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The US strikes a blow against the forces of evil.
December 11, 2001 2:54 PM   Subscribe

The US strikes a blow against the forces of evil. Seriously, does this mean I'm gonna have to start paying for my software soon?
posted by tcobretti (21 comments total)

 
uh-oh.

um....no hablo ingleses!
posted by jpoulos at 3:01 PM on December 11, 2001


interesting - esp. since i've never heard of DrinkOrDie (they're mentioned in the nytimes article) - once there was IRC, then there was bigredh, i guess this was something similar and i'm just not down with the warez kidz anymore.
posted by subpixel at 3:03 PM on December 11, 2001


Not likely. There are more than 37 placed to procure your warez, I'm sure. They just inconvenienced a few pirates, who'll have to move on to the next "warez site", as they so eloquently put it, to get their latest "0-day" warez.

As long as there are laws, there will people willing to break them.
posted by Nauip at 3:05 PM on December 11, 2001


The "seriously" part was actually a joke.
posted by tcobretti at 3:13 PM on December 11, 2001


perhaps some federal agents just wanted to update the office porn collection...?
posted by dorcas at 3:15 PM on December 11, 2001


Warez (pronounced wares), in the language of the Internet, refers to any illegally obtained digital material, ranging from pornography to computer operating systems.

Illegally obtained pornography?

Am I the only one who thinks that is an odd phrase?
posted by pixelgeek at 3:29 PM on December 11, 2001


The Business Software Alliance, a group of software companies, estimate the industry loses $12 billion a year due to software piracy.

Are they really kidding themselves? It seems to me that most of the people downloading and distributing warez are simply collectors, accruing as many strange software titles as they can get. I have a hard time believing these people would even be interested in owning Corel Draw if it wasn't fun to download illegally.

My guess is that average people who have illegal software simply "borrow" copies from work or friends. The same thing applies, though -- we're not talking about stolen goods, so the only money the software industry is "losing" is money that the thief would have otherwise spent on the product. At $600 a pop, I think every person who *would* pay for Adobe Photoshop already has.
posted by Eamon at 3:32 PM on December 11, 2001


At "warez" sites, Web users can swap illegally obtained digital material.

No they can't. Ever tried to?
posted by Hildago at 4:07 PM on December 11, 2001


At $600 a pop, I think every person who *would* pay for Adobe Photoshop already has.

I'm not really sure if adobe minds that everyone and his brother has a copy of photoshop. Let the home market saturate itself, let PS gain popularity, and then tell business they better have licenses for their PS loving employees. I'm kind of curious which approach is more profitable charging say $59 for every copy of PS and expecting warez-happy consumers to pay up or ignoring the home market and going for the throat in the business market.
posted by skallas at 4:14 PM on December 11, 2001


Skallas: that's the strategy that Kinetix/Discreet used with 3D Studio Max. Their first 5 major releases were so easily ripped that the warez community distributed them faster than the Stoned II virus. [Now, Discreet has total market saturation in the gaming industry, and they run ads asking anyone who has "friends" with unlicensed copies to turn those "friends" in for a $5k (i think) reward.] Other companies (like adobe) also turn a blind eye to this sort of thing, only prosecuting people who publish work at a profit, or companies that don't properly license.

All in all, it's a VERY effective strategy to build market share with a young generation.
posted by phalkin at 4:47 PM on December 11, 2001


skallas, I think you've hit the nail on the head when it comes to business software.

Games, movies and music are another matter. To some degree, Eamon's point about people hoarding applies to those, but IMO there are some lost sales there.

Hildago -- there's sites, and then there's sites. The websites claiming to have warez tend to be of the death-by-a-thousand-popups variety, but there's IRC channels and ftp sites that have everything under the sun.
posted by cps at 4:50 PM on December 11, 2001


Anyone know anyone who was affected by this?
posted by thebigpoop at 5:14 PM on December 11, 2001


"This" being "the raid" on "warez."

"..."
posted by thebigpoop at 5:14 PM on December 11, 2001


US Patriot Act(ing) out...Is this the beginning of the use of new powers? They probably aren't in effect yet...
posted by nakedjon at 5:38 PM on December 11, 2001


I'm not really sure if adobe minds that everyone and his brother has a copy of photoshop. Let the home market saturate itself, let PS gain popularity, and then tell business they better have licenses for their PS loving employees.

I actually had this discussion with the local Adobe brand manager once - He basically said that they certainly don't approve of the piracy, but they do realise that it does allow people to train themselves and create a business demand so they are somewhat accepting of it.

In my time using Photoshop I have purchased (or had my employer purchase) at least three versions. So from the money they lost to me originally when I pirated it (which they didn't lose really, because there was no way I could have afforded it) they gained three times as much.

That is also a discussion I have had with the head of the BSA in New Zealand, he however couldn't see things my way.
posted by sycophant at 6:23 PM on December 11, 2001


does this mean I'm gonna have to start paying for my software soon?

No, you don't.
posted by Eloquence at 6:44 PM on December 11, 2001


We've known about Microsoft's habit of leaking beta software to warez groups for years now - MS gains market penetration and ample feedback from the geeky pirate user demographic (arguably the most demanding demo out there) prior to any serious release. Piracy is the ultimate form of guerilla marketing.
posted by wfrgms at 10:26 PM on December 11, 2001


Piracy is the ultimate form of guerilla marketing.

Which leads me to wondering if there are any MeFites who are paid by The Man to spread pro-[fill in software company name here] propaganda. Now that'd be some guerilla marketing.

Hey! Stop looking at me like that! Microsoft sucks, dude! Really!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:53 AM on December 12, 2001


I went to a computer fair here last month and I was astonished at the number of people selling what I assumed to be pirated software, completely openly.
posted by salmacis at 1:05 AM on December 12, 2001


Drink or Die was a *huge* russia based warez group from the first half of the 90s. Run by techno-maniac 'Jesse James' the crew is/was a major player on the scene up till rescent day.

The effect these busts have on the pirate community are like a major drug bust in your town would have on the dealers. They'd become more paranoid, run the price up a bit. In the same way security on sites will be tighter, direct-connection hubs will get locked down. It'll all blow over within a couple of weeks and the world will go back to normal.

As far as piracy, I think that one of the reasons that a company like Adobe - who's flagship product costs more than two avg. monthly salaries here in Poland - has the penetration it does is tied directly to it's 'piracy policy'. You get hundred of kids doing small-time web graphics with their pirated copy of PS and by the time they go to work doing it they're demanding PS from their employers. This I know from experience.
posted by jedrek at 2:12 AM on December 12, 2001


I'm shocked that people sell pirated stuff on ebay, myself, but you have the threaten to bring the wrath of the government down on them if you want them to ever change a policy. The noncentralized file services also are fertile grounds for warez trades. And of course, IRC is nearly unpoliceable.
posted by Charmian at 2:29 AM on December 12, 2001


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