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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • May 6, 2007

Windows Vista: Pirates Beware!

CEans,

The following article has been written by our own CEan - Desijays. Initially, he wrote the article for a magazine we had a tie-up with πŸ˜€ . I'll post it here on his behalf -

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Windows Vista: Pirates Beware

According to some authentic figures that monitor software piracy on a global scale, almost one third of the software installed on desktops is pirated. Accordingly, this translates to a huge loss in sales for software companies. Advocates in support of anti-piracy argue that if an organization that develops software cannot earn profits by selling its products because of piracy then it will not have the means to pay its programmers. This in turn leads to substandard software and software practices. Moreover, those who are in the habit of actively reverse engineering software, argue that source code for software, like literature must be open source and available to all for study and scrutiny. The open source community is like a giant with no form. It has no authority. No CEO, or HR or any of the other 2 to 3 letter designations you would normally find in a company. It has no headquarters. Sometimes, it occurs to many of us, how an unorganized organization can accomplish the development of an OS, a web server, many flavors of Programming Languages, Image Editors and so on and so forth. However, the truth is that it has! The strength of the Open Source Movement lies in its formlessness. It is easy to strike an enemy that exhibits some form. However, how do you charge an enemy that has no form? This is the challenge facing Microsoft. This is the software version of typical guerrilla warfare.
To protect their proprietary OS from being pirated without any restrain, Microsoft has gone to extreme lengths to protect its corporate interests and its legitimate customers. Last year saw enormous objections and outcry from support groups and individual citizens alike because of the copy-protection schemes employed by big corporations like Sony. Unbeknownst to its users Sony tried using root kit systems that resides on the user’s computer to prevent people from using copy-protected content. The ensuing backlash was appropriately embarrassing for Sony, which was charged with accounts of trying to spy on the computers of individual users.

Now, with Vista, Microsoft has taken the concept a little further by employing two types of protections. One is DRM (Digital Rights Management). In DRM technology, media is wrapped in software code that checks the parameters within which the user can manipulate the media. If something is within the rules, then the user is allowed to continue and if not the respective operation is denied.

The second type of protection employed by Vista is gaining controversy and is much more invasive compared to DRM. In this method, the media that is being accessed is constantly checked by many devices that it moves through. Sometimes between different peripheral devices and sometimes between many components within the motherboard. If a particular rule allows the media to be played only in a particular type of device, then another device trying to access it will be refused. For example, if a movie is being accessed, Vista will check its rules to see how the user can use it. The rule might specify that it can be transferred to the Video card. However, another rule might specify that it cannot be transferred to an external hard drive or a USB. In essence, Vista instead of providing only the interface to a device, it also determines what a device can and cannot do, even if the device is capable of doing it. Essentially, Vista downgrades the capabilities of a device, if it has to copy protect media.
In future, new techniques & technology will be developed to fight the monster of Software Piracy. However, at some point, we need to ask ourselves a simple question: What can I do about preventing software piracy? Think about it. I would rather go with open source tools. Makes sense, right?

Desijays
no_atkt
no_atkt • May 6, 2007
The_Big_K
Now, with Vista, Microsoft has taken the concept a little further by employing two types of protections. One is DRM (Digital Rights Management). In DRM technology, media is wrapped in software code that checks the parameters within which the user can manipulate the media. If something is within the rules, then the user is allowed to continue and if not the respective operation is denied.
well if u have taken the pains of blaming MS of enforcing drm on u u could have done some research which would tell you that bill gates was never and is not in support of DRm it has been thrust upon him by organisations such as RIAA
The_Big_K
However, at some point, we need to ask ourselves a simple question: What can I do about preventing software piracy? Think about it. I would rather go with open source tools. Makes sense, right?
how does open source avoid software piracy ... avoid software piracy buy original ... the solution to avoiding music piracy does not lie in listening to freely distributed music but lies in bying original πŸ˜‰ ... un necessarily taking every oppurtunity to de-grade MS and show OSS as the future πŸ˜•
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • May 6, 2007
atkt,

Wouldn't it be nice if you can come up with an article on your own? I'm sure you've a lot to say on various technologies. Give it a thought or shoot a mail to us at editorial @ crazyengineers . com

-The Big K-
no_atkt
no_atkt • May 6, 2007
have been wanting to for quiet some time but havent had the time to really sit and type 1 ... but thanx for the encouragement ... sometime in the future ...
Rocker
Rocker • May 11, 2007
Thanks for the article! It will take some time for me to move from XP to Vista πŸ˜‰ !

Nice work, keep writing!

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