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What's the main goal of Anti-Piracy Groups?


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#1 roosevelt

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 06:05

Hi,

 

I have been developing using various technologies for at least 6 years now... and I have used all kinds of tools. Majority of the big name tools I used have a serial number activation system. But I noticed that there are small businesses out there... who puts too much effort and attention to anti-piracy.

 

The way I see it... the tools you make will be 'bought' by businesses rather than individuals. Obviously, it is a big generalization but I am pretty sure... the parent's of a 13 year old just didn't shell out $500 bucks, just so their little prince can doodle in Photoshop :p.

 

At the end of the day how much money do you make or lose? Or how do you even calculate all that?

 

Most of the tools I developed were bought by business users and I still find my own coded scripts or software floating somewhere on the web. If the tools I made have a good market I would still be making money off of them whether it was opensource or closed source.

 

I just never quite understood what is the main message the anti-piracy groups are trying to say. Is it to stop stealing or is it so that business don't lose more money.

 

Look at all these open source projects, people are practically downloading them, donating to them and some are way more successful than commercial closed sourced ones, if not financially successful as well :p

 

Basically I am trying to say that businesses need to focus on developing better tools and go after markets that will give them a good profit margin... not waste half a million dollar over some campaign. What are you planning to do... sue a 13 year old? lol




#2 +snaphat (Myles Landwehr)

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 01:52

I don't think most vocal anti-piracy groups care about software piracy in particular. Whenever I hear anything about piracy it is always media (e.g. movies) related. What small developers are you seeing put a lot of effort into anti-piracy? From what I've seen most pieces of software don't put much more than a token effort in. Obfuscation for example is a token effort that just requires running your code through an obfuscator, binary signing is a token effort that just requires signing the binary using a CA cert, and checksumming is a token effort that just checks that the software hasn't been modified. That probably covers about 99% of the anti-piracy efforts out there on open platforms. 

 

But, I don't think it is a bad idea as a small developer to put a token effort in because those things are some what of a deterrent. Remember, obscure software is less likely to find a skilled hacker to break it so even trivial deterrents can be the difference between your software ending up cracked or not in those cases. And as as small developer, you are more likely to care about the single sales that might otherwise end up as piracy.



#3 xWhiplash

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 03:00

I don't see many small developers use anti-piracy methods.  Didn't Notch himself say "Minecraft too expensive?  Just pirate it" or something along those lines?  Most indie games are on Steam only or provide Pay what you want model (World of Goo comes to mind)



#4 exotoxic

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 03:32

They are just there to make money for themselves, anti piracy groups don't protect what they are not paid to protect. I don't really see the point, like you say no one is going to spend a pile of cash on Photoshop so some little kid can play with it, so how did adobe lose money if a copy was downloaded??



#5 +snaphat (Myles Landwehr)

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 03:36

They are just there to make money for themselves, anti piracy groups don't protect what they are not paid to protect. I don't really see the point, like you say no one is going to spend a pile of cash on Photoshop so some little kid can play with it, so how did adobe lose money if a copy was downloaded??

If it was downloaded by someone other than a kid (business or individual that does graphic design)...



#6 +goretsky

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:28

Hello,

 

I am not an anti-piracy group, but I have worked for several software developers (and one hardware manufacturer) over the years.

 

At the companies which used license keys for activation, they were mostly to enforce usage across a specific number of machines for a specific period of time, as well as to control things like feature sets.  The hardware company I was at used them at a very granular level to do things like turn specific features on as well as to increase limits on various features.  Pretty much any feature could be enabled or disabled this way, which was great for a couple of reasons:  First, it allowed customers to test out new features before buying them.  Secondly, if a customer purchased hardware on an installment plan (or as part of a managed service), they could be sent licenses which allowed the hardware to run for the period they paid for; if they didn't send the next monthly or quarterly payment (or whatever), the hardware would then provide only basic functionality (or even deactivate, I suppose) until a payment was received and a new license issued.  That can be pretty useful for a business that wants to buy some hardware that costs $20,000 and up but can't afford to pay all the costs up-front.  Instead, they pay $2,000 up-front and then $750 a month for two years (or whatever), which is much easier on the IT budget.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky



#7 He's Dead Jim

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:45

Well, I think there is a little industry which has been built on the back of the anti-piracy lobby, Groups like the MPAAA and the BPI and all the little lawyers who serve them wouldnt exist otherwise. They will sue the little kid if they get the chance, It makes them look big, and deters others by the power of suggestion,  For instance, people look and see; if they are going after a kid for $500 worth of photoshop, what would they do to someone with a few Tbytes of music albums and movies?,

 

I think they are about instilling fear in potential pirates, and driving consumers to kosher only products.



#8 jakem1

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:51

Cultural imperialism.



#9 Coagulated

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 13:12

Not all businesses are as quick to purchase products.  I've worked for a couple that had very little in the way of legitimate software and the Developers I work with have encountered all sorts of pirated software or 'workarounds' (one license key, 20 computers etc) in various agencies and firms. 

 

Anti-Piracy measures are needed, but my problem is when they impact legitimate users or they wage wars against individual users.  In my opinion, the latter has hardly stunted the rate or spread of piracy, I think I know of 2 people who haven't pirated anything in the past 5 years, but it's not for fear of repercussion, more a slightly distorted moral standpoint - but that explanation would require a thread of it's own!



#10 +snaphat (Myles Landwehr)

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 17:58

Well, I think there is a little industry which has been built on the back of the anti-piracy lobby, Groups like the MPAAA and the BPI and all the little lawyers who serve them wouldnt exist otherwise. They will sue the little kid if they get the chance, It makes them look big, and deters others by the power of suggestion,  For instance, people look and see; if they are going after a kid for $500 worth of photoshop, what would they do to someone with a few Tbytes of music albums and movies?,

 

I think they are about instilling fear in potential pirates, and driving consumers to kosher only products.

I don't think Adobe has ever gone after people who download the software via piracy. I think they've only gone after distributors who sold it illegally. That suing kids stuff is an MPAA/RIAA tactic. And I hate to say it kind of makes sense because teens are the likely ones to be pirating so it would be probably be a deterrent to them.



#11 +BudMan

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 15:33

I don't think Adobe has ever gone after people who download the software via piracy.

As to individuals like you or me running a copy of CS they downloaded off the black sites of the internet.. Yeah would prob agree.

But they go after companies illegal use all the time - do a simple google for adobe audits.

#12 KingCracker

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 15:37

I don't think most vocal anti-piracy groups care about software piracy in particular. Whenever I hear anything about piracy it is always media (e.g. movies) related. What small developers are you seeing put a lot of effort into anti-piracy? From what I've seen most pieces of software don't put much more than a token effort in. Obfuscation for example is a token effort that just requires running your code through an obfuscator, binary signing is a token effort that just requires signing the binary using a CA cert, and checksumming is a token effort that just checks that the software hasn't been modified. That probably covers about 99% of the anti-piracy efforts out there on open platforms. 

 

But, I don't think it is a bad idea as a small developer to put a token effort in because those things are some what of a deterrent. Remember, obscure software is less likely to find a skilled hacker to break it so even trivial deterrents can be the difference between your software ending up cracked or not in those cases. And as as small developer, you are more likely to care about the single sales that might otherwise end up as piracy.

There is a push against software piracy, haven't you seen the ad's about getting paid to snitch on someone that has pirated software?



#13 +snaphat (Myles Landwehr)

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 15:59

As to individuals like you or me running a copy of CS they downloaded off the black sites of the internet.. Yeah would prob agree.

But they go after companies illegal use all the time - do a simple google for adobe audits.

I was strictly talking about individuals illegally downloading software (the premise of the post I responded to). Software auditing from vendors at the commercial level is par for the course, Adobe is hardily the only company doing that.

 

There is a push against software piracy, haven't you seen the ad's about getting paid to snitch on someone that has pirated software?

No I haven't? What would someone gain from a single offender? You have to prove distribution to get any money. Are you talking about at the commercial level where it would pay off to be a snitch?



#14 KingCracker

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 16:08

I was strictly talking about individuals illegally downloading software (the premise of the post I responded to). Software auditing from vendors at the commercial level is par for the course, Adobe is hardily the only company doing that.

 
 

No I haven't? What would someone gain from a single offender? You have to prove distribution to get any money. Are you talking about at the commercial level where it would pay off to be a snitch?

I haven't really looked into it but I've heard it on the radio and ad's on the internet. They just say something like, do you know anyone that has pirated software? Tell us who is pirating and get paid money. Something to that effect anyway. 



#15 +snaphat (Myles Landwehr)

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 16:11

I haven't really looked into it but I've heard it on the radio and ad's on the internet. They just say something like, do you know anyone that has pirated software? Tell us who is pirating and get paid money. Something to that effect anyway. 

Well I run an ad-block in most cases so I'd probably miss that if they were. Can you find a link referencing it? I'm kind of interested in how it works and what exactly it entails