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Thread: Copyright laws: Sharing / copying TV programmes / software.

  1. #81
    Papa Smurf
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    Re: Copyright laws: Sharing / copying TV programmes / software.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beowulf1970
    if they take my ideas and develop them from scratch then I'm fine with that too. I mean, I've done it when I couldn't find an affordable program I liked, I'd look at a commercial app, see how it worked (without dissasembly of the code just looking at its functionallity) and then set about writing my own version.
    That would be "reverse engineering" and in most cases, totally against the End User Licence of the software, and therfore "Piracy"*. Which is ironic really, as the modern PC industry would not have started when it did if it had not been for the reverse engineering of the first IBM PC . That started off the compatibles market that we have had ever since.

    * In fact some companies, microsoft in particular, see buying legal software from abroad and selling it over here as "Piracy" too. They do love to be in control

    , but either way he's not getting a POTENTIAL sale because I've done this.

    What i am against is people who use / abuse my work with little or no effort on their behalf. in the example above I'm writting a computer application from scratch using my skills and my time. in the case of hackers/crackers they are mearly stripping off any software protection I may have added to use my software without limitation.
    Is that really any different to reverse engineering? Do you judge it by the amount of effort involved? If they take 4 weeks to crack your software but you take only 3 to implement the look and feel and all practical features of someone elses software; are you still on a moral higher ground? Difficult one to call really.

    I would LOVE more software to be free / open source. but programmers need to earn a living SOMEHOW. if they cannot do this by selling their skills then I , for one, don't know a solution.
    It really is just down to - who wants what I have to sell and how much would they pay for it. If you get that wrong theres litle point in being bitter about it - that way leads to stupid laws and the later realisation that what you had was, in the first place, crap.

    I would suggest that a company like Microsoft who have cornered the home PC OS market with some very dubious practices, have encouraged piracy by charging a premium for their software now that they know its pretty much NEEDED by a lot of people to do what they want to do with their computers.
    At least with Linux and Mac OS's there are valid options for the future now.

    As ESG said society doesnt owe anyone anything, so if a piece of software is heavily pirated and doesnt sell much -perhaps its simply not worth the money and/or is just not good/unique enough - thats certainly worth considering.

    Popular stuff, marketed and priced well SELLS - there are plenty figures to support that, and plenty rich people to attest to it. Take the Grand Theft Auto games; heavily pirated by people who couldnt afford it, heavily sold to people who could - profitable for Rockstar Games and their distributor - hell yes!

    ok I got heated earlier.. guilty as charged. And rest assured I've never neg repped anyone anonymous or otherwise.. I'd rather say I Like someone than go around saying I didn't.
    Neg rep is the domain of cowards who cant speak their mind in public

    It'll be so funny if I get neg repped for that comment

  2. #82
    Registered User Beowulf's Avatar
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    Re: Copyright laws: Sharing / copying TV programmes / software.

    you make some fair points.. Yes I agree that looking at a program and developing my own version is reverse engineering. It's a very gray area. I agree with you that the software industry would never have worked without it.

    I mean we'd have ONE wordprocessing app, ONE spreadsheet, ONE Web browser etc.. I like to think that variety is good.. that being able to choose a feature set you like is good.

    I see where you're coming from. From one perspective I'm just as bad as the guy who hacks programs. from another I'd writing code and and my code is being violated.

    IMHO (only in my opinion) I still cannot get over the idea that if I deliberately sit down and break into a safe (metaphorically speaking) to access codes I can use to do X , Y or Z without paying for those codes then that's BAD(tm) however someone who looks at X, Y and Z and writes A, B and C that look and function KINDA like (but not an exact copy of) X,Y and Z then that's GOOD(tm) or at very least OK(tm)

    It's a gray gray area. and you and I may never see eye to eye on this subject.. but I'll still buy you a beer at the next BFG

  3. #83
    Registered User El Salsero Gringo's Avatar
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    Re: Copyright laws: Sharing / copying TV programmes / software.

    Here's an interesting example: I bought a widget from a company, basically a microcontroller attached to a ethernet port with a couple of other bits and pieces. It came with some software to achieve a particular task.

    The company has a support site - full of requests from end-users to incorporate various functions into the next release of the (proprietary) software. These end users were technically competent, most of them incorporating this product as part of their own low-volume designs, or using it as a filler between two different industrial products.

    I suggested that they should open-source the software so that other people could add features and extend it.

    The reply was "No - we think the hardware is too easy to copy, and people will copy the software on to their own hardware and we'll lose sales."

    My opinion was that - since the hardware was a very resonable price, about 30 - there was no reason for anyone to bother to copy it. In small quantities making up circuit-boards is expensive. (In large quantities there was no great impediment to rewriting the software from scratch, if anyone wanted to, on their own hardware.) Secondly if they allowed people to develop the software in new directions they would increase the demand for the hardware because new applications would be opened up that the company didn't have time to write the software for themselves.

    I thought they were losing out by not looking at different ways of taking their skill set to market.

  4. #84
    Registered User Beowulf's Avatar
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    Re: Copyright laws: Sharing / copying TV programmes / software.

    good point ESG.

    I have to say that copying software is a lot easier than copying hardware (well with my limited soldering and electronic skills it is) but I see where you're coming from.

    I've had cases of hardware/ software combos being thrown in a drawer because the company went bust. The hardware still works but only with OS X and Plugin Y etc etc. in that case Open sourcing the software would be ideal. but there is this mentality of distrust (I know i'm guilty of spreading it.. sorry for that!) among developers.

    I still write software and still "reverse engineer" tools (if you read DS's post). but I no longer give out my software either for free or for financial gain. and it's all down to distrust. I mean in theory if I gave my software away free Open source, then I shouldn't mind what people do with it..except now in the back of my mind is the niggling doubt that some one might take my code, make it look pretty and then sell it on.. (probably just paranoia.. I'm a good programmer but I'm not UBER !! ) I don't know.. I still have my Software website domain perhaps I should put up some source on it again..

  5. #85
    Registered User David Franklin's Avatar
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    Re: Copyright laws: Sharing / copying TV programmes / software.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadful Scathe
    As ESG said society doesnt owe anyone anything, so if a piece of software is heavily pirated and doesnt sell much -perhaps its simply not worth the money and/or is just not good/unique enough - thats certainly worth considering.
    Society doesn't owe anyone anything, so if a store is heavily shoplifted and doesn't sell much - perhaps its simply not worth the money and/or is just not good/unique enough - thats certainly worth considering.

  6. #86
    Meglio del Cioccolato Demo
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    Re: Copyright laws: Sharing / copying TV programmes / software.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beowulf1970
    in the back of my mind is the niggling doubt that some one might take my code, make it look pretty and then sell it on.. (probably just paranoia.. I'm a good programmer but I'm not UBER !! )
    I thought the GPL would prevent this...

  7. #87
    Registered User El Salsero Gringo's Avatar
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    Re: Copyright laws: Sharing / copying TV programmes / software.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Franklin
    Society doesn't owe anyone anything, so if a store is heavily shoplifted and doesn't sell much - perhaps its simply not worth the money and/or is just not good/unique enough - thats certainly worth considering.
    True - that's what happened to my shop - not enough sales (not much shoplifting though) so I closed it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Azande
    I thought the GPL would prevent this...
    No, it explicitly allows that. But it does stop them from preventing anyone else from (freely) obtaining their code and modifying yet further - for sale or to give away.

  8. #88
    Papa Smurf
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    Re: Copyright laws: Sharing / copying TV programmes / software.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Franklin
    Society doesn't owe anyone anything, so if a store is heavily shoplifted and doesn't sell much - perhaps its simply not worth the money and/or is just not good/unique enough - thats certainly worth considering.
    indeed it is. I would doubt something not very useful would be shoplifted much though - if it is good but very overpriced than shoplifting may well be high but again, shoplifters are not the sort of people who would have bought it anyway.

    However, physcial products are a whole different thing to non-physical like downloads - here you get shoplifters whose purpose might purely be to sell it on.

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