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Software Piracy.

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Software Piracy When you buy software, be it a computer game or the newest Windows operating system that you know will not work when you install it, the assumption is that you now own that copy of the software and can do as you please. Unfortunately, that is not the case. You do not buy that copy of the program but you buy the license to use that program. That license gives you the right to use the program either on one computer that has many users or just to yourself as the user, which could mean that you have many computers on which to install the program. As a licensed user, you can make copies of the software as a backup for yourself, but you would cross the line if someone other than yourself (e.g. a friend) used the software that you own the license to on his computer. That includes copies such as the backup that you might have stored for emergencies. Any breach of the license is piracy and is therefore against the law. "Basically, the 1988 Data Protection and Copyright Act states that it is legal to copy data you own for your own use. ...read more.


The lack of people however did attract tourists to the unlicensed version. Napster is the most famous case of piracy. It used Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file-sharing software to allow users to download music files from other computers that use the program to their own hard drive. The company eventually had to close down the Napster network after the band Metallica brought the case to court. Dr. Dre was also involved with the lawsuits. The main reason for the lawsuits against Napster was the fact that for every copy made that was not bought in the shops, the people involved in the production of that record would not get the money that is owed to them for that particular 'sale'. Games companies were possibly the first to really feel its effects, and with games now being sold on compact discs (CDs) and Digital Versatile Players (DVDs), the opportunities to copy the games onto the blank discs widely available seem endless. Sega of America lost $3.2 billion in 1998, US game publishers lost more than $1.9 billion in 2001 (minus the losses in US, Canada, and Western Europe, the main 3 territories besides Japan), the figure was $3 billion in 2000. ...read more.


New problems arose when Sony brought out its PlayStation. As CD's are the same size all over the world, the only thing that needed to be bypassed was the region restrictions that were written onto the disc. This was easily combated with Mod chips. These can be soldered onto the motherboard to trick the console into believing that every CD put into it is from the correct region. Doing this also eliminated the check for the authenticity of the CD, therefore copied games could be used in the console. Copied games were easy to come by using the CD-writers that were now commercially available. In conclusion, the only ways to really reduce piracy is to either make it financially infeasible or encourage consumers to buy the licensed product. Nintendo used the first route when they brought out their NES and SNES. They turned down Sony's proposal of a CD based add-on to the SNES, and they seemed to have dine the right thing as that add-on became the PlayStation. The cartridge trend continued to their N64, and now they have changed medium again to a mini CD for their GameCube. The mini CD is a new medium that is hard to produce to the right specifics and piracy will be less of an issue for the company. ...read more.

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