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preventing software piracy

    Question

  • To what extent can you protect a software product against piracy? There are a lot of expert coders who have created various techniques to defeat hackers and a lot of expert hackers who continue to defeat those techniques. Microsoft are experts in security and they can't even protect their own products. Go to 'The Pirate Bay' for example and you can get several cracked versions of everything they've ever done.

    So, what can you do?
    Can you include protection code in the program code to stop a program working? YES
    Can you prevent a hacker from tampering with that protection code to invalidate it? NO
    The bottom line is that if the code is on the client computer - i.e. the hacker's computer - then any protection of any kind can be hacked out. Therefore the best that you can do is make it difficult for the hackers and in the meantime make as many sales as you can. Put all your effort into a market drive immediately you release the code.

    Perhaps the best strategy to get the money before the hacker cracks the code is:
    (1) use  code obfuscation to make it as difficult and time-consuming as possible to crack the code. Once the code IS cracked then the hacker can eliminate any protection code. I have read that obfuscation can cause AntiVirus programs to produce false positives. However, if you warn the user then you might lose a sale but frustrate 100 would-be pirates for a while
    (2) generate licences at the server; including a key generator in the program is handing the hacker the keys to the door
    (3) buy marketing time time with trial versions with missing vital features; e.g. a word processor that doesn't save or print and where shortcuts and hotkeys are disabled is only useful for trying out the various features with demo documents; even the best hacker will have to spend a lot of time finding a workaround. (the actual code for those features must be removed from the trial version, not just hidden) . A really determined hacker might get there in the end but in the meantime you will get the sales.
    (4) buy more marketing time by keeping trial periods very short
    (5) use a screen camera to create website videos to illustrate the fully-working version
    (6) release frequent updates free to registered users
    (7) only provide the fully-working program when you've got the money; even then all a ne'er-do-well hacker has to do is buy the program, hack the protection and upload it together with its genuine licenceand it's game over

    Another possibility could be "If you can't beat  'em then join 'em". Upload several, different time-bombed (disk-wiping) versions of the software to the pirate sites with phoney messages of how good they are. That will make any pirate as sick as Long John Silver's parrot.
    Another real alternative might be to rely on honesty and save yourself the all effort and stress. I don't think that I WILL do that - but it's a thought!

    While researching I came across the following comment."in most cases it's usually a waste of time/money/resources trying to really lock things down beyond what it takes to get the average person to buy it" - see comment about Microsoft above.

    Would you agree? Anyone out there got a take on all of this?
    For example; anyone got any experience of Aquaticprime for server-based licence generation, and CodeVirtualizer for obfuscation? Any other delay-type solutions they might recommend as worth trying?
    Any opinions and advice et. etc. most welcome as I am going to try to market a product in the near future.
    Thanks

    PS - one last point - is there a more appropriate forum for this?

    Monday, April 30, 2012 10:48 AM

All replies

  • Google these terms:

    Obfuscation. (I recommend Eazfuscator)

    Crypting. (Anything that you trust will work)

    Use Obfuscation to protect and use crypters to remove false positives and make it undetectable to antiviruses.


    Jordan St. Godard | Microsoft® Community Contributor 2011

    double twoCents = .02;
    Console.WriteLine("$" + twoCents.ToString());

    Monday, April 30, 2012 12:14 PM
  • Hello

    You want to protect Your application for multiple copy? This sample demontrates how You can use the cryptographic service provider (CSP) version of the TripleDES  algorithm

    http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Copy-protect-for-Your-4655b0ba

    regards Ellen


    Ich benutze/ I'm using VB2008 & VB2010

    Monday, April 30, 2012 8:00 PM
  • I'm an oss guy, so I do find some of your thoughts toxic, but I would especially caution you regarding your idea of disk-wiping potential pirates.

    most legal systems take a dim view of "self-help" remedies to these kinds of problems, and if you are caught distributing malware (as this obviously would be), the consequences can be severe. under the US Computer Fraud and Abuse act, it may involve federal time, and certianly anyone could take civil action against you for any damages they suffered. from most peoples standpoint, a malware developer is 1000x more evil that a software pirate.

    also, there is no way you could actually pull off a disk wipe of the system partition. its like trying to run rm -rf / on a older linux kernel; the system will crash before the job completes.

    Monday, April 30, 2012 8:19 PM
  • To what extent can you protect a software product against piracy? There are a lot of expert coders who have created various techniques to defeat hackers and a lot of expert hackers who continue to defeat those techniques. Microsoft are experts in security and they can't even protect their own products. Go to 'The Pirate Bay' for example and you can get several cracked versions of everything they've ever done.

    So, what can you do?
    ...

    PS - one last point - is there a more appropriate forum for this?

    Write a good application with a targeted user-base and then position it reasonably in the marketspace.  In other words, provide something useful at a fair price.

    The only reason for a "hacker" to waste any time trying to crack "Joe-Blow's WonderApp" is if they personally take offense to Joe-Blow and/or his product.  If they see your app and think "This is over-priced garbage" then you may find activation keys or patches posted all over the net.  But other than that, what would be the incentive to hack your application?  There is no recognition for breaking something no one has ever heard of, and no profit it trying to sell fake copies of it.

    If you position your product properly, and it is something that provides value, then there would be little reason to attack it unless it became "the next big thing" and was being sold by the millions world-wide.  And if something like that did happen with version 1.0 of your application, then you'd solve it by depreciating version 1 in favor of version 2 which you can now afford to have professionally protected (meaning online continuous activation like Adobe and MS products now use).

    If you try to "fight fire with fire" as in some of your examples, you'll likely just find your self on the loosing end of a legal battle so I would not suggest going that route.

    As for you PS - probably not on MSDN but maybe on TechNet.


    Reed Kimble - "When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all"

    Monday, April 30, 2012 8:45 PM
  •  

    My 2 cents on this subject is:

    First: You need to worry about making a good software and not ripoff your costumer. Do not overprice it and do not release it if it is not ready. Have a good costumer service. Your target users do not have to pay for update to fix a problem with the released software.

    Second: You can not make a 100% bullet proof protection. I suggest add protection to your software that been said do not use heavy protection. It will affect the quality of your software in speed and performance.

    Now people who really need your software they will pay for it. Do not worry about those who will use it illegally because they not planning to buy it anyway. You can not use disk wiping as a protection for your software. These techniques are illegal and it did cost some companies a lot of money and some of them closed.

    If I need a software Then I will try it first. If it is good Then I will buy it Else: Uninstall it 'I will not use this again!!!

    End If End If


    Regards,

    Monday, April 30, 2012 11:27 PM
  • I don't think it is a toxic thought! As far as I am concerned the hackers are toxic and so are the pirates. I have no sympathy with either.  History tells you time and time again that you don't fight the bad guys by being a good guy. Remember Harry Callaghan? Dirty Harry? "Stop talking and start shooting. Keep shooting 'til they're all dead. Then start talking"? Zero tolerance! 

    "from most peoples standpoint, a malware developer is 1000x more evil that a software pirate". This is only true for people who have never been ripped off - which IS most people because there are far more users than developers.  Any developer who has spent a huge amount of time and effort only to find themselves being ripped off will not agree with you!
    Anyway I don't actually know how to do it so it's academic. Thanks anyway.

    As for you being an oss guy, OSS is toxic.We all like sosmething for nothing and I'm no exception. But computing has gone OTT. Many developers want to make a living from their software and OSS products steal their sales. One of the justifications for OSS is that vendors charge too much. However, IMHO the answer is not to buy their goods and force them to drop their price that way. The only free software I support is where a vendor offers a loss leader. Food is expensive; should we all get free fertiliser to grow our own? Petrol is expensive - should we all get free bicycles?
    I was a supporter of OSS until I had spent a year or two developing my product; then I lost support for it when I realised that it would affect my livelihood. I have never used Linux on principle and now I would raise a cheer if it went down the tubes and took all the crappy OSS with it. If more developers spoke out against it then it might change (some) people's attitude.

    The legal issue is interesting.
    It would certainly be malware but it would only affect the pirates - those who "stole" the program from a pirate site.  Genuine users who purchased a legit copy from the vendor's website would not be affected. You can argue that a pirate is a thief, a hacker is an accessory before the fact, and a pirate site is a purveyor of stolen goods. All the legal systems that I know allow property owners to protect themselves against thieves and none provide any sympathy for the thief. As long as "self-help remedies" do not involve physical violence then I'm OK with them. If I can put a hacker or a thief in the workhouse then I'm happy.
    If you want to debate the issue then I'm up for it.


    Tuesday, May 01, 2012 8:11 AM
  • Since this is well into the realm of philosophy, I will keep my response brief; Capitalistic principals do not in themselves justify capitalism (its like using a word in its own definition). Your argument appears to be, that because someone is willing to do something for money, anyone who is willing to do it for no money is a criminal who devalues the product of their for-profit brethren. Also, your reasoning for the existence of OSS is simply wrong. it is not there to produce downward pressure on for-profit offerings because of high prices, but instead to ensure software freedom,, by providing the source for the application, and the rights to use it as you see fit.

    Here are the principals of OSS, embodied in the 4 core software freedoms:

    • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
    • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
    • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
    • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

    Source: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

    OSS is not the daemon you make it out to be (pun intended). spend some time in the oss world, and the scales shall fall from your eyes....

    cheers,

    Endotherm

    Tuesday, May 01, 2012 2:13 PM
  • I tend to agree with Reed Kimble on this - make a good solid product and charge a reasonable price, give good support.

    That being said, you do realize that virtually every protection scheme ever used has been defeated, correct ? Even the fancy dongles have emulators.

    How far are you willing to go to protect your software ? Do you want to setup a server that your program can communicate with constantly and verify the users credentials, possibly geographic area (i.e. user dmatthews is near Baltimore, MD, his IP must be nearby or the program won't run). Can you guarantee 100% uptime for this server ?

    Is your program granular ? I am pretty experienced with Microsoft Navision and Dynamics NAV, accounting, ERP, inventory, manufacturing enterprise software. It uses a license file that shows in plain text all the 'modules" that you are allowed to use, followed by a large amount of encrypted data that I assume relates to the permissions granted. Change one byte and the license file is invalid. I doubt it will ever be 'cracked' but it is certainly possible to share/rent/sell a license file (illegal of course).

    Obfuscating your VB NET code doesn't change the fact that it still ends up as an executable with machine code, so it still can be disassembled, patched/cracked.

    You have to look at your user base, the example I gave above (Navision/NAV) has little or no appeal to the "leet haxorz", it is meant for a large company and there is no way the average person could set it up in a useable fashion.

    Good Luck.......

    Tuesday, May 01, 2012 4:38 PM
  • The legal issue is interesting.
    It would certainly be malware but it would only affect the pirates - those who "stole" the program from a pirate site.  Genuine users who purchased a legit copy from the vendor's website would not be affected. You can argue that a pirate is a thief, a hacker is an accessory before the fact, and a pirate site is a purveyor of stolen goods. All the legal systems that I know allow property owners to protect themselves against thieves and none provide any sympathy for the thief. As long as "self-help remedies" do not involve physical violence then I'm OK with them. If I can put a hacker or a thief in the workhouse then I'm happy.
    If you want to debate the issue then I'm up for it.


    Actually there are a couple of problems with this logic...

    First of all, you cannot know that only pirates would be affected by your malware. Fake webstores pop up all the time pretending to be resellers or impersonating the developer of an application. There are a number of companies who "legitimately" (and those are huge quotation marks) resell freeware by supplying a "value-add" (typically worthless documentation). One of the popular examples, Pain.Net, actually has a disclaimer in the program's splash screen letting uses know that they were ripped off if they paid for it.

    The point here is that a real potential customer could be duped into buying your "pirate-only" copy, and I would expect that to be bad for business.

    Second, I think you've grossly underestimated the stupidity of modern legal systems. =P A thief still has rights; violate them, even in the process of "defending yourself", and your thief will sue you from the comfort of his jail cell. I happen to live in a state where I still have the right to shoot you if you step foot inside my home; but even with that kind of old-school law make'n I would still be subject to paying damages and/or jail time for destroying someone else's intellectual property without a proper disclaimer.

     


    Reed Kimble - "When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all"

    Tuesday, May 01, 2012 9:38 PM

  • Another possibility could be "If you can't beat  'em then join 'em". Upload several, different time-bombed (disk-wiping) versions of the software to the pirate sites with phoney messages of how good they are. That will make any pirate as sick as Long John Silver's parrot.


    Be aware you are committing a crime with that, and what your argumentation will be the chance that you are punished for that is high.



    Success
    Cor

    Tuesday, May 01, 2012 9:54 PM
  • I'm sure you're right. But do I care? Does anyone care? Honest users wouldn't be affected.

    A hacker is a criminal (criminal damage), so are pirate-site webmasters (purveyors of stolen goods), and so is a pirate (theft).
    They can hardly take me to court can they? More likely I can sue them for loss of earnings.

    What's your take on that?

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 1:17 AM
  • I'm sure you're right. But do I care? Does anyone care? Honest users wouldn't be affected.

    A hacker is a criminal (criminal damage), so are pirate-site webmasters (purveyors of stolen goods), and so is a pirate (theft).
    They can hardly take me to court can they? More likely I can sue them for loss of earnings.

    What's your take on that?

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 1:18 AM
  • You points are well-made.

    The most interesting one is the "stupidity of modern legal systems". I am not sure that your analysis is totally correct. Yes - a thief has rights - to a fair trial, against false imprisonment, etc. etc, for example. But what are they going to sue me for - they haven't lost money because they haven't paid for it. And they can't sue me for providing them with dud software because I didn't provide it - the prirate site did so they will have to sue them. In the States if you shoot someone and the victim sues you, YOU can't sue the gunsmith  - can you? And the hacker and /or pirate-site webmaster is not going to sue me - turkeys don't vote for christmas. I don't think that either the hacker or the pirate would have a case. Pirate sites are illegal (purveyors of stolen goods) and a pirate can't defend themselves by claiming they acted in good faith. LOL.

    The "Fake Webstore" is perhaps a little more problematic. In this case I think the user would have an action only against the store - for selling them dud software. Then the store would have to sue me for creating it - but once again turkeys don't vote for christmas.

    In England, stores used to have a sign saying "Shoplifters will be prosecuted". The signs now read "Thieves will be prosecuted" and now the courts take a different view when dealing with offenders. It's a psychological fightback. The computing industry needs a similar approach.

    OSS has a lot to answer for. User have been given the idea that free software is a right and they regard piracy as just an extension of that right. Others claim that if it wasn't for free software then they wouldn't be able to use their computer - to which I reply if you can't afford the petrol then don't buy the car. Personally I don't use Linux as a point of principle and I would raise a cheer if it went down the tubes and took all the crappy OSS with it. It's time the developers got together and fought back. Flood the pirate sites with highly obfuscated time-bombed disk-wiping software. Word would soon get round - don't use pirate sites because they might wipe your disk. If a couple of hundred thousand developers did that then the "stupid modern legal system" would change the law to prevent the courts from being flooded out.

    ALOTBSOL - "When you do things wrong, people take more care when they are dealing with you".

    Harry Callaghan - "Stop talking and start shooting. Keep shooting 'til they're all dead. Then start talking".

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 2:15 AM
  • I'm sure you're right. But do I care? Does anyone care? Honest users wouldn't be affected.

    A hacker is a criminal (criminal damage), so are pirate-site webmasters (purveyors of stolen goods), and so is a pirate (theft).
    They can hardly take me to court can they? More likely I can sue them for loss of earnings.

    What's your take on that?

    Your statements sounds very rude to me, they do remind me what Breivik is telling currently.

    No you cannot always kill a thief yourself just because you say he/she is a thief. There are few places in the world where you are believed when you say that the others had criminal intents; your will be sued for your criminal intent, in the same way as Breivik. 

     

    Success
    Cor

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 6:46 AM
  • Since you are asking for such advice, and don't take offense to this, but I am going to assume that you are going into business for yourself, please forgive me if I am wrong about that. With that being said, you can avoid a whole lot of headache and heart ache, you can avoid worrying about hackers all-together. Moreover, you can avoid worrying about writing malicious software, you don't have to resort to doing the wrong thing...

    If you make your software free, then you don't have to worry/care about hackers circumventing your anti-piracy. You could use adspace on your webpage to generate revenue, people like to search for free software after-all, and displaying ads on the download page for free software is a time-proven technique for generating revenue. Anyways, that's just my take on it... There would be good reasons this would not work for some... But I have noticed that most of my favorite software is free, or I can find an open source equivalent of my favorite paid software...

    Again... This is just my take on it...


    If you want something you've never had, you need to do something you've never done. If you believe something to be true, then one day you will be called upon to demonstrate that truth.



    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 6:54 AM
  • The problem with hacking-the-hackers is that it will always come back to bite you. There are exceptions (usually involving nuclear reactors *ahem*) but for pretty much inconsequential software it's not worth the effort. Remember, hackers have no qualms about who they hurt or harm in the process, and - hopefully - you do.

    You also have to realize that people who download from 'pirate websites' are the ones who get hacked - they are the first to squeal about keyloggers and lost paswords, credit card information, bank information, and so on. No matter how innocent they may be, they bring it on themselves. Hackers don't take locked software, unlock it, and give it away for free: there's an extra 'bonus' there for users of pirated/hacked software.

    To that end, don't worry about that - you'll waste a lot of time fighting something that way with no gain. Basically, it's a war hackers want, and nothing short of physical punishment will stop them (which I have few qualms about - too many people play in the virtual world and think it does no harm).

    There are plenty of protection schemes available, but you need to protect it based on your target audience and what, exactly, you are protecting. You can give it away for free, as already noted, but then you will still be eating Ramen noodles in a scruffy rental single-wide - your ad-revenue will buy you some soy-sauce to flavor the noodles. Good luck with that. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with 'free software' under whatever licensing scheme you like, it's just that you won't make a living with it. But I won't stop you - I make a very good wage using other people's free software.

    Until you have something worth protecting (not 'think' you have it, or just have what you think is a cool idea) don't worry about it. Remember, everyone has a cool idea that is the next angry birds/google/facebook killer - just like everyone on youtube is a movie maker/producer with something worth making. You have to get yourself back to reality.

    I, also, used to think Open Source Software was a problem - but like I said, I just use it, repackage it and apply it, and make money I can live on. Creating software from scratch is hard work (and I mean real, fully-working, software, not the 99% garbage that we have today). Also realize that making software is more than acting the monkey bashing on a keyboard - anyone can do that. You need a real idea that works, has a market, and is sellable.


    Stephen J Whiteley

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 12:59 PM
  • Wasnt their a similar post in c++ forums I think if you master driver developer in c you can protect OS insides but was it icar file you had to dectect from wdk samples in order to develop antivirus? Sorry if i got something wrong about the name in sentence above and their are many other ways to prevent software piracy like having a limited open source/free version like avg does and its proved to be successful, make sure you make functions private in modules that dont need to be used by end user if developing a class for use by other programmers which is in most 101 programming higher up classes like c++ and java but also some vb.net 2 classes, use common programming techiques taught by your education insitution you taught at.

    Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth. - "Sherlock holmes" "speak softly and carry a big stick" - theodore roosevelt. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering - Yoda. Blog - http://jefferycarlsonblog.blogspot.com/

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 2:53 PM
  • hahah this is so funny you all arguing, its upto to him at the end of the day, if hes wants to get done then let him, i

    think alot of you are wasting you time i think he has already made up his mind.


    btickle1

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 3:39 PM
  • I agree, but at the same time, if you assume that everyone will think whatever they think, and do whatever they want, there isn't much room to discuss anything, is there? I like a good debate on occasion.
    • Edited by Endotherm Wednesday, May 02, 2012 7:01 PM
    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 7:01 PM
  • I agree with Endotherm.

    Renee


    "MODERN PROGRAMMING is deficient in elementary ways BECAUSE of problems INTRODUCED by MODERN PROGRAMMING." Me

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 9:00 PM
  • Well said indeed.

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 10:45 PM
  • As soon as the hacker community finds that your software erases disk drives, they will probably go all out to harass you. Your software will be posted everywhere, your website will be DDos'ed, etc. They don't need to take you to court, they will be Judge, Jury and executioner.

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 10:56 PM
  • You plan to sue someone that goes by the name "SmokenMirrors" and who's IP is a TOR exit node in Brazil ? Good Luck.
    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 10:58 PM
  • i do agree with you Endotherm, i like a good debate aswell but i think it is stupid over something illegal, something like this would put

    programmers to shame on here, this thread should go on some virus forum on a different website


    btickle1


    • Edited by btickle1 Thursday, May 03, 2012 7:40 AM
    Thursday, May 03, 2012 7:39 AM
  • Do you think a hacker is a criminal? YES or NO?

    A pirate is a user who uses illegal (cracked) software.
    Do you think a pirate is a criminal? YES or NO?

    If a pirate suffers loss through knowingly using malicious software which they got from an illegal provider, do you have any sympathy for them. YES or NO?

    Do you think honest users (who have paid good money for a product) care if a dishonest pirate gets shafted?
    If you do then I think you have probably led a very sheltered life and need to get out the house more often!

    Whose side are you on? DISHONEST PIRATE or HONEST DEVELOPER?
    Yes, you do have to take sides.

    Harry Callaghan: "Stop talking and start shooting, Keep shooting 'til they're all dead. Then start talking"
    After Breivik this needs to be restated as
    "Stop talking and start fighting back. Keep fighting back until they're all defeated. Then start talking".

    Do you think fighting back is a legitimate response? YES or NO?

    As long as the fighting back does not involve physical violence, then, as far as I am concerned, anything goes.
    Your attempt to brand me as another Breivik is both hurtful and pathetic, but if you want to play that game then I'm up for it.

    What would be your response if I likened you to a wolly-minded, fence-sitting, pathetic little man?


    Thursday, May 03, 2012 11:04 AM
  • I can agree with nearly everyting you say.

    The point is - I don't want to agree with you because then I might lose the enjoyment of fighting back!!!

    Remember - fighting back is a coding exercise. What better form of enjoyment than using our skill to try to defeat the hackers? We may never succeed but surely - Is it not better to have tried and failed then never to have tried at all?

    Thursday, May 03, 2012 11:18 AM
  • You seem pretty firm in your beliefs... If you feel so strongly moved to write virus infected versions of your program, I say go ahead with it...

    But when the feds come busting down your door, you can't say that you weren't warned. If a hacker can be prosecuted for "developing malicious software", then you certainly can too.

    I was raised to believe that two wrongs don't make a right. But hey, what do I know?


    If you want something you've never had, you need to do something you've never done. If you believe something to be true, then one day you will be called upon to demonstrate that truth.

    Thursday, May 03, 2012 11:18 AM
  • i do agree with you Endotherm, i like a good debate aswell but i think it is stupid over something illegal, something like this would put

    programmers to shame on here, this thread should go on some virus forum on a different website


    btickle1


    '...stupid over something illegal...' ?

    It seems you don't understand the issue or understand what discussion is. Also, this issue has been discussed over several decades, by a lot of very well informed people. It is still an issue today, still with no resolution for the honest people. Billions of dollars are spent exactly on this 'stupid' issue: and that is just in the US.

    Piracy is theft. Theft is a crime. Malicious damage is criminal. Crimes of all sorts around the world have different penalties. the tools used to fight crimes vary considerably around the world. Many crimes have physical retribution as penalty. Why is it that 'virtual' crime is perceived differently?

    Maybe you only think its 'stupid' when you don't think it affects you? Think about other 'petty' crimes, even the smallest of slight; would it be 'stupid' if that crime was committed against another, or what if it is committed against you?

    I don't necessarily agree with the OP, but the sentiment is felt by a lot of people who have had things stolen from them, or have lost extremely valuable information because some snot-nose thinks it's fun and harmless.


    Stephen J Whiteley

    Thursday, May 03, 2012 11:45 AM
  • I can agree with nearly everyting you say.

    The point is - I don't want to agree with you because then I might lose the enjoyment of fighting back!!!

    Remember - fighting back is a coding exercise. What better form of enjoyment than using our skill to try to defeat the hackers? We may never succeed but surely - Is it not better to have tried and failed then never to have tried at all?

    Maybe it is better to use your time to develop a better product that more people will buy. As far as the hackers go, there are lots and lots of them. Some of them are very smart people, you will NOT defeat them, so why not co-exist? Don't become a Don Quixote, fighting windmills, it's a losing game.

    Thursday, May 03, 2012 3:22 PM
  • "Do you think a hacker is a criminal? YES or NO?"

    "Hacking"is a poorly defined term. What does it mean and how are you using? By some definitions I am a hacker.I was a systems developer.
    but because of that I do strange things to most people to strange things like the MFT.

    "Do you think a pirate is a criminal? YES or NO?"

    To my knowledge I don't use any illegal software.

    "If a pirate suffers loss through knowingly using malicious software which they got from an illegal provider, do you have any sympathy for them. YES or NO?"

    It dorsn't make any difference what I feel.

    "Do you think honest users (who have paid good money for a product) care if a dishonest pirate gets shafted? "

    I don't care.

    "Whose side are you on? DISHONEST PIRATE or HONEST DEVELOPER?"

    There are no sides. It's all so arbitrary that it would make your head spin.

    "Harry Callaghan: "Stop talking and start shooting, Keep shooting 'til they're all dead. Then start talking"

    Clint Eastwood doesn't really live that way.

    Do you think fighting back is a legitimate response? YES or NO?

    Who? Fight who?

    "What would be your response if I likened you to a wolly-minded, fence-sitting, pathetic little man?"

    I'm a woman.

    Renee


    "MODERN PROGRAMMING is deficient in elementary ways BECAUSE of problems INTRODUCED by MODERN PROGRAMMING." Me

    Thursday, May 03, 2012 6:25 PM
  • "Why is it that 'virtual' crime is perceived differently?"

    SJ, were 'punishing' the wrong people. We should be going after the perpetrators of the crime and NOT tigtening up  the level of security which everyone pays for and makes OSes unusable for me.

    Renee


    "MODERN PROGRAMMING is deficient in elementary ways BECAUSE of problems INTRODUCED by MODERN PROGRAMMING." Me


    Thursday, May 03, 2012 6:33 PM
  • "Why is it that 'virtual' crime is perceived differently?"

    an interesting question. I can only really speak about the US, but I woudl say some cybercrime is treated in a very traditional very severe manner. Child pornography is a perfect example of cybercrime that is treated almost identically to the most serious crimes in the flesh realms.

    The question of copyright/patent infringement however is very different from flesh-world "Theft" in a very fundamental way. Natural Law would show that Intellectual property cannot be stolen, as it can never deprive the legit owner of their property. Keep in mind, even without copyright, you can never be deprived of your IP, no matter how many people "steal" it.

    Copyright (a peice of posit [unnatural/man-made] law) allows you the rights to create/reproduce, disseminate, create derivative works, and display/perform a given piece of IP. but without copyright, you still have all those rights. what copyright is, is actually "Anti-Rights" in that it grants no rights to the creator, but instead takes them away from everyone else, by introducing 'exclusivity'.

    As an American, I am very keen on the inalienable rights i possess simply by being human as recognized in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, which no government may take away. these rights exist as an extension of natural law, and are in themselves self-evident. Posit law like copyrights however, attempts to take a right that i have based on the fact that I am a human, and attempts to limit or repeal them, in granting the owner of a given piece of IP exclusivity.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_law

    I agree we are punishing the wrong people. we should be punishing those that locked us into this IP system, starting with the folks that allowed software and business process patents. In Africa, millions of people have died simply due to patent protection on AIDS and Malaria medicines. Natural law would indicate that the folks who filed those patents are the criminals, not the Ugandan government who decided to illegally bootleg aids meds, and save the lives of their people.

    Thursday, May 03, 2012 7:24 PM
  • Hi Endotherm,

    I'm suggesting that we go far too easily on it. In addition I'm complaining the developers pay the price through "security enhancements" which makes the operating system less usable for those who know what they are doing.

    "As an American, I am very keen on the inalienable rights i possess simply by being human as recognized in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, which no government may take away. these rights exist as an extension of natural law, and are in themselves self-evident."

    Although I couldn't be more opposed conceptually to "natural law" our rights are being eroded by every release of Windows in terms of and under the auspices of "security". Even though I am far from a Libertarian...I already knew what 'natural law'. Probably the only natural law there is is air presure and gravity and they are related.

    Renee


    "MODERN PROGRAMMING is deficient in elementary ways BECAUSE of problems INTRODUCED by MODERN PROGRAMMING." Me






    Thursday, May 03, 2012 9:57 PM
  • My answer to this issue is simple.  Lower the cost of the software to a level where people can afford it and the problem goes away.  It is a well known fact that at least 50% of the cost of EVERYTHING we buy is profit.  Companies need to stop trying to fatten there profit margins and charge a reasonable price for the goods and services they provide.
    Friday, May 04, 2012 5:18 AM
  • "My answer to this issue is simple.  Lower the cost of the software to a level where people can afford it and the problem goes away"

    Although I am opposed to profit, your proposal is not signicant because in this narrrow-minded profit making economy development COSTS. PC

    software is CHEAP.....

    Renee


    "MODERN PROGRAMMING is deficient in elementary ways BECAUSE of problems INTRODUCED by MODERN PROGRAMMING." Me

    Friday, May 04, 2012 5:34 AM