[futurebasic] Re: Software Piracy

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From: LackeR <lacker@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 05:04:59 -0800

Mike Friedman wrote:

>   In all honesty, I don't blame people for pirating software.  As a
> student, I turned to FB because it was easy to use and cheap.  I was first
> exposed to FB when I "borrowed" the disks from a friend.  I later
> purchased FBII and as a good will gesture lat my friend install it too.
> The fact is, people don't really think of piracy as theft anymore.  It's
> like copying a tape.  People do it, it's against the law, but there's
> nothing the recording industry can do to prevent it (unless we're talking
> about videotapes where they can add backporch signals to garble copied
> signal's control tracks, but then again, if you have a TBC at your
> disposal, those can be filtered out.)  I know if I ever do get around to
> developing a commercial release, i won't hold much of a grudge if it is
> pirated.  I think, since we can't possibly eliminate piracy,  we should
> learn to take advantage of piracy instead.
> For example, FB^3 is not something you can learn without a manual like
> Wordperfect is.  Macromedia knew this when they made Director.  They sold
> about 500,000 copied of Director, and more than 1 million copies of the
> Manuals!  Pretty clever, eh?  I think this is something that Staz should
> consider.  Sell the manuals along with the software, obviously, but also
> offer a deal so people can buy the manuals by themselves so they can have
> an "extra copy" :).  Any pirates will undoutedly buy the manuals, and Staz
> gets revenue.

This could turn out to be a NICE marketing technique for Staz, now that I
think about it...  You could utilize it two ways...  We all know software
piracy will never stop so why not make use of it...  Back to the two ways.
ONE:  Sell the manuals separatly as you suggested for profit.  TWO:  Sell the
manuals for profit as software, not books.  On cd or something.  Inbed a
hidden serial # into the software, as well as a pre-set means of letting the
manual communicate with Staz's server domain?  Maybe advertise in the
electronic manuals something like:  "Just click the update button while logged
onto the internet for bug fixes and new free updates!"  When they clicked the
button of course, it might send an email via SMTP with the serial #, or even
some complicated TCP/IP setup such as in the very popular game Warcraft II.
It would automatically log the IP and/or email address of the person when they
click the button IF their serial # doesn't match up.  This would also be
granting the honest people who paid for FBIII a nice feature.  Of course, staz
would have to write all of this software or have it written for them, and they
would probably end up spending more time/money doing it than they would save
from the technique.  But if they really want to beat most pirating, that would
certainly be an option.  Just another wild idea of mine perhaps.