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Are software cracks legal?

 
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I've come accross many sites which are devoted to supplying cracks on the net. Don't software cracks harm the software comapanies? Do you sometimes use cracks when you can't, say, affored to buy a software product? How can the guys that supply cracks be getting away with it if cracks aren't legal?
 
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What are cracks?
 
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Originally posted by ernest fakudze:
How can the guys that supply cracks be getting away with it if cracks aren't legal?


You operate from countries which allow you doing it. If you live in Belarus you could crack software, sell it for 1% of real cost and nobody will bother you.
 
author and jackaroo
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It depends on the laws of the country where the cracks are being sold.
Here in Australia a court ruled that supplying and installing the chips in a Sony Playstation so that it could play copied games and DVDs from other regions was legal. The arguments for it were (if I remember correctly) that:
  • an individual in Australia could buy a game from Sony in Japan legally, and Sony in Japan would happily accept the money knowing that the game would not work in Australia - therefore the consumer had a right to modify the set to play the game that they had legally purchased
  • similar for DVDs - a consumer could have legal copies of a DVD for another region
  • likewise having a backup of software is legal in Australia (as long as you only use either the original or the backup - never both), so chipping the box so you can play a legal backup version is ok.
  • there is nothing illegal in modifying the boxes - even if piracy occurs, it has nothing to do with the person modifying the box


  • Microsoft threatened at one point that they were not going to release X-Boxes in Australia because of this ruling. They didnt ever say why they changed their minds.
    Unfortunately a higher court decided to overrule that a few weeks ago. The local watchdog (Australian Consumer's Association?) is appealing the decision.
    Many countries allow cracks for the purpose of making backups of software.
     
    stara szkapa
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    Originally posted by ernest fakudze:
    [QB]Don't software cracks harm the software comapanies?
    [QB]


    You won�t get cracks of IBM WSAD but there is always some cracks for Borland JBuilder. It is hard to believe Borland could not protect it�s software better. I start to believe existence of JBuilder cracks make it more popular and result in more sales for the company.
     
    Sheriff
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    Just say "no" to cracks.
     
    Rancher
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    [ hijack ]I didn't realise you were in Oz, Andrew
    Where are you located? [ /hijack ]
     
    Ranch Hand
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    I know where he's located. It's not Perth Dave, sorry
    Not even Brizzy
    [ August 18, 2003: Message edited by: Andres Gonzalez ]
     
    Andrew Monkhouse
    author and jackaroo
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    Hi David,
    I now live in Sydney, although I was originally a Melbourne boy.
    Been a long time (nearly 10 years) since I was last in Perth.
    Regards, Andrew
     
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    bartender and jackaroo


    The jackaroo might have been an indication he's from Oz!

    Alternative Titles: Jillaroo
    Description

    Jackaroos (male workers) and jillaroos (female workers) are station employees who undertake a range of activities on cattle and sheep stations.

    Jackaroos and jillaroos may perform the following tasks:
    care for livestock and treat minor injuries and illness
    maintain station equipment and inspect, repair or replace fences, gates and yards
    assist with light household duties
    use and maintain vehicles and heavy machinery
    undertake farming work such as cultivation and haymaking
    undertake clerical and administrative tasks
    participate in local meetings and take part in community affairs.
    Jackaroos and jillaroos spend most of their time working outdoors.

    In some states, they receive free board and lodging. Depending upon the number of people employed, they may live in the house of the owner or manager. Some camping out may be necessary.

    Personal Requirements:

    able to deal confidently with people
    good communication skills
    well organised
    able to make accurate observations
    mechanical aptitude
    able to endure isolation and limited social contact
    able to undertake manual and often heavy work
    interested in animals and their welfare
    able to handle animals with confidence and patience



    Well deserved bartender appointment too!
    Congrats
    regards
     
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    You won�t get cracks of IBM WSAD


    Hmnn, my wsad didn't ask for a licence key?
     
    stara szkapa
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    I was referring to trial versions of wsad and jbuilder.
     
    It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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