Copy protectionby SoulRiser
When the computer was invented, and people started using floppy disks and other things that store information, nobody could really steal anyone else's stuff - they could copy it, and the other person could still keep his/her copy. Imagine if everything could be that way: people can take other people's things, but nobody loses out because the other person still has it.
Buy a music CD. Look at the back of the case. You're not allowed to copy it in any way, not to tape, not to another CD, not to MP3. Some say it is legal, but the back of the case says "no". Take software for instance. It comes with a "License Agreement". It spits out a whole lot of legal terms at you under a bunch of scary looking headings, and actually expects you to understand any of it. If they printed it in Plain English I might actually bother. But then if you've seen one, you've seen them all. Go to the library. Find an interesting book... and you're actually allowed to legally photocopy pages if you want to! Isn't it amazing?
But no, big companies stepped in and saw potential for getting people to buy software, they thought they could make money off all this computer stuff. Then they realised people were sharing. They couldn't allow that, it would hurt their income. So programs started coming with various forms of copy-protection, eventually games started using copy-protection too. The new DVD systems have built-in copy protection, everything on DVD is copy protected.
Now, the real mystery... what's the big difference between books and CD's, or software, or videos? They all get published by some fat rich company. They all contain the same sort of stuff (information, entertainment). They all have to provide some sort of profit or money to their publishers. They all have to be bought. So what's the big deal then? Why is it legal to copy parts of a book, and not music tracks off a CD? Why can't I borrow some software or a game from a friend and copy it like I can with a book? "Cause the company that made it deserves the money!"... is the answer most people will come up with. They'll only deserve any money if they give me my rights back.
I think it's sad that when something was finally invented that allowed people to share freely without anyone losing out, greedy people wanted to destroy it just so that they could make more money for themselves.
I'm not saying that companies who make games or good software shouldn't make money, I disapprove of pirate syndicates who use games other people made to make money for themselves. But if a friend lets someone borrow a game or some software of his and makes a copy, that should not be illegal. Neither of them make any money off the deal, it's just simple sharing. Is it illegal for someone to borrow someone else's vacuum cleaner or frying pan instead of buying their own? No.
There's a very famous quote that's in the Bible: "the love of money is the root of all evil". I don't think I need to say any more.
Written by: SoulRiser
1 January 2003