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  Computers > Computer technologies > Computer piracy
Lankomumo reitingas Print version Print version
Five Myths About Software Copy Protection

1. Software piracy is a victimless crime.

2. Software copy protection makes software more expensive.

3. Software copy protection gets in the way of the legitimate user.

4. Inexpensive software is not copied.

5. Any protection system can be cracked. Therefore, protection is useless.


1. Software piracy is a victimless crime.

Nothing could be further from the truth! According to industry statistics, illegal software use costs developers worldwide more than $29 billion a year in lost revenues, with more than $6 billion lost in the USA alone. In Eastern Europe, an average of 71% of the software in use is illegal. In some Asian and Eastern European markets, over 90% of software is unlicensed. The impact of piracy on the industry is painfully clear. Potential income lost to piracy could be used to upgrade current products, develop new ones, and lower prices across the board. In the end, legitimate users suffer along with developers, by subsidizing "illegal" users who use unpaid-for software. The rapidly-growing number of vendors worldwide who choose to protect their software only proves the severity of the problem.

2. Software copy protection makes software more expensive.

On the contrary: the price of software copy protection is negligible compared to the losses incurred by developers through the pirating of their software. In fact, by protecting their software and thereby increasing their revenues, developers can afford to supply better software at competitive prices. True, not everyone who copies software today would buy it tomorrow if it were protected, and protection may put off a few potential customers. However, there is no doubt that in the vast majority of cases the investment in protection pays off handsomely in increased sales and profit.

3. Software copy protection gets in the way of the legitimate user.

The new, more sophisticated types of software copy protection - of which HASP is the leading example - not only don't get in the way of legitimate end-users, they actually benefit them. Protection safeguards the integrity of the software. The end-user is thus assured that the software cannot be tampered with in any way. Plus, higher revenues for developers mean that down the line, users will benefit from better, high-quality software. Large organizations that are legally liable for the software they purchase, have a clear interest in preventing the unauthorized distribution of their software. Often, the users themselves request that the software be protected, to ensure that it won't be used illegally - thus causing the organization harm.

4. Inexpensive software is not copied.

Some people attack the concept of software protection by arguing: "Make software cheaper, that's all. People don't copy inexpensive software, and you'll sell more copies of your product". But things are not so simple. Developing a software product requires a huge investment of time and money and this work never ends. To succeed in tomorrow's market, developers must invest today. The argument that people don't copy inexpensive software is obviously false. Check a few PCs around you and you'll probably find that most copied programs are actually the cheaper ones.

5. Any protection system can be cracked. Therefore, protection is useless.

Only the first part of this myth is true: any software protection system can be cracked, just as any lock can be picked or any door can be broken. However, the aim of software protection is to provide protection for a reasonable period of time. Software cannot be protected forever, but it can definitely be protected long enough - i.e., until a new version of the product is released. This new version should be protected again, with a protection system that was also improved in parallel, thus assuring a long and profitable sales life for the protected application.

         
Lankomumo reitingas

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Map