[linux-elitists] Re: Cryptogram: Palladium Only for DRM (fwd)

Eugen Leitl eugen@leitl.org
Wed Sep 18 22:45:34 PDT 2002

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 18 Sep 2002 21:55:38 -0400
From: Perry E. Metzger <perry@piermont.com>
To: bear <bear@sonic.net>
Cc: Peter <PeterNBiddle@hotmail.com>, Pete Chown <Pete.Chown@skygate.co.uk>,
Subject: Re: Cryptogram: Palladium Only for DRM

bear <bear@sonic.net> writes:
> On Wed, 18 Sep 2002, Peter wrote:
> >Hi Pete - I'm confused. Are you suggesting that I should enjoy these
> >freedoms on SW which I don't have legal rights to?
> In emergencies, yes.

This brings to mind my youth, in which I worked for a wall street firm
in which we systematically cracked the copy protection and license
managers on SunOS software we were using. Was it to pirate the
software? No. We paid for every license. It was because the
manufacturers had neglected to consider that in a 24x7 environment
having a machine go down meant that we needed to bring the software up
on hosts other than the one originally licensed, and we didn't have
time to wait until Monday when everyone got back to their office and
give us a new key. A few small kernel patches allowed us to routinely
tell programs that the host id was whatever we wanted them to think it was.

I recently have heard tell from friends of similar systematic uses of
cracked Microsoft software at a number of places -- not because these
places pirate the software, but because they can't deal with the
constant failures that the increasingly belligerent M$ copy
restrictions bring. Customers need to get work done, and the copy
protections get in the way. XP is particularly egregious in this
regard, but some people are getting around this with cracking tools,
even though they pay for their software legitimately.

One wonders if better license enforcement might not be a good thing,
since it would doubtless finish off Microsoft by eliminating the
ability of their legitimate customers to evade their license
enforcement software, thus driving them to use open source products.


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