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Pirates, meet irony 
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Heinlein Nexus
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:10 am
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Location: Pacific NorthWest
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Post Pirates, meet irony ... of-piracy/

A game developer released his own cracked version of his game anonymously and it was, predictably, downloaded 10 times as much as the hideously expensive $8 version. But it contained a few special mods...

Sun May 05, 2013 5:26 pm
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm
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Location: The Quiet Earth
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Post Re: Pirates, meet irony
I worked for a vertical-market software company a number of years ago. They used hard keys to protect software licenses, and had a simple "No Workee" mode if the key was missing or invalid. The software was more or less given to developers free, and they purchased licenses by buying hard keys for end-user systems. Predictably, there was a running problem with unlicensed installations.

Then we got a very devious programmer on board, whose method was to run checksums on all the component files... and let the app run. If the checks came up bad or other flags about the hardlock came up, the system would do very specific things - like automatically reboot on the hour, or only display half a configuration screen, or something. It was a positive joy to get those tech support calls... at least one developer was told not to put in any further orders for licenses and C&D's out of the business.

But yeah, this is good. I'm too weary of the extreme double standard in software ownership to do more than give a weary chuckle, though. I've been through too many waves of chanting, hoodie-wearing undergrads howling that software should be free and open-source and collaborative... until they graduate and their rent check depends on getting paid for their wares.

Mon May 06, 2013 6:12 am
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:21 am
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Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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Post Re: Pirates, meet irony
In 2000 I joined a software company that does "enterprise performance management" software that helps very large companies run their businesses. (The very large companies are the only ones who can afford it; multimillion dollar software deals for our stuff are not rare.) Several years ago, after we had abandoned a licensing scheme that required the entry of a 17 character code on installation, in which various segments of the code unlocked the set of resources the customer had paid for, I went on a consulting assignment to one of our customers in the northeast. I got to be pretty good friends with one of their tech guys, and he told me that, now that we had changed licensing schemes, he could reveal that it was pretty well known that, in the era of the 17-character code, we gave customers printed installation documentation with screenshots for every step of the process. On the page with the screenshot for the dialog box where customers were supposed to enter their license code, there was a license code entered in the picture. It turned out that that code was a developer's code, and it unlocked every single feature of the product for an unlimited number of users! All the customers had to do was enter the code right out of the manual, and regardless of what they had paid for or not paid for, they got unfettered use of every capability the program offered. D'oh!

“Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet.” –Abraham Lincoln

Mon May 06, 2013 1:06 pm
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