$100 million in fake software seized
November 17, 2001 12:01 AM   Subscribe

$100 million in fake software seized .The copies of Windows Millenium and Windows 2000 Professional were indistinguishable from the real thing except for their failure to crash every 15 minutes(I made that up).Ever burn a copy for friends? Is that wrong?
posted by Mack Twain (31 comments total)
Sure it's wrong. But it feels so right.

Yes, I burn copies of some of my CDs for friends. And they, many times, burn me copies of theirs as well. And I know it's unethical, but I sometimes feel like Aladdin (the disney version, of course), stealing things because I can't afford them. Not because I'm greedy. Well, that too...
posted by premiumpolar at 12:23 AM on November 17, 2001

"This like a drug cartel. This is like intercepting a drug cartel,”

er yeah, just like it... i feel so much safer now...
posted by johnboy at 12:24 AM on November 17, 2001

in other news today, dea agents seized an ounce of marijuana with a street value of $10 billion.
posted by quonsar at 12:46 AM on November 17, 2001


I find it funny-sad when people who can afford to use the Internet start talking about stealing things because they can't afford them.

Maybe you're being ironic, or it's a joke, but just in case that was a serious comment, can I state the obvious: saying you can't afford it only makes sense when you're pretty desperate. Like starving people stealing food. I mean, I can't afford a private yacht, but that doesn't mean it's "generally accepted" as reasonable for me to steal one.

Or maybe some people just can't live without a certain CD? (snigger)

Don't get me wrong, if it's some kind of political act, then go ahead. Political struggle against an abusive monopoly is fine by me. But then why resort to a childish (seriously - isn't part of being an adult dealing with your life without the need for silly excuses) plea of "poverty"?

Especially when it's data theft - I mean, why not make it yourself? Seriously - there's a whole movement producing free software and making your own music is something people have done since before history... And it's much more fun than simply consuming (imho it's also a more decent way of living - define yourself by what you create, not what you consume: "I make good music" not "I like Belle & Sebastian". So don't even get me started on people who rip of commercial music claiming that it's because they don't like artists being exploited....)

posted by andrew cooke at 4:45 AM on November 17, 2001

Andrew: I'm guessing that most Internet users who trot out the "I can't afford new CDs" argument are college students who don't have much money after books, rent, and tuition.
posted by rcade at 5:12 AM on November 17, 2001

You mean people actually buy these things ? =)
posted by XiBe at 5:34 AM on November 17, 2001

well, there is a pretty big difference between stealing a yacht and copying software, for one thing, when you copy software the only thing the software company looses is a potential sale.

Now, if you really haven't got the money to pay for the software, then there can be no potential sale.

So, no one looses anything. It's only when you were going to buy the software and then decided to pirate it that someone looses out.

On the other hand, I find selling pirated software pretty reprehensible, I mean you produce nothing, and you really are taking money that should go to the company that made the software.
posted by delmoi at 6:53 AM on November 17, 2001

Yes it's wrong. I've never burned a copy of my OS for friends, and I make a point of telling people who do it that they are "morons". Though I do find it rather funny, because they (usually) end up causing their computer to melt down because they have a terrible burn, a beta, or are just plain stupid.
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:08 AM on November 17, 2001

Can someone explain to me how two containers of fake Marlboro cigarettes can be worth $3 million? Worth that much to who? Who would pay that much for them?
posted by caveday at 7:39 AM on November 17, 2001

It's fortunate they cut off this pipeline, seeing as how copies of software are so hard to come by in the United States.


Oh, darn, another frisbee.
posted by dhartung at 7:57 AM on November 17, 2001

caveday: Thinking of Importing some exotic Marlboro cigarettes?
One 40' container can hold 55,511 cartons of filtered cigarettes!. That is eleven million cigarettes, enough to give a post-coital smoke to every adult in the Netherlands! [From cockeyed.com, the sixth-best website in the world)
posted by Carol Anne at 7:59 AM on November 17, 2001

I haven't paid for software in years.

anyways, if it's wrong, it sure dosen't feel wrong.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:08 AM on November 17, 2001

I find it funny-sad when people who can afford to use the Internet start talking about stealing things because they can't afford them.

yeah, because we all know internet access is sooo expensive! something tells me your parents paid your way through school, and/or bought you your own transportation, and/or your own Colecovision.

Especially when it's data theft - I mean, why not make it yourself?

while we're at it, why don't we build our own cars? houses? appliances? I mean, if it's that easy..!
posted by mcsweetie at 8:15 AM on November 17, 2001

I wonder if they'll ever get the guy who sets up a table right out in the open at the corner of 14th Street and University place, catty-corner from Union Square here in New York City, selling hundreds of home-burned, custom-label CDs of all the latest Mac and Windows software. Thirty bucks a pop.
posted by Mo Nickels at 8:40 AM on November 17, 2001

I paid for the best software on earth, BBEdit.

I will never pay for Microsoft Office. How's that for a political statement? ;)
posted by jragon at 9:00 AM on November 17, 2001

you.. you can b-b-buy software... oh behave! when did this happen
posted by monkeyJuice at 9:09 AM on November 17, 2001

In certain Asian countries, American tourists can buy the latest software for roughly $1... The weird thing is the amount of work they put into the piracy, including custom hacks of the software.

As for whether or not it's wrong... Hmmm. I have no problem with pirated software, if I could get it burned, I probably wouldn't get it... I do have a problem with young turk mucisians who are fine with bootlegging other peoples' albums but get pissed off if anyone does it to them...

My answer to them goes back to what andrew_cooke(?) said... If you're willing to take other's music for free, be willing to give up your own too.
posted by drezdn at 9:12 AM on November 17, 2001

On an episode of Cybercrime http://www.techtv.com/cybercrime/ something came across as particularly interesting.

They reportedly found links to terroist activities being funded by pirated software sales. i think this was just another attempt at stopping people from buying it because of its effect on the industries wallet much like a microsoft release that warned that pirated copies of WinXP contain virii and trojan horses that would ruin their computers. Maybe the newbies fell for it. then again, if your new to computers you shouldnt be messing with pirated software anyway.

I think that if someone learned to program / play an instrument they would know how much work goes into what their getting for free. But that probably wont stop anyone.
posted by AntonioCr at 9:55 AM on November 17, 2001

I used to be into wareZ and all that fun stuff when i had no life, but i just don't have the will (or bandwith) to scour the Internet for what i want. What i have now is pretty much all open-source or freeware...shareware ZoneAlarm, StarOffice, GIMP, soon to be linux (though i am getting XP for $30 through microsoft's upgrade program). I've found that whatever is out there that costs money, there is a open-source version (save games, thats a whole othe story).
posted by jmd82 at 10:08 AM on November 17, 2001

People at work ask me for burns of my personal software (Office, Windows XP, etc.) and I do not give it to them. I paid for it, why should they get it for free?

I think that in some cases software can be unreasonably priced (can we say Adobe Photoshop). But does that make it ethical to copy it? Nope. If you can't afford it, make do with what you can afford.
posted by benjh at 11:19 AM on November 17, 2001

I'd like to say, I Pirate software all the time, but i also Buy software. I usually get a copy of a Game or Program that I am interested in and if it lives up to it's Hype (most don't) i will be willing to put money into the company and buy and register the software. I don't want to shell out $50 everytime the next new RPG or First-person-shooter comes out to find it's a mediocre version of a game that died 5 years ago. I've also never made a copy of my OS they have come preinstaled on my computer, and well unlike windows which makes you buy a new OS very year. Mac OS is my system of choice. And if anyone is interested in getting software to test Morpheus is a great program for finding songs, video and programs, you can find it on download.com and it's free.
posted by stoneegg21 at 11:58 AM on November 17, 2001

I tend to think that the pirating of software actually helps the producers. Something like Photoshop, or Flash is so easy to get that I think people get used to using it in their home/fun environment it helps it to become the standard. Then when those folks go into a corporate environment, they have to purchase the software. ka-ching for Adobe.
posted by owillis at 12:17 PM on November 17, 2001

has anyone ever known a copy of Windows 2000 to crash every 15 minutes?
posted by mcsweetie at 4:43 PM on November 17, 2001

Windows Me with wonky 3rd-party software -- yes. Windows 2000 -- I think it's crashed on me about twice in the last year.
posted by dhartung at 11:17 PM on November 17, 2001

i record and master music in part with digital hardware and software, and i'll admit to sailing ye high seas when in search of the hottest booty, if you will. i wouldn't purchase illegal stuff on a disc... although, i've never been to the continent of asia either.

but if i end up really adding that software to my arsenal, and using it to create music i'm publishing or plan to publish, i'll buy a licensed copy. i've found that some companies [sonic foundry, syntrillium] will hook you up with phat discounts and rebates once you begin using their products. these products often work well as suites though, so it's nice to be able to really see the working environment often via warez, and really make a commitment to a product once with the money.

has anyone ever known a copy of Windows 2000 to crash every 15 minutes? - mcsweetie

hell no. they should advertise it as "Windows 2000, the only stable kernel we've ever written."

posted by basmati at 11:29 PM on November 17, 2001

Fact: pirated software increase hardware sales, just think of all those kids getting a winxp iso on irc with a 300mhz and 64meg ram: they will ask daddy to buy a new puter. Same goes for pirated games. Me think this traffic pay off in the long run (ex: WinTel).
posted by kush at 1:08 AM on November 18, 2001

"This is like intercepting a drug cartel"

Personally I've always found that using Windows for any extended period of time tends to make you feel like you're a crack addict on the DTs. I guess I'm not the only one feeling this way :-)

What I find funniest about people who are into pirating is the extent to which they tend to pirate for the purpose of hoarding -- for instance, someone I know has confided that he has over 60GB in music MP3s. At that point I have to wonder, exactly what is the point of having that much music? There is probably a considerable number of those files which have never been listened to at all!

Oh well, I'm doing the "open source" thing these days so there's no need to pirate. Beat the vicious cycle of Windows addiction! Install Linux today!
posted by clevershark at 2:01 AM on November 18, 2001

Amusing little disconnect in the minds of marketroids:

"You absolutely HAVE TO HAVE THIS GAME. You CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT THIS GAME. All your friends will have it and if you don't you will be SOCIALLY OUTCAST! BUY A COPY NOW!"

"What? You COPIED it? But ... but ... it's NOT ESSENTIAL! It's NOT a necessity! You can live without it, unless you can afford to BUY a copy!"

Sheesh ...

posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:30 AM on November 18, 2001

Unlicensed software may cause incompatibility between programs that would normally function together seamlessly. - Source
posted by holloway at 3:49 PM on November 18, 2001

I hear that unlicensed software will also molest your children.
posted by Catch at 8:00 PM on November 18, 2001

Wait? Fake software? Not copies. Actually Fake? Like empty boxes and music CDs with WINXP written on them instead?

Yeah, that makes sense.
posted by holloway at 7:23 PM on November 20, 2001

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