Drug testing

PC Owners - The Largest Criminal Gang Ever?

The year is 1981. IBM has just released the Personal Computer; a low cost machine it hopes will create a winning brand. Several models are produced in quick succession accompanied by an ad campaign featuring a Charlie Chaplin figure. The message is clear: It's cheap and it's cheerful.

The growth vector for the product turns out to be a software application called a spreadsheet. Its many early forms - VisiCalc, Multiplan, Lotus 1-2-3, along with WordStar word-processing and of course games all help drive hardware sales.

Nobody seems to question the rapid and promiscuous spread of these programs by copying onto 5.25" floppy disks and passing them from person to person.

That was then. This is now. Harsh fines and jail sentences are threatened to anyone involved in doing what came naturally back in the early '80s. It's a Very Bad Thing to copy software without having a license to do so. They say 'this stuff is ours, we want to be paid for it', and of course they're right.

But here is a problem. Software's binary information is a kind of digital DNA, always wanting to replicate. It's what has made and sustained the digital revolution. When transmitting information, whether from one disk to another or over the Internet, errors can be corrected, faint signals regenerated as new, and even lost portions of messages recreated. This is the essence of the digital world, and replication is its big trick.

One of the things most of us did with our first computer was to copy something. In our early PC vocabulary COPY was the most popular word. Doing it was so easy and so immediately rewarding. It did nobody any harm ? did it? The user got the software and the manufacturer got their product widely distributed.

But a company has to make money, not just gain market share, and at some point in time a shift occurred. It's as if the manufacturers decided to play the soccer off-side rule and grab the high moral ground at the same time - nearly every PC owner in the world was suddenly wrong-footed. And no one after all can disagree with their position. But how will they play catch-up on their lost revenues? How can they now make all their customers compliant?

A London analyst who specialises in intellectual rights issues says "the paradigm we have at present where the license chases the product doesn't seem to be an effective mechanism for compliance by itself."

In other words trying to push a license into everywhere the software has gone without the ease with which the software got there in the first place will prove difficult. But that's not all.

An account manager for a hardware firm in the US says "It can be difficult to keep the licensing nailed down. The hardware changes, the software moves on, departments, even companies, merge. The picture is always changing"

Demand has always fuelled innovation in Information Technology. Fluid, dynamic, competitive, the elements of IT constantly move. Suppliers apply different strategies at different times for different reasons: Market share, volume shipments, profit. Licensing is a big weapon in their arsenal. Then new technologies emerge, legislation changes, big players go bust and others are created. It's hard to see how a static and legalistic document can cover all this.

There are also the licensing arrangements that software manufacturers employ. Licenses may be priced according to whether they are academic, charity, large volume, product upgrade, competitive upgrade, client server, thin-client, or one of several other types. On top of that there are the popular service add-ons of maintenance and technical support.

Of course if we all started afresh that would make things easier. But as that's impossible we must do two things; look at new software in terms of correct quantity and correct type of license. That's the easy part. The not so easy part is to look at what your company already has and see what licenses, if any, are missing or incorrect.

'The biggest criminal gang in history' is about to be disbanded.

?2003 Jamie Plenderleith
Microsoft Certified Licensing Specialist
Chief Developer - Whaddayagot Pro Asset Management Suite

About The Author

Jamie is a software design engineer with Everyman Technologies of Dublin Ireland. He attends Trinity College Dublin part time and is a Sci-Fi fan.

jamie@everyman.ie

In The News:

A 1491 map that likely influenced Christopher Columbus's conception of world geography is getting a new lease on life, now that researchers have revealed its faded, hidden details with cutting-edge technology.
Museums in Western Europe are starting to reevaluate how to deal with certain colonial-era artifacts added to their expansive collections over the years -- despite being stolen or plundered.
This summer’s very hot temperatures is prompting an exponential increase in bed bug infestations in the United Kingdom, according to experts.
A basking shark’s enormous silhouette, rarely seen in oceans worldwide, is a major draw for scientists who are mapping its often mysterious migrations.
Days after a 61-year-old man suffered a shark bite in Massachusetts, the beach on Cape Cod where the attack occurred was “closed” off to swimmers for the foreseeable future “due to continued shark activity,” the town announced Friday.
A shocking video shows a great white shark proudly carrying around its latest victim — a dolphin — when suddenly an even bigger great white swoops in to steal the meal straight from its mouth.
A North Carolina couple taking a walk on Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina on Tuesday came across a rare, prehistoric find: a megalodon tooth.
A host of historic artifacts, including a lock of Napoleon’s hair, will be up for auction in the U.K. on Saturday.
Scientists at MIT have discovered a galaxy cluster that they say is “hiding in plain sight.”
The megalodon, which went extinct millions of years ago, was the largest shark ever documented and one of the largest fish on record. The scientific name, Carcharocles megalodon, means "giant tooth." And for good reason: Its massive teeth give scientists major clues about what the creature was like and when it died off.

The Ipod Mini: Why Its Not that Hot

I got my eyes set on a iPod mini, as... Read More

404 Error Pages: What Are They And How Do You Create One?

We've all seen them, you've been browsing a website and... Read More

How To Safeguard Your Computer?

The following practice, if done regularly, may help you to... Read More

How to Switch to Firefox and Why You should

First things first, what is Firefox? Well, it's a browser.... Read More

Windows Task Manager in English

You use Ctrl+Alt+Del to see what's running on your PC,... Read More

Passwords and the Human Factor

Passwords have a strange dual nature. The stronger and safer... Read More

Repairing A Corrupt .RAR/.ZIP Archive

Step 1:Open WinRAR and browse to the folder with your... Read More

Your Affiliate Business - Peripherals, Software, Computers

I have always been interested in computers, but in the... Read More

Printing Multiple Copies of Photos

I do a holiday letter every year and send them... Read More

Is DVD Storage An Attractive Alternative For Your Computer Backup?

If you have a computer for home use or for... Read More

Emulation Manual - A Complete Guide on How to Change Your Windows XP to Mac OS X

IntroductionMac OS X is the most technologically advanced operating system... Read More

What Does That Error Message Really Mean?

Surf the 'Net for about 10 minutes and chances rate... Read More

Connect Your IPAQ to Linux

Choose Not To ConformPalm pilots and pdas are constantly growing... Read More

Why Build Your Own Gaming Computer?

The best way to get the gaming computer that you... Read More

5 Steps to Remove Spyware for Free

Have you ever tried to remove Spyware off your PC... Read More

Cache In Your Chips And Get A Bus!

Computer related terminology could sometimes be daunting to newcomers. These... Read More

10 Tips to SPEED Up Your PC

1. Let your PC boot up completely before opening any... Read More

A Tale of Two Regeds

Tech support tells me to type 'regedt32' as opposed to... Read More

Faster Browsing Tips

IF WE say that it was mainly because of the... Read More

10 Time Saving Keyboard Shortcuts

Time is money. And when you constantly have to divide... Read More

Healthy Webmasters Choose Ergonomic Computer Products

Webmasters usually sit at their computers much longer in a... Read More

Internet Explorer Shortcuts for Mouse-o-phobes

If you're like me, you occasionally find the ubiquitous mouse... Read More

Tips For Getting Technical Support Help Online

Sometimes your PC will start acting strange for no apparent... Read More

What Exactly are Screensavers? - part II

Here are some tips on how to use screensavers:First of... Read More

Refurbished Computers on the Internet

What is a Refurbished Computer?Refurbished Computers. Remanufactured Computers. Reconditioned Computers.... Read More

induction grow lights dimmable led light bulb Pete's produce ..