When it IS moral to copy software

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alleycat
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Post by alleycat » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:06 pm

Nick Geraedts wrote:
alleycat wrote:Not only has Microsoft stolen code and ideas, they steal our time with their bullshit, as well as the countless hours all of us have spent helping others understand confusing, flaky, poorly documented/implemented features.
That's funny. I've spent less time helping friends, family and clients sort out issues with Vista (post SP1) and Win7 than I did with XP. You seem to forget, Windows XP is an operating system that has had 9 years to sort out the kinks and the bugs, and it's still fundamentally less secure than Vista or Windows7.
Maybe you should read my post again. I don't think I mentioned anything specifically about W7. To give you some perspective, my unpaid support rôle began with MS-DOS in 1986.

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Post by xan_user » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:35 pm

atmartens wrote:If not, I'm sorry that you have a terrible job.
Welcome to the wonderful word of being an independent contractor. :roll:

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Post by Nick Geraedts » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:04 pm

I think what people are ultimately forgetting is that Microsoft is a publicly traded company. As such, their first priority is towards their shareholders. If giving away free software in order to "lure" new users to their products leads to greater share value, then so be it. My school had almost everything except for Office available through MSDNAA. I honestly wouldn't call that bribery. Most of the introductory classes are still taught in Java, and some of the higher level ones are done in C/C++. All of the central Computer Science servers still run Solaris or Debian. Microsoft's 2002 investment in Waterloo was just that, an investment. Considering that more new Microsoft employees come from that one institution, it makes sense for all parties.

Apple has similar educational discounts at some institutions, but honestly, they're pretty minimal in the scheme of things. Buy a Macbook my university's bookstore, get $150 off the purchase of an iPod. You honestly can't say that Apple doesn't have the capital to make similar types of offers to students (or at least offers of similar value).

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Post by Crim » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:38 am

Last weekend I had to download a torrent off the Bay for a copy of XP MCE because my completely legal install CD for it is too scratched to install. If I use the disc I have I get nothing but install errors. At least now I have an ISO copy.

I need to find a copy of XP Home too since my install CD for that is way too scratched up.

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Post by andyb » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:43 am

I need to find a copy of XP Home too since my install CD for that is way too scratched up.
Do the same thing for "XP Home", make sure it is the right language and has SP3 - they are all the same regardless of what MS says.

http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4406197 ... _%28TPB%29


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Post by xan_user » Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:17 am

Nick Geraedts wrote:I think what people are ultimately forgetting is that Microsoft is a publicly traded company. As such, their first priority is towards their shareholders.
I never forget that, because that the main problem with the whole system "in a nutshell." :roll: Corps now only exist to appease the $hareholder$ fal$e idol wor$hip, by screwing the customer as much as they can get away with. Welcome to the "real" new world order.

This is exactly why it is moral to pirate M$, they exist for the shareholders not the users.

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Post by atmartens » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:49 am

xan_user wrote: This is exactly why it is moral to pirate M$, they exist for the shareholders not the users.
I'm sorry, but Microsoft shareholders beg to differ. Just because someone else makes money doesn't mean you are entitled to their products. I don't mean to come off too harshly in this forum, but a lot of these comments are more rationalizations than anything. If you're worried of losing your product key, then write it down. If your job requires certain software, and you're independent, then it's called an investment. A professional photographer doesn't get a free camera or copies of Adobe Photoshop. This is no different. That said, I agree that it's a pain to have to deal with registration keys and all that, especially when they get erased by accident.

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Post by nick705 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:52 pm

andyb wrote:
I need to find a copy of XP Home too since my install CD for that is way too scratched up.
Do the same thing for "XP Home", make sure it is the right language and has SP3 - they are all the same regardless of what MS says.

http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4406197 ... _%28TPB%29


Andy
They're not all the same, Andy - OEM and retail XP discs have a different PID string in the file /i386/setupp.ini. A retail disc install will not accept an OEM product key and vice versa (I was caught out by this until I did some googling to find out what was happening). It's different with Vista discs, which *are* all the same and just rely on the entered product key to determine the type of installation.

You can change from one to another with an ISO editor and Notepad, but on some more recent (SP3-integrated) discs, the installer also does a check to make sure the disc label corresponds with the PID, so you may have to change that as well.

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Post by andyb » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:33 am

If you're worried of losing your product key, then write it down.
I'm not, and neither is anyone else I have ever met outside of the computer industry, people simply dont know that their very expensive 25-digit serial code could slowly disapear without their knowlege. Who is going to ask them to write it down.?
that said, I agree that it's a pain to have to deal with registration keys and all that, especially when they get erased by accident.
But if they do get erased by accident, your only real choice is to get an illegal copy.
A retail disc install will not accept an OEM product key and vice versa
Fair point, I had forgotten about the existance of "Retail" copies, as they are few and far between.


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Post by andymcca » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:23 am

Nick Geraedts wrote:Which database platform has been proven to provide some of the best performance and lowest overall operating cost? Microsoft SQL Server.
Rofl. Yeah, this is why so many banks are on M$... Oh wait.
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Post by nick705 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:48 am

andyb wrote: Fair point, I had forgotten about the existance of "Retail" copies, as they are few and far between.
Well, the MSDN image you linked to at TPB is a retail disc, so it occurred to me that if the guy tries to use it with the key on the COA sticker on his case after formatting his HDD, there are likely to be curse words... :lol:
Crim wrote: I need to find a copy of XP Home too since my install CD for that is way too scratched up.
Just to be clear, if you use the disk in Andy's link and you have an OEM product key, the PID in /i386/setupp.ini needs to be changed from 76477000 to 76477OEM, and the disc label should be changed from GRTMHFPP_EN to GRTMHOEM_EN (possibly not necessary, but might as well do it just in case).

It's admittedly a lot of fannying about for someone who simply wants to reinstall their legitimate, bought-and-paid-for copy of XP (but doesn't have the install media for whatever reason), and I can quite see where the temptation to just whack on a pirate copy arises...

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Post by andyb » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:53 pm

Well, the MSDN image you linked to at TPB is a retail disc
Bugger.

Here is another link.

http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4410910 ... EM_Disc%29


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atmartens
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Post by atmartens » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:51 pm

andyb wrote:
But if they do get erased by accident, your only real choice is to get an illegal copy.
Sorry, but the moral choice is to not break the law, and to pay for a new copy. That, or to find some way of retrieving your old key or a new key legally. I think you're confusing what suits you with what's moral.

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Post by xan_user » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:00 pm

If you loose your car keys (or it gets warn from age) do you have to buy a new car?

My dealership provides me a new key, and charges only a few bucks for materials and labor to cut it.

A simple product key costs nothing to reissue/ but it does stop M$ from making another couple of hundred bucks on a new OS sale.

M$ clearly spent a lot of money designing these stickers with all their anti piracy features, but they used ink that wears right off...That's not just by accident, its by design, or it still wouldn't be happening after 9 years.

The write it down excuse is bogus, that sticker looks space worthy, how are consumers supposed to know beforehand its made with diapering ink? and as had been mentioned in this thread, sometimes the number on the sticker does not work with the recovery disc the oem ships. So writing that down would do zero good.

When we as consumers are treated this way after all the years of support, I feel piracy is very moral.

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Post by nick705 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:02 pm

atmartens wrote:
andyb wrote:
But if they do get erased by accident, your only real choice is to get an illegal copy.
Sorry, but the moral choice is to not break the law, and to pay for a new copy. That, or to find some way of retrieving your old key or a new key legally. I think you're confusing what suits you with what's moral.
I think you're confusing what's moral with what's legal (unless you have the blinkered viewpoint that the two concepts are always inseparable).

If I'd bought a copy of Windows in good faith, I was later prevented from using it by a design fault, and the law failed me by offering no way to rectify the position, I'd certainly have no *moral* qualms about mitigating my losses as I saw fit.

In practice, I wouldn't bother with a pirate copy of XP for the simple reason that it would be too much time and effort keeping on top of patches and hotfixes (assuming Windows Update was unavailable), but that's another argument.

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Post by andyb » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:23 pm

I think you're confusing what's moral with what's legal (unless you have the blinkered viewpoint that the two concepts are always inseparable).

If I'd bought a copy of Windows in good faith, I was later prevented from using it by a design fault, and the law failed me by offering no way to rectify the position, I'd certainly have no *moral* qualms about mitigating my losses as I saw fit.
I cant see an argument against that.

atmartens, feel free to make your case stand on a "moral" principal, and not a legal one. Remember that the person who bought the laptop, "lagally" paid for a microsoft xxxxxxx licence when they bought it, but the licence has since disapeared due to no fault of the legal owner of the licence, they still legally "own" the licence, but no one knows what it is, so it is useless.

Why should that person spend £70 for a new licence, when they have done nothing morally / legally / ethically / stupdly wrong. How is it possibly justified that someone who pays for gold gets fools gold, and is told "yes you did buy real gold, but it has since turned into fools gold, now you have to buy real gold again", the answer "f*ck you, I'm making an illegal copy, and I am morally right, goodbye", you will never trick me agian, into buying vanishing ink.

As the customer has still not collected the laptop with the "free upgrade" I have not even told them, as far as they know, its "fixed".


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Post by xan_user » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:37 pm

This is the same rationale i use with having to replace my CD collection.

We were told that CD's were better than LP's because they would last at least 100 years or more with proper handling... Now i have 500 well cared for but oxidizing discs that need to be replaced.

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Post by Fayd » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:41 pm

xan_user wrote:If you loose your car keys (or it gets warn from age) do you have to buy a new car?

My dealership provides me a new key, and charges only a few bucks for materials and labor to cut it.

A simple product key costs nothing to reissue/ but it does stop M$ from making another couple of hundred bucks on a new OS sale.

M$ clearly spent a lot of money designing these stickers with all their anti piracy features, but they used ink that wears right off...That's not just by accident, its by design, or it still wouldn't be happening after 9 years.

The write it down excuse is bogus, that sticker looks space worthy, how are consumers supposed to know beforehand its made with diapering ink? and as had been mentioned in this thread, sometimes the number on the sticker does not work with the recovery disc the oem ships. So writing that down would do zero good.

When we as consumers are treated this way after all the years of support, I feel piracy is very moral.
i've never seen a sticker erase itself. tbh, i tend to wonder about the authenticity of the sticker that would erase itself.

the "write it down" excuse is not simply an excuse, it's a good practice.

i make digital photos of all CD keys and product keys i have, and keep them in a folder on my harddrive. (and back it up to flash drive every so often.) I keep all CD's and DVD's of software inside a CD wallet i keep in my desk drawer. this is the smallest and most reliable storage method i can think of for storing CD's and their assosciated keys.

an operating system is JUST ANOTHER piece of software. protect its registration code the same as you would any other.

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Post by Ralf Hutter » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:46 pm

xan_user wrote:
We were told that CD's were better than LP's because they would last at least 100 years or more with proper handling... Now i have 500 well cared for but oxidizing discs that need to be replaced.
Sheez, tell me about it. I'm in the middle of ripping all my 28 years worth of CDs to FLAC via EAC and it's astounding how many of them have read errors. Disks that have been stored vertically in a cool, dry place, surfaces never touched by human hands and they're still dieing on me. Can't say that I haven't considered going online to grab replacement tracks to fill in for all the uncorrectable ones on the "Perfect Sound Forever" CDs. :(
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Post by xan_user » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:07 pm

Fayd wrote:
i've never seen a sticker erase itself. tbh, i tend to wonder about the authenticity of the sticker that would erase itself.
the stickers are on the bottom of a laptop where the lap interfaces with the PC and can wear off before the customer realizes it can happen.

The M$ logo's dont wear off, the anti piracy message and mylar strip remains. Only the most important part, the numbers, wear off, even under normal use.

If this is not done intentionally and by design to encourage unknowing customers to re-buy their OS or a new OEM pc, i'll eat my tinfoil hat.

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Post by Crim » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:11 pm

Oh, for those who have worn COA stickers and they need to find out the product key I've used Winguggle to recover mine from a few Vista based Dell laptops (laptops always have the COA sticker on the worst possible place).

http://winguggle.wikidot.com/

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Post by atmartens » Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:46 pm

xan_user wrote:If you loose your car keys (or it gets warn from age) do you have to buy a new car?

My dealership provides me a new key, and charges only a few bucks for materials and labor to cut it.

A simple product key costs nothing to reissue/ but it does stop M$ from making another couple of hundred bucks on a new OS sale.
There is an important difference here: you own the car, you license the software. Also, a car is tangible, software isn't. You can't pirate a car, so the analogy doesn't go very far. I don't know how it works, but maybe if you can prove that you reuse the license on the same computer, and have proof-of-purchase, Microsoft would in fact give you a new license. That would make sense, but it could be hard to separate out the honest from the dishonest. If it isn't the case, maybe you can blame the pirates who take advantage of the system, while you tried your best to honestly get a license in the first place.

As for the difference between legality and morality, I agree they don't always overlap. Civil rights issues in the US were a clear example. However, if it becomes too easy to reject laws because individuals disagree, then our legal system breaks down. Couldn't this be why Socrates agreed to his death sentence despite his innocence (see: Plato's Apology) - the laws of society are more important than the underlying guilt or innocence?

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Post by xan_user » Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:54 pm

OK sorry, bad anaology.
oem laptop with licensed OS = leased car.
I dont have to pay a new signing fee on a leased car if the keys are lost.

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Post by andyb » Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:32 am

i've never seen a sticker erase itself. tbh, i tend to wonder about the authenticity of the sticker that would erase itself.
Why dont you actually look at the picture I uploaded, then why dont you look at several laptops every day for the next few years and get back to me with an answer that is not moronic.
Also, a car is tangible, software isn't. You can't pirate a car, so the analogy doesn't go very far.
You have it exactly the wrong way around, you can "pirate" (i.e. steal) a car, and that happens often enough, but who bothers to "pirate" (steal) software when you can simply "copy" it. there is a huge difference between copying something and stealing something. Copying simply makes a copy and leaves the original intact, and inplace and working (unless the software maker has built in some nasty phone home software), while stealing takes the original from the rightful owner, just like a thief steals a car. "Piracy", in the realm of software is bullshit, it simply does not happen, and even the word has been "pirated" and distorted from its original meaning like "gay" and "ass" (in America).


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Post by alleycat » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:53 am

It's easy to understand how only the product key can disappear from the sticker. The sticker itself is obviously manufactured by a more robust process with the graphics etc sealed in. The product key is then later printed on it, but not properly sealed. It is reasonable to consider MS at fault here.

I agree with you, andyb. I've always disliked this use of the term "piracy". It's an overly emotive term which implies a far more serious crime than what happens in reality. The original meaning of "piracy" refers to violent robbery on the high seas by hardened criminals. Someone sitting in their loungeroom downloading a song or some software is hardly comparable. In fact it is the pettiest of all "thefts", which, all things considered, causes the "victim" a minimum of inconvenience. I would agree that duplication for commercial gain is probably going a step too far, but the piracy image is still equally ridiculous. Hijacking the term "piracy" for use in this context is obviously a sad and vocal attempt by extremely large corporations to stigmatise downloaders in order to milk the maximum compensation and sympathy from the "moral" public and lawmakers. It's all pretty corny, really.

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Post by atmartens » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:32 am

Well, actually, my point was in agreement with yours: theft and software copying are not the same. That's why stealing a car and copying software are not comparable, and losing car keys and losing software keys aren't comparable. I used the word piracy because everyone does. Copying software is akin to copyright infringement, not stealing. My point was in response to the car analogy, of which the first part was rebutted, but not the second point, the inherently non-physical nature of software.

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Post by Mats » Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:25 pm

andyb: If I can't help you then just ignore this post.
You've probably fixed that laptop a long time ago, but you could most likely have Googled that model to find the key,
since every laptop model with the same Windows version usually all have the same key, and it isn't the one on the sticker.

I haven't read everything in this thread, so if I'm just repeating then ignore me! :wink:


I'm just posting this to people who aren't aware of this. I've tried both, and it worked for me.

You can extract the key from the install, this key is not the same as the one found on the µS sticker. That is, if you still have an installation.

Windows XP: You can make a new install disc out of the i386 folder. Yes, this requires that you still have that one intact. Look here, start at "find the "i386" folder". Using a retail disc and hack it may also work, but I've never tried that.

Windows Vista & 7: Legal download links are available, although I've only seen links for W7 lately. Read more here.

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