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Educating Youngsters About Piracy

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the readers'-digest-style-hype dept.

News 544

Colin Winters writes: "The New York Times has an article that is a follow-up to the recent raid by the government on pirates in universities. Some professors believe that "By the time we get them, they already believe it [piracy]'s right." An interesting read. There's also an interesting bit on how business software is now 1/3 pirated, down from 1/2 in 1995. In America, it's only 24%. From the way companies like Microsoft whine about piracy, I'd assumed the figures were increasing, not decreasing."

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merry holidays (-1)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749667)

You open sore-ce loosers!

Re:merry holidays (-1)

KingAzzy (320268) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749734)

buahahaha j00 4r3 p++u/\//\/Y

Bonobo Sex and Society (-1)

Big_Ass_Spork (446856) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749752)

Bonobo Sex and Society

The behavior of a close relative challenges assumptions about male supremacy in human evolution


Frans B. M. de Waal

(Originally published in the March 1995 issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN [] , pp. 82-88)

At a juncture in history during which women are seeking equality with men, science arrives with a belated gift to the feminist movement.Male-biased evolutionary scenarios-- Man the Hunter, Man the Toolmaker and so on--are being challenged by the discovery that females play a central, perhaps even dominant, role in the social life of one of our nearest relatives. In the past few years many strands of knowledge have come together concerning a relatively unknown ape with an unorthodox repertoire of behavior: the bonobo.

The bonobo is one of the last large mammals to be found by science. The creature was discovered in 1929 in a Belgian colonial museum, far from its lush African habitat. A German anatomist, Ernst Schwarz, was scrutinizing a skull that had been ascribed to a juvenile chimpanzee because of its small size, when he realized that it belonged to an adult. Schwarz declared that he had stumbled on a new subspecies of chimpanzee. But soon the animal was assigned the status of an entirely distinct species within the same genus as the chimpanzee, Pan.

The bonobo was officially classified as Pan paniscus, or the diminutive Pan. But I believe a different label might have been selected had the discoverers known then what we know now. The old taxonomic name of the chimpanzee, P. satyrus-- which refers to the myth of apes as lustful satyrs--would have been perfect for the bonobo.

The species is best characterized as female-centered and egalitarian and as one that substitutes sex for aggression. Whereas in most other species sexual behavior is a fairly distinct category, in the bonobo it is part and parcel of social relations--and not just between males and females. Bonobos engage in sex in virtually every partner combination (although such contact among close family members may be suppressed). And sexual interactions occur more often among bonobos than among other primates. Despite the frequency of sex, the bonobo's rate of reproduction in the wild is about the same as that of the chimpanzee. A female gives birth to a single infant at intervals of between five and six years. So bonobos share at least one very important characteristic with our own species, namely, a partial separation between sex and reproduction.

A Near Relative

This finding commands attention because the bonobo shares more than 98 percent of our genetic profile, making it as close to a human as, say, a fox is to a dog. The split between the human line of ancestry and the line of the chimpanzee and the bonobo is believed to have occurred a mere eight million years ago. The subsequent divergence of the chimpanzee and the bonobo lines came much later, perhaps prompted by the chimpanzee's need to adapt to relatively open, dry habitats [see "East Side Story: The Origin of Humankind," by Yves Coppens; SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, May 1994].

In contrast, bonobos probably never left the protection of the trees. Their present range lies in humid forests south of the Zaire River, where perhaps fewer than 10,000 bonobos survive. (Given the species' slow rate of reproduction, the rapid destruction of its tropical habitat and the political instability of central Africa, there is reason for much concern about its future.)

If this evolutionary scenario of ecological continuity is true, the bonobo may have undergone less transformation than either humans or chimpanzees. It could most closely resemble the common ancestor of all three modern species. Indeed, in the 1930s Harold J. Coolidge--the American anatomist who gave the bonobo its eventual taxonomic status--suggested that the animal might be most similar to the primogenitor, since its anatomy is less specialized than is the chimpanzee's. Bonobo body proportions have been compared with those of the australopithecines, a form of prehuman. When the apes stand or walk upright, they look as if they stepped straight out of an artist's impression of early hominids.

Not too long ago the savanna baboon was regarded as the best living model of the human ancestor. That primate is adapted to the kinds of ecological conditions that prehumans may have faced after descending from the trees. But in the late 1970s, chimpanzees, which are much more closely related to humans, became the model of choice. Traits that are observed in chimpanzees--including cooperative hunting, food sharing, tool use, power politics and primitive warfare--were absent or not as developed in baboons. In the laboratory the apes have been able to learn sign language and to recognize themselves in a mirror, a sign of self-awareness not yet demonstrated in monkeys.

Although selecting the chimpanzee as the touchstone of hominid evolution represented a great improvement, at least one aspect of the former model did not need to be revised: male superiority remained the natural state of affairs. In both baboons and chimpanzees, males are conspicuously dominant over females; they reign supremely and often brutally. It is highly unusual for a fully grown male chimpanzee to be dominated by any female.

Enter the bonobo. Despite their common name--the pygmy chimpanzee--bonobos cannot be distinguished from the chimpanzee by size. Adult males of the smallest subspecies of chimpanzee weigh some 43 kilograms (95 pounds) and females 33 kilograms (73 pounds), about the same as bonobos. Although female bonobos are much smaller than the males, they seem to rule.

Graceful Apes

In physique, a bonobo is as different from a chimpanzee as a Concorde is from a Boeing 747. I do not wish to offend any chimpanzees, but bonobos have more style. The bonobo, with its long legs and small head atop narrow shoulders, has a more gracile build than does a chimpanzee. Bonobo lips are reddish in a black face, the ears small and the nostrils almost as wide as a gorilla's. These primates also have a flatter, more open face with a higher forehead than the chimpanzee's and--to top it all off--an attractive coiffure with long, fine, black hair neatly parted in the middle.

Like chimpanzees, female bonobos nurse and carry around their young for up to five years. By the age of seven the offspring reach adolescence. Wild females give birth for the first time at 13 or 14 years of age, becoming full grown by about 15. A bonobo's longevity is unknown, but judging by the chimpanzee it may be older than 40 in the wild and close to 60 in captivity.

Fruit is central to the diets of both wild bonobos and chimpanzees. The former supplement with more pith from herbaceous plants, and the latter add meat. Although bonobos do eat invertebrates and occasionally capture and eat small vertebrates, including mammals, their diet seems to contain relatively little animal protein. Unlike chimpanzees, they have not been observed to hunt monkeys.

Whereas chimpanzees use a rich array of strategies to obtain foods--from cracking nuts with stone tools to fishing for ants and termites with sticks--tool use in wild bonobos seems undeveloped. (Captive bonobos use tools skillfully.) Apparently as intelligent as chimpanzees, bonobos have, however, a far more sensitive temperament. During World War II bombing of Hellabrun, Germany, the bonobos in a nearby zoo all died of fright from the noise; the chimpanzees were unaffected.

Bonobos are also imaginative in play. I have watched captive bonobos engage in "blindman's buff." A bonobo covers her eyes with a banana leaf or an arm or by sticking two fingers in her eyes. Thus handicapped, she stumbles around on a climbing frame, bumping into others or almost falling. She seems to be imposing a rule on herself: "I cannot look until I lose my balance." Other apes and monkeys also indulge in this game, but I have never seen it performed with such dedication and concentration as by bonobos.

Juvenile bonobos are incurably playful and like to make funny faces, sometimes in long solitary pantomimes and at other times while tickling one another. Bonobos are, however, more controlled in expressing their emotions-- whether it be joy, sorrow, excitement or anger--than are the extroverted chimpanzees. Male chimpanzees often engage in spectacular charging displays in which they show off their strength: throwing rocks, breaking branches and uprooting small trees in the process. They keep up these noisy performances for many minutes, during which most other members of the group wisely stay out of their way. Male bonobos, on the other hand, usually limit displays to a brief run while dragging a few branches behind them.

Both primates signal emotions and intentions through facial expressions and hand gestures, many of which are also present in the nonverbal communication of humans. For example, bonobos will beg by stretching out an open hand (or, sometimes, a foot) to a possessor of food and will pout their lips and make whimpering sounds if the effort is unsuccessful. But bonobos make different sounds than chimpanzees do. The renowned low-pitched, extended "huuu- huuu" pant-hooting of the latter contrasts with the rather sharp, high-pitched barking sounds of the bonobo.

Love, Not War

My own interest in bonobos came not from an inherent fascination with their charms but from research on aggressive behavior in primates. I was particularly intrigued with the aftermath of conflict. After two chimpanzees have fought, for instance, they may come together for a hug and mouth-to-mouth kiss. Assuming that such reunions serve to restore peace and harmony, I labeled them reconciliations.

Any species that combines close bonds with a potential for conflict needs such conciliatory mechanisms. Thinking how much faster marriages would break up if people had no way of compensating for hurting each other, I set out to investigate such mechanisms in several primates, including bonobos. Although I expected to see peacemaking in these apes, too, I was little prepared for the form it would take.

For my study, which began in 1983, I chose the San Diego Zoo. At the time, it housed the world's largest captive bonobo colony--10 members divided into three groups. I spent entire days in front of the enclosure with a video camera, which was switched on at feeding time. As soon as a caretaker approached the enclosure with food, the males would develop erections. Even before the food was thrown into the area, the bonobos would be inviting each other for sex: males would invite females, and females would invite males and other females.

Sex, it turned out, is the key to the social life of the bonobo. The first suggestion that the sexual behavior of bonobos is different had come from observations at European zoos. Wrapping their findings in Latin, primatologists Eduard Tratz and Heinz Heck reported in 1954 that the chimpanzees at Hellabrun mated more canum (like dogs) and bonobos more hominum (like people). In those days, face-to- face copulation was considered uniquely human, a cultural innovation that needed to be taught to preliterate people (hence the term "missionary position"). These early studies, written in German, were ignored by the international scientific establishment. The bonobo's humanlike sexuality needed to be rediscovered in the 1970s before it became accepted as characteristic of the species.

Bonobos become sexually aroused remarkably easily, and they express this excitement in a variety of mounting positions and genital contacts. Although chimpanzees virtually never adopt face-to-face positions, bonobos do so in one out of three copulations in the wild. Furthermore, the frontal orientation of the bonobo vulva and clitoris strongly suggest that the female genitalia are adapted for this position.

Another similarity with humans is increased female sexual receptivity. The tumescent phase of the female's genitals, resulting in a pink swelling that signals willingness to mate, covers a much longer part of estrus in bonobos than in chimpanzees. Instead of a few days out of her cycle, the female bonobo is almost continuously sexually attractive and active.

Perhaps the bonobo's most typical sexual pattern, undocumented in any other primate, is genito-genital rubbing (or GG rubbing) between adult females. One female facing another clings with arms and legs to a partner that, standing on both hands and feet, lifts her off the ground. The two females then rub their genital swellings laterally together, emitting grins and squeals that probably reflect orgasmic experiences. (Laboratory experiments on stump- tailed macaques have demonstrated that women are not the only female primates capable of physiological orgasm.)

Male bonobos, too, may engage in pseudocopulation but generally perform a variation. Standing back to back, one male briefly rubs his scrotum against the buttocks of another. They also practice so-called penis-fencing, in which two males hang face to face from a branch while rubbing their erect penises together.

The diversity of erotic contacts in bonobos includes sporadic oral sex, massage of another individual's genitals and intense tongue-kissing. Lest this leave the impression of a pathologically oversexed species, I must add, based on hundreds of hours of watching bonobos, that their sexual activity is rather casual and relaxed. It appears to be a completely natural part of their group life. Like people, bonobos engage in sex only occasionally, not continuously. Furthermore, with the average copulation lasting 13 seconds, sexual contact in bonobos is rather quick by human standards.

That sex is connected to feeding, and even appears to make food sharing possible, has been observed not only in zoos but also in the wild. Nancy Thompson-Handler, then at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, saw bonobos in Zaire's Lomako Forest engage in sex after they had entered trees loaded with ripe figs or when one among them had captured a prey animal, such as a small forest duiker. The flurry of sexual contacts would last for five to 10 minutes, after which the apes would settle down to consume the food.

One explanation for the sexual activity at feeding time could be that excitement over food translates into sexual arousal. This idea may be partly true. Yet another motivation is probably the real cause: competition. There are two reasons to believe sexual activity is the bonobo's answer to avoiding conflict.

First, anything, not just food, that arouses the interest of more than one bonobo at a time tends to result in sexual contact. If two bonobos approach a cardboard box thrown into their enclosure, they will briefly mount each other before playing with the box. Such situations lead to squabbles in most other species. But bonobos are quite tolerant, perhaps because they use sex to divert attention and to diffuse tension.

Second, bonobo sex often occurs in aggressive contexts totally unrelated to food. A jealous male might chase another away from a female, after which the two males reunite and engage in scrotal rubbing. Or after a female hits a juvenile, the latter's mother may lunge at the aggressor, an action that is immediately followed by genital rubbing between the two adults.

I once observed a young male, Kako, inadvertently blocking an older, female juvenile, Leslie, from moving along a branch. First, Leslie pushed him; Kako, who was not very confident in trees, tightened his grip, grinning nervously. Next Leslie gnawed on one of his hands, presumably to loosen his grasp. Kako uttered a sharp peep and stayed put. Then Leslie rubbed her vulva against his shoulder. This gesture calmed Kako, and he moved along the branch. It seemed that Leslie had been very close to using force but instead had reassured both herself and Kako with sexual contact.

During reconciliations, bonobos use the same sexual repertoire as they do during feeding time. Based on an analysis of many such incidents, my study yielded the first solid evidence for sexual behavior as a mechanism to overcome aggression. Not that this function is absent in other animals--or in humans, for that matter--but the art of sexual reconciliation may well have reached its evolutionary peak in the bonobo. For these animals, sexual behavior is indistinguishable from social behavior. Given its peacemaking and appeasement functions, it is not surprising that sex among bonobos occurs in so many different partner combinations, including between juveniles and adults. The need for peaceful coexistence is obviously not restricted to adult heterosexual pairs.

Female Alliance

Apart from maintaining harmony, sex is also involved in creating the singular social structure of the bonobo. This use of sex becomes clear when studying bonobos in the wild. Field research on bonobos started only in the mid-1970s, more than a decade after the most important studies on wild chimpanzees had been initiated. In terms of continuity and invested (wo)manpower, the chimpanzee projects of Jane Goodall and Toshisada Nishida, both in Tanzania, are unparalleled. But bonobo research by Takayoshi Kano and others of Kyoto University is now two decades under way at Wamba in Zaire and is beginning to show the same payoffs.

Both bonobos and chimpanzees live in so-called fission- fusion societies. The apes move alone or in small parties of a few individuals at a time, the composition of which changes constantly. Several bonobos traveling together in the morning might meet another group in the forest, whereupon one individual from the first group wanders off with others from the second group, while those left behind forage together. All associations, except the one between mother and dependent offspring, are of a temporary character.

Initially this flexibility baffled investigators, making them wonder if these apes formed any social groups with stable membership. After years of documenting the travels of chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains, Nishida first reported that they form large communities: all members of one community mix freely in ever changing parties, but members of different communities never gather. Later, Goodall added territoriality to this picture. That is, not only do communities not mix, but males of different chimpanzee communities engage in lethal battles.

In both bonobos and chimpanzees, males stay in their natal group, whereas females tend to migrate during adolescence. As a result, the senior males of a chimpanzee or bonobo group have known all junior males since birth, and all junior males have grown up together. Females, on the other hand, transfer to an unfamiliar and often hostile group where they may know no one. A chief difference between chimpanzee and bonobo societies is the way in which young females integrate into their new community.

On arrival in another community, young bonobo females at Wamba single out one or two senior resident females for special attention, using frequent GG rubbing and grooming to establish a relation. If the residents reciprocate, close associations are set up, and the younger female gradually becomes accepted into the group. After producing her first offspring, the young female's position becomes more stable and central. Eventually the cycle repeats with younger immigrants, in turn, seeking a good relation with the now established female. Sex thus smooths the migrant's entrance into the community of females, which is much more close-knit in the bonobo than in the chimpanzee.

Bonobo males remain attached to their mothers all their lives, following them through the forest and being dependent on them for protection in aggressive encounters with other males. As a result, the highest-ranking males of a bonobo community tend to be sons of important females.

What a contrast with chimpanzees! Male chimpanzees fight their own battles, often relying on the support of other males. Furthermore, adult male chimpanzees travel together in same-sex parties, grooming each other frequently. Males form a distinct social hierarchy with high levels of both competition and association. Given the need to stick together against males of neighboring communities, their bonding is not surprising: failure to form a united front might result in the loss of lives and territory. The danger of being male is reflected in the adult sex ratio of chimpanzee populations, with considerably fewer males than females.

Serious conflict between bonobo groups has been witnessed in the field, but it seems quite rare. On the contrary, reports exist of peaceable mingling, including mutual sex and grooming, between what appear to be different communities. If intergroup combat is indeed unusual, it may explain the lower rate of all-male associations. Rather than being male- bonded, bonobo society gives the impression of being female- bonded, with even adult males relying on their mothers instead of on other males. No wonder Kano calls mothers the "core" of bonobo society.

The bonding among female bonobos violates a fairly general rule, outlined by Harvard University anthropologist Richard W. Wrangham, that the sex that stays in the natal group develops the strongest mutual bonds. Bonding among male chimpanzees follows naturally because they remain in the community of their birth. The same is true for female kinship bonding in Old World monkeys, such as macaques and baboons, where males are the migratory sex.

Bonobos are unique in that the migratory sex, females, strongly bond with same-sex strangers later in life. In setting up an artificial sisterhood, bonobos can be said to be secondarily bonded. (Kinship bonds are said to be primary.) Although we now know HOW this happens--through the use of sexual contact and grooming--we do not yet know WHY bonobos and chimpanzees differ in this respect. The answer may lie in the different ecological environments of bonobos and chimpanzees--such as the abundance and quality of food in the forest. But it is uncertain if such explanations will suffice.

Bonobo society is, however, not only female-centered but also appears to be female-dominated. Bonobo specialists, while long suspecting such a reality, have been reluctant to make the controversial claim. But in 1992, at the 14th Congress of the International Primatological Society in Strasbourg, investigators of both captive and wild bonobos presented data that left little doubt about the issue.

Amy R. Parish of the University of California at Davis reported on food competition in identical groups (one adult male and two adult females) of chimpanzees and bonobos at the Stuttgart Zoo. Honey was provided in a "termite hill" from which it could be extracted by dipping sticks into a small hole. As soon as honey was made available, the male chimpanzee would make a charging display through the enclosure and claim everything for himself. Only when his appetite was satisfied would he let the females fish for honey.

In the bonobo group, it was the females that approached the honey first. After having engaged in some GG rubbing, they would feed together, taking turns with virtually no competition between them. The male might make as many charging displays as he wanted; the females were not intimidated and ignored the commotion.

Observers at the Belgian animal park of Planckendael, which currently has the most naturalistic bonobo colony, reported similar findings. If a male bonobo tried to harass a female, all females would band together to chase him off. Because females appeared more successful in dominating males when they were together than on their own, their close association and frequent genital rubbing may represent an alliance. Females may bond so as to outcompete members of the individually stronger sex.

The fact that they manage to do so not only in captivity is evident from zoologist Takeshi Furuichi's summary of the relation between the sexes at Wamba, where bonobos are enticed out of the forest with sugarcane. "Males usually appeared at the feeding site first, but they surrendered preferred positions when the females appeared. It seemed that males appeared first not because they were dominant, but because they had to feed before the arrival of females," Furuichi reported at Strasbourg.

Occasionally, the role of sex in relation to food is taken one step further, bringing bonobos very close to humans in their behavior. It has been speculated by anthropologists-- including C. Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University and Helen Fisher of Rutgers University--that sex is partially separated from reproduction in our species because it serves to cement mutually profitable relationships between men and women. The human female's capacity to mate throughout her cycle and her strong sex drive allow her to exchange sex for male commitment and paternal care, thus giving rise to the nuclear family.

This arrangement is thought to be favored by natural selection because it allows women to raise more offspring than they could if they were on their own. Although bonobos clearly do not establish the exclusive heterosexual bonds characteristic of our species, their behavior does fit important elements of this model. A female bonobo shows extended receptivity and uses sex to obtain a male's favors when--usually because of youth--she is too low in social status to dominate him.

At the San Diego Zoo, I observed that if Loretta was in a sexually attractive state, she would not hesitate to approach the adult male, Vernon, if he had food. Presenting herself to Vernon, she would mate with him and make high- pitched food calls while taking over his entire bundle of branches and leaves. When Loretta had no genital swelling, she would wait until Vernon was ready to share. Primatologist Suehisa Kuroda reports similar exchanges at Wamba: "A young female approached a male, who was eating sugarcane. They copulated in short order, whereupon she took one of the two canes held by him and left."

Despite such quid pro quo between the sexes, there are no indications that bonobos form humanlike nuclear families. The burden of raising offspring appears to rest entirely on the female's shoulders. In fact, nuclear families are probably incompatible with the diverse use of sex found in bonobos. If our ancestors started out with a sex life similar to that of bonobos, the evolution of the family would have required dramatic change.

Human family life implies paternal investment, which is unlikely to develop unless males can be reasonably certain that they are caring for their own, not someone else's, offspring. Bonobo society lacks any such guarantee, but humans protect the integrity of their family units through all kinds of moral restrictions and taboos. Thus, although our species is characterized by an extraordinary interest in sex, there are no societies in which people engage in it at the drop of a hat (or a cardboard box, as the case may be). A sense of shame and a desire for domestic privacy are typical human concepts related to the evolution and cultural bolstering of the family.

Yet no degree of moralizing can make sex disappear from every realm of human life that does not relate to the nuclear family. The bonobo's behavioral peculiarities may help us understand the role of sex and may have serious implications for models of human society.

Just imagine that we had never heard of chimpanzees or baboons and had known bonobos first. We would at present most likely believe that early hominids lived in female- centered societies, in which sex served important social functions and in which warfare was rare or absent. In the end, perhaps the most successful reconstruction of our past will be based not on chimpanzees or even on bonobos but on a three-way comparison of chimpanzees, bonobos and humans.

Social Organization among Various Primates

BONOBO Bonobo communities are peace-loving and generally egalitarian. The strongest social bonds are those among females, although females also bond with males. The status of a male depends on the position of his mother, to whom he remains closely bonded for her entire life.

CHIMPANZEE In chimpanzee groups the strongest bonds are established between the males in order to hunt and to protect their shared territory. The females live in overlapping home ranges within this territory but are not strongly bonded to other females or to any one male.

GIBBON Gibbons establish monogamous, egalitarian relations, and one couple will maintain a territory to the exclusion of other pairs.

HUMAN Human society is the most diverse among the primates. Males unite for cooperative ventures, whereas females also bond with those of their own sex. Monogamy, polygamy and polyandry are all in evidence.

GORILLA The social organization of gorillas provides a clear example of polygamy. Usually a single male maintains a range for his family unit, which contains several females. The strongest bonds are those between the male and his females.

ORANGUTAN Orangutans live solitary lives with little bonding in evidence. Male orangutans are intolerant of one another. In his prime, a single male establishes a large territory, within which live several females. Each female has her own, separate home range.

FRANS B. M. de WAAL was trained as an ethologist in the European tradition, receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Utrecht in 1977. After a six-year study of the chimpanzee colony at the Arnhem Zoo, he moved to the U.S. in 1981 to work on other primate species, including bonobos. He is now a research professor at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in Atlanta and professor of psychology at Emory University.


Re:Bonobo Sex and Society (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749764)

Yer motha's a bonobo.

Whereas... (-1)

Big_Ass_Spork (446856) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749811)

yer motha's a chimp bitch,

sucken on my nutz
sucken on my nutz
sucken on my nutz
sucken on my nutz

That's right a chimp bitch

sucken on my nutz
sucken on my nutz
sucken on my nutz
sucken on my nutz

That's right a chimp bitch

sucken on my nutz
sucken on my nutz
sucken on my nutz
sucken on my nutz

A quote from John: (-1)

Big_Ass_Spork (446856) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749815)

I liked that Planet of the Apes movie, it was like a 2 hour Tu-Pac video!

first MERRY LLAMA POOP post!! (-1)

KingAzzy (320268) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749671)

bow down to tanutty!!!


But, I thought piracy was kewl? (-1)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749672)

pirates are 'leet!

I have to be careful with this one too... (5, Offtopic)

Dead_Smiley (49033) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749675)

because my 10 year old doesn't understand why I can't just make a copy of Pod Racer so we can multiplayer at home.

Especially since his Mom has warez copies of MS Office on her machine that she uses to writes her papers.

Re:I have to be careful with this one too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2749718)

Its a shame game companies don't make many games with multiplayer spawns that you can use anywhere. The only one I can think of right now is Total Annihilation.

Re:I have to be careful with this one too... (0)

Caez (470978) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749751)

Warcraft II (BattleNET edition at least) will install spawn. they can hook into but not host multiplayer games. but you can't do single player on spawn. Half-life actually looks to see if the CD-key is the same as another on the network and will kick one or both pirated CDs off.

Re:I have to be careful with this one too... (1)

Zagadka (6641) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749765)

StarCraft [] , also by Blizzard, also has spawn ability. Unfortunately, the Brood War expansion set can't be spawned, as far as I can tell. :-(

Sharing is right, Piracy is right. (1, Interesting)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749804)

But whats right, may not be the same as whats legal.

The law says Piracy is illegal. Do you want to follow the law? or your morals?

Alot of people would rather die than lose their morals, and alot of people would kill to protect the law.

What you have is, the moral person vs the patriot capitalist.

Re:Sharing is right, Piracy is right. (1)

scotty (5588) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749832)

But then, what is *right*? Whatever you think is right will be right to the others? Or whatever those anti-captalists think is right will become the absolute correctness?

Thou shall not steal, says the LORD.

If the evil software companies think it is stealing that you make a copy of their software, then don't do it! If you don't agree with their moral, use Free Software.

A question (5, Funny)

13013dobbs (113910) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749677)

By educating you mean show them where to download the latest P2P program and show them where the warez/crackz sites are. Right? :)

Re:A question (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2749767)

Well that was fucking lame. Don't Jews have anything better to do on Christmas?

Call it what it is. (4, Funny)

arkham6 (24514) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749685)

Piracy. It seems to evoke some romantic image of sailing the seven seas, drinking rum and singing sea shanties. People, when told 'you are a software pirate' seem to shrug it off. Call it its real name, and you can change people's minds.

Its not piracy, its stealing.

Re:Call it what it is. (2)

Glytch (4881) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749708)

It's not stealing, it's copyright infringement.

Re:Call it what it is.... NO! (1)

JurassicJoe (541605) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749761)

No no no no no! Call it piracy. Y'know what, if I hadn't pirated my first copy of win 3, my family wouldn't have just bought XP and Office XP... If I hadn't have pirated sim city 2000, I wouldn't have gone out and bought sim city 3000 as soon as it was released! and so on... Seriously, companies like M$ can't be all that bothered about it, or they'd do something about it! There are ways to make software more secure from pirates, but it is due to this progression (as seen in my first example) that means they can stay ahead with their newest product. If I hadn't have started reading this story, I could have been enjoying my christmas.....

Re:Call it what it is. (2)

rseuhs (322520) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749768)

If it's stealing, why the hell did nobody say to me yet:

"Hey you, may I steal your car? You can steal mine in return, OK?"

You're right, it's not really PIRACY, is it? (5, Insightful)

Tsar (536185) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749799)

I have trouble with the 'software piracy' term as well. For me, it evokes the image of a pirate brigatine closing on a cargo ship in the dead of night, the murderous crew silently boarding their victim, copying all their maps, and leaving without a trace of their horrific deed.

You're right, the analogy doesn't hold up.

Sure, stealing is wrong, but might the term 'piracy' applied here be so over-the-top that young people simply can't take it seriously? What are our other options?
  • Intellectual theft (too vague)
  • technovampirism (too bloody)
  • software parasitism (too icky)
Hey, wait? Why don't we just call it "copyright violation?" That's accurate, after all. Doesn't sound scary enough? Maybe because it isn't all that scary.

We aren't talking about truckloads of baby food being waylaid by highwaymen; everyone who pays for the software still get their goods, after all. Is it really justified to fight a war on copyright violation the same way you'd fight a war on drugs or terrorism? Does anyone really think every KaZaa user represents a lost sale of Office XP Professional?

Again, I'm not saying it isn't wrong. But so is speeding, and that could be brought under control by mandatory cell-linked speed monitors in vehicles. It would save lives, after all, so why don't we do it? It would appear that no one wants to push the personal privacy issue unless there's considerable money (not lives) at stake.

Perhaps the industry and society as a whole would benefit if we shifted to a more palatable equilibrium point, and treated copyright violations at the user level as they've been treated since the advent of photocopiers and audiotape: frowned upon, but tolerated.

Piracy is sharing not stealing (1)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749826)

According to most peoples morals, sharing is a GOOD thing. Right? In fact its promoted.

Now the law says, Sharing is BAD. So you have a situation where some people follow their morals, and some people follow the law.

People who are patriotic, who will die / kill to protect the law (you know, like police, marines, etc) they follow the law at all times even if the law isnt all that moral.

Some people however, would die/kill to protect their morals. Alot of people believe sharing is whats right.

These two sides are fighting, if they keep it up it could start an entire revolution here. People have options, chance the law so the law fits everyone (I dont know if thats possible) or arrest one of these groups of people.

It seems the patriotic capitalist types have more power (through money) than the people who wish to follow the moral code of sharing, however the people who wish to share outnumber the people who wish to follow the law.

You have a bad situation. Because you cannot stop the people, but the people with money have alot of power and will harrass the people.

The name is sharing, not piracy OR stealing. (1)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749833)

This is FILE SHARING. You can listen to propoganda by rich elite CEO types who want to manipulate your mind by calling you a theif, a pirate, and all kinds of other words to make you feel like a criminal. But really what you are doing is sharing whats yours.

You see, information once released has no owner, you can try to restrict who has access to it, but its not the type of thing that can ever truely be controlled, its impossible.

Corperations know this, but they just want to maximize profits.

When you take a file that you in theory should own but are really renting, you copy it, and give it to a friend. Nothing has been taken away from anyone so its not stealing. No one has been robbed, You still have your software. The only diffrence now is your friend has it too.

You decided to SHARE your software.

Theres no stealing going on here.

A pirate is a person who sees a boat, and literally takes everything useful from the boat, and adds it to their own. That is stealing.

But if a pirate went to another boat, sat down and looked at everything, and built exact copies of it on their own boat afterwards. This is sharing.

When boats were made, were there laws saying "You cannot copy our boat, if you do you are a pirate and we will kill you"

No, Pirates had the same boat technology that they copied from everyone else, everyone shared information. Its been like this for thousands of years until recently.

Now if you share information you go to jail, not because its wrong because sharing helps many people, you go to jail because some rich CEO wont be able to buy a new card or another house.

So WE benifit from sharing at the cost of RICH CEOs.

Re:Call it what it is. (1)

rtscts (156396) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749840)

Its not piracy, its stealing.
As are current copyright laws. I'm just taking back what was rightfully everybodies to begin with.

Compare it to cars (0, Flamebait)

ipfwadm (12995) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749687)

If 24% of the automobiles on the road in America were stolen from dealers' lots, would anyone feel that the auto industry had no right to "whine"? Why should it be any different with software?

Re:Compare it to cars (1)

asteinberg (521580) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749707)

[insert obligatory if Microsoft made cars joke here]

Re:Compare it to cars (1)

Cheetah86 (136854) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749760)

They'd run better without windows?

Re:Yeah, let's compare it to cars (3, Insightful)

evilpaul13 (181626) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749728)

The difference being that what is being stolen is copies of copies. And it isn't tangible property, so dealers have just as many cars in their lots to sell to people willing to pay.

Of the "billions of dollars revenue each year lost to software piracy" how much of that is to thirteen year olds downloading a $10,000 copies of 3D Studio Max from a warez site? I'm sure sonny just would have bought it if he couldn't have downloaded it.


Re:Yeah, let's compare it to cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2749770)

Either it is wrong for a professional and amateur to steal software or it is ok for both of them.
Make up your mind.

Re:Yeah, let's compare it to cars (1)

ipfwadm (12995) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749800)

steal, v intr. to take or appropriate without right ... and with intent to keep or make use of wrongfully.

Whether it's tangible or not, taking something that's not yours is still stealing. And you're right, software companies aren't losing money from lost property. They ARE losing money because that person that obtained the software by pirating it is one less person willing to pay for it.

And as for your 13-year old scenario, the article says that the biggest problem is businesses, not teenagers with cable modems.

Re:Compare it to cars (2)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749745)

If 24% of the automobiles on the road in America were stolen from dealers' lots, *still* wouldn't be a valid analogy.


Re:Compare it to cars (1)

Bake (2609) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749794)

If the cost to produce extra units of software would be the same as the cost of an extra car-unit, then yeah! I would compare it to cars.

But it just isn't.
The cost of developing a complex piece of software may be the same as developing a new car but the difference in cost of producing extra units is HUGE. It really is a difference between the constant cost and variable cost (if you've taken even the most elementary economics class you know what it is)

Re:Compare it to cars (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749823)

when you steal a car, you TAKE SOMETHING AWAY.
When you make illegal opies of software, you refrain from giving someone money.

There is a big difference between taking your pants away and not giving you extra pants.

(A friend of mine recently had his shorts stolen on a beach on vacation...forgive the analogy)

Piracy and software popularity (3, Interesting)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749688)

"From the way companies like Microsoft whine about piracy, I'd assumed the figures were increasing, not decreasing."

MS Dos is (was) incredibly easy to pirate back in the days when it was widely used. If it was never pirated, it would never have become nearly as popular as it was. This would have made Windows less popular. Microsoft has piracy to thank in part for its success.

Successful software WILL be pirated. That's how you know that people are willing to buy your products. In the long run, the corporate clients who have to worry about staying legal within their contracts will comprise most of the legal purchases of software, while the little guy (individual persons like you and me) will still probably pirate the stuff. This is how software gains grassroots acceptance. I think piracy by some individuals is good for business. It's better than any advertising campaign.

Re:Piracy and software popularity (1)

JurassicJoe (541605) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749714)

Yeah, of course - M$ must accept piracy, as it's made part of what they are. I mean, M$ software could be made to be harder to pirate. There's plenty of software which is harder to pirate - dongle-using software etc. If it wasn't for piracy, people wouldn't go out and grab the new version of windows... I know I wouldn't :) However, that means that they can market hundreds of other programs to run on these systems. Also, it helps them - as it means less people are running old operating systems. I know that if I didn't have a pirate copy of XP or whatever, I'd probably still be using 95 on my windoze box...

Anyway, just a thought :) Happy Christmas all.

Re:Piracy and software popularity (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749716)

One of the Key factors to a programs piracy rate is it's retail price. autocad3d is probably the highest pirated program in existance. Why? because it is horribly overpriced. A budding engineering student cant afford it, and you cant get a job as an engineer without expierience with it. (classes dont count, you have to do everything in it to become proficient with it) So what happens? it get's copied like mad and the cracks downloaded to bypass the dongle. Now we get to the graphics arts, Photoshop get's pirated, Tv or movie production? the rest of the Adobe suite get's copied. Why? COST. If the home version or student version was identical to the pro version but at a price that was actually affordable it wont get stolen. Businesses cant afford to use pirated software, a raid by the thought \d\d\d\d\d software police is expensive, more expensive than buying it outright.

Orcad used to be the #1 pirated electronics engineering program on the planet... that has changed cince the release of EagleCad, it's free for home personal use, so people dont see the need to steal it.

Want to stop piracy? dont rape home users. simple solution that works and is proven over and over. Microsoft... How about selling Office to Corperations for $3000.00 per workstation and make it $59.95 for the home user. office will no longer be pirated as people can actually afford it now for home use. ($199.99 for more for a wordprocessor/spreadsheet/whatever for home use? that is ASKING to be pirated.)

Alas, it will never happen. greed far outweighs common sense in the business world, espically the software business world.

Re:Piracy and software popularity (2)

rseuhs (322520) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749784)

Orcad used to be the #1 pirated electronics engineering program on the planet... that has changed cince the release of EagleCad, it's free for home personal use, so people dont see the need to steal it.

Want to stop piracy? dont rape home users. simple solution that works and is proven over and over. Microsoft... How about selling Office to Corperations for $3000.00 per workstation and make it $59.95 for the home user. office will no longer be pirated as people can actually afford it now for home use. ($199.99 for more for a wordprocessor/spreadsheet/whatever for home use? that is ASKING to be pirated.)

The funny thing is that home-users actually have to pay a lot more for MS-software than businesses (because of massive discounts)

Re:Piracy and software popularity (1)

Kwikymart (90332) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749828)

Yah, I just bought a student copy of Mathematica [] for about $200 CAN. The pro version (exactly the same) is about 5 times the price of the student version. If it wasnt for the student version, I wouldnt have bought it at all. What would the makers prefer? $130 USD (minus media price) or dick squat?. And yes, I had to provide proof that I was a student (my student ID) by fax to the company.

The only problem I have with the software product is that you have to "activate" it first. I tried to register with them last Friday, but I guess it was too late and now christmas break is taking place. I said "funk dat" and downloaded a key generator. It was the only way I could use the software that I payed for. Also, it isnt illegal because I payed for the damn thing and it is considered fair use.

All I can say is that it was worth the 200 dollars I payed. If it cost any more than that, I would seriously reconsider the purchase.

Re:Piracy and software popularity (0)

Caez (470978) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749762)

Also, most pirated media, be it music, DVD or even software, don't work as well as their OEM or out-of-the-box counterparts. I have a billi-i mean a few pirated MP3s. Most of them suck eggs. I loved Napster because I could type in an artist, get some songs and go buy the CD if it was any good. The Fast and the Furious DivX I have also is horrible. There is a high-pitched noise (thank God for EQs), No background music at all, and the resolution sucks too. So I bought the DVD and ripped it myself. I don't share it on anything either. I only ripped it so I can watch it anytime and use the DVD/CD-RW for other stuff. Peace out.

Re:Piracy and software popularity (1)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749801)

"Also, most pirated media, be it music, DVD or even software, don't work as well as their OEM or out-of-the-box counterparts."

As a person who works at a reseller company and normally works with the OEM products, I can tell you that the OEM versions are almost always better than the retail AND pirated versions. The OEM ones have smoother installations and often have less copy protection with serial numbers and other madness that slows legitimate installs down. (For example you can cancel the WPA on MS Office 2k OEM but not on the retail because there is not cancel option.)

And OEM versions have install files that are often copyable to the HDD for archiving while the retail ones only run from the CD unless cracked.

The drop in numbers ... (5, Insightful)

SimplyCosmic (15296) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749690)

Could the drop in percentage of software being pirated have less to do with individuals pirating less than they did before, and just the sheer number of computer users increasing?

In general, even the ease of use of peer 2 peer networks requires a minimum of tech saavy, and a faster broadband connection to make pirating your average 500+MB CD-Rom worth it, two things which the growing population new to computers don't have.

In previous years, the percentages of computer users who actually were real computer users and not just people who owned one for email or web browsing was certainly higher.

With this decrease in more advanced users compared to the general public, and the increase in the sheer size of pirated programs needing to be sent across your connection (Games, for example, going from a couple megs to a couple hundred in size), I'd see those two as the reason for the drop.

Re:The drop in numbers ... (2)

rseuhs (322520) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749788)

Could the drop in percentage of software being pirated have less to do with individuals pirating less than they did before, and just the sheer number of computer users increasing?

I would rather know how they calculate those numbers. I mean, what do they do? Go from door to door and ask everybody: "Sir, do you pirate software and if yes how much?"

Re:The drop in numbers ... (2)

VP (32928) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749789)

Given the rise of the P2P networks, it seems that the drop is easier attributed to the rise of Free/Open Source software. The 1/6 increase of non-copyright infringing software could represent Apache/Linux/BSD/PHP, etc., being used in companies thoughout the world...

how do they know the stats? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2749691)

Isn't knowing how much software in the country is pirated a bit like claiming to know how many rapes go unreported each year? It's a statistic that is impossible to gather by the nature of the question.

I'll tell you one thing I hate about software these days. If I want to play a multi-player game of Ghost Recon or something with my brother, I have to buy at least two copies of the game (at more than $50 each!). However, if I want to play a multi-player game of Monopoly (pun intended) or Parcheesi, I don't have to buy a new game set for all four or eight people I'm going to play against.

Re:how do they know the stats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2749717)


What stats? (-1)

KingAzzy (320268) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749753)

Taco pulls something out of his ass and tells everyone its fact and all the slashcrappers eagerly swallow it up, begging for more..

Bypass the NYT reg screen: (2)

thesolo (131008) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749693)

by going to: []

OR 5HACK.html []

Editors: please start putting in these links in the stories--you know this crowd is big on privacy.

Re:Bypass the NYT reg screen: (1)

Proteus Child (535173) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749736)

Login: 'cypherpunks'

Password: 'cypherpunks'

You know what to do.

big picture (5, Insightful)

spacefem (443435) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749697)

I think piracy is a bigger issue than we think, rooted in the ideas that stealing from a big corporation isn't stealing, because they obviously screwed little people over to get where they are today, so it's alright for us to screw over "them". It's a nameless, faceless "them" kids think they're screwing with, not individual people. Where I went to college there were countless students who had no problem ripping off credit card companies ("it's the companies we're hurting, not people, and the companies have millions to spare so who cares?") to get stuff they wanted, I was appauled, but there was no way to convince them that somewhere down the line, they were hurting the guy next door.

Piracy is about the fact that nobody cares about anybody, and that's just the fact of it.

Legal vs. Right (1, Flamebait)

Kope (11702) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749699)

The professor is confussing "legal" with "right." Frankly, I see software piracy, especially of the larger conglomerate companies like Microsoft, as a moral issue more than a legal one.

Yes, it is illegal. But so long as companies like Microsoft abuse their position, lie to consumers, produce broken software, knowingly release bug-ladden insecure crap, and otherwise mistreat the public it is difficult to defend, on moral grounds, striking back at the evil empire.

Now, there's certainly a question to be raised regarding piracy in that it may well do more good than harm to a company's actual bottom line. But the question of if it is "right" should not be confused with the question of if it is legal.

Much that is legal is not morally defensible. And much that is morally defensible is not legal.

Certainly there are those, perhaps even the majority, who pirate for entirely selfish reasons. But there are those who pirate because they see it as striking at a morally bankrupt corporations heart.

Re:Legal vs. Right (3, Troll)

13013dobbs (113910) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749749)

But so long as companies like Microsoft abuse their position, lie to consumers, produce broken software, knowingly release bug-ladden insecure crap, and otherwise mistreat the public it is difficult to defend, on moral grounds, striking back at the evil empire.
My dad bought a Christler in '86. It was a piece of junk. Do you think it would be OK if he went to the factory and stole a few cars? Oftentimes when I eat at McDonalds, I get the shits. Is it moraly correct for me to hop over the counter, grab a bunch of food and run out the door? RedHat sold me a CD with an exploitable copy of WU-FTP. Can I steal a bunch of CDs or a development server from them?

Certainly there are those, perhaps even the majority, who pirate for entirely selfish reasons. But there are those who pirate because they see it as striking at a morally bankrupt corporations heart.
I would bet that the percent of people who pirate for moral reasons is less than 5%.

Re:Legal vs. Right (3, Insightful)

zmooc (33175) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749802)

Well I guess you don't really get the difference between theft and piracy; with theft you take something from somebody else. This means they don't have it anymore. Piracy (in this case) is about copying. This implicitly means that the legal owner doesn't loose anything.

And most software that is pirated is done so by people that collect warez; most of this software is never used _AT_ALL_ and if it is being used, this is mostly done by people that wouldn't have bought the software anyway; Joe A. User won't go to the computerstore to buy Photoshop; it's waaaay too expensive. He either uses the install at his work or "borrows" it from somebody else. There's no way he's going to buy Photo Shop. So that's another difference between theft and piracy: the losses for the industry a no where near the sum of pirated software. My guess it's less than 1% of the pirated software generates real loss.

Apart from companies, nobody is going to pay a hundred bucks for software they only use every once in a while. Unless they get it "for free" with their new PC. Companies are about the only ones you'd expect to actually buy software and most of them do so.

Conclusion: software piracy is no way near as large a problem as the "government" thinks it is. I am not saying it is good at all, but it just doesn't cause that much damage at all.

Re:Legal vs. Right (1)

13013dobbs (113910) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749836)

Well I guess you don't really get the difference between theft and piracy; with theft you take something from somebody else. This means they don't have it anymore. Piracy (in this case) is about copying. This implicitly means that the legal owner doesn't loose anything.
They have lost the money that they would have made on the sale of that product.

And most software that is pirated is done so by people that collect warez; most of this software is never used _AT_ALL_ and if it is being used, this is mostly done by people that wouldn't have bought the software anyway; Joe A. User won't go to the computerstore to buy Photoshop; it's waaaay too expensive. He either uses the install at his work or "borrows" it from somebody else. There's no way he's going to buy Photo Shop. So that's another difference between theft and piracy: the losses for the industry a no where near the sum of pirated software. My guess it's less than 1% of the pirated software generates real loss.
So, if something is too expensive or if you just want to have it, it is OK to steal it?

Re:Legal vs. Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2749777)

You are so pathetic with your failed attempt at rationalizing theft.
People have done much better before ...

Re:Legal vs. Right (0)

kz45 (175825) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749827)

Yes, it is illegal. But so long as companies like Microsoft abuse their position, lie to consumers, produce broken software, knowingly release bug-ladden insecure crap, and otherwise mistreat the public it is difficult to defend, on moral grounds, striking back at the evil empire.

Car companies do the same thing, do we call it our "right" to steal cars then? This is a bad example. If you feel a company is screwing the consumers, don't by their product.

Your microsoft FUD doesn't fool me:

if micosoft knowingly released bug-ridden software, why did they have a fix within a few days? I guess redhat does this too. As I recall, version 7 could be cracked into within 15 minutes of being connected to the internet. And don't even get me started on the linux kernel release with the FileSystem corruption bug. But I guess if you are releasing software for the good of the community, it doesn't apply.....

But there are those who pirate because they see it as striking at a morally bankrupt corporations heart.

Anyone who actually believes this, has not yet seen "the real world". Mostly people that are younger than 16 years old. if this were really the case, people should steal from 99% of the companies out there. The majority of companies have screws over someone else at one point in time. They just don't have something that can be inifinitly replicated.

s/educating/brainwashing/ (2)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749700)

They've succesfully brainwashed slashdot as well, or what?

Two thoughts (2)

firewort (180062) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749702)

I have two thoughts on the matter:

1) re-education doesn't work. No one likes having perceived priveliges removed, rightfully or not. No one likes being fed pablum to explain why it's wrong (Disney and FreeJackster.)

If something doesn't seem wrong to a majority and the harm isn't directly observable, then it's not going to be curbed by re-education.

Also, we need to make a distinction between Piracy and Copyright Infringement. They aren't the same. Where copyright infringement is being claimed, copyright law needs to be reformed to match the people's behavior, within balance, not to curb it.

2) maturity does work, to an extent. The 27 year old quoted at the end felt he'd outgrown warez. Of course, the 45-year old who was pissed he couldn't download oldies mp3s counters that example.

eBay closed auction I WON AND PAID for "piracy" (3, Interesting)

Katravax (21568) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749706)

I've been wanting to a legit copy of Office 97 rather than living on the MSDN copy from work (should I ever have to get another job). I found a guy on eBay selling a sealed unregistered OEM copy for $75. I used "buy it now" to end the auction and used eBay's own BillPoint to pay. This happened three days ago.

About six hours later I got notice that the auction had ended at Microsoft's request because the good were pirated (VERO rule or somethign like that). See the problem? I already paid for the goods, and the charge has cleared my bank. The listing is gone, and I haven't heard from the seller. What happens to my money?

I've written eBay about it, but of course haven't heard back probably because of the Christmas holiday. Has this happened to anyone else, and if so, what happened?

Re:eBay closed auction I WON AND PAID for "piracy" (-1)

Klerck (213193) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749727)

* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *
g g
o / \ \ / \ o
a \ a
t `. : t
s` \ s
e \ / / \\\ -- \\ : e
x \ \/ --~~ ~-- \ x
* \ \-~ ~-\ *
g \ \ .--------.___\ g
o \ \// ((> \ o
a \ . C ) ((> / a
t /\ C )/Merry\ (> / t
s / /\ C) Xmas! (> / \ s
e ( C__)\___/ // _/ / \ e
x \ \\// (/ x
* \ \) `---- --' *
g \ \ / / g
o / \ o
a / \ \ a
t / / \ t
s / / \/\/ s
e / e
x x
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

Re:eBay closed auction I WON AND PAID for "piracy" (2, Informative)

Renraku (518261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749786)

Read the EULA that you agreed to by coming into contact with a person that owns the product. It clearly states that if Microsoft says so, then it is so. If you order products from their website, pay for them and everything, Microsoft pretty much has the right to say, "Its pirated software" and take your money, and possibly even prosecute you for being a pirate. Someone should show them what pirates are really like, and bust into their office and steal, raze and plunder.

Balancing out the abuses (1)

blab (214849) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749709)

People generally feel it is ok to pirate software because it is one way they can actually take back some power from the many times they as consumers, or otherwise, are ripped off.

People probably wouldn't pirate software if they felt they received 'fair value' from the software or other goods they buy or are forced to use.

*Note to MicroSoft. You can't suck and blow at the same time!

Bullshit (2, Insightful)

Platypii (132649) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749746)

That's a load of crap.... exactly how many people registered their $10 shareware.... maybe 1 out of 100,000? The majority of people don't think about it as a matter of principle, they just see a way to steal without accountablity. If they were to stop and think about it was a matter of princliple, I think most people would realize that what they are doing is no different than going in to Circuit City and taking things. If you don't feel you are getting software worth the sticker price, you have the option to not use it! it's that simple.

Merry Xmas and a Happy Troll Tuesday! (-1)

Klerck (213193) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749712)

* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *
g g
o / \ \ / \ o
a \ a
t `. : t
s` \ s
e \ / / \\\ -- \\ : e
x \ \/ --~~ ~-- \ x
* \ \-~ ~-\ *
g \ \ .--------.___\ g
o \ \// ((> \ o
a \ . C ) ((> / a
t /\ C )/ \ (> / t
s / /\ C) (> / \ s
e ( C__)\___/ // _/ / \ e
x \ \\// (/ x
* \ \) `---- --' *
g \ \ / / g
o / \ o
a / \ \ a
t / / \ t
s / / \/\/ s
e / e
x x
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

Re:Merry Xmas and a Happy Troll Tuesday! (-1)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749796)

God bless us, each and every one. Well, except for Michael, he is a Nazi, and Jamie, he is a censoring fag. But, God bless everyone else.

TO ALL YOU DUMB BROADS ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2749719)

Time to fix Christmas dinner! Get your lazy arses out of bed and stop gripeing about your periods. Time to cook! Fixing your man a meal is your job and you better fix with a smile.


Baked Ham with pinnapple and honey glaze

Green beans with bacon

corn on the cob (you better put REAL butter on em or else!)




Now get after it before I get mad!

DO it NOW!

Mod this up!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2749757)

LOL! And topical too.

Boston Tea Party (1)

CatherineCornelius (543166) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749724)

It's a shame that this article should propagate a myth about the Revolution:

But [Professor Willard] added that the argument has power -- and that recklessness and rebellion are not just part of adolescence but of the American character. "We applaud the U.S. patriots," she said, "who hacked onto the British tea ship and destroyed their product."

There's a big difference between the destructive protest of the Boston Tea Party, during which efforts were made to prevent looting, and the activities of software pirates who take for their own use without paying the producer. The colonists had already attempted to have the tea returned to England without paying duty on it, but were prevented from doing this by the Governor.

Re:Boston Tea Party (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749838)

The thing is, people who just take copies of software and sample it don't bother me in the least. What does bother me is the people who are resellers of piratted software. They make a profit from the work of others without compensating the people who did the work. Now THAT is stealing.

If they had stolen the tea and sold it to people for a profit, no tax, no compensation to the producers, that would have been very different from chugging it in the harbor.

Illegalities and Kids ... (5, Insightful)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749725)

ask ANY kid with a computer about copyrights and if piracy is illegal. I'll even do one up for ya .. ask any kid in college. Okay ... now as you're asking them ... go ahead and look at their CD collection, yup ... there's alot of "back-ups" there.

I think that most of the "pirates" know more about the illegalities of what they're doing more than the actual people aresting them. In fact I would bet my legal software on it.

Now comes the question of why is Piracy so big? Well why is drug use and prostitution so big? Well they make people feel good (not endorsing either, but lets face it ... coke heads like the feeling they get from stuffing their nostrils with coke) ... Getting something for free has always made people feel good about themselves.

Let's figure in the MS-Factor ... MS makes most of it's money from site licenses and OEM's ... they don't make their money from off the shelf Operating Systems. Now their games and apps, yessir they pay for all those. According to MS Though you _can_ have a the same copy of Office and Windows at home and office ... so long as you don't use the computers at the same time (which is technically physically impossible) ... But MS does make games and I will admit that I know of people "stealing" from MS everyday. Do I think that they're criminals? Hell no ... I blame the MS for making a standard that is used in schools and accepted in the office that we are taxed for in our homes for compatability issues.

Now lets throw in the OSS factor. Of course OSS doesn't have to worry about piracy, hell they ask people to share (dumb bastards *note the previous comment was meant to poke fun as a person who is coming from the stance of microsoft*). So what's the solution, THERE ISN'T ONE

So why is it so big??? Well it's promoted. You think someone would buy an Apex DVD player that reads CD-R's because they thought it would look better on their shelf system? Hell no ... they bought it so they could play VCD's on the thing. You think they bought their 12x burner because they wanted to make compilation CD's from CD's they already owned? No they wanted to copy CD's, make Audio CD's, and VCD's. You think that they got broadband to download on the web faster ... lol ... NO ... they got it for that wonderous P2P that is out there to make things easier for those floating in the dangerous seas.

All in all ... and in a nutshell ... piracy won't stop ... there will never be an end ... if everyone who was a software pirate were arrested then 80% of america would be sitting in a jail cell right now ... because we've all "stole from the man".

Re:Illegalities and Kids ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2749812)

Actually, I bought my Apex DVD player because it enabled me to bypass the DVD cartel's onerous restrictions on the medium and its potential users, by ignoring their ridiculous "region restrictions". The fact that it allowed me to make videotapes from my DVD's as well, by ignoring Macrovision's degradation of the signal, was an added bonus as well. I have to admit it's nice being able to play VCD's as well, as I've ordered a few legitimate VCD's of some films to find out whether it was worth buying the DVD, but given the crappy quality of bootlegged material I've only watched one "pirated" movie that I downloaded via the Internet (Gladiator, for the curious, and boy was I glad, what an overrated crock), and I can't see it being more than a novelty until the quality's at least as good as videotape.

Text of the article (karma whore ALERT!) (1, Redundant)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749726)

Karma whore alert

If you don't feel like making a NYTIMES account, here's the text of the article:

December 25, 2001

Trying to Keep Young Internet Users From a Life of Piracy


When law enforcement agents seized 129 computers in 27 cities recently in a coordinated assault on online piracy, they focused much of their effort on colleges like Duke, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California at Los Angeles.

They were probably too late.

As children have access to computers earlier and earlier in their educational careers, experts in piracy, hacking and other forms of Internet mischief say that any effort to tackle the illicit trade in digital goods -- including video games, computer software, music and even movies -- should be looking at a younger crowd.

"By the time we get them, they already believe it's right," said David J. Farber, a professor of computer science at the University of Pennsylvania and the former chief technologist of the Federal Communications Commission "If you're willing to bootleg music, you're willing to bootleg anything."

In fact, America's rush to the online world has created an enormous population of ever-younger computer pirates, say experts in the field. They compare the situation with giving every student a car without providing drivers' education classes.

"We've got to focus on preparing kids to use the Internet in a safe and responsible manner," said Nancy E. Willard, director of the Responsible Netizen Center for Advanced Technology in Education at the University of Oregon. She has prepared course materials and guides for teaching computer ethics in secondary schools to help them meet the requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act of 2000. The law, which requires schools and libraries to use filters or similar technology to protect children from objectionable materials, also requires an "Internet safety policy" to prevent "unauthorized access, including so-called `hacking,' and other unlawful activities by minors online."

Online, the searching and trading for wares goes on day and night. In an online discussion last week using technology known as Internet Relay Chat, the "warez" channel, or chat room, was busy. Warez is slang for software that has been "liberated" from encryption. On the channel, rapid-fire bursts of messages requesting digital goods -- games, DVD's, business software -- were interspersed among the random comments and insults:

Queball: "Anyone know where I can a copy Sybex virtual lab . . ."

Porrin: "@find 3d studio para *pc*."

Nellie: "Anyone here have save the last dance movie. msg me."

The patter and trading are constant, yet this is small time. Far bigger players operate quietly with vast storage and bandwidth, cracking the copyright protection that keep the strings of ones and zeroes that underlie everything from the video game Tomb Raider to the movie "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and making them available in a limitless five-finger discount store in the ether.

The recent raids focused mainly on the networks of hard-core traders in a handful of groups with names like DrinkOrDie, which tended to trade for fun and not for profit. Among the computers seized were ones belonging to business executives and administrators of computer networks.

Unauthorized copying and distribution of software is a global headache for the industry, which claims that more than a third of all business software used is pirated, according to an annual report commissioned by the Business Software Alliance, a trade group. In fact, the situation has improved markedly since 1995, when the figure was closer to half of all software. In the United States the figure has dropped to 24 percent, the lowest rate in the world, because of a vigorous education and enforcement efforts and until recently a strong economy.

Over all, the cost of business software piracy alone was $11.75 billion in 2000, the group reported, although this amount assumes that any illicitly used software would otherwise have been bought by users.

The greatest incidence of software piracy, according to industry experts, occurs in business, where many employees of a firm will share a single copy of a program. Internet trading pales by comparison, said Bob Kruger, vice president for enforcement at the Business Software Alliance. But it constitutes "the biggest threat in the future," he said, "as people become more accustomed to getting digital works online."

The software industry does not break out the statistics for piracy in higher education, but "anecdotally, we see a lot of activity coming out of university areas," said Ric Hirsch, senior vice president for intellectual property enforcement at the Interactive Digital Software Association, the trade association representing computer and video game publishers.

Eugene H. Spafford, a professor of computer science and director of Purdue University's Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security, said if students lack the ethical preparation when they begin using the Internet, things quickly spiral out of control when they reach college, where they have lots of free time, peers they want to impress and high bandwidth.

That is to be expected, Professor Spafford said, since college is a time for testing boundaries. "We do encourage them to try new things, meet new people," he said. "It's not that surprising that they try to break some of the bounds, and not just in computing."

But fixing the problem would be expensive and intrusive, he said. He questions whether the monitoring required might be worse than the disease.

"When you have one person who goes bad out of 40,000, do you want to watch that other 39,999 to catch that one?" Professor Spafford asked. "To find the people doing the bad things might involve violating the privacy of all those other people. As a society is that the kind of trade-off we want to make?"

Professor Farber agreed. Closely monitor students, he warned, and "pretty soon you'll be looking at what they write and what they read."

Some experts say they wish the corporations pushing for ethical behavior among customers would show more of it themselves.

Many students bristle at the newest legal tool for protecting copyright, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It has been criticized as heavy handed, tipping the balance of copyright law away from principles such as fair use.

Many also note, Professor Willard said, a federal court ruling that Microsoft (news/quote) had abused its monopoly power.

That is how "Incursion" sees it. The Internet name belonged to a college student from Texas, who was looking for games recently on the Warez channel. The student said he generally pays for the software he uses but does like to sample the goods before buying. "If I feel it's a quality game," he said, "I'll buy it."

Asked whether using software without paying for it is wrong, he replied, "depends what you consider wrong." Pressed for further explanation, he wrote, "A monopoly is wrong."

Taking apart rationalizations like that one are part of what Professor Willard tries to do in materials that she has prepared for teenagers.

But she added that the argument has power -- and that recklessness and rebellion are not just part of adolescence but of the American character. "We applaud the U.S. patriots," she said, "who hacked onto the British tea ship and destroyed their product."

Ultimately, time might be on the companies' side. The environment changes so quickly that even would- be pirates say they find it hard to keep up.

Jeremy, who goes by the online name "Xelsed" and asks that only his first name be used, insisted that he did not trade software any more -- which did not explain what he was doing in the Warez channel typing "!gimme stuff," a request he saw others type and which he figured could lead to offers. Even if he wanted to, though, he was out of touch, he said, having not visited the site in several months.

The old formula for a request for software -- typing "/xdcc" and then the name of a program -- did not seem to resonate in the current slang. "Now I really dont know what to do," he types in the hasty, error- riddled style of instant messages. "I have to face the fact that well i'm dated."

Jeremy said he was 27 and out of college and added that he feels he has outgrown the warez world.

"To be frank," he wrote, "I think its probably alot easer to buy the game then to spend the hours neccacery to make `friends' and get into the sceen."


End of article

Evaluation (0, Troll)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749729)

I prefer to educate them as careful shoppers :)

Evaluate before you buy :)

If they think "piracy" is OK... (5, Interesting)

Trekologer (86619) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749733)

...then you have an even deeper problem that neither the software industry, or any other media publishers want to address.

And that is that more and more people, worldwide, are begining to believe that copyrights, and so-called "intelectual property" in general, do not deserve all the protections that they are afforded.

No one wants to address this because it is the publishers' biggest fear: copyright will lose respect and eventually be abolished. Their entire revenue stream is based upon the idea that data, be it software, music, video, or whatever, can be artifically kept scarce. And that's just not true.

What the whole Napster thing has done is to demonstrate that a good number of people (enough to make a "political majority") do not think that CDs are worth $18 a piece. People are now realizing that CDs cost under $1 to make and that the artists aren't getting the remainder. The people are making it known that the recording industry is NOT worth $16 a CD anymore. And since, unlike an ideal marketplace, you can not negotiate the price of a CD, potential customers are looking elsewhere to obtain the products at the price they feel it should be.

Piracy itself is not the primary target of these raids. The real target is attitudes towards copyrights. Since people are no longer respecting them on their face, the industry is attempting to convert the lost respect into fear of the law.

And that fear can only be provided by a copyright police state.

Re:If they think "piracy" is OK... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2749754)

But piracy IS ok! Richard Stalin told me so. He said all information wants to be free, and if someone wants to hold out from the consumer with their IP, then it's our right to take it. If someone is trying to make money off of close-source software, then it's our duty to distribute their software for free as it should be. There's no reason they can't give the software aware for free and sell services on it!

Re:If they think "piracy" is OK... (1)

Mabidex (204038) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749798)

Ok, the article was about teaching kids about piracy.

First, do we teach them that piracy is wrong just as "Santa Clause" exists, and be done with it, knowing that in the future the copyright issues may change? Wouldn't this damage, or ingrain a belief in a child which can be false in the future because of the new generation of 'software as a service' products, and possible copyright changes?

Do I want my 9 year old daughter believeing all my friends are like the evil pirate from "Treasure Island"?

I think, I'll just let them figuire out what is possible with technology, and teach them about money using software that is current and not let them... 'Fall Behind' because of the cost of the software. Later they can see for themselves, what is more benificial for society, instead of me telling them something that corporate america wants me to tell them.


Re:If they think "piracy" is OK... (1)

utdpenguin (413984) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749825)

Also interesting, in muy mind, is the study showing that frequent napster users bought many times more CDs than non napster users. I do not currently have any priated software on my box, du soely to the fact that Im running linux and I couldn't get Linux version of Unreal to isntall without the actual cd. Which is fine becasue as soon as I decided to get serious about playing Unreal I went out and bought the cd. Where did I get the cracked vesion? At a lan party so I could play with my friends, and frankly I almsot never used it after that. I bought the CD because it was int he long run more convinient to do so. Next time I build a box or my hard drive crashes its easier to pop in the cd than it is to surf porno-infested warez sites or try and get a decent connection on gnutella or the like. The big differnece? The Unreal CD was reasonably priced! IMagine that. I didnt break the bank to buy it, and so I could buy it. Is piracy always wrong? No. Often it is. But I don't see a problem wiht sharing one copy of something with my various machines, for example. On the theory that I purchased the software and no one ought to have hte right to tell me what I can and cannot do wiht my own property, assuming im not violating somkeone elses rights, of course. Software shoudln't be a liscence. Nor are binaries speech, unlike source code (wasn't their a ruling about this recently?) so how can oyu copywrite something that isnt speach? I mean, how shoudl you be able to? Oh well.

NYTimes login for all (-1, Offtopic)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749737)

login: slashdotdotorg
passwd: grotodtodhsals

The password is just the login but backwards.

It's ok. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2749742)

I realize piracy is very wrong.. but I just don't care.. I really don't care if a programmer I don't buy software from is dying on the street... I'm sorry but that's true.

Re:It's ok. (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749785)

Developers who work for a .COM probably dont really care, but its the developer who developes by himself to earn a living that does.

Re:It's ok. (1)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749791)

What developer do you know who actually earns a living developing by themselves?

And if you do, whos going to pirate your software? People pirate stuff like photoshop and 3d studio max because theres an insane pricetag. People dont have to pirate your software which costs $5. I'd pay $5 for some good software but i sure as hell am not going to pay $500. So this has no effect on the small people, its big companies who overcharge and then claim pirates all would have had $500 to buy their over priced software.

Re:It's ok. (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749797)

Just a thought. There is alot of quotes from various companies and organisations that say this much has been lost in sales due to piracy, but I dont belive such quotes as that software would never be bought due to the overpricing that you refer to.

Re:It's ok. (0)

Caez (470978) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749818)

the ironic thing is most people who develop for themselves release it Open-Source because they can't market it or massproduce CDs of it.

Re:It's ok. (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749822)

It doesnt have to be released on CD :)

Most software nowdays can be erm downloaded and purchased over the net.

Stop and think... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2749744)

...where does that 1/3 number come from? The BSA likes to throw these numbers around without giving sources. If they *really* know exact numbers then they must know where the software is being pirated and, quite frankly, they don't.

Software as a service (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749747)

Well thats what software as a service (ie., subscription based software) aims to prevent.

But how many kids do you know with a credit card that are capable of using these products?

Anarchy Online, Necron massively multiplayer role playing games for example along with streaming entertainment or internet services.

Piracy vs. Charity (3, Interesting)

LazyDawg (519783) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749756)

These manufactured piracy figures would be even remotely useful if they included demographics for each group of software pirates. If the majority of that 25% were, say, Mercedes Benz driving, diamond-clad rich folk who light cigars with hundred dollar bills, then we would be worried.

At present, these buckaneers seem to mostly be low-income students and others who have a compulsion to use the latest and greatest software, without the funding to back it up. Rather than paying bazillions of dollars towards enforcement and purchasing new laws, software companies could stand to make a huge tax write-off if they called this willful taking of their software a Charitable Donation.

Big software companies practically print their own money giving out these wares as name brand commercial products, and they enjoy insane profit margins once the development costs get paid off. Since profit==taxes, they should try to encourage software piracy, pull a figure out of their ass equivalent to their taxable income, and then end up paying a few dollars, rather than a few hundred million.

(did I mention, IANAL and IANAA?)

Merry Xmas and a Happy Troll Tuesday! (-1)

Klerck (213193) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749763)

* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *
g g
o / \ \ / \ o
a \ a
t `. : t
s` \ s
e \ / / \\\ -- \\ : e
x \ \/ --~~ ~-- \ x
* \ \-~ ~-\ *
g \ \ .--------.___\ g
o \ \// ((> \ o
a \ . C ) ((> / a
t /\ C )/Merry\ (> / t
s / /\ C) Xmas! (> / \ s
e ( C__)\___/ // _/ / \ e
x \ \\// (/ x
* \ \) `---- --' *
g \ \ / / g
o / \ o
a / \ \ a
t / / \ t
s / / \/\/ s
e / e
x x
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

Teaching teachers not to violate (1)

JasonVergo (101331) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749766)

The other day I was handed a packet from a teacher which contain mostly material copied from textbooks. A lot of the material had no source info and some of it was dated from 1984!!

I did a little searching to see if the teacher was allowed to do this through some loophole in copyright laws. To me, it seems like he is completely violating the law. This is happening at a very prestigious school by a professor that has been there for 20+ years. tm l

Re:Teaching teachers not to violate (1, Informative)

Caez (470978) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749809)

It is not a Loophole. That copyright law was made on purpose. It was made so libraries and schools didn't have to buy a copy of a book 2,000 times. (i.e. my highschool's population) They did this so teachers could copy certian parts of copyrighted works to use as teaching tools. If he copied the whole book, or didn't use it for educational purposes, however, it is illegal. If the {Redmond, WA based software giant} wants schools to use Window$ instead of pirating it or using Linux or even Macs, they should institute some policy like this. You have to buy a certian percentages of licenses per computer instead of 100% because most schools can't afford it.

Piracy is not wrong, its just illegal. (2, Insightful)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749780)

Theres a diffrence between right and wrong. Its WRONG to steal. However its RIGHT to share. Piracy is right, but its illegal.

I know everyone here may be confused by what I said, but honestly sharing is supposed to be a good thing, its RIGHT to share software with your friend whos too poor to buy it. So to stop piracy, bringing up moral issues just makes people support piracy MORE!

The only way to stop Piracy is to raid all pirates, and thats too expensive. So you have a situation where, People are going to pirate software, the best thing you can do is make it so its easier to buy software from a store, than to pirate it off the net (huge long download, or buy it from a store) and there shouldnt be $500 software because no one in their right mind will buy it. IF software were $10-$20 then I'm sure most people would buy software like most people buy games. But when software like photoshop is $500, and you NEED photoshop, well, you are going to sit for 3 days downloading a 500+ meg ISO before paying $500.

IT comes down to this, make money off of convience, not off of the product itself, its easier for me to go to a store and buy a CD, than to download it, burn it, etc etc. I'd pay to have it all done for me. I'll pay $10 and if its really good software, maybe $20, even $30, but theres no way I'm paying over $50 for any software nevermind $500.

To stop piracy, lower prices, and offer good enough deals so that its easier to buy than to pirate.

stupid teenagers... (0)

rsd1s1g (519812) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749781)

..always testing the boundaries of society. Why can't they conform??

Oh wait, we don't want to be ruled by a bunch of brainwashed zombies, right?

A suggestion.... (2)

Gingko (195226) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749787)

This [] is how you educate people about piracy :)

(not porn, not


Robin hood? (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749808)

Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor?

I call it empowering the people :)

Don't you just love blanket statements? (3, Interesting)

Forager (144256) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749810)

... said David J. Farber, a professor of computer science at the University of Pennsylvania and the former chief technologist of the Federal Communications Commission "If you're willing to bootleg music, you're willing to bootleg anything."

While I can't state that this isn't true for some people (trading one blanket statement for another would make me a hypocrite) I CAN state that the majority of people I know aren't going to fill that statement. My friends and I certainly do bootleg our music; it's difficult to find one band that produces an album that has more quality than filler on it, so we pick and choose the songs we enjoy and download those individually. If an album comes out by a band we particularly like, we'll buy the album, but for the most part, we pirate our music.

However, we don't pirate our software (except for a few big titles ... as 3D art students, we have to share SOME titles, if we expect to have any chance at all in the industry when we graduate; hell, we talked to one of the VPs of Alias|Wavefront and he said that piracy creates industry demand for their software, sort of a roundabout way of saying "we're turning a blind eye to this"). Take a look at my collection some time; over 85% of my 300+ software titles / games are legally purchased originals. The others are either backups (yeah, I DO use those) or pirates of majour titles (a certain office suite that I need to use to communicate with the college's financial department, for example).

My friends are the same way. We don't, by and large, pirate software; sometimes we share, and if it's good enough, we'll buy it (that's how I came around to Baldur's Gate and Quake III). Music is one thing; software is a different story altogether.

I know people who feel the same way about movies; they pirate movies, since we have faster-than-god internet access at school, but if it's a good movie they'll go out and buy the DVD or the VHS. The only thing we really pirate and NEVER purchase is pr0n =)

I think Prof. Farber is trying to suggest that music piracy is a "gateway drug" for kids, but I don't really see any evidence of this. As someone (the article? don't remember) states, software piracy is down in recent years, even though CD burners are cheaper and broadband access is more widespread.

What is interesting (and potentially frightening) to see is this "war on piracy" turning into the next "war on drugs"... something to keep an eye on, I think.

Merry Xmas*,


(yeah, I'm an atheist, but I still celebrate Xmas, because it's a social holiday, too; so to all non-christian geeks out there, have a good one!)

Piracy is my birth right... (2, Troll)

iomud (241310) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749813)

What I loathe are these kids on irc who think it's their birth right to every movie, game, and productivity application out there. They hardly even acknowledge that they're pirating software. I know people who have absolutely no legal games on their ill gotten operating systems yet somehow it's ok because "I wasn't going to buy it anyway". The people I know that do this aren't broke either, I almost wish they'd get busted just so they'd have to acknowledge that they're doing something that can have serious consequences. It just really grinds my gears when I go out and pay for a game ( I think 49.00 is reasonably priced ) and they pirate it and talk about how great it is, great but not great enough to buy?

Piracy is *gasp* bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2749817)

From the way companies like Microsoft whine about piracy

It seems like you say that in a "how dare they" attitude, but they do have the right to whine. Obviously, this has been stated over and over again, but piracy is stealing. MS and other software companies lose huge on piracy, especially small companies who need those sales to keep afloat.

Keep those Feds out of my Kids Classroom! (5, Insightful)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749829)

I already have problems with the system, they want to teach my children about "Political Correctness" and other good little citizen values. I want my kids to think for themselves. I don't want the same people who tell me what my kids can and cant wear, eat, say, what to think or how to think.

This is a war of morals, My kids should be able to back up their games, eat peanut butter sandwiches, write stories about death/god, wear black, kiss, give gifts, tell a teacher they are incorrect, tell a grown up no, refuse to accept punishment.

Do I care if my kids are trading mp3's? No, they still buy CDs. I personally don't think an mp3 is much different than recording off the radio or cable music channel.

Warez.. Yes its wrong, you should always buy a game you like. Even the pirates say "If a game is worth playing, its worth buying..."

Make your own choice.

Piracy and Microsoft (5, Interesting)

rseuhs (322520) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749830)

Bill Gates lying in court?
Microsoft faking evidence?
Microsoft illegaly using their market domination (apologists please note that I don't say monopoly) to lock out competition?
Microsoft forcing customers to buy another license although they already have one?
Microsoft forcing people to buy the product over and over again by breaking formats and standards?

The response of the average Microslave is:

"Oh well, that's just normal business. Everybody would do it if they could."

People pirating software?

"Oh well, that's just normal. Everybody does it."

P.S.: No, I don't pirate software, I even paid for my Linux distribution.

Recipe to Undermine Intellectual Property (2, Interesting)

dh003i (203189) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749834)

We should stand up against this kind of nonsense. It is little more than the industry trying to brainwash our kids to believe in their warped way of thinking.

Most of us here are young, and we, not the sickly old men that sit in CEO positions at music companies, are the future. We should teach our children ideals that will propel this nation beyond the dated zero sum game of economics that's been played for ages. We should teach them that information should be freely available to all, that US citizens rights should be respected, irrelevant of their differences, or the consequences of doing such, or "national security concerns".

Undermining the traditional system in the "real world" -- where politicians say that rights are important, but then disrespect and ignore them (i.e., Katie Sierra, who was prevented from wearing an anti-war T-shirt at school; Brandi Blackbear, who was suspended from school for "casting a spell on a teacher") -- will require resolve, disobedience, and awareness.

To undermine the traditional intellectual property system is something of slightly another matter, because its more convenient and easy. I do not propose that we take the moral high road, as Martin Luther King did when he fought racism by peaceful protests, and by allowing police to brutalize him. I suggest we take the path taken by Malcom X -- violent disobediance. Get roudy. Here's my recipe to undermine intellectual property:

(1) Support open-sourced software, or "open-information". Support it namely by using it, wherever possible, in place of closed-sourced software or information.

(2) Support "free" software or information, which is different from "open" software or information. This is software or information which is freely obtainable, but in which the source is closed. Normally, these endeavers are supported either by ads or by promotions for the "full product".

(3) If you use "free" software or information, don't support the sponsors economic endeavers by upgrading to the "full" product or watching their ads. If you want the full product, find a hack, or download a crack -- either a warez version or a crack for some serial numbers to be entered. If its ad-based, don't support the ads.

(4) To avoid supporting ads -- remember, we need to undermine the current zero-sum economic system as well -- create a HOSTS file for your browser. As a reply to this message, I'll post my HOSTS file. Disable animations or sounds from your browser -- many ads come in such form. If there's an ad-based program, like LimeWire, try to block the ads by deleting the file that might be responsible. If not, try to find a crack to block the ads. For LimeWire, since its open-sourced, this should be easy -- surely, someone must have released a patch to remove the ads. If you cannot remove the ads, simply ignore them. NEVER buy anything based off an internet AD. That support the ad-system which clogs our bandwidth.

(5) If you must get a commercial product, there are still ways to avoid supporting commercial endeavers. i. You can try to find warez for the product you want. Search the web from This is hard, because very few warez sites actually offer software -- most are just fronts for advertisements and porno. You can also try searching from a P2P program, like LimeWire. ii. Sometimes, a retailer will allow you to return a product even after its been opened. So open up the CD package and copy it. If it has copy-protection, you can try making a 1:1 copy by CloneCD.

(6) For textual information -- i.e., books, textbooks, scientific papers published, etc. If possible, offer these in pure format -- i.e., a PDF file or html file -- if you can overcome copy-protection. Otherwise, transcribe them. If only each person transcribes one book, out of every 10, that's millions of books you have online. You don't have to do it all at once. Many of you are very adept typists, and this should be no problem. I've found many transcribed books on LimeWire...even a copy of Crichton's "Jurassic Park".

(7) Most obviously, publicly protest against the intellectual property system.

Hope you found this helpful...

Percentage down, but... (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 12 years ago | (#2749841)

What is that percentage of? I would vouch that M$ and other companies are losing a substantial amount of money on older versions... software that's not really new so people figure it's OK to copy and distribute. How can you stop them, if the company no longer supports the product? People won't keep upgrading forever; at some point the software (i.e. Office 97, SQL 6.5) will be good "enough" and they'll stop buying and pirate to infinity.
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