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> Why Not To Use Pirated Software, Some personal thoughts for debate
tonymiro
post Nov 12 2007, 11:25 PM
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Why not to use pirated or cracked software

Five reasons not to use cracked software:


1) It is theft and therefore illegal.
2) It results ultimately in fewer and more expensive software products.
3) It is a ‘poor’ way to repay the music community.
4) It is often ‘malware’ and can potentially damage your pc.
5) It is GMC policy not to condone the use or discussion of where and how to get/use ‘crackware’ and illegal filesharing.


It seems opportune to write this now and pin it as a closed thread. I have and use a fair few pieces of music software - commercial, shareware and freeware – sitting on my music PC are sequencers like Reaper, Live!, Reason; the wave editors Audacity and Cool Edit; various soft synths including Reaktor, Sylenth, Pentagon and Atmosphere; two samplers Kontakt and Halion; and various effects and mastering tools including ones from PSP, Sonalkis, Har-Bal and Ozone. If I was to add up the cost of all of this and tell my wife it would probably lead to a divorce. If she knew how much I spend just updating these she would have a fit!

All my software – not just music – however is legal. I don’t use pirated or ‘crackware’ – never have and never will. If I can’t afford some software then I will in the first instance attempt to get a shareware or freeware version. If none are available that I like then I wait until I have saved the money and then buy the software. I don’t have a high income so saving up potentially hundreds of Euros can take me a while and I often find it frustrating to have to wait. But wait I do and what follows are my reasons why I do this rather then use ‘crackware’.

Moral and ethical considerations.
I lecture in Ethics and Morals and one early lecture is a discussion that is extremely relevant to his subject. In it I argue (backed up by some philosophical heavyweights) that the rule that we should live by is basically one of ‘do unto others as you would like done to you’. Or to put this another way: if I steal then I must accept it without complaint if someone broke in to my house and stole all my guitars. ‘Crackware’ is theft and I don’t want someone stealing my possessions.

In most countries software piracy is a felony – not just pirating software but having and using it. It is breaking the law. Like it or not we live in a society and as such should abide by its laws. The laws are there to help maintain and protect society so if you break the law by using ‘crackware’ then expect to pay the price.

It seems that some view piracy as something ‘cool’ that they do as a mark of their ‘living on the edge’ of society or outside it. If you wish to live outside society then you should repay what you have had from it first. Curiously I have yet to meet anyone who has repaid society adequately for their housing, healthcare, education and so on.

Music software is expensive to develop, test, debug and market. Many of the companies involved are small operations. Many make little profit and are often run by a few people who are just passionate about music. ‘Crackware’ eats in to profit both because it reduces revenue and because it means that the companies spend time and money implementing protection routines. Sooner or later someone pays for the lost revenue and increased costs – either the price of the product goes up and/or the company uses time implementing protection rather then coding new or improved products and/or the organization goes bust and/or the staff in the company are paid less or lose their jobs. So ‘crackware’ costs us all –for customers via fewer, more expensive products; and for staff in lost income and jobs.

I’ve spent many years in and around the recording industry and am lucky enough to know a number of people and to have learnt from them. They have a passion for music, recording and technology. In my experience people are nearly always generous with their time and help and often view this as a way of repaying the help and advice they received along the way. If you look at the boards of the music software forums you can see many of these people providing help and advice. Music production and recording is a small community. Using ‘crackware’ isn’t stealing from someone unknown – you may well be stealing from someone who has given you help and guidance or from whom you might need to help in the future.

Music production and recording is a community – a small scale society if you will. If you use ‘crackware’ then you can’t expect to be well received in the community. Take a look at the number of flames in the forums when someone using ‘crackware’ asks for help. Personally I never refuse to help but if I suspect the person is using ‘crackware’ then my help is restricted to advising them to read the manual or contact the software company.


Technical reasons not to use ‘crackware’
Most ‘crackware’ is downloaded from P2P sites. These sites often include items which contain viruses, Trojans and other malicious code. If you use ‘crackware’ you are actively choosing to download and run potentially malicious code.

Virus guards are not ideal for a DAW as most run in the background and monitor activity. Recording and mixing on a DAW takes time and an active, resident virus guard can have a detrimental affect on your pcs performance, slowing it down, reducing hard disc speed or activating when you least want it.

Because of theft most music software companies now protect their software either physically – ie via a dongle – or through software through some form of password code. I stopped using and buying software that is hardware protected partly because I got fed up with losing the dongles and having to spend time searching for them. In some instances hardware protection can cause incompatibility problems with pc hardware or other software that may result in a pc crash, poor performance or software that runs irratically or not at all. So my choice in software is restricted to those that do not use hardware protection.

Software protection is often some form of call and response system. For these systems I find that I have to keep a file of passwords, serial numbers and so on. Everytime I upgrade I have to dig the file out to find this information. Some of my software is locked to a pc component – the hard disc, network card and so on. If I change a component I then have to go through the task of re-authorising my software. Some software is coded to the original installation disc – lose the disc, or just don’t have it to hand, and the software won’t run. All of these methods require time that I would rather spend doing something else with.

So protecting software doesn’t just end up in additional development time and costs and therefore a more expensive product. It also results in inconvenience and may reduce choice and cause technical problems for the legitimate end-user.

Music software is in a state of continual development. The programs are often large and complicated and despite debugging a new version will often be followed up by a number of bug fixes and improvements or feature additions downloadable from the developer’s site. Access to these downloads nearly always requires product registration and so is not available to ‘crackware’ users. In a similar vein product registration is also nearly always required to access technical support. ‘Crackware’ has no technical support. Ironically ‘crackware’ that is ‘malware’ may actually cause technical problems.

Very recently there have some threads about whether we can download the backing tracks and/or lesson videos from GMC. These are both the exclusive intellectual property of, and copyrighted to, GMC and if someone pirated them it would result in lost income for GMC. Without this income GMC might cease to exist and we would all suffer as a result: we would lose the lessons, the instructors would lose an outlet for their lessons and skills and all the work that Kris, Henrik and Maria have put in would come to nothing. I’m sure that’s not an outcome any of us would want.

Software piracy is the theft of intellectual property and as such GMC cannot and will not condone it, or discussions of where to get or how to do file-sharing, cracked software and so on.[i]

Cheers,
Tony

ps - stickied but open for debate.


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Fsgdjv
post Nov 13 2007, 02:36 AM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Nov 12 2007, 11:25 PM) *
Why not to use pirated or cracked software
Or to put this another way: if I steal then I must accept it without complaint if someone broke in to my house and stole all my guitars. ‘Crackware’ is theft and I don’t want someone stealing my possessions.

...

Technical reasons not to use ‘crackware’
Most ‘crackware’ is downloaded from P2P sites. These sites often include items which contain viruses, Trojans and other malicious code. If you use ‘crackware’ you are actively choosing to download and run potentially malicious code.


First of all, good post with lots of valid arguments, however, there are some things I've got to say.

Filesharing is not like somebody going in and stealing all your guitars, it's more like someone coing in and copying your guitars and not paying you for it. (I personally wouldn't mind that)

And, you don't get viruses, trojans, etc from serious P2P sites, I'm not telling everybody do go and download everything, but I still want the truth to be told.

And, a personal note to everything about this. I don't think you should download stuff illegaly if you don't have to, try to find shareware and so on, and for the love of god, buy it if you can! But if you're young and/or poor and it's the only way to get something done and you really wouldn't have been able to do it otherwise, I won't mind. Just once you have the money for it, buy it. That's my standpoint, and I'm not saying I'm right or wrong, but this is how I look at piracy. (But when it comes to downloading music, movies and especially tv-series I have a completely different view that won't be discussed here laugh.gif )


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swingline
post Nov 13 2007, 03:08 PM
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QUOTE (Fsgdjv @ Nov 12 2007, 05:36 PM) *
Filesharing is not like somebody going in and stealing all your guitars, it's more like someone coing in and copying your guitars and not paying you for it. (I personally wouldn't mind that)

Your full of crap! You would care, its like in school you do your homework and everyone else copies it you feel screwed because your the only one who did it and everyone else got a free ride. If you bought a 1500 dollar guitar and every one else got it for free how would you feel. Its all the same say I buy Adobe Photoshop CS3 for upwards of 600 dollars, but you got it for free I'd be pissed and you would to if it was the other way around. So don't lie to me, yourself, or anyone else.


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radarlove1984
post Nov 14 2007, 05:04 AM
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QUOTE (swingline @ Nov 13 2007, 06:08 AM) *
Your full of crap! You would care, its like in school you do your homework and everyone else copies it you feel screwed because your the only one who did it and everyone else got a free ride.
Funny you should say that. I'm a sophomore college student working on my BS degree in Physics. I've been a straight A student for almost 2 years now, and I have NO problems at all with letting people copy my work. For free. Sometimes I'll even show up 20 minutes early.

That's just my way of paying it forward. Some people copy the answers and turn everything in and others actually go home and figure everything out for themselves (after they copy the answers and turn everything in, of coarse!). Either way, it doesn't affect me because my work is finished.

Music file sharing is a big debate here in the US, especially on college campuses. The most prevalent idea is that we share music because of the bandwidth (campuses have T3 lines). That's completely untrue. We share and download music because - brace yourselves for the truth no one's brave enough to say - it's free.

It's as simple as that. Most of us are metaphorically living out of our suitcases, and when we graduate we'll be at least $40,000 dollars in debt. Claiming that we hurt the record industry because of file sharing is completely false because we could never BUY records to begin with. We're the customers the record company never had and never will have.

Shutting down file sharing websites wouldn't make us go back to buying CDs. It would make us listen to FM again.

And I've got bad news for musicians. Once you make a song, it's not yours anymore. It doesn't belong to you. Half of my life's story is set to the music of the 60's and 70's. My first date was set to the music of Journey. The first time I made love, Santana was playing in the background. After my first serious relationship ended, Air Supply was playing for a month!

The record companies don't own those moments. I do. You do. We all do.

Is sharing music morally wrong? Sorry, but I don't think any one of us is credible enough to answer that. Is it legal? That depends on your country. Does it mean we don't support the band? Of coarse not.

I want to address all the software programmers on the message board now. I don't mean for this to sound overly harsh, but it needs to be said.

Just because you got a college degree in computer science doesn't mean you're entitled to a high paying job. It doesn't mean you're entitled to any job. Computer programming is a very high risk business. You can make your first $10 million the first month out of school or you can barely make minimum wage and spend your days re-enacting the greatest hits of Office Space.

Your sense of entitlement is no more justified than any of us expecting to get record contracts because we practice the guitar 8 hours a day for 10 years. If you're a software programmer - or musician - then you should know the risks involved in the business.

Musicians have to worry about getting stiffed out of gig payments, roadies breaking or stealing your equipment, finding transportation, food, shelter... not getting your ass kicked by the audience... not getting screwed out of record deals... etc...

Programmers have to worry about optimizing source code, preventing software piracy, finding a decent job, starting up their own company, etc...

Both jobs are high risk and both should be done for the love of doing it. If you got in to either business to get rich fast, you should seriously reconsider the coarse your life is taking.

Now, to connect this all to my Physics homework tangent, I see file sharing the same way. People copying my lab reports aren't stealing them, they're just copying them. No one is physically taking the report away from me, and I'm not hurt in any way because of it.

The same holds true for people who could never buy CD's each month. The record company isn't loosing money off of them. They claim they are. They wrongly assume that if P2P file sharing stops, every broke college student in the country is going to magically come up with an extra $30 bucks a month to spend. I'd love to know how that could ever happen.

One more thing... I firmly believe in the principle of do unto others as you would like done to you. And I seriously hope that if one day I need to copy someone's lab report, install PowerPoint, or borrow a DVD someone rented from Netflix, that people will be decent enough to let me. Because all laws of intellectual property aside, doing basic things like that to help our fellow human beings is necessary to our sanity and our survival.

The philosophy of "I've Got Mine, Jack" is never helpful and always has a way of coming back to bite you in the ass at the worst possible time.


Now, does believing all this make me a bad person? And who are you to judge anyway?

- I welcome any thought out responses to this post. If anyone has conflicting ideas, let me know. I'm especially interested in hearing what the Ethics professor thinks of this. We seem to have taken the same general idea of Karma and run with it in completely different directions.


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Disclaimer:

I'm in no way anti-corporation or anti-establishment. Large corporations have probably done more good for the world than anyone or anything else in the history of all mankind.

As with all debates that have no right answer, there's a thousand shades of gray. My response was directed at a certain part of the gray area. I trust that you'll all be smart enough to understand the part I was addressing and not misquote me out of context.

Your actually millage may vary. For topical use only. Contact poison control immediately if swallowed. Price excludes all tax and financing charges, etc... etc... etc...
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Posts in this topic
- tonymiro   Why Not To Use Pirated Software   Nov 12 2007, 11:25 PM
- - Owen   Well said. EDIT - duplicate post deleted Owen ...   Nov 13 2007, 01:21 AM
|- - fkalich   QUOTE (Fsgdjv @ Nov 12 2007, 07:36 PM) Fi...   Nov 13 2007, 04:10 AM
||- - Fsgdjv   QUOTE (fkalich @ Nov 13 2007, 04:10 AM) A...   Nov 13 2007, 04:19 AM
|- - blindwillie   QUOTE (swingline @ Nov 13 2007, 03:08 PM)...   Nov 13 2007, 08:40 PM
|- - ActiveX   QUOTE (radarlove1984 @ Nov 13 2007, 08:04...   Nov 14 2007, 07:01 AM
|- - radarlove1984   QUOTE (ActiveX @ Nov 13 2007, 10:01 PM) I...   Nov 14 2007, 10:14 AM
|- - blindwillie   QUOTE (ActiveX @ Nov 14 2007, 07:01 AM) I...   Nov 14 2007, 03:57 PM
- - DeepRoots   Crackware shouldnt: be used be discussed exist. ...   Nov 13 2007, 02:54 AM
- - Cherio   Very well said And I agree with all of you. Cheri...   Nov 13 2007, 03:05 AM
|- - muris   Try before buy. Sadly,many stay off buying   Nov 13 2007, 03:37 AM
|- - Andrew Cockburn   QUOTE (muris @ Nov 12 2007, 09:37 PM) Try...   Nov 13 2007, 03:47 AM
|- - Fsgdjv   QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Nov 13 2007, 03...   Nov 13 2007, 04:01 AM
- - The Uncreator   Excellent Tony, very well put   Nov 13 2007, 03:44 AM
- - The Uncreator   Plus its way cooler to have a CD Collection than a...   Nov 13 2007, 03:51 AM
- - Vinicitur   I won't insult everyone by saying that I'v...   Nov 13 2007, 04:02 AM
- - fkalich   It is not like the kid is stealing bread because h...   Nov 13 2007, 04:39 AM
- - FretDancer69   There's an interesting point of view about pir...   Nov 13 2007, 04:43 AM
- - Fsgdjv   to fkalich: Even though he isn't hungry, he...   Nov 13 2007, 04:44 AM
|- - fkalich   QUOTE (Fsgdjv @ Nov 12 2007, 09:44 PM) to...   Nov 13 2007, 05:00 AM
- - Fsgdjv   fkalich: Good for you, but I don't follow laws...   Nov 13 2007, 05:04 AM
- - tonymiro   QUOTE (FretDancer69 @ Nov 12 2007, 09:43 ...   Nov 13 2007, 05:59 AM
- - Animosity   QUOTE (Fsgdjv @ Nov 12 2007, 10:04 PM) fk...   Nov 13 2007, 06:33 AM
|- - Fsgdjv   QUOTE (Animosity @ Nov 13 2007, 06:33 AM)...   Nov 13 2007, 06:52 AM
- - Animosity   QUOTE (Fsgdjv @ Nov 12 2007, 11:52 PM) I ...   Nov 13 2007, 09:04 AM
|- - Fsgdjv   QUOTE (Animosity @ Nov 13 2007, 09:04 AM)...   Nov 13 2007, 02:51 PM
|- - MickeM   QUOTE (Animosity @ Nov 13 2007, 09:04 AM)...   Nov 13 2007, 07:52 PM
|- - fkalich   QUOTE (MickeM @ Nov 13 2007, 12:52 PM) Wh...   Nov 14 2007, 05:31 AM
||- - MickeM   QUOTE (fkalich @ Nov 14 2007, 05:31 AM) G...   Nov 14 2007, 07:58 AM
||- - fkalich   QUOTE (MickeM @ Nov 14 2007, 12:58 AM) St...   Nov 14 2007, 09:15 AM
|||- - MickeM   QUOTE (fkalich @ Nov 14 2007, 09:15 AM) T...   Nov 14 2007, 04:21 PM
|||- - fkalich   QUOTE (MickeM @ Nov 14 2007, 09:21 AM) Th...   Nov 15 2007, 03:36 AM
||- - shredmandan   QUOTE (MickeM @ Nov 14 2007, 01:58 AM) ch...   Nov 14 2007, 09:37 AM
||- - fkalich   QUOTE (shredmandan @ Nov 14 2007, 02:37 A...   Nov 14 2007, 10:04 AM
||- - blindwillie   QUOTE (fkalich @ Nov 14 2007, 10:04 AM) T...   Nov 14 2007, 06:12 PM
|- - shredmandan   QUOTE (MickeM @ Nov 13 2007, 01:52 PM) Wh...   Nov 14 2007, 05:32 AM
- - ActiveX   I don't know if this is coincidence or not, bu...   Nov 13 2007, 12:40 PM
- - tonymiro   ***Impartial moderator voice on** * Guys keep it c...   Nov 13 2007, 06:59 PM
- - The Uncreator   Valid argument, BUT, Still, this is something cons...   Nov 13 2007, 08:11 PM
- - DeepRoots   i think its ridiculous to try to justify pirated s...   Nov 13 2007, 08:55 PM
|- - blindwillie   QUOTE (DeepRoots @ Nov 13 2007, 08:55 PM)...   Nov 13 2007, 09:02 PM
|- - MickeM   QUOTE (DeepRoots @ Nov 13 2007, 08:55 PM)...   Nov 13 2007, 10:47 PM
|- - Andrew Cockburn   QUOTE (MickeM @ Nov 13 2007, 04:47 PM) I ...   Nov 13 2007, 11:17 PM
|- - blindwillie   QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Nov 13 2007, 11...   Nov 13 2007, 11:49 PM
- - tonymiro   QUOTE (blindwillie @ Nov 13 2007, 01:40 P...   Nov 14 2007, 12:11 AM
- - Fsgdjv   I said I wouldn't post any more that wasn...   Nov 14 2007, 01:45 AM
- - ibanezkiller   QUOTE (swingline @ Nov 13 2007, 09:08 AM)...   Nov 14 2007, 01:56 AM
- - tonymiro   QUOTE (Fsgdjv @ Nov 13 2007, 06:45 PM) Fi...   Nov 14 2007, 02:06 AM
- - Fsgdjv   Yeah Tony, I'm aware of that, and that's o...   Nov 14 2007, 02:13 AM
- - tonymiro   np mate - it was sort of less to you and more a ge...   Nov 14 2007, 02:16 AM
|- - Andrew Cockburn   And for the record, my edit was more about the big...   Nov 14 2007, 02:34 AM
- - Owen   First of all, Kudos to blindwillie, his post made ...   Nov 14 2007, 02:32 AM
- - tonymiro   Apologies Andrew - my mistake. Cheers, Tony   Nov 14 2007, 04:33 AM
- - Animosity   QUOTE (MickeM @ Nov 13 2007, 12:52 PM) Wh...   Nov 14 2007, 04:51 AM
|- - Fsgdjv   QUOTE (Animosity @ Nov 14 2007, 04:51 AM)...   Nov 14 2007, 06:22 AM
|- - MickeM   QUOTE (Animosity @ Nov 14 2007, 04:51 AM)...   Nov 14 2007, 07:37 AM
- - steve25   Interesting discussion. I'm not going to take ...   Nov 14 2007, 05:14 AM
- - FretDancer69   Really good post radarlove. I agree with you on ma...   Nov 14 2007, 05:19 AM
- - bad_tel   im all for it sving money why pay £££££ when ...   Nov 14 2007, 05:30 AM
- - bad_tel   1 question have none of you ever downloaded a song...   Nov 14 2007, 05:49 AM
|- - Vinicitur   QUOTE (bad_tel @ Nov 14 2007, 12:49 AM) 1...   Nov 14 2007, 02:51 PM
- - radarlove1984   While I agree with that basic principle of breakin...   Nov 14 2007, 05:52 AM
- - Owen   QUOTE (bad_tel @ Nov 14 2007, 04:49 AM) 1...   Nov 14 2007, 05:56 AM
|- - steve25   QUOTE (Owen @ Nov 14 2007, 06:56 AM) The ...   Nov 14 2007, 06:54 AM
- - Animosity   QUOTE (Fsgdjv @ Nov 13 2007, 11:22 PM) De...   Nov 14 2007, 06:27 AM
|- - Hemlok   QUOTE (Animosity @ Nov 14 2007, 05:27 AM)...   Nov 14 2007, 06:44 AM
|- - Fsgdjv   QUOTE (Animosity @ Nov 14 2007, 06:27 AM)...   Nov 14 2007, 08:00 AM
- - The Uncreator   QUOTE (bad_tel @ Nov 13 2007, 08:49 PM) 1...   Nov 14 2007, 07:59 AM
- - The Uncreator   I saw a few other posts saying the real problem is...   Nov 14 2007, 08:07 AM
|- - blindwillie   QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Nov 14 2007, 08:07...   Nov 14 2007, 04:40 PM
- - jeff   I just spent 1/2 hour reading this thread. Damn, ...   Nov 14 2007, 08:11 AM
- - Fsgdjv   fast answer to the uncreator: I think the one who ...   Nov 14 2007, 08:13 AM
- - The Uncreator   I can see that being a point, but hell, computers ...   Nov 14 2007, 08:14 AM
- - Fsgdjv   Agreed, but it was what I could think of.   Nov 14 2007, 08:17 AM
- - The Uncreator   Anyone else got any theories?   Nov 14 2007, 08:22 AM
|- - FretDancer69   QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Nov 14 2007, 01:22...   Nov 14 2007, 08:32 AM
||- - ActiveX   QUOTE (FretDancer69 @ Nov 13 2007, 11:32 ...   Nov 14 2007, 08:59 AM
|- - MickeM   QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Nov 14 2007, 08:22...   Nov 14 2007, 03:41 PM
- - steve25   Here's a thought. Is it ok to download music t...   Nov 14 2007, 08:27 AM
- - Zephyr   Hmm... my opinion on downloading free music is tha...   Nov 14 2007, 08:32 AM
- - swingline   Sorry about being so aggressive before I'm jus...   Nov 14 2007, 08:44 AM
- - tonymiro   Thanks Swingline, the topic seems to be 'close...   Nov 14 2007, 08:53 AM
- - jeff   I think the guys at Reaper have a good thing going...   Nov 14 2007, 09:07 AM
|- - fkalich   QUOTE (jeff @ Nov 14 2007, 02:07 AM) I do...   Nov 14 2007, 09:27 AM
|- - jeff   QUOTE (fkalich @ Nov 14 2007, 03:27 AM) A...   Nov 14 2007, 08:07 PM
- - The Uncreator   QUOTE (FretDancer69 @ Nov 13 2007, 11:32 ...   Nov 14 2007, 09:57 AM
- - Layzer   I'm not too knowledgeable in this area, that s...   Nov 14 2007, 04:20 PM
- - Vinicitur   QUOTE (blindwillie @ Nov 14 2007, 11:40 A...   Nov 14 2007, 04:55 PM
- - blindwillie   And I do agree with MickeM. Revolt! It isn...   Nov 14 2007, 06:36 PM
|- - MickeM   QUOTE (blindwillie @ Nov 14 2007, 06:36 P...   Nov 15 2007, 12:51 AM
|- - blindwillie   QUOTE (MickeM @ Nov 15 2007, 12:51 AM) I ...   Nov 15 2007, 01:45 AM
- - blindwillie   Here is a twist on piracy. Not software but it rel...   Nov 14 2007, 10:38 PM
- - tonymiro   Just to clarify some points in my OP and some of t...   Nov 15 2007, 12:35 AM
|- - blindwillie   QUOTE (tonymiro @ Nov 15 2007, 12:35 AM) ...   Nov 15 2007, 02:18 AM
- - tonymiro   I do that all the time MickeM   Nov 15 2007, 12:54 AM
|- - MickeM   QUOTE (tonymiro @ Nov 15 2007, 12:54 AM) ...   Nov 15 2007, 02:10 AM
- - Pavel   5 pages of discussion, already?? WOW!!   Nov 15 2007, 01:36 AM
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