies, which based on digital signatures. There is a possibility
to create libraries, that can't be modified.

Jul 21 '05 #12

P: n/a
"Mihai N." <nm**************@yahoo.com> wrote:
One additional general question:
Are there legal consequences when binding software to hardware? Under which
legal constraints this could be a way for selling software in different
countries?
Even in America I this is agains the spirit of the copiright law,
although not illegal.


"Against the spirit of the copyright law?" Where did you get this?
Copyright law gives the author of a creative work supreme and total control
over the software. If they want to restrict you to running it on one
computer, running it no more than 5 times, and never on Sundays, they are
perfectly within their legal rights to do so. Such a license restriction
would be silly, of course, but that doesn't make it "against the spirit of
the law".
The copyright law applied to software was explained at some point
by some specialists this way "the software should be like a book".
Meaning can be used on one machine at a time, if I move it on a new one,
I cannot use it on the previous one.
This happens to be Borland's approach to software copyright. In fact, that
phrase comes directly from Borland's license agreements. Although it is
comforting and reasonable, it is not a legal authority by any means. Many
software makers hold that you are entitled to run their software on one
machine, and one machine only, forever and ever.
Now, the software manufacturers don't give a dime about user's rights.
Tying the software to a certain computer violates the spirit of the law.


No, it doesn't. It violates the spirit of common sense, but the law has
very little to do with common sense.
--
- Tim Roberts, ti**@probo.com
Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc
Jul 21 '05 #13

P: n/a
> "Against the spirit of the copyright law?" Where did you get this?
Copyright law gives the author of a creative work supreme and total control
over the software. If they want to restrict you to running it on one
computer, running it no more than 5 times, and never on Sundays, they are
perfectly within their legal rights to do so. Such a license restriction
would be silly, of course, but that doesn't make it "against the spirit of
the law". .... No, it doesn't. It violates the spirit of common sense, but the law has
very little to do with common sense.


I did not say it is illegal, just that it is agains the spirit of the law.
The original intent of the law was to stimulate creation, not to be used
to kill it. This is why "fair use" and other mechanisms like this was put
in place. See http://arstechnica.com/reviews/004/s...w/i-tunes.html
to see "how contracts are being used to restrict the normal freedom given to
users by copyright law in general."

I know companies complain about piracy. And they are right (I wonder?
http://arstechnica.com/news/posts/20040903-4156.html)

But the numbers are not as high as they claim. Even under the american
law (the most pro-corporate), a company accusing someone of piracy
should show they lost money. And this does not mean I have an illegal
copy. It means I would have bought it if a stolen copy was not available.
Can a company show that the russian student using an illegal copy of
X software package ($1000) would have bought it, when the monthly salary
there is arround $100?

I do not say starting to steal software or music is the solution.
But I do hope that more and more peoples will start doing what I do.
I did buy hundreds of CDs. Since the first RIAA lawsuit against one
of their customers (several months ago), I did buy none.
Same with software. I do buy it, but when it does cross the line
(in my case the activation), I just say "bye" and buy somewhing else.
Maybe someone will get the message.

If you don't trust me and treat me like a theaf, then I don't do
business with you. If police would stop every car and body search
the ocupants, because "there are criminals out there", it would be
a public outrage. If software/movie/music industry does it, it's ok.

So, my message is: before start adding such "features" to your product,
put in balance what you gain and what you loose.

--
Mihai
-------------------------
Replace _year_ with _ to get the real email
Jul 21 '05 #14

P: n/a
> Can a company show that the russian student using an illegal copy of
X software package ($1000) would have bought it, when the monthly salary
there is arround $100? .... If you don't trust me and treat me like a theaf, then I don't do
business with you. .... So, my message is: before start adding such "features" to your product,
put in balance what you gain and what you loose.


These are remarkable aspects, which make my thoughtful.
However, there are hundreds of illegal copies of cheap software,
Zip-utilities for example.
Some developers started to work for voluntary donations. They also published
the number of distributed, registered copies and the amount of donations. It
is frustrating...

What do you think about a "shareware" utility for 10$ or EUR fixed engaged
to hardware configuration or the operating system?
Do you believe, people, who need it, would think "10 bucks are not so much,
I would afford it a second or third time when I change the configuration!";
or do you rather believe "They treat me like a theaf, I don't do business
with them, even the software would be good for me and I could afford it to
buy!"?

Thanks for your ideas...

Best regards,
Klaus
Jul 21 '05 #15

P: n/a
> Can a company show that the russian student using an illegal copy of
X software package ($1000) would have bought it, when the monthly salary
there is arround $100? .... If you don't trust me and treat me like a theaf, then I don't do
business with you. .... So, my message is: before start adding such "features" to your product,
put in balance what you gain and what you loose.


These are remarkable aspects, which make my thoughtful.
However, there are hundreds of illegal copies of cheap software,
Zip-utilities for example.
Some developers started to work for voluntary donations. They also published
the number of distributed, registered copies and the amount of donations. It
is frustrating...

What do you think about a "shareware" utility for 10$ or EUR fixed engaged
to hardware configuration or the operating system?
Do you believe, people, who need it, would think "10 bucks are not so much,
I would afford it a second or third time when I change the configuration!";
or do you rather believe "They treat me like a theaf, I don't do business
with them, even the software would be good for me and I could afford it to
buy!"?

Thanks for your ideas...

Best regards,
Klaus
Jul 21 '05 #16

P: n/a
> Can a company show that the russian student using an illegal copy of
X software package ($1000) would have bought it, when the monthly salary
there is arround $100?


One comment: russian student (for whom the state pays) gets scholarship of
$20 a month...
Jul 21 '05 #17

P: n/a
"Mihai N." <nm**************@yahoo.com> wrote:

But the numbers are not as high as they claim. Even under the american
law (the most pro-corporate), a company accusing someone of piracy
should show they lost money. And this does not mean I have an illegal
copy. It means I would have bought it if a stolen copy was not available.
Can a company show that the russian student using an illegal copy of
X software package ($1000) would have bought it, when the monthly salary
there is arround $100?


Your reasoning is faulty. If a Russion student is using an illegal copy of
X software package ($1000), then the manufacturer of X has lost $1000.
It's just that simple. If the student could not have bought the package,
then he should not be using it. If I were to steal a television set, the
fact that I would not have bought the television set anyway does not change
the illegality of the act, nor the loss to the manufacturer.
--
- Tim Roberts, ti**@probo.com
Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc
Jul 21 '05 #18

P: n/a
> Your reasoning is faulty. If a Russion student is using an illegal copy of
X software package ($1000), then the manufacturer of X has lost $1000.
It's just that simple. If the student could not have bought the package,
then he should not be using it. If I were to steal a television set, the
fact that I would not have bought the television set anyway does not change
the illegality of the act, nor the loss to the manufacturer.


You are worst than most American corporations! Check the American law.
A company should proove you would have bought it if it was not available to
steal. This is the law, not my faulty reasoning.

Are you working for RIAA? Same faulty comparison with stealing objects.
A stolen object is gone. A copyed software is still there.

Again, I don't say is right to just copy software.
But let me tell you why your reasoning is faulty and a loss is not
always a loss:

Option one:
- student does not have money to play with 1000$ program
- draconic anti-piracy measures prevents him from geting a stolen copy
- student searches and finds open source alternative
- student graduates, recomends to his company to use open source software
- over-zelus pirate-killer company looses a company

Option two:
- student does not have money to play with 1000$ program
- he manages tp get a stolen copy and becomes proficient with it
- student graduates, recomends to his company to use same software
(this is what he knows, right?)
- software company gains one more company as client

This is something many American companies know.
- Borland offered amnesties in Eastern Europe.
- Microsoft and Apple donate software to schools and universities
to "hook" students
- SCO (the onld one) offered the SCO Unix for $25

I am comming from Eastern Europe. For many years I did use pkzip
(shareware) without giving any money. How could I? 25$ was about
a quarter of a salary. And during the comunists we where not allowed
to have $ or to have relations with foreign companies.
One of the first things I did when I came to America and stared making
some money was to send them the 25$.

Anyway, maybe I was a bit rough in my posts.
But I tried to show another side.

Think twice before implementing tough protections.
Real pirates will have a crack in a few weeks after release.
The final ones to suffer are your customers.
If you have 90% of the market (Windows, Photoshop), you can afford
something like the activation, otherwise you are just adding to the
development costs and push your clients to concurent companies.
It is all about balance.

And maybe you are just implementing what your managers ask.
Nothing personal against you, really.

--
Mihai
-------------------------
Replace _year_ with _ to get the real email
Jul 21 '05 #19

P: n/a
> These are remarkable aspects, which make my thoughtful.
....
Zip-utilities for example. .... What do you think about a "shareware" utility for 10$ or EUR fixed engaged ... Thanks for your ideas...

Best regards,
Klaus


Please see my other post on zip-like tools and software.
If I did make you think twice, I am glad.

Thank you, and forgive me if I was a bit rough.

--
Mihai
-------------------------
Replace _year_ with _ to get the real email
Jul 21 '05 #20

P: n/a
> One comment: russian student (for whom the state pays) gets scholarship of
$20 a month...

I do believe you.
I was talking more about a salary, for someone with a jull time job.
Salary that has to be used to pay the bills and buy the food.
And I also know there are big variations in salary, like in many other
places. Jost wanted to give some food for thought.
Good look.

--
Mihai
-------------------------
Replace _year_ with _ to get the real email
Jul 21 '05 #21

P: n/a
Mihai,

you're arguing that intangible product has no value. If you steal something
like a program the owner still has it but it doesn't mean you didn't steal
it (and yes, it's not stealing, it's using it without a permission, but that
makes little difference determining the legality of the fact). Somebody has
put resources into creating it and unless they chose to give it out for free
(by releasing it into the public domain, or under a free license) you do not
have any right to use it. The fact that you can't afford it (for whatever
reason) is not an excuse. If there are free alternatives (and you're arguing
that there are) use those. I am really sick of people who say they would use
an open source (as in free, in terms of cost) alternative if they had to pay
for something they stole - why don't they then? Same thing about people who
say they would never buy it and use something else - put your money where
your mouth is and do use something else.

And your argument about a student forcing his future employer to buy SW ;)
You have obviously never worked for a decent company, new hires are not in a
position to make a whole company switch to an expensive piece of SW. You'll
end up using whatever they use now or stealing what you've been using till
then, except now you'll have to change your excuse.

Jerry

"Mihai N." <nm**************@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:Xn*******************@207.46.248.16...
Your reasoning is faulty. If a Russion student is using an illegal copy
of
X software package ($1000), then the manufacturer of X has lost $1000.
It's just that simple. If the student could not have bought the package,
then he should not be using it. If I were to steal a television set, the
fact that I would not have bought the television set anyway does not
change
the illegality of the act, nor the loss to the manufacturer.


You are worst than most American corporations! Check the American law.
A company should proove you would have bought it if it was not available
to
steal. This is the law, not my faulty reasoning.

Are you working for RIAA? Same faulty comparison with stealing objects.
A stolen object is gone. A copyed software is still there.

Again, I don't say is right to just copy software.
But let me tell you why your reasoning is faulty and a loss is not
always a loss:

Option one:
- student does not have money to play with 1000$ program
- draconic anti-piracy measures prevents him from geting a stolen copy
- student searches and finds open source alternative
- student graduates, recomends to his company to use open source software
- over-zelus pirate-killer company looses a company

Option two:
- student does not have money to play with 1000$ program
- he manages tp get a stolen copy and becomes proficient with it
- student graduates, recomends to his company to use same software
(this is what he knows, right?)
- software company gains one more company as client

This is something many American companies know.
- Borland offered amnesties in Eastern Europe.
- Microsoft and Apple donate software to schools and universities
to "hook" students
- SCO (the onld one) offered the SCO Unix for $25

I am comming from Eastern Europe. For many years I did use pkzip
(shareware) without giving any money. How could I? 25$ was about
a quarter of a salary. And during the comunists we where not allowed
to have $ or to have relations with foreign companies.
One of the first things I did when I came to America and stared making
some money was to send them the 25$.

Anyway, maybe I was a bit rough in my posts.
But I tried to show another side.

Think twice before implementing tough protections.
Real pirates will have a crack in a few weeks after release.
The final ones to suffer are your customers.
If you have 90% of the market (Windows, Photoshop), you can afford
something like the activation, otherwise you are just adding to the
development costs and push your clients to concurent companies.
It is all about balance.

And maybe you are just implementing what your managers ask.
Nothing personal against you, really.

--
Mihai
-------------------------
Replace _year_ with _ to get the real email

Jul 21 '05 #22

P: n/a
Tim Roberts <ti**@probo.com> schreef in berichtnieuws
41********************************@4ax.com...

Hello Tim,
"Mihai N." <nm**************@yahoo.com> wrote:

But the numbers are not as high as they claim. Even under the american
law (the most pro-corporate), a company accusing someone of piracy
should show they lost money. And this does not mean I have an illegal
copy. It means I would have bought it if a stolen copy was not available.
Can a company show that the russian student using an illegal copy of
X software package ($1000) would have bought it, when the monthly salary
there is arround $100?
Your reasoning is faulty. If a Russion student is using an illegal copy

of X software package ($1000), then the manufacturer of X has lost $1000.
It's just that simple. If the student could not have bought the package,
then he should not be using it. If I were to steal a television set, the
fact that I would not have bought the television set anyway does not change the illegality of the act, nor the loss to the manufacturer.


Sorry, but I do not agree.

1a) You make it sound as if the money is stolen, which it isn't the case
1b) You make it sound as if the product is stolen, which it isn't the case

(You even explicitily compare the actual *removal* of goods to the *copying*
of software, which *isn't the same*, not even in American law :-) )

2) As Mihai allready tried to point to, there is *no way* that a person with
a monthly income of around $100 will, for personal use, buy a package of
around 10 times that ammount. Meaning that if the package would, outside
of buying, not be available, (s)he just *would not buy it*. (I even think
that but a few people will buy software that is worth over a quarter of
their monthly wages, without being able to inspect it first)

Conclusion : no matter which way (the package is copied, the package is not
bought) the company does not get that money.

In my eyes that means that any company that claims that they lost that money
is just trying to make us believe a lie (trying to swing someone's
(Lawmaker's ?) opinion in their favour)....

But yes, if you do not aquire something available legally, you should not be
using it.

Regards,
Rudy Wieser

Jul 21 '05 #23

P: n/a
... If you steal something
like a program the owner still has it but it doesn't mean you didn't steal
it (and yes, it's not stealing, it's using it without a permission, but that makes little difference determining the legality of the fact).
Right. And I guess, Mihai does not have another opinion.
And your argument about a student forcing his future employer to buy SW ;)
You have obviously never worked for a decent company, new hires are not in a position to make a whole company switch to an expensive piece of SW.


Do not take this too literal. I understand this that way: Look at Microsoft.
Why they achieve that amount of success? From my point of view, it's because
of their market position, not because of their products. There are powerful
graphical operating systems before MS Windows. However, the people continue
buying MS-DOS until MS provides MS Windows. Look at IE, Netscape was better;
MS knew this and distributed IE free of charge. They wouldn't if they had
the market position. Just my opinion.
I bought Office 2003 although I still do my work in Star Office 5.2. Why I
bought MS Office additionally? Because the most companies interchange
documents in MS Word format.
A company which can afford to seed a market with products (free of charge)
or products being copied illegal could benefit on the long run from illegal
copies, but I fear this cannot be transfered easily to the situation of
small companies.
It is all about balance.


This is the problem.
Self-employed developers would like to get paid for their ideas and work.
From what they want to live, if they distribute their work without any fees?

Klaus
Jul 21 '05 #24

P: n/a
"Mihai N." <nm**************@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:Xn*******************@207.46.248.16...
Are you working for RIAA? Same faulty comparison with stealing objects.
A stolen object is gone. A copyed software is still there.


But the revenue which comes from the pirated software is no less gone.

Regards,
Will
Jul 21 '05 #25

P: n/a
> > "Mihai N." <nm**************@yahoo.com> wrote:
[...]
Your reasoning is faulty. If a Russion student is using an illegal copy of
X software package ($1000), then the manufacturer of X has lost $1000.
It's just that simple. If the student could not have bought the package, then he should not be using it. If I were to steal a television set, the fact that I would not have bought the television set anyway does not

change
the illegality of the act, nor the loss to the manufacturer.


Sorry, but I do not agree.

1a) You make it sound as if the money is stolen, which it isn't the case
1b) You make it sound as if the product is stolen, which it isn't the case


Exactly how is the product 'not stolen'? This is exactly the thinking that's
killing small software companies. The argument that every pirated piece of
software is not a sale lost is complete rubbish - some people may pirate it
because the genuinely can't afford it, others pirate because they don't want
to afford it.

(You even explicitily compare the actual *removal* of goods to the *copying* of software, which *isn't the same*, not even in American law :-) )
[....] Conclusion : no matter which way (the package is copied, the package is not bought) the company does not get that money.

In my eyes that means that any company that claims that they lost that money is just trying to make us believe a lie (trying to swing someone's
(Lawmaker's ?) opinion in their favour)....
No, they want to continue to develop products and pay their employees. The
law does absolutely nothing to stop software piracy, which is a real shame -
it means that the only companies that can continue to make software will be
massive corporations that can soak up the losses or those that provide some
kind of additional service to paying customers. Open source is fantastic,
but it doesn't employ people - given the choice between working at a fast
food restaurant and writing OS software, or being paid to write software, I
know which I'd take.

But yes, if you do not aquire something available legally, you should not be using it.


.... which is the ONLY thing that counts.

Steve
Jul 21 '05 #26

P: n/a
Are you working for RIAA? Same faulty comparison with stealing objects.
A stolen object is gone. A copyed software is still there.


But the revenue which comes from the pirated software is no less gone.

Please read the whole answer, don't just quote a sentence out of context.
I did explain why there was no money to go. Because the very low income
person would have never bought the product.
This is no argument for piracy, is more about learning to detect
false claims of "trilions of USD lost to piracy."
--
Mihai
-------------------------
Replace _year_ with _ to get the real email
Jul 21 '05 #27

P: n/a
>> ... If you steal something
like a program the owner still has it but it doesn't mean you didn't steal
it (and yes, it's not stealing, it's using it without a permission, but that
makes little difference determining the legality of the fact).


Right. And I guess, Mihai does not have another opinion.

Right, I am a developer and I want to be paid.
A company which can afford to seed a market with products (free of charge)
or products being copied illegal could benefit on the long run from illegal
copies, but I fear this cannot be transfered easily to the situation of
small companies.

True.
> It is all about balance.


This is the problem.
Self-employed developers would like to get paid for their ideas and work.
From what they want to live, if they distribute their work without any
fees?

I agree it is a difficult call.
But I did see many options out there.
A lite version for free, extra features for money.
Or free version for students only (see WS_FTP, at least older versions,
I do not know now, not a student anymore).
Or free-free-open source. How is RedHat making the money, if you can download
the .iso files from their ftp?
Or give free copies to those contributing to your program (with bug reports,
testing, plug-ins, ideas). You may get a lot of help for "starving students"
that love your application, fell guilty from using it for free, and will do
something to pay back, as much as they can.

I know, most of these options do not involve protection.
But I do believe that people will to pay for something they like and
has a decent price.
See again RedHat. You pay for tech support, because you think it is worth it,
because you want to encourage the developer to go ahead and give you a new
version.

I did make some money from a keyboard mapper that was fully functional
even without being paid for, and this in Eastern Europe, which everybody
complains is the piracy heaven (or maybe after Asia, don't know).

Thing is, I do not thing is it worth my time and money to implement
fancy protections just to give some kid a "cracking challange"
It is always easyer to crack/distroy something thant to protect/create.
And I still believe people are essentialy good.

I don't say go ahead and use copied software.
I don't say "don't create protections"
I say "think twice before spending time on protections, it costs time to
develop, time to tech-suport, it may push your clients away"

Ok, I think I did say clear enough what I stand for, if someone still
thinks I am "pro piracy", it is only bad will or stupidity, and I
will stop answering.

I think it is impresive that a thread quite long and on such a
sensitive subject did not already mutated into flaming :-)
Thanks all,

--
Mihai
-------------------------
Replace _year_ with _ to get the real email
Jul 21 '05 #28

P: n/a
Thanks, Mihai.
I really appreciate your comments.

Klaus
Jul 21 '05 #29

P: n/a
I have red the whole thread and I would like to express my opinion. I do not
agree with Mihai, but he talks about a real problem. I know what he said and
the situation is really understandable. But I think, if somebody can't buy a
software costs about $10-$20, it's a social question. This is an existing
problem, but there is no reason to expect from a developer to solve this
problem. The society should solve this problem, not the developer.

Best Regards
Kazi
from Hungary, Central Europe

"Mihai N." <nm**************@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:Xn*******************@207.46.248.16...
... If you steal something
like a program the owner still has it but it doesn't mean you didn't steal it (and yes, it's not stealing, it's using it without a permission, but that
makes little difference determining the legality of the fact).


Right. And I guess, Mihai does not have another opinion.

Right, I am a developer and I want to be paid.
A company which can afford to seed a market with products (free of charge)
or products being copied illegal could benefit on the long run from illegal copies, but I fear this cannot be transfered easily to the situation of
small companies.

True.
It is all about balance.


This is the problem.
Self-employed developers would like to get paid for their ideas and work. From what they want to live, if they distribute their work without any
fees?

I agree it is a difficult call.
But I did see many options out there.
A lite version for free, extra features for money.
Or free version for students only (see WS_FTP, at least older versions,
I do not know now, not a student anymore).
Or free-free-open source. How is RedHat making the money, if you can

download the .iso files from their ftp?
Or give free copies to those contributing to your program (with bug reports, testing, plug-ins, ideas). You may get a lot of help for "starving students" that love your application, fell guilty from using it for free, and will do something to pay back, as much as they can.

I know, most of these options do not involve protection.
But I do believe that people will to pay for something they like and
has a decent price.
See again RedHat. You pay for tech support, because you think it is worth it, because you want to encourage the developer to go ahead and give you a new
version.

I did make some money from a keyboard mapper that was fully functional
even without being paid for, and this in Eastern Europe, which everybody
complains is the piracy heaven (or maybe after Asia, don't know).

Thing is, I do not thing is it worth my time and money to implement
fancy protections just to give some kid a "cracking challange"
It is always easyer to crack/distroy something thant to protect/create.
And I still believe people are essentialy good.

I don't say go ahead and use copied software.
I don't say "don't create protections"
I say "think twice before spending time on protections, it costs time to
develop, time to tech-suport, it may push your clients away"

Ok, I think I did say clear enough what I stand for, if someone still
thinks I am "pro piracy", it is only bad will or stupidity, and I
will stop answering.

I think it is impresive that a thread quite long and on such a
sensitive subject did not already mutated into flaming :-)
Thanks all,

--
Mihai
-------------------------
Replace _year_ with _ to get the real email

Jul 21 '05 #30

P: n/a
Steve McLellan <sjm.NOSPAM AT fixerlabs DOT com> schreef in berichtnieuws
ua**************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...

Hello Steve
"Mihai N." <nm**************@yahoo.com> wrote: [...]
Why did you remove my name ? Now you are making it look as if the comments
before your current ones are written by Mihai, which isn't the case ...
Your reasoning is faulty. If a Russion student is using an
illegal copy of X software package ($1000), then the
manufacturer of X has lost $1000.
It's just that simple. If the student could not have bought
the package, then he should not be using it. If I were to
steal a television set, the fact that I would not have bought
the television set anyway does not change the illegality
of the act, nor the loss to the manufacturer.


Sorry, but I do not agree.

1a) You make it sound as if the money is stolen, which it isn't the case
1b) You make it sound as if the product is stolen, which it isn't the case
Exactly how is the product 'not stolen'?
Read the Lawbooks (American or European) for and answer to that.
This is exactly the thinking that's killing small software
companies.
Funny : I just explained why your reasoning does not have much ground, and
yet you utter another statement just like it ...
The argument that every pirated piece of software is not
a sale lost is complete rubbish - some people may pirate
it because the genuinely can't afford it, others pirate
because they don't want to afford it.


Correct. Alas, you seem to be putting them all on a big heap, and disregard
the role the software-companies play in this game. It looks like that the
continuous brainwashing emmitted by the commercial world have goten a hold
on you :-)
(You even explicitily compare the actual *removal* of goods
to the *copying* of software, which *isn't the same*, not
even in American law :-) )

[....]
Conclusion : no matter which way (the package is copied, the
package is not bought) the company does not get that money.

In my eyes that means that any company that claims that they
lost that money is just trying to make us believe a lie (trying
to swing someone's (Lawmaker's ?) opinion in their favour)....


No, they want to continue to develop products and pay their
employees. The law does absolutely nothing to stop software
piracy, which is a real shame - it means that the only companies
that can continue to make software will be massive corporations
that can soak up the losses or those that provide some kind of
additional service to paying customers. Open source is fantastic,
but it doesn't employ people - given the choice between working
at a fast food restaurant and writing OS software, or being paid
to write software, I know which I'd take.


I'm missing something here ... A a rebuttal to my conclusion.

Worse yet : I'm reading your (implicite) "copying is theft" all over again,
mixed together with "people that put software in the open source doimain are
thieves (of the other software-writers) too !"

I know that repetition is the basis of all learning, but here it has no
place, and is even counter-productive.

But there is a simple answer to your problem : If you can't earn your money
there, find another job.

You can complain about the difference in pay, but than again, why should you
get payed a heap of money (just because you have been *given* a decent set
of brains), while other, who are not as brilliant as you should stay at
"survival rations" ?
But yes, if you do not aquire something available legally, you
should not be using it.


... which is the ONLY thing that counts.


You seem to be contradicting yourself : Your problem is not with the
non-legal use of software, wich you probably would not care about, if it was
not for the, by you percieved, loss of money.

And alas, that "loss of money on every non-legal copy made" is largely a
farce.

Regards,
Rudy Wieser

Jul 21 '05 #31

P: n/a
Hi,

We're not going to agree, and I'm busy trying to save my the job my "decent
set of brains" has dropped on my doorstep (incidentally, I earn one hell of
a lot less than almost everyone I know, but I enjoy what I do, and so want
to keep doing it), so I'll leave it here. But I'm fairly sure that unless
software piracy is stopped, there will be very few application / games
developers around in a few years' time.

Steve

"R.Wieser" <ad*****@not.available> wrote in message
news:eB**************@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
Steve McLellan <sjm.NOSPAM AT fixerlabs DOT com> schreef in berichtnieuws
ua**************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...

Hello Steve
> "Mihai N." <nm**************@yahoo.com> wrote: [...]


Why did you remove my name ? Now you are making it look as if the

comments before your current ones are written by Mihai, which isn't the case ...
> Your reasoning is faulty. If a Russion student is using an
> illegal copy of X software package ($1000), then the
> manufacturer of X has lost $1000.
> It's just that simple. If the student could not have bought
> the package, then he should not be using it. If I were to
> steal a television set, the fact that I would not have bought
> the television set anyway does not change the illegality
> of the act, nor the loss to the manufacturer.

Sorry, but I do not agree.

1a) You make it sound as if the money is stolen, which it isn't the case 1b) You make it sound as if the product is stolen, which it isn't the case

Exactly how is the product 'not stolen'?
Read the Lawbooks (American or European) for and answer to that.
This is exactly the thinking that's killing small software
companies.


Funny : I just explained why your reasoning does not have much ground, and
yet you utter another statement just like it ...
The argument that every pirated piece of software is not
a sale lost is complete rubbish - some people may pirate
it because the genuinely can't afford it, others pirate
because they don't want to afford it.


Correct. Alas, you seem to be putting them all on a big heap, and

disregard the role the software-companies play in this game. It looks like that the continuous brainwashing emmitted by the commercial world have goten a hold
on you :-)
(You even explicitily compare the actual *removal* of goods
to the *copying* of software, which *isn't the same*, not
even in American law :-) )
[....]
Conclusion : no matter which way (the package is copied, the
package is not bought) the company does not get that money.

In my eyes that means that any company that claims that they
lost that money is just trying to make us believe a lie (trying
to swing someone's (Lawmaker's ?) opinion in their favour)....


No, they want to continue to develop products and pay their
employees. The law does absolutely nothing to stop software
piracy, which is a real shame - it means that the only companies
that can continue to make software will be massive corporations
that can soak up the losses or those that provide some kind of
additional service to paying customers. Open source is fantastic,
but it doesn't employ people - given the choice between working
at a fast food restaurant and writing OS software, or being paid
to write software, I know which I'd take.


I'm missing something here ... A a rebuttal to my conclusion.

Worse yet : I'm reading your (implicite) "copying is theft" all over

again, mixed together with "people that put software in the open source doimain are thieves (of the other software-writers) too !"

I know that repetition is the basis of all learning, but here it has no
place, and is even counter-productive.

But there is a simple answer to your problem : If you can't earn your money there, find another job.

You can complain about the difference in pay, but than again, why should you get payed a heap of money (just because you have been *given* a decent set
of brains), while other, who are not as brilliant as you should stay at
"survival rations" ?
But yes, if you do not aquire something available legally, you
should not be using it.
... which is the ONLY thing that counts.


You seem to be contradicting yourself : Your problem is not with the
non-legal use of software, wich you probably would not care about, if it

was not for the, by you percieved, loss of money.

And alas, that "loss of money on every non-legal copy made" is largely a
farce.

Regards,
Rudy Wieser

Jul 21 '05 #32

P: n/a

William DePalo [MVP VC++] <wi***********@mvps.org> schreef in berichtnieuws
uY*************@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
"Mihai N." <nm**************@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:Xn*******************@207.46.248.16...
Are you working for RIAA? Same faulty comparison with stealing objects.
A stolen object is gone. A copyed software is still there.


But the revenue which comes from the pirated software is no less gone.


!! Brainwash detected !!

What are the chances that someone will actually buy something which (s)he
cannot afford ?

So, if the software could not be gotten by copying, it would not be gotten
*at all*. No way that that person would spend money on it.

Either way, there will no revenue be generated by the copied, or the *not
sold* software. Thus, regarding (all) the pirated software as a loss is a
farce.

Ofcourse, there will allway's be people that rather would "steal" software
that costs E 5,- (and is worth it), than that they would buy it, just like
there allway's will be thieves.

Regards,
Rudy Wieser



Jul 21 '05 #33

P: n/a
"R.Wieser" <ad*****@not.available> wrote in message
news:#Y**************@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...

[...]
But the revenue which comes from the pirated software is no less gone.


!! Brainwash detected !!

What are the chances that someone will actually buy something which (s)he
cannot afford ?


!! false dichotomy detected !!

A person who uses pirated software is not necessarily a person who cannot
afford that software.

I would like to live in a nice house. If I could get that house for very
small money ["for free"], I would laugh at your attempts to sell houses like
that for a lot more. However, if I cannot get that house for free, I will
have to pay that money for that house, or scale down my wishes and rent a
small apartment, or apply for social aid.

I would like to drive a luxury car. If I could just take such a car off the
street ["for free"], I will ignore your attempts to sell me that car at its
real price. Without that option, I will have to shell out the money, or buy
a car within my means, or use public transportation, or just walk and be in
good shape.

Your question is incorrect. Correctly phrased, it sounds thusly:

"What are the chances that someone will buy something that costs x, x > 0?"

Now, go home [if you're not there], look around, and count the things that
have been bought at x; let's call this A(x); then count the things that cost
x and which you cannot afford; let's call this B(x). The answer to the
question above is A(x) / [A(x) + B(x)].

A still better question should include the "desire" factor y, 0 < y <= 1,
the "usefulness" factor z, 0 < z <= 1, etc.

S

Jul 21 '05 #34

P: n/a
"R.Wieser" <ad*****@not.available> wrote in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...
!! Brainwash detected !!


Not me. Perhaps material things are provided for you for free where you
live. Here, I can have only what I can pay for.

If I had taken leave of my senses I might make a religion of giving away for
free that which I make my living by selling. I haven't. I don't.

Regards,
Will
Jul 21 '05 #35

P: n/a
Slava M. Usov <st************@gmx.net> schreef in berichtnieuws
uB**************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...

Hello Slava,
"R.Wieser" <ad*****@not.available> wrote in message
news:#Y**************@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...

[...]
But the revenue which comes from the pirated software is no less gone.
!! Brainwash detected !!

What are the chances that someone will actually buy something which (s)he cannot afford ?


!! false dichotomy detected !!

A person who uses pirated software is not necessarily a person who cannot
afford that software.


You seem to have missed the below :

Ofcourse, there will allway's be people that rather would "steal" software
that costs E 5,- (and is worth it), than that they would buy it, just like
there allway's will be thieves.
I would like to live in a nice house. If I could get that house for very
small money ["for free"], I would laugh at your attempts to sell houses like that for a lot more. However, if I cannot get that house for free, I will
have to pay that money for that house, or scale down my wishes and rent a
small apartment, or apply for social aid.

I would like to drive a luxury car. If I could just take such a car off the street ["for free"], I will ignore your attempts to sell me that car at its real price. Without that option, I will have to shell out the money, or buy a car within my means, or use public transportation, or just walk and be in good shape.
Thanks for your underbuilding of my case : If you do not have the means to
buy a car, you will either find some other means of transportation, or no
transportation at all.

Does my *wish to want* to own a car, but not being able to pay for one make
me a thief of anything ? I don't think so.

If I however decide to build a one-on-one replica of the car that I could
not buy, do I than owe the car-company money ?

Again, I don't think so, as they have not given/sold me but one spark-plug
....

Same for software, as I have only created a copy, while the origional is
still where it should be.

Either way (I do not have transportation, or decide to build my own
replica), the car-company will *never* get money I do not have/cannot spend.

Regarding the desired-for, but non-bought (due to lack of funds) as a "loss"
would be as silly as what is happening now, regarding a pirated copy as a
loss.
You asked me to look around in my house, now I ask you the same : would a
person be able to put his computer full with legally obtained software
(games !) ?

No ? So, what should you than be concluding ? That all the software that
a person has on his computer, more than what he could legally obtain *and
pay for*, is lost revenue ? Nonwithstanding the *fact* that there is *no
way in hell* that that person could have payed for all that software ?

If you do you must allso believe money grows in tree's, as that would be the
only place that person would be able to get the money to replace the "lost"
revenue with ...

Some time ago I read some (utterly stupid) figures on software "theft"
revenue-loss, in which an ammount of money was proclaimed which, if divided
by the potential buyers in my country would mean that each-and-every one
would have to spend over a third of it's spendable income per month. A
family consisting outof father, mother & one child would, according to those
numbers, be spending the whole income of the father, leaving nothing for
rent, food, etc.
Your question is incorrect. Correctly phrased, it sounds thusly:

"What are the chances that someone will buy something that costs x, x >

0?"

Quite large actually. :-)

[Snip]

Nice calculation, but fully missing the point ... :-\

Regards,
Rudy Wieser

Jul 21 '05 #36

P: n/a
William DePalo [MVP VC++] <wi***********@mvps.org> schreef in berichtnieuws
Oy**************@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...

Hello William,
"R.Wieser" <ad*****@not.available> wrote in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...
!! Brainwash detected !!
Not me. Perhaps material things are provided for you for free where you
live. Here, I can have only what I can pay for.


Hmm ... I can take a picture of a beautifull scenery, and put it on my
wall. The beauty is then on my wall, but is allso still in the origional
scenery. I did not pay for it, and I can still have it :-)

Happyness can be shared, and funnily enough by sharing it multiplies, but
allso grows in the giver.

There are so many things you can have, without paying for it :-)
If I had taken leave of my senses I might make a religion of giving away for free that which I make my living by selling. I haven't. I don't.


I can understand you that you do not want to have your lifelyhood endangered
by people "stealing" your software.

But be honest : do you really think that every person who could not obtain
your software otherwise than to pay for it, would actually do so ?

For every person you have to say "no" for, you cannot, if you would be
honest, calculate a "loss of revenue".

If you would (as software-companies like to do), you would be deceiving
yourself as well as trying to deceive the public (trying to "get what is
coming to you" by crook, hook or lie).

In this light, who is the "thief" here ?

Regards,
Rudy Wieser

P.s.
Although I do not think you can steal software by copying, I do regard
pirated software as a copyright-violation (which is against the Law :-) )

Jul 21 '05 #37

P: n/a
"R.Wieser" <ad*****@not.available> wrote in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
William DePalo [MVP VC++] <wi***********@mvps.org> schreef in
berichtnieuws
Not me. Perhaps material things are provided for you for free where you
live. Here, I can have only what I can pay for. ...
There are so many things you can have, without paying for it :-)


That's why I used the clarifying adjective "material".
But be honest : do you really think that every person who could not obtain
your software otherwise than to pay for it, would actually do so ?
No. _Just_ most of them.
If you would (as software-companies like to do), you would be deceiving
yourself as well as trying to deceive the public (trying to "get what is
coming to you" by crook, hook or lie).
No lie. Here at least, intellectual property is property. Owners can protect
their property. Anyone who takes property from its rightful owner without
the owner's consent is a thief.
Although I do not think you can steal software by copying, ...


Thankfully, US law, at least, is at odds with what you believe.

Regards,
Will
Jul 21 '05 #38

P: n/a
"R.Wieser" <ad*****@not.available> wrote in message
news:eF*************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
A person who uses pirated software is not necessarily a person who
cannot afford that software.
You seem to have missed the below :

> Ofcourse, there will allway's be people that rather would "steal" software
that costs E 5,- (and is worth it), than that they would buy it, just like
there allway's will be thieves.


EUR 5 just does not cut it. Try EUR 75.

[...]
Does my *wish to want* to own a car, but not being able to pay for one
make me a thief of anything ? I don't think so.
No, it does not.
If I however decide to build a one-on-one replica of the car that I could
not buy, do I than owe the car-company money ?
Yes you do, to the designers of the car. Are you unaware of that?
Again, I don't think so, as they have not given/sold me but one spark-plug
They did not give you anything, but you misappropriated their intellectual
assets.
Same for software, as I have only created a copy, while the origional is
still where it should be.
Same for software, indeed.

[...]
You asked me to look around in my house, now I ask you the same : would a
person be able to put his computer full with legally obtained software
(games !) ?


Would one be able to fill one's house with gold? No? So what?

[...]
"What are the chances that someone will buy something that costs x, x >
0?"


Quite large actually. :-)
[Snip]

Nice calculation, but fully missing the point ... :-\


I don't think so. It demonstrates that talking about people "who cannot
afford it" is pointless. If someone cannot afford some software, there is
always some other software that costs less or even free, and it is not a
question of life or death anyway.

S
Jul 21 '05 #39

P: n/a
... But I'm fairly sure that unless
software piracy is stopped, there will be very few application / games
developers around in a few years' time.


Similar arguments where served more than 20 years ago by some guy
named Bill Gates, outraged by the computer hobbysts sharing software.
And we all know how bad he does now :-)
--
Mihai
-------------------------
Replace _year_ with _ to get the real email
Jul 21 '05 #40

P: n/a

William DePalo [MVP VC++] <wi***********@mvps.org> schreef in berichtnieuws
Oq**************@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
"R.Wieser" <ad*****@not.available> wrote in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
William DePalo [MVP VC++] <wi***********@mvps.org> schreef in
berichtnieuws
Not me. Perhaps material things are provided for you for free where you
live. Here, I can have only what I can pay for. ...
There are so many things you can have, without paying for it :-)


That's why I used the clarifying adjective "material".


Yes, you did. Alas, several people here seem to think you can steal
software. To make my life easier, I just ignore any references to it. As a
result I've allso ignored your reference to it :-\
But be honest : do you really think that every person who could not obtain your software otherwise than to pay for it, would actually do so ?


No. _Just_ most of them.


I've actually got no idea what kind of software you're writing, but I think
you could be right, if your programs are tools, used to generate (easier)
income.

Alas, most of the "pirates" are simply people who "steal" software which
will mostly not generate any money (as example : games). In other words,
the price of whatever software they obtain cannot be recaptured, but is
simply gone.
If you would (as software-companies like to do), you would be deceiving
yourself as well as trying to deceive the public (trying to "get what is
coming to you" by crook, hook or lie).


No lie. Here at least, intellectual property is property. Owners can

protect their property. Anyone who takes property from its rightful owner without
the owner's consent is a thief.


I would suggest you read the Law for that one. Copying something is
definitily *not* stealing (no material things are removed from their (legal)
owners) , but just an offence against the copyright.
Although I do not think you can steal software by copying, ...


Thankfully, US law, at least, is at odds with what you believe.


I don't think so. It just that America (and within shortly possibly Europe
too) punishes, under pressure of the commercial world, a single copying of
software more harshly than the act breaking, entering & removing goods,
Which is a *very* bad way to go, if you ask me.

But this punishment is never dealt for *stealing*, but for "violation of
copyright". :-)

Regards,
Rudy Wieser

Jul 21 '05 #41

P: n/a
Slava M. Usov <st************@gmx.net> schreef in berichtnieuws
Oq**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...

Hello Slava,
"R.Wieser" <ad*****@not.available> wrote in message
news:eF*************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
A person who uses pirated software is not necessarily a person who
cannot afford that software.
You seem to have missed the below :

> > Ofcourse, there will allway's be people that rather would "steal" software that costs E 5,- (and is worth it), than that they would buy it, just like there allway's will be thieves.


EUR 5 just does not cut it. Try EUR 75.


It was just to show nonwithstanding the lowness of a price is, some people
will rather copy it, than to pay that ammount.
[...]
Does my *wish to want* to own a car, but not being able to pay for one
make me a thief of anything ? I don't think so.
No, it does not.
If I however decide to build a one-on-one replica of the car that I could not buy, do I than owe the car-company money ?


Yes you do, to the designers of the car. Are you unaware of that?


That's the difference with my country than : Outside of the companies logo,
I'm allowed to, by my own hands & for my own (direct) use, to copy any
material goods I see.
Again, I don't think so, as they have not given/sold me but one spark-plug
They did not give you anything, but you misappropriated their intellectual
assets.


That's possible. But I still did *not steal* anything. Something that
people here, and software companies in general will want you to believe ...
Same for software, as I have only created a copy, while the origional is
still where it should be.


Same for software, indeed.

[...]
You asked me to look around in my house, now I ask you the same : would a person be able to put his computer full with legally obtained software
(games !) ?


Would one be able to fill one's house with gold? No? So what?


I don't think you understood my question.

Can you, with the income you have, fill your computer with all the software
you would want ? (games. image, video and audio-editing software. 3D cat
programs, heavy DTP packages. You name it)
By the way, I'm sad to see that you have snipped away my conclusion.

[Snip]
Nice calculation, but fully missing the point ... :-\


I don't think so. It demonstrates that talking about people "who cannot
afford it" is pointless. If someone cannot afford some software, there is
always some other software that costs less or even free, and it is not a
question of life or death anyway.


You're mistaken. Either that, or you are too old to remember that, within
the younger community, conformance is of the essence.

When, at that age, your friends play some game, you better make sure you
play that game too, otherwise you will become an outcast (comparable to
wearing the "wrong" clothes).

And I think you're mistaken twice : the "cannot afford it" is exacly that
what should be considered. Your viewpoint may be amicable, but is far from
the truth : there are many people (kids) that have a computer full of any
thinkable software, without them even (aside of a plethora of games) doing
anything with it.

You can turn it this way or that, but that software would never be obtained
if they would be forced to buy it (which they do not have the money for).

Conclusion : regarding the value of that software as a loss is a deception.
To the software-companies themselves, as well as the world.
Oh, by the way : the above does not mean that I think copying software is
something good.

But I allso think that robbing people of a years worth of income because of
a single copied piece of software is, compared to an actual theft of goods,
*far* over the top :-(

Regards,
Rudy Wieser

Jul 21 '05 #42

P: n/a
"R.Wieser" <ad*****@not.available> wrote in message
news:#F*************@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
It was just to show nonwithstanding the lowness of a price is, some people
will rather copy it, than to pay that ammount.
I fully agree. But it does _not_ mean that if they are _required_ to pay
they will _not_ pay. For example, I enjoy most of MS software for free
[legally]. But if I did not have that option, I can assure you I would buy
it because I need it and the prices are quite affordable for me.

[...]
That's the difference with my country than : Outside of the companies
logo, I'm allowed to, by my own hands & for my own (direct) use, to copy
any material goods I see.
When you copy software, you copy everything, including the logos.
They did not give you anything, but you misappropriated their
intellectual assets.


That's possible. But I still did *not steal* anything.


The company has spent a lot of money designing the car, and then you simply
parasitize on their results. Is that better?

[...]
I don't think you understood my question.

Can you, with the income you have, fill your computer with all the
software you would want ? (games. image, video and audio-editing
software. 3D cat programs, heavy DTP packages. You name it)
I would not do it. I have only what I need and use. That is probably why I
did not understand your question.

[...]

You're mistaken. Either that, or you are too old to remember that, within
the younger community, conformance is of the essence.

When, at that age, your friends play some game, you better make sure you
play that game too, otherwise you will become an outcast (comparable to
wearing the "wrong" clothes).
So what happens when you cannot afford the "right" clothes? Are you going to
steal? This is consumerism in the utmost degree, and it is disgusting.
Children should be educated, not spoiled like that.
And I think you're mistaken twice : the "cannot afford it" is exacly that
what should be considered. Your viewpoint may be amicable, but is far
from the truth : there are many people (kids) that have a computer full of
any thinkable software, without them even (aside of a plethora of games)
doing anything with it.
Well, the only result will be that software game companies will eventually
stop releasing PC games and switch to "firmware games" when a game is
encapsulated in a chip that cannot be easily copied. That will solve your
semantically problem. Will it make software more accessible? Hardly.
You can turn it this way or that, but that software would never be
obtained if they would be forced to buy it (which they do not have the
money for).
Is it bad for anyone, especially for kids? I do not think so.

[...]
But I allso think that robbing people of a years worth of income because
of a single copied piece of software is, compared to an actual theft of
goods, *far* over the top :-(


Probably. But punishment is often more severe than the crime.

S
Jul 21 '05 #43

P: n/a
> > That's the difference with my country than : Outside of the companies
logo, I'm allowed to, by my own hands & for my own (direct) use, to copy
any material goods I see.


When you copy software, you copy everything, including the logos.


The logos are not the point here.
What is meant by "copying" is the crucial point:
What Rudy is talking about, is probably _reproducing_ material goods. This
is probably legal as long as no patents are involved.

Transferred to copying software, this would mean coding the same
functionality from scratch. Except for the logo issue, copying in the
meaning of programming the whole stuff on your own would not be illegal and
nobody here would complain.

However, the folk here is concerned about copying software in the meaning of
cloning software goods, for which the developer has worked.
I wonder, what you would say, when cloning hardware would be possible
without any costs? Nobody would be interested to spend money for
development. I guess this would dramatically affect a huge industry and
probably your income as well.

Klaus
Jul 21 '05 #44

P: n/a
Slava M. Usov <st************@gmx.net> schreef in berichtnieuws
e9**************@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
"R.Wieser" <ad*****@not.available> wrote in message
news:#F*************@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
It was just to show nonwithstanding the lowness of a price is, some people
will rather copy it, than to pay that ammount.
I fully agree. But it does _not_ mean that if they are _required_ to pay
they will _not_ pay. For example, I enjoy most of MS software for free
[legally]. But if I did not have that option, I can assure you I would buy
it because I need it and the prices are quite affordable for me.


While I understand what you mean, I still have a problem with it : The
source of this thread was software-companies (claiming they are) loosing
money. In your case, you would, if you could not use the software for free,
just buy it. If *you* would just be copying the software, the company that
made it actually does suffer a loss. For other people who do not have the
cash, no such loss is present.

O.k. , I do realize that that point (will (s)he buy the software if it
cannot be obtained otherwise) is difficult to determine. :-)
[...]
That's the difference with my country than : Outside of the companies
logo, I'm allowed to, by my own hands & for my own (direct) use, to copy
any material goods I see.
When you copy software, you copy everything, including the logos.


For you, I will remove any reference to the makers outof it :-) (that makes
me think of an old "video-genie" computer I once owned, of which I
discovered that it's rom-code was byte-equal to that of the TRS-80, only
where the copyright-notice in the TRS-80 was placed, my computer's rom had
only spaces ...)

But no, you're right : copying a car is something quite different than
copying software.
They did not give you anything, but you misappropriated their
intellectual assets.


That's possible. But I still did *not steal* anything.


The company has spent a lot of money designing the car, and then you

simply parasitize on their results. Is that better?
Well, the Law (in my country) has decided that I'm allowed to, so I must
assume that it's "better". Although I have no real idea of the reasoning
behind it though.
[...]
I don't think you understood my question.

Can you, with the income you have, fill your computer with all the
software you would want ? (games. image, video and audio-editing
software. 3D cat programs, heavy DTP packages. You name it)
I would not do it. I have only what I need and use. That is probably why I
did not understand your question.


Same here. But I see enough (young) people that just copy about anything
they can get their hands on, without being able to utilize (or play) it all
.....

Quite the same to grown-up's that never seem to have enough money actually.
Not even when they are "worth" multi-millions ...
[...]
You're mistaken. Either that, or you are too old to remember that, within the younger community, conformance is of the essence.

When, at that age, your friends play some game, you better make sure you
play that game too, otherwise you will become an outcast (comparable to
wearing the "wrong" clothes).
So what happens when you cannot afford the "right" clothes? Are you going

to steal? This is consumerism in the utmost degree, and it is disgusting.
Children should be educated, not spoiled like that.
I fully agree. But try to make that clear to the kids/people that are right
inside this "conformism"-trap, and you will be regarded as an alien :-)

And, for an answer ? Yes, stealing those items happens too. Although they
can probably get better cloths for a quarter of the prize, it's *that
important* to them to conform.
And I think you're mistaken twice : the "cannot afford it" is exacly that what should be considered. Your viewpoint may be amicable, but is far
from the truth : there are many people (kids) that have a computer full of any thinkable software, without them even (aside of a plethora of games)
doing anything with it.


Well, the only result will be that software game companies will eventually
stop releasing PC games and switch to "firmware games" when a game is
encapsulated in a chip that cannot be easily copied. That will solve your
semantically problem. Will it make software more accessible? Hardly.


That (putting games in hardware) is allready been tried, and is, every few
years or so, again brought up. And after a few years of it, it's dropped
again too, as any protection-mechanism (how intricate it might be) will be
broken now or later. Hardware-protection is mostly more troubles than it's
worth (for the manufacturing-companies, as well as for the legitimate
users). Do you see dongles much these day's ? A few years ago they where
*the* answer to pirating. Where are they now ? :-)
You can turn it this way or that, but that software would never be
obtained if they would be forced to buy it (which they do not have the
money for).


Is it bad for anyone, especially for kids? I do not think so.


I don't think so either.

Ofcourse, we do are now in a time that generates it's own problems in regard
to software : allmost anything can & will be patented, so there is allmost
nothing you can come-up with that is not (at least partially) covered by
those copyrights. Someone was talking about small programmers going
out-of-buisiness within a few years (and contributed that to piracy). It's
quite possible that that will happen. And I'm afraid that software-patents
will, if it happens, be a big contributing factor in that ...
[...]
But I allso think that robbing people of a years worth of income because
of a single copied piece of software is, compared to an actual theft of
goods, *far* over the top :-(


Probably. But punishment is often more severe than the crime.


That is not what I ment. The difference in punishment for the offences of
copying the software, and the actual physical theft of (a data-carrier
holding) that same software is too far apart.

Where some youth can continue doing "petty thefts" (of carriers containg
software) for quite some time before being brought before a judge, a single
copy of a piece of software can easily be met with heavy fines, if not
worse.

Regards,
Rudy Wieser

Jul 21 '05 #45

P: n/a
"R.Wieser" <ad*****@not.available> wrote in message
news:uw*************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...

[...]
The company has spent a lot of money designing the car, and then you
simply parasitize on their results. Is that better?
Well, the Law (in my country) has decided that I'm allowed to, so I must
assume that it's "better". Although I have no real idea of the reasoning
behind it though.


I was not referring to the law in this case. I was trying to address the
moral and ethical aspect of that. Certainly with cars and anything material
this aspect is not so pronounced as with software, books and other forms
of "intellectual" assets.

[...]
Same here. But I see enough (young) people that just copy about anything
they can get their hands on, without being able to utilize (or play) it
all
Again, I would like to remove kids out of this discussion. This has a lot
more to do with social and educational aspects than with lost revenues. I
believe that practically all software except games can be obtained at a low
or no cost for educational purposes, by the way.

[...]
Do you see dongles much these day's ? A few years ago they where
*the* answer to pirating. Where are they now ? :-)


Well, I am talking about completely different technology. These days it is
possible to integrate a powerful CPU with a large ROM+RAM into a single
package of a reasonable size. This assembly can be protected in hardware
against code analysis and modification.

S
Jul 21 '05 #46

P: n/a
Slava M. Usov <st************@gmx.net> schreef in berichtnieuws
Oc**************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...

Hello Slava,
"R.Wieser" <ad*****@not.available> wrote in message
news:uw*************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...

[...]
The company has spent a lot of money designing the car, and then you
simply parasitize on their results. Is that better?
Well, the Law (in my country) has decided that I'm allowed to, so I must
assume that it's "better". Although I have no real idea of the reasoning behind it though.


I was not referring to the law in this case. I was trying to address the
moral and ethical aspect of that. Certainly with cars and anything

material this aspect is not so pronounced as with software, books and other forms
of "intellectual" assets.
And with that you have answered your own question :-) And yes. When I
thought about it, I realized that the permission to copy *material* goods
had probably something to do with the ammount of effort put into the
"copying" process by whomever was (attempting to) do so.
[...]
Same here. But I see enough (young) people that just copy about anything they can get their hands on, without being able to utilize (or play) it
all
Again, I would like to remove kids out of this discussion.


Sorry, but this (ages +/10 thru 18) is the largest group of offenders.
This has a lot more to do with social and educational aspects
than with lost revenues.
Which is again why the youth should not be discarded as being non-important
: It's those people that should be made aware of the implications of not
honoring interlectual property.

Although ... That may be quite hard to do, now patents are given away like
they cost nothing, to people that have no interrest to do anything with the
described method, than to wait for someone else to come up with the same
idea. After which they home-in like a set of vultures, *ripping a very alife
& well-doing entity apart* (read : small companies), because they have
aquired the only right to look like so-and-so. A right that was,
initially, given to them to enable them to earn-back their expenses.
Expenses they, in the current example, have not made ...

How do you explain that to kids, or even me ? :-\ :-)
I believe that practically all software except games can be obtained at a low or no cost for educational purposes, by the way.
*Only* when the software-company thinks it's benificiary to do so. And
only for the time that you are a student.

And that means that at the moment you are no student anymore, you should
remove the software from your computer. And that gives you two choices :
buy their software for it's "normal" price (enabeling you to continue
working with a known product, continue using your build-up knowledge &
created data, *or* find another (maybe even cheaper and/or better) package,
and having the re-learn about everything, as well as having to re-create old
work .... I think we can make a safe gues that the first option will be
choosen, generating new revenue for the software-company.
[...]
Do you see dongles much these day's ? A few years ago they where
*the* answer to pirating. Where are they now ? :-)


Well, I am talking about completely different technology. These days it is
possible to integrate a powerful CPU with a large ROM+RAM into a single
package of a reasonable size. This assembly can be protected in hardware
against code analysis and modification.


Yes, they are called "microcontrollers". The only problem is that the
bottle-neck of such a solution (letting all calculations be done in such a
"dongle") is the transfer-speed of the data, as well as the easiness of
replacing such modules (by another piece of "software").

For example : try to use an USB-stick as swap-drive, and you will directly
notice what I mean :-) (outside of wearing-down the flash-memory in a
flash. Pardon the pun :-) )

And, in the past any kind of external device ment for continuous usage has
been cracked.

Take for example the smart-card used for un-scrambeling sattelite-TV signals
....

Regards,
Rudy Wieser

Jul 21 '05 #47

P: n/a
> I was not referring to the law in this case. I was trying to address the
moral and ethical aspect of that.


Kind of unrelated to cars and other things, but here is something to think
about, from ethical aspect, not legal. Legal is clear.

Question: "Bill Gates stealing 10$ from a blind beggar's hat" is the same
as "a blind beggar stealing 10$ from Bill Gates"?

Question: Quark XPress (English version, non-localized) in Romania
(medium salary 200$) is double the price of the same Quark XPress in U.S.
Why? Is this ethical? I know it it legal.

Question: same drug, fabricated in U.S.A. by company X costs half the
price in Canada, sometimes only 5 miles disstance, accross the border.
Why? Because they can get away with it.

Question: RIAA cried louder than anybody else about pirats distroying the
industry. But las year they had the highest profit in history. Hmmm...
In general, all the noise about piracy is not about really stopping piracy.
Is about getting laws to "protect" the company and allow it to go after
everybody. RIAA did not went after big Bulgarian and Russian music
copy-ing industry, but after 6 years old. It is cheaper to rip-off the
regular customer.

On some other side, look hos' doing the activations and on what.
It is mostly the big companies (monopoly?) and for the products where
they are strong.
Microsoft (Windows), Adobe (Photoshop only), Quicken.
Microsoft does not protect Dev.Studio, they give away the 2005 beta for
free. Photoshop does give for free the SDKs for all their software, except
for Photoshop and Acrobat. They don't use activation for any other product.
My conclusion: protections and "anti piracy" are pushed (mostly) by companies
having monopoly (at least with the products they protect) and wanting to
keep it.
Is it legal. Yes. Is is right, and ethical? Maybe.
But are they "victims" and do they deserve our compasion? I don't think so.

--
Mihai
-------------------------
Replace _year_ with _ to get the real email
Jul 21 '05 #48

P: n/a
> If you ask me, you should be required to buy a chip that contains an
encrypted serial number, and there would be a socket on the motherboard for
it to plug into. That serial number could be accessed by any type of OS and
software makers could use that serial number to base their copy protections
on it. If you replace the computer, you could remove the chip and place it
in the new computer, and reinstall all your programs without the hassle of
product keys and this that and the other copy protection. Sort of like a
universal dongle.


I do agree with everything you said. Only a small note here: why a chip?

Why not a small USB dongle I can have on my keychain storing all the
keys for the software I have, tied up nicely to that physical key,
with crypto and so on.

I can move it where I want, I can install the software in 10 places,
but use it only if the dongle is plugged.
Add a key manager to this (to do things like "add license", "move license to
other key", "remove license") and you have my vote for it.
Simple and fair.

Is this doable with the actual technology? Absolutely!
Is this going to be done? Probably not.
Companies want me to buy 3 copies of the software for 3 computers.
Rainbow and Hasp want to sell 10 hardware keys instead of a universal one.

Someone like you or me can try, but if it is not universal, it is useless.

--
Mihai
-------------------------
Replace _year_ with _ to get the real email
Jul 21 '05 #49

P: n/a
Coming from communist and atheist Russia you probably have never read the
following:

Exodus 20 15-Thou shalt not steal.

I saw everybody giving their opinion so I just thought you would like to
know God's.

"Mihai N." wrote:
Your reasoning is faulty. If a Russion student is using an illegal copy of
X software package ($1000), then the manufacturer of X has lost $1000.
It's just that simple. If the student could not have bought the package,
then he should not be using it. If I were to steal a television set, the
fact that I would not have bought the television set anyway does not change
the illegality of the act, nor the loss to the manufacturer.


You are worst than most American corporations! Check the American law.
A company should proove you would have bought it if it was not available to
steal. This is the law, not my faulty reasoning.

Are you working for RIAA? Same faulty comparison with stealing objects.
A stolen object is gone. A copyed software is still there.

Again, I don't say is right to just copy software.
But let me tell you why your reasoning is faulty and a loss is not
always a loss:

Option one:
- student does not have money to play with 1000$ program
- draconic anti-piracy measures prevents him from geting a stolen copy
- student searches and finds open source alternative
- student graduates, recomends to his company to use open source software
- over-zelus pirate-killer company looses a company

Option two:
- student does not have money to play with 1000$ program
- he manages tp get a stolen copy and becomes proficient with it
- student graduates, recomends to his company to use same software
(this is what he knows, right?)
- software company gains one more company as client

This is something many American companies know.
- Borland offered amnesties in Eastern Europe.
- Microsoft and Apple donate software to schools and universities
to "hook" students
- SCO (the onld one) offered the SCO Unix for $25

I am comming from Eastern Europe. For many years I did use pkzip
(shareware) without giving any money. How could I? 25$ was about
a quarter of a salary. And during the comunists we where not allowed
to have $ or to have relations with foreign companies.
One of the first things I did when I came to America and stared making
some money was to send them the 25$.

Anyway, maybe I was a bit rough in my posts.
But I tried to show another side.

Think twice before implementing tough protections.
Real pirates will have a crack in a few weeks after release.
The final ones to suffer are your customers.
If you have 90% of the market (Windows, Photoshop), you can afford
something like the activation, otherwise you are just adding to the
development costs and push your clients to concurent companies.
It is all about balance.

And maybe you are just implementing what your managers ask.
Nothing personal against you, really.

--
Mihai
-------------------------
Replace _year_ with _ to get the real email

Jul 21 '05 #50

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