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View Full Version : Should I pirate CAM software? (hypothetical question)



beanbag
12-20-2010, 05:28 AM
This has been bugging me for a while now. At the facility where I do my machining (which will go unnamed) I am surrounded by people who have pirated MasterCAM and are happily busy getting complex parts made, while I am toiling around writing g code by hand, or hand-patching the output of various other half-assed CAM programs together.

My problem is that I don't think there are any good CAM programs for under $1K or so. Where by good, I mean that it knows how to do proper 3D features like pocket and islands, without resorting to retarded tool paths like rasterizing. Perhaps I have been spoiled by the 30 day demo of SprutCAM, but I really think that is the level of program that is sophisticated enough to handle most features without pissing me off. I guess you could say I am a toolpath connoisseur.

The other thing is that when I ask those other people about it, they are totally carefree or shameless about getting it for free. Either they don't care, or they have an excuse like "MasterCAM is for industrial shops, and I'm not doing industrial work. Maybe someday after I make 100K from machining, I will buy their software for 10K." Apparently, their version don't have viruses or malware built in either. Just normal cracked software.

This really annoys me because I am trying to be good and legal about the whole thing, but all this means is that I can't make complicated parts, or I waste huge amounts of time coding by hand. I'm not seeing any benefits of holding the moral high ground here. This isn't a thread about "what's the best CAM software for..." anymore, it's a question about ethics.

John Stevenson
12-20-2010, 06:07 AM
Not taking any sides but I have noticed various posts that say something like :-

" I have bought a Taig CNC mill and I have Solidworks and Mastercam X2 level 3 but I am ......................."

Who in their right mind spends $2,000 on a Taig mill and $5000 on Solidworks and $15,000 on Mastercam X2 ?

KiloBravo
12-20-2010, 06:17 AM
Not taking any sides but I have noticed various posts that say something like :-

" I have bought a Taig CNC mill and I have Solidworks and Mastercam X2 level 3 but I am ......................."

Who in their right mind spends $2,000 on a Taig mill and $5000 on Solidworks and $15,000 on Mastercam X2 ?


Pirates :eek:

As for the OP I doubt 400 different opinions from this board will sway him either way.

John Stevenson
12-20-2010, 06:30 AM
I have no qualms about getting a cracked copy of a piece of software to try.
I have been bit too many times buying something that doesn't do what it says on the tin, then because of the unique selling regulations on software you can't get a refund.

Two riders to this, it has to be something I want / need as opposed to just looking and it has to be a piece of software I can afford if it passes the test.

Doing what I do as regards CNC I get offered plenty of programs, some dodgy and some legit. Programs like Mastercam and Autocad I flatly refuse as I wouldn't or couldn't justify buying them anyway.

There are loads of cheap utilities out there I have bought just because I want to show encouragement to the author to carry on.

philbur
12-20-2010, 07:42 AM
What benefits were you expecting.

Phil:)


.... I'm not seeing any benefits of holding the moral high ground here.....

JoeFin
12-20-2010, 08:15 AM
If you turned that company in you would be rewarded with enough money to buy your own copy of Mastercam - free and legit

And probably enough left over to buy a 4 axis machine to boot

http://media.arstechnica.com/news.media/bsa_schedule.jpg

Evan
12-20-2010, 08:55 AM
I use CamBam for all of my work and it seems to do a pretty good job.

Is this sophisticated enough pocketing for you?

http://ixian.ca/pics8/pocketing.jpg

MickeyD
12-20-2010, 09:27 AM
If you are trying to run a business off of cracked software it will eventually bite you in the tail. One day you will have a giant rush job and something will break and you will need support and that is when running a crack (or even poorly supported legit software) will leave you high and dry. About a year and a half ago I was using a legit copy of Sprutcam and kept running into issues (they were going through a rough upgrade cycle) to run jobs NOW but the online support took a day or two to get a fix. Cracked Mastercam is everywhere (and sometimes even virus free) but again there is the support issue, and legit was out of my budget. I ended up going with Visual Mill standard (costs 1k) and have been very happy with it. Support is excellent, no maintenance fees, the software is very stable, and good tool paths. There are other mid range programs out there that don't break the bank, but this is the one I went with.

RTPBurnsville
12-20-2010, 09:42 AM
In my view if you are making money off of some software you should buy it...

I am not making money but did purchased SprutCam to go with my Tormach mill. If you own a Tormach their pricing on SC is about the best deal out there. CAMBAM mentioned above would have been my second choice.

SprutCam users have gone through some painful growing pains for those of us that have been using it for a few years. However, the latest releases have been very good as is their direct support and upgrades.

Robert

J Tiers
12-20-2010, 09:59 AM
A company I know of and was associated with had a virtual "policy" of buying only one copy of a program.... they would install it everywhere.

Finally, a "disgruntled former employee" turned the company in to everyone from the dogcatcher to the EEOC and EPA. Most of the accusations were BS, but the "Business Software Alliance" was a goodie....

They came in. did "discovery", and the upshot was that the company in question had to buy all the software they used, PLUS pay a penalty equal to an additional 3x the cost of the software at the highest list price. The total involved was about $400,000. Note that this was for about $100,000 worth of software at list, and the company would have gotten a substantial discount if they "site licensed" instead of buying individual retail copies.

So basically, pirating software cost about $330,000 more than buying legitimately would have.

The BSA has no "small user discount", they don't care who you are, although they do like big penalty cases, but they will happily go after a small business.

Your choice, but it's a real "pay me now, or pay me more later" situation.

beanbag
12-20-2010, 10:03 AM
There is no "company" here. Only a facility that provides a CNC machine, and unrelated people come in with their own g code.

beanbag
12-20-2010, 10:39 AM
I use CamBam for all of my work and it seems to do a pretty good job.



Even though I don't wish to discuss specific CAM programs here...

Let's see the CAMBAM toolpaths for just a simple rectangular pocket.

beanbag
12-20-2010, 10:42 AM
In my view if you are making money off of some software you should buy it...


So what if you aren't making money? Or only a token amount?

cuslog
12-20-2010, 11:10 AM
I used a pirated version of AutoCad while I was learning it but when I started charging for blueprints ie; making money with it, I bought a full version.

taydin
12-20-2010, 11:31 AM
I think if one puts himself into the shoes of the guy who wrote that software and who pays the salaries of his team, it's easy to understand the ethics involved. Some people benefit (to varying degrees) from your very hard work without paying you anything in return ...

My pals can't believe that I paid for my cad software (Alibre Design), while they use the more sophisticated SolidWorks for free ... I just believe that nothing good can come out of the un-rightful use of somebody else's hard work.

RTPBurnsville
12-20-2010, 11:46 AM
So what if you aren't making money? Or only a token amount?

I think if you finish reading my prior post it indicated that I have purchased the software even though I am not making money...... Making money is making money, period.... I personally don't go for the idea "I am only stealing a little from someone else". (sorta sounds like government, but that is a different issue) If you think it is OK then not sure why you posted your question as the answer has already been determined.

One should be able to do a live demo of high $ software before purchasing as I don't believe most marketing hype.

Robert

RB211
12-20-2010, 12:01 PM
Call me crazy, but I believe it is to the advantage that people pirate their software, "IF" the people doing the pirating are young, and doing it to learn the software..
What better marketing strategy could a company have than a piece of software that everyone knows how to use?
If you ask me, the companies all know about it, and some probably let it happen on purpose.

RB211
12-20-2010, 12:24 PM
Marketing strategy? If everyone who knows how to use the software learned by using a stolen version, to whom will the software manufacturer sell their software? :confused:

Dirk
To the big businesses who have an easy time finding people who are qualified to use the software. Solidworks could never be afforded by the average Joe, yet the average Joe knows Solidworks.

Stuart Br
12-20-2010, 12:54 PM
Software Piracy is theft, end of story. Whether you make money out using it is immaterial. Software vendors make their living from selling software and support. Smart vendors will offer educational discounts to valid educational establishments to get students familiar with their products which is then transferred to the workplace.

Turn it round the other way. Joe Blogs doesn't have a lathe, so he comes into you shop, uses your tools and your electricity, when he likes without paying and also stopping you using them. That's no different to piracy.

Admission. I do work in the IT industry and I am currently working for a combined hardware/software vendor, so I have vested interest.

Mcgyver
12-20-2010, 01:26 PM
Software Piracy is theft, end of story. .

I can't comment on UK law but here and in the US it is not. The law is very clear on this, it is copyright infringement and case law makes it clear the law does not view it as stealing. Stakeholders like software and the music people lobby hard and would love to see it change, but right now theft is criminal and copyright infringement is not (its civil). Now if you are copying and selling, ie counterfeiting, that can lead to criminal charges, but not copyright infringement itself. That is not say its ok, still against the law. The law provided the holder for exclusive benefits of the copyright, you've infringed, and they can sue.

This was just well covered on PM so I don't want to repeat the whole thing, but an obvious difference are the time lines. It will never be legal for me to take your micrometer, but the law against me using your song or book or software is only for a period of time. Its also not black and white that infringement takes money of the creators jeans; in some instances the item wouldn't/couldn't have been purchased so there is no lost sale.

Anyway, pointing out that is NOT theft isn't the same as saying its ok...copyright infringement is against the law of the land (but not criminal law)....the distinction is important to recognize as scenarios become gray...you need to be clear on what it is else its hard to know how to act.

For example, there is an old manual you've been offered to copy. Company out of business, none available commercially or on ebay. Would you copy it? If you believe copyright infringement is theft, to copy it you would have to believe yourself a thief.....whereas in reality copying it is copyright infringement, not stealing or theft, and only carries civil penalties. Since no one is likely to sue, and i haven't taken revenue from any creator I'd copy it and sleep at night knowing I'm not a thief since it wasn't stealing.

DR
12-20-2010, 01:27 PM
Jesse James (TV motorcycle guy) got burned by using a pirate copy of MasterCAM. He was discovered when an episode of his show demonstrated how their parts were designed and programmed using the software. At one time the MasterCAM website itemized what it cost him.

MasterCAM pirated copies are everywhere, at an auction a couple years ago I was offered copies by three different individuals. These were casual acquaintances. I turned them all down. MC has a steep learning curve, aside from the thievery issue, I wasn't interested in the time investment since we already have CAM that suits our needs.

lazlo
12-20-2010, 01:32 PM
I agree that software piracy, whether you're making money or not, is theft.

But I am very frustrated that Solidworks doesn't have a lite version for amateurs. There's an academic version that's $500/year (which is reasonable, IMHO), but it stops working after a year :(

As a result, Solidworks is one of the most popular software downloads on the Bittorrent sites. If someone in Dassault marketing had half a brain, they'd bundle a Solidworks Lite version for non-profit purposes. The other CAD vendors have lite versions that print "Lite Version, Not for Profit" on all the prints.

cuslog
12-20-2010, 01:32 PM
I don't think most software companies are interested in (don't really care about) the little guys (hobby or student) using pirated versions of their software. Its the commercial use that hurts them.
And there is an avantage to having a larger number of the population familiar with their software.
For me, it was when I started earning money with it that I felt compelled to purchase a legal version.

lazlo
12-20-2010, 01:35 PM
I don't think most software companies are interested in (don't really care about) the little guys (hobby or student) using pirated versions of their software. Its the commercial use that hurts them.

I agree with the sentiment, but I struggle with the ethics of it...

macona
12-20-2010, 01:37 PM
There is no "company" here. Only a facility that provides a CNC machine, and unrelated people come in with their own g code.

Gee, TechShop, huh?

Big Surprise.

We used TurboCAD/CAM. It is pretty decent CAM, and pretty cheap. We also didnt allow code generated from outside. I had to see the code before it was allowed to run. Also no hand generated code. This did a little to prevent piracy.

Mcgyver
12-20-2010, 01:42 PM
MC has a steep learning curve,.

To clarify, steep means good, correct? As in easy and quick to learn? Its the flat part of learning curve that is miserable....lots effort and time little knowledge gain whereas the steep part you're quickly getting much better.

RB211
12-20-2010, 01:43 PM
I agree that software piracy, whether you're making money or not, is theft.

But I am very frustrated that Solidworks doesn't have a lite version for amateurs. There's an academic version that's $500/year (which is reasonable, IMHO), but it stops working after a year :(

As a result, Solidworks is one of the most popular software downloads on the Bittorrent sites. If someone in Dassault marketing had half a brain, they'd bundle a Solidworks Lite version for non-profit purposes. The other CAD vendors have lite versions that print "Lite Version, Not for Profit" on all the prints.
Bingo, their version for non profit is on bit torrents. That is my whole point! I think they know about it and let it fly on "purpose".

AlleyCat
12-20-2010, 01:46 PM
I feel as tempted as Jimmy Carter with his Playboy magazine. Where does one even find these pirated CAD programs?

macona
12-20-2010, 01:55 PM
To clarify, steep means good, correct? As in easy and quick to learn? Its the flat part of learning curve that is miserable....lots effort and time little knowledge gain whereas the steep part you're quickly getting much better.


Steep means hard to learn. Mastercam has not changed a whole lot since ver 9. Which is good for old users but for new users its a pain in the rear compared to newer CAM packages like OneCNC.

Fastest1
12-20-2010, 01:59 PM
Look right above your last post. Bittorrent, Pirate Bay or other dubiously named places. Enter at your own risk.
I feel as tempted as Jimmy Carter with his Playboy magazine. Where does one even find these pirated CAD programs?

Fastest1
12-20-2010, 02:04 PM
Which part bugs you? The dishonest part of using stolen property? Good it means you were taught right from wrong. A rare lesson nowadays. Now you have to make a decision. Since you know right from wrong, if you choose the wrong path it will bother you for your eternity. Sometimes decisions can be difficult. Btw I too have been offered MC and I am not even a machinist, just a hobbyist.

This has been bugging me for a while now. At the facility where I do my machining (which will go unnamed) I am surrounded by people who have pirated MasterCAM and are happily busy getting complex parts made, while I am toiling around writing g code by hand, or hand-patching the output of various other half-assed CAM programs together.

My problem is that I don't think there are any good CAM programs for under $1K or so. Where by good, I mean that it knows how to do proper 3D features like pocket and islands, without resorting to retarded tool paths like rasterizing. Perhaps I have been spoiled by the 30 day demo of SprutCAM, but I really think that is the level of program that is sophisticated enough to handle most features without pissing me off. I guess you could say I am a toolpath connoisseur.

The other thing is that when I ask those other people about it, they are totally carefree or shameless about getting it for free. Either they don't care, or they have an excuse like "MasterCAM is for industrial shops, and I'm not doing industrial work. Maybe someday after I make 100K from machining, I will buy their software for 10K." Apparently, their version don't have viruses or malware built in either. Just normal cracked software.

This really annoys me because I am trying to be good and legal about the whole thing, but all this means is that I can't make complicated parts, or I waste huge amounts of time coding by hand. I'm not seeing any benefits of holding the moral high ground here. This isn't a thread about "what's the best CAM software for..." anymore, it's a question about ethics.

Mcgyver
12-20-2010, 02:07 PM
Steep means hard to learn.

that's what i thought he meant and it has become the colloquial use so DP's quite right to use it as such....however i think its incorrect and ambiguous. If you look at a learning curve, progress on Y, time/effort on X, the steeper the better. Knowledge/learning is happening quicker with less effort than if the curve was flat.....everyone would knows if you said you're on the flat part of the curve that you're struggling putting in lots of effort but not feeling much progress, right? I think the use, incorrect imo, comes from people not used to graphs equating steep to hills .....rather than slopes on graphs :p

Mcgyver
12-20-2010, 02:11 PM
Which part bugs you? The dishonest part of using stolen property?


It might wrong, unethical, illegal, can get you in trouble and cost a bunch of money but it is most certainly not using stolen property. Read Dowling vs the US.

macona
12-20-2010, 02:21 PM
that's what i thought he meant and it has become the colloquial use so DP's quite right to use it as such....however i think its incorrect and ambiguous. If you look at a learning curve, progress on Y, time/effort on X, the steeper the better. Knowledge/learning is happening quicker with less effort than if the curve was flat.....everyone would knows if you said you're on the flat part of the curve that you're struggling putting in lots of effort but not feeling much progress, right? I think the use, incorrect imo, comes from people not used to graphs equating steep to hills .....rather than slopes on graphs :p

Problem is though if the learning curve is too steep its like running into a brick wall. The UI is not intuitive at all and you really need books, classes, or tutorials to get going with it.

Solidworks is the opposite, easy to get going on and easy to learn. There is also a cam package to go with it as well.

Evan
12-20-2010, 02:31 PM
Let's see the CAMBAM toolpaths for just a simple rectangular pocket.


Set for a spiral lead in at a 5 degree angle so no plunge problems, .020 finish offset and 40% stepover.

http://ixian.ca/pics8/pocketcb.jpg

JoeFin
12-20-2010, 02:49 PM
Pirate Bay

Haha - I know the guy whose kid developed that site. He had no idea his 15 year old son has up stairs cracking code and developing websites dedicated to pirating software, video, and music until the Google Checks started showing up

Yep - door bell rang and FedEx courier had him sign for a $3200 check made out to his 15 yr old son - LOL

Story goes Dad made him get rid of the site so the kid SOLD it - $12K

RB211
12-20-2010, 02:51 PM
Haha - I know the guy whose kid developed that site. He had no idea his 15 year old son has up stairs cracking code and developing websites dedicated to pirating software, video, and music until the Google Checks started showing up

Yep - door bell rang and FedEx courier had him sign for a $3200 check made out to his 15 yr old son - LOL

Story goes Dad made him get rid of the site so the kid SOLD it - $12K
Some times kids should not listen to their parents.

lazlo
12-20-2010, 03:04 PM
Haha - I know the guy whose kid developed that site. He had no idea his 15 year old son has up stairs cracking code and developing websites dedicated to pirating software, video, and music until the Google Checks started showing up

Yep - door bell rang and FedEx courier had him sign for a $3200 check made out to his 15 yr old son - LOL

Story goes Dad made him get rid of the site so the kid SOLD it - $12K

I don't know what site you're thinking of, but The Pirate Bay was created in 2003 by Gottfrid Warg and Peter Sunde -- Swedish software pirates from a group called "Piratbyran": "The Piracy Bureau".

JoeFin
12-20-2010, 03:09 PM
Some times kids should not listen to their parents.

Well ya - I guess

The kid was complaining because the site was bringing in over $6K per month

Thing is the kids that develop these sites are being solicited by people in the Movie industry to host the movies they help steal for a cut of the profits. Same goes for disgruntled software developers laid off at the end of the project. They provide the "movies" and the "key generators" for a cut of the money. The money is generated by the Ads on the site.

You got 90,000 unique visitors to your site everyday - you got web traffic you can sell

So lets ad up all who are actually complicit

Hollyweird Jerk Offs with access
Laid off software developers
unsavory website owners willing to advertise on waerz sites

and the 15 year old boy with a nack for code

No - I blame the "Cork Soakers" who entice kids into this activity

Alistair Hosie
12-20-2010, 03:43 PM
I have no hesitation buying copied software I don't buy it but if I did I would not hesitate the companies should either make it non copiable or offer a better buy it now price.Most times these are totaly unafordable for the normal Joe so it's buy a copy or go without I used to buy my kids copies of games for their computers now they buy the real thing as it's not easy to get a copy any more,also the price of games is now quite a lot less than they were and the y like all the proper boxes and stuff. .I would not buy software and then refuse my wife or son's copies, who seriously would?
The same goes for copy clothing in Glasgow the sell fake jeans for 20+ and they are almost perfect down to the last detail.The real things cost six times that or more.I cannot see poor people doing wrong buying them either.Now before I get shot down in Flames I fully realise this is not legal but I am just telling the truth like it or not.In many ways I am saying this if the companies were not so greedy then this would not be a problem Levi gets jeans made in China charges us way over the realistic price knowing the kids want the label and the Chinese flood the markets for 20 bucks still making a profit on copies.Alistair

lazlo
12-20-2010, 04:02 PM
I don't know what site you're thinking of, but The Pirate Bay was created in 2003 by Gottfrid Warg and Peter Sunde -- Swedish software pirates from a group called "Piratbyran": "The Piracy Bureau".

How The Pirate Bay Sailed Into Infamy

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7893223.stm

beanbag
12-20-2010, 04:07 PM
Set for a spiral lead in at a 5 degree angle so no plunge problems, .020 finish offset and 40% stepover.

http://ixian.ca/pics8/pocketcb.jpg

Looks like a ramped entry to me. Those loops aren't connected. How does it go from one loop to the next?

In any case, this looks like a typical low-budget toolpath. A higher end CAM program would do a helical entry, spiral outwards, and use trochoidal milling to finish off the corners. Then it would show a 3D simulation of the cutting. Just sayin'...

macona
12-20-2010, 05:00 PM
I think something was lost in the picture when it was scaled. It looks like there might be cross points near the area where the ramp bottoms out.

For the price of cam-bam you cant really compare it to $10k cam packages with trichoid.

I have not played with it since it came out. I might have to look at it again. It has come a long way.

Black_Moons
12-20-2010, 05:02 PM
I allways liked the intresting arguement about non profit use of stolen software actualy improves a companys bottom line in the long run.
Due to the fact that having used the software, and being used to it, And being the only software you use (Why bother with all the lower quality software if they are all free when stolen), It will be the first you recommend the company buy when you do get a job, And you won't tollerate them buying the cheaper software for you to use, or suggest to them that they buy cheaper software, because you have no clue how to use it, and are highly experianced in using the 'best/most expensive' software.

Basicly, If everyone is using X software, legit or not, All the legit users are using X software, as opposed to some of them.

Having a non profit user buy someone elses $100 software, does not help you, And they surely are not gonna buy $15,000 software, So technicaly you lost nothing by them stealing it, And gained market share, As well as gained more people trained to use your software who may one day look for a job.

Of course, This arguement holds no weight for companys who make decent profit, As unless they buy thier software, the whole arguement is null and void.. (Till the lisencing agencys fine the hell outta the company that is)

On a subnote, Some companys go as far as release a 100% free version of thier software for non profit use. Example: Altera's quartus. I think only some of the highest level optimisations are disabled in the 'free' version, that mainly just improve compile time, Not runtime speed.

Rookie machinist
12-20-2010, 06:47 PM
It's a matter of ethics, I got started with a cracked versions of autocad and solidworks to see what one I liked best. I chose solidworks and purchased a single seat and the maint package for the first year. I am just a "little guy" who tools around in his shop and enjoys the live steam hobby. I doubt I will ever make money on my drawings but they do help me prevent wasting material on bad designs.

darryl
12-20-2010, 06:59 PM
Technically, whether you're using software in a money-making operation or not, you're still using it for your own advantage, otherwise you wouldn't be using it at all. Maybe you're just making an ornamental Christmas present for your wife- you paid for the metal and the machine, but not the software. Let's just say for instance that instead of a software requirement, you needed a mechanism of some kind to do the project. Now it's a tangible thing. Where do you get that mechanism- borrow it? From someone who bought it and was kind enough to lend it to you- Or maybe you had to rent it, or maybe you had to pay a business to make the part for you on their mechanism. Either way, somebody paid for the mechanism.

Where it's software, you don't have to write it anew for everybody that wanted it, as you would basically have to do to fabricate for each mechanism that anybody would want to have. As such there's no continuing cost to the company to produce copies of mechanisms- instead just a file transfer at the cost of a fraction of a penny in electricity, and the same low cost in computer time. Still, you're using the product and getting value from it, so it should come at some cost to you. If you used it free, that's essentially the same as the developer saying to you 'sure, go ahead and use this thing for free that I spent time, dollars, effort and experience making'. I do agree, many companies hope the 'news' of their software gets around, and may decide that a certain amount of piracy is within their 'advertising plan', but it's not you that decides that. Where you make that decision, you are stealing their work. If it's given to you in some way, such as 'demo version', or 'trial period', it's completely legit.

It's a tough call- say you pirate a copy of some software and you try it, then don't like it- you find that you wouldn't have bought it anyway. If there's no refund policy on software, then why should you be forced to pay for a product only to find that it isn't what you wanted or needed or could use. To me, that's basically thievery by the developer. I'd love to be getting money for a product I produce, but that nobody likes or uses once they try it- and I don't have to give the money back. But from those who do use it, I want my price.

This 'problem' has been ingrained into people pretty much right from the start, and continues in force today. I'm not talking about software now, but about the willingness, and compellation, to take an advantage when it presents. To start with it's a survival instinct. In further refinement in developed society, it continues- 'us or them'- why not all of mankind? I see it at work- people would gladly allow you to do a job for them, even it meant, and they knew, that it was costing you money as opposed to making even a small profit. People don't mind if you spend money for gas in your vehicle and drive them around to get their business done- so they don't have to spend that gas money and vehicle expense themselves. The way it works is that those willing to help others are automatically trodden on, and their only reward comes from inside, in their own hearts and minds. The guy who pays for software can rest assured in his own character- but he is going to be out the money.

I don't have the answers. I've both paid for software and used it freely where technically it should have been paid for. I've never made any money from using any of it, but I have been entertained for hours by using it. Worth the $5k- $27k in one case- not even close. I don't feel bad about it. Should I?

I feel bad when I tell someone I'm not interested in helping them do--- whatever it is. In many cases, I know they would not give me the same effort and personal cost to help me. I don't want them having any software I've written unless they've paid for it. No, you can't borrow my jigsaw, no you can't have this five gallons of gas, no I won't fix that amp for you for free. No I'm not willing to let you steal from me, you a-hole. When I see my chance, I'm going to step on you- like you step on me, or countries step on other countries-

Not a rant- just an observation of human nature. You see it in the chinese goods syndrome- somewhere within each of us, I believe we know it's hurting our own country, but we still buy the cheap product- we'd even steal that if the opportunity was easy for us, like it is with software. In fact, we are almost at the point where we think to ourselves 'if it's that cheap, shouldn't it be even cheaper?' For what is called a technically advanced people, we sure are a bunch of a-holes, aren't we-

RB211
12-20-2010, 07:10 PM
Problem with software and any other "intellectual property" is that it will never be tangible. The closest thing that programming and tangibility become one is when you write firmware for a processor.
I could never sell my firmware for any amount of money, however it is much easier to sell that firmware if I load it into an atmel processor. That way people have something tangible for their money.
Music? Please, it is not worth money, no more than some one recording the sound of rain, and trying to sell that.
Nothing is as bad however as computer games that want you to use real life money to buy "objects" inside of a game... Sorry but if anyone ever does that, they need to be beaten and sent to "Camp Dave Ramsey" so they can learn to appreciate the value of a dollar.

I want to start a company that makes high end airplanes for flight simulator, I want to model an L-1011 tristar to the depth that I could nearly get the FAA to sign off on it. I know full well that within a few hours of it being released it will be on the pirate bay. It don't matter, that project will be a labor of love for me.

Evan
12-20-2010, 07:21 PM
Looks like a ramped entry to me. Those loops aren't connected. How does it go from one loop to the next?


It's ramped because it's a rectangle. It does a stepover to move to the next path out.

3D simulation is available.

You can make any toolpath you want.

http://ixian.ca/pics8/pocketcb2.jpg

macona
12-20-2010, 08:18 PM
Nothing is as bad however as computer games that want you to use real life money to buy "objects" inside of a game... Sorry but if anyone ever does that, they need to be beaten and sent to "Camp Dave Ramsey" so they can learn to appreciate the value of a dollar.


Like this?

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_16816721?source=most_emailed&nclick_check=1

KiloBravo
12-20-2010, 09:04 PM
Nothing is as bad however as computer games that want you to use real life money to buy "objects" inside of a game... Sorry but if anyone ever does that, they need to be beaten and sent to "Camp Dave Ramsey" so they can learn to appreciate the value of a dollar.

How about this guy who made $500K of real money selling a virtual asteroid

Take, for instance, what just went down on Planet Calypso, where one of Entropia's wealthier players has sold off his interests in a "resort asteroid" for an eye-popping $635,000.

The seller is Jon Jacobs, also known as the character 'Neverdie'. He originally purchased the asteroid in 2005 -- eventually converting it into the extravagant resort 'Club Neverdie' -- for the then-record price of $100,000. For those keeping score, that's a gain of over $500,000 in just five years. In nerdier terms, that's an ROI of 535%.

http://blog.games.yahoo.com/blog/160-gamer-makes-a-cool-half-million-by-selling-virtual-property

Fastest1
12-20-2010, 09:22 PM
Just because the courts say it, doesnt mean its right. Lawyers have been misconstruing things for years. Always have, always will. Did you buy it? If you didnt, how did you come to use it? You even say its wrong in the lead in to your sentence. Even though I love my country and its systems, it can be wrong at times.
It might wrong, unethical, illegal, can get you in trouble and cost a bunch of money but it is most certainly not using stolen property. Read Dowling vs the US.

S_J_H
12-20-2010, 09:51 PM
You can make any toolpath you want.

Evan, Cambam is a fine hobby level software but nothing like the pro level stuff. Give some of the high end stuff a try and you will be very impressed. The toolpath strategies and options available in the highend $$ cam are much more advanced than with hobby level cam.

My favorite of all the mid to high end cam such as Mastercam, Solidcam etc is HSMworks.
http://www.hsmworks.com/
This is just 1 example of a more advanced toolpath than you will find in something like Cambam-
Adaptive clearing -
The adaptive clearing strategy creates a roughing/clearing toolpath inside closed curves both with and without islands. This strategy avoids full-width cuts by progressively shaving material off the remaining stock. The generated toolpath ensures that the cutting conditions remain constant with a stable load on the tool, as a result the feedrate can be increased significantly, reducing the machining time by 40% or more in addition to improved surface quality, less tool wear.

But, I'm not sure how many of us with hobby level cnc machines would see much benefit from running pro level toolpaths.


Steve

spope14
12-20-2010, 10:20 PM
Call me crazy, but I believe it is to the advantage that people pirate their software, "IF" the people doing the pirating are young, and doing it to learn the software..
What better marketing strategy could a company have than a piece of software that everyone knows how to use?
If you ask me, the companies all know about it, and some probably let it happen on purpose.

MasterCam provides sample disks for my students if I ask, but it does not save anything. I ask for screen prints for their assignments as proof.

Not pirating, but the students get experience and know this software.

All my software has the dongles and reciepts.

I may have missed it, but where does one get info for CAMBAM?

Dangf
12-20-2010, 10:29 PM
Ok, here's my take on it. I'm kind of a nerd/jack of all trades so I know where to get the programs I need to do the things I need to do.
For instance ACAD , I could get a copy of the latest and greatest ,but I need it only once or twice a year. First I check youtube for all the new tutorials, then if I think I have it I will go download the 30 day trial, full. If that is not quite long enough to finish, I will use the crack to finish. I then remove it. #1 software is too bloated and eats up a lot of disc space, #2 I have to look at this guy in the mirror every morning.
P>S>
Most companies will give you the extention if you need it.

mickeyf
12-20-2010, 10:47 PM
it's a question about ethics.

Yup. And it sounds like you're hoping that your peer group will either pull you back or push you over the edge. Hitler youth was peer group. So is your favorite Church. There are plenty of others. You either take your direction from the particular set of lemmings you feel an affinity to, or you think for yourself and take responsibility for your own actions.

Only you can decide what you're comfortable (or uncomfortable) with, and why, and only you will have to live with the consequences.

Good advice on machining here. Ethical advice? A crap shoot.

Mcgyver
12-20-2010, 11:01 PM
Just because the courts say it, doesnt mean its right. Lawyers have been misconstruing things for years. Always have, always will. Did you buy it? If you didnt, how did you come to use it? You even say its wrong in the lead in to your sentence. Even though I love my country and its systems, it can be wrong at times.

where did you get the idea that I think its right?.....I clarified that its not stealing or a criminal offense - that is not sayings its right or moral, but its very different than stealing....so is say rape; if someone pointed out rape's different from stealing its hardly an endorsement of rape.

it matters , else how do you interpret the grey? Stealing has been against the tribe since the first caveman, intellectual property laws are a more recent construct and are surrounded by ambiguity. There was no thou shalt not copy - and we all do copy things daily that are perfectly legal to do. That is never the case with stealing. Even copyright stuff, one day its illegal, the next (when it expires) its not! So some copying is ok and some is not - thats not how stealing works.

For a glaring example of the ambiguity look at a graph of the timespan of copyright. It has gone from say 30 years to 100 years - so which legislators (politicians) got wrong, yesterdays or todays? That trend bespeaks powerful industry lobbying - how do you even associate right/wrong with something that's gone from 30 or 100 simply because of powerful lobbying?

If you read what i wrote I'm hardly saying copying software is right, but I also think calling it stealing is both incorrect and drinking the industry's koolaid; what it is is copyright infringement and its against the law. But its not stealing or criminal (unless its counterfeiting) and assertions otherwise break down when you start thinking about what you do in the grey, like with the manual scenario i gave

Dangf
12-20-2010, 11:23 PM
Ok, after rereading all of this BS , I see that liberals think its Ok to steal from big software companies, but not from movies, books,etc. IT is not OK to steal anything period!

Dan

J Tiers
12-21-2010, 12:00 AM
How's this?

Copyright infringement is against the law. So's patent infringement.

The government (that means YOU, at least theoretically), gives a creator (or holder of the rights) legal protection so they can exploit the idea or creation with exclusivity, in return for it becoming usable by anyone and everyone after a certain time period. In the case of copyrights, that is longer than many countries have been in existence, and for patents it is very much shorter.

The point is that infringing is against the law, it makes you an offender against civil law. There are remedies available to the holder of the "property"* against you. There are penalties, etc, pursuant to which a court will issue a judgement against you if the owner goes after you.

So...... you gonna be a "perp"?

* it is property because it can be bought and sold. The only reason it cannot be "stolen" is that after the 'theft" the owner still holds the property and rights.... it is an intangible.

fixerdave
12-21-2010, 12:51 AM
Copyright laws are broken. They used to work before the information revolution; they don't work any more. They just don't work. Well, they work if you're a lawyer, but for the rest of us, producer or consumer, they have utterly failed and should be junked.

Despite years of corporate rhetoric, many, many people still have the OP's moral dilemma. Why, because your Mama taught you to share and taught you not to steal. Piracy is a little of both. Okay, piracy is not really stealing (it's not, it's copyright infringement) but it does still feel a little wrong to most people, but then not sharing feels a little wrong too. When large numbers of people feel this way, it's a CLEAR indication that the issue is not settled, that it's one of those gray areas that society hasn't worked out.

Society will eventually throw out our existing notions of copyright. It's inevitable because the very notion of selling something that can be copied for free is just plain stupid. Unfortunately, we have to deal with the transition.

You won't get an answer on this forum... there is no answer yet. Until then, you have to make your own choices... break the law, call it civil disobedience like some do if it makes you feel better, or fork out the money. Personally, if I NEEDED some application that didn't have a viable alternative for home (non-commercial) use, and the providing company didn't offer a price I thought was reasonable, well, I'd say ---- it and double-screw the company by pirating the app and then spend what I thought was reasonable supporting an open-source alternative. If enough people did that, then the problem would just go away, along with the stupid pre-revolution company that can't see the writing on the wall.

I've written about this a lot... not that it really matters:
http://keliso.blogspot.com/2009/07/staggering-accomplishment-of-simple.htm
http://keliso.blogspot.com/2009/12/end-of-copyright.html
http://keliso.blogspot.com/2009/08/war-and-revolution.html
http://keliso.blogspot.com/2009/07/living-in-denial.html
http://keliso.blogspot.com/2009/07/canadian-copyright-law-consultation.html
http://keliso.blogspot.com/2009/07/sharing-is-human.html
http://keliso.blogspot.com/2009/07/silly-laws.html

oh, and http://datadave.blogspot.com/2009/07/teaspoon-of-sewage.html
(told you I've written a lot ;) )

However, as an aside, since making the transition to the Linux ecosystem, I've basically found 99% of what I need/use in Open-Source... no, sorry, not much for 3D CAD/CAM yet (last I looked) but then the last thing I want to do when I go home is muck about with computer code. Pretty much every commercial app out there is now in my "not even worth stealing" category.

David...

gnm109
12-21-2010, 12:51 AM
I wouldn't be interested in using some sotware that isn't mine.

Furthermore, If you have any sort of proffesional license with your state, it's possible that a conviction in federal court or even state court could cost you your license if the conviction were to be considered moral turpitude. It doesn't do to quibble over whether it is or is not stealing. They are getting horrendous fines nowadays for even downloading music without payment.

Frankly, it's not worth it.

Evan
12-21-2010, 01:54 AM
Evan, Cambam is a fine hobby level software but nothing like the pro level stuff. Give some of the high end stuff a try and you will be very impressed.

I cannot afford or justify high end software.


I wouldn't be interested in using some sotware that isn't mine.


That rules out all software except that which is in the public domain. It rules out nearly all "freeware" too since very few complex programs are ever released without licences. When you buy software you do not own it. You are buying a licence to use it. Further, the conditions under which you agree to use it are not available to you until you have opened the product and are installing it. Then you may read the licence agreement and if you don't like the conditions you may refuse to install it. However, you will not be able to get your money back since you have opened the product. It is assumed that if you have opened the product that you will "steal" it and if you try to return it the automatic assumption is that you are doing so because you have "stolen" the software.

I consider the majority of software companies to be pirates to at least the same extent as many users of the software they produce. Worse though is the fact that nearly all software contains absolute disclaimers of fitness for any particular purpose and disclaims any and all liability that you may incur by using their software.

When a company disclaims all responsibility for the usability of their product and refuses to reveal the contractual conditions that you must agree to only after you have paid for it it does not inspire much sympathy in me when people make illicit copies for personal use.

Copyright law is the law of the land but it does not remotely resemble the original intent of the that law when first written. Both patent and copyright law were intended to give an author or inventor a chance to profit from their work for a reasonable period of time. That time was measured in years, not decades or centuries as it is now. The intent of copyright law has been subverted to the sole benefit of the large corporations that frequently operate on the "buy a politician" business model to maximize their profit with absolutely no regard for the original principles that patent and copyright law were meant to protect.

When the content providers act with contempt for the intent of the law and change it by exercising the power to corrupt the legal process using large sums of money then I have no respect for the "rights" that they have bought for themselves.

Even so, I have only very rarely used "pirated" software. To avoid such issues I mostly use freely distributable software with few exceptions.

boslab
12-21-2010, 02:10 AM
Reading this thread with interest, impressed with Evans defence or advocacy of CamBam, the toolpath plots look good, I think i may give it a go one day, is there a good tutorial site or is it a mix and match youtube afair?
Regarding the various legality issues around the various software suites like Expensive unamed and technically illegal CAM packages, what about the fact that most packages get similar feauture by reverse engineering someone elses package, say pocketing as has been mentioned?
If the feature of the software, or the look of the software, the HCI or the code that makes it operate has in any way been the result of reverse engineering [for the most part AKA theft] then to take the tack that they wish to apprehend and punnish those that 'stole' off them seems ludicrus does it not?
If it was the result of your own work then i understand that you would not be happy if it were stolen, but if any part were the result of someone elses work then hypothetically how is it possible to 'steal' that which was stolen to start with, if you get my drift.
Im not saying that its right to do it as i'm playing the Devils Advocate card, however the moral implications are not without debate.
I dont have any CAD or CAM expirience at the moment to speak of but have the misfortune or fortune to be going to FANUC and ABB for training after Christmas, God Willing
The question is , Can one steal that which was stolen?
Was it not Marcus Aurilius who said, rightly i think, 'Property is theft'?
What do you think?

airsmith282
12-21-2010, 02:42 AM
i dont run any cnc stuff likey never will due to the over inflated cost of the software,,

my world says you pay once for a program and use it on all the systems you darn well please thats your right as the ower of the software in my books,

this monpoly of you have to buy the program for each and every system even micrsoft got taken to task by the US government and the government won, so now you have OEM which is one cd for one and only one computer tand thats it or you pay 3 times or more for an unliminted lincense copy of windows in which i my self own xp pro 64 bit and vista 64 bit ultimate but thats what i wanted thats what i bought and paid for .

so take the compmanys to court make you r case and if you win then you pay the price likley 3 times the cost of 1 copy but then you are never restriced with how many systems you want to run it on ,

bogus copies of software is illeagle in most countries but hey you try writting that software and youll under stand that some one has to make some money , but at the same time some software is still way over priced and that also needs to be taken to task to ,

Evan
12-21-2010, 03:05 AM
CamBam has a very good forum with plenty of tutorials and tips on how to use it. The program is well documented including the internals for the purpose of writing plugins. The Pro version is available as an unlimited time trial that is only limited in the number of lines of code it will generate. It's quite generous too. There are also video tutorials.

I haven't even tried the latest version yet although I have it installed. It is a fairly major upgrade so I can't even comment of how it works compared the the previous version. No doubt it is a significant improvement.

http://www.cambam.info/

Evan
12-21-2010, 03:13 AM
my world says you pay once for a program and use it on all the systems you darn well please thats your right as the ower of the software in my books,


You don't own the software. It still is the property of the holder of the copyright. You pay for the right to use a copy. You also have the legal right to transfer your licence to another person if you delete the software from your computer.

philbur
12-21-2010, 04:53 AM
Interesting. It is clear that the old system is broken, never to be repaired, however what is the viable alternative for the future. It's not practical to scrap the old system and then just wait for a new system to evolve, the creators within the system will starve while they wait.

Phil:)


Copyright laws are broken. .............
David...

jackary
12-21-2010, 06:28 AM
So with infringement of copyright so easy, acceptable and it seems almost common practice, what is now is the motivator for the original creator?
Alan

Evan
12-21-2010, 07:01 AM
While that is a good question the counter is to ask what motivates so many capable programmers to produce software that is given away for free? Perhaps the signal example is the entire UNIX, Linux and ___'Nix operating systems and the vast majority of the software that runs on them. Not a trivial part of the software universe.

davidwdyer
12-21-2010, 07:04 AM
I'd like to break into this argument here which seems to involve CamBam and other software to inquire what anyone thinks about Rhino. It is not extremely expensive. Does it do a professional job? I own the software and have used it, but have never tried to output anything to CAD.

Mcgyver
12-21-2010, 10:16 AM
So with infringement of copyright so easy, acceptable and it seems almost common practice, what is now is the motivator for the original creator?
Alan

Its easy and common, I don't think its entirely acceptable. The software and recording industries have spent a lot money making it not acceptable and it is against the law of land.....I don't understood why some insist that erroneously calling it stealing is the only why to define it as wrong to do, anyway, doesn't matter.

If I could paraphrase your question, what stops people for just copying everything and never buying it? Same with anything, Mcgyvers theory (not proven lol) on why the law is adhered to....it is either 1) the law is in keeping with your moral and ethical compass; its what you'd do anyway, or 2) the probability of being caught times the pain of the sanction is greater than the benefit of the infraction.

That people copy everyday (you made an angle plate, you got the idea from somewhere, you sang happy birthday, you told some one's joke) both legally and illegally will always I think make "1)" more difficult to develop as a deterrent than it is for say stealing that is so well entrenched in every culture as being wrong. On 2), the industry is making a valiant effort.....but you know, "a lot of copying is ok, and after so many years its all ok, but you just can't copy certain things that I tell you can't copy" ....will never become the ingrained moral bedrock that "thou shall not steal" is.

It probably is where it should be; rock stars still get rich and most of those who can afford or have to have the software buy it, if not for "1)" then for "2)". There'll always be slippage and the market is not elastic; ie sales won't double if say there was no way to copy it. I raised it as a point of awareness; this stealing idea is their PR campaign, their koolaid. The courts and law are clear that its not. The industry's job is make copyright and as long and strong and possible, its the informed citizens job to watch what they drink.

Fastest1
12-21-2010, 10:54 AM
If I make software commercially for a living and you use it without paying me, you are stealing. Maybe you want to sugar coat it. Does it make you feel better to change the defintion of the word? I do know right from wrong and live by it whenever I can. Btw it doesnt look like you can interpret grey, hence the problem. There are some who think people inherently know right from wrong, I use to think that. Then I asked myself, how would they know if nobody taught them? This thread makes it evident. I am happy that my parents and family taught me right from wrong not the government or a lawyer. Btw I sleep well and dont have any moral battles probably due to a clear vision of the truth.

where did you get the idea that I think its right?.....I clarified that its not stealing or a criminal offense - that is not sayings its right or moral, but its very different than stealing....so is say rape; if someone pointed out rape's different from stealing its hardly an endorsement of rape.

it matters , else how do you interpret the grey? Stealing has been against the tribe since the first caveman, intellectual property laws are a more recent construct and are surrounded by ambiguity. There was no thou shalt not copy - and we all do copy things daily that are perfectly legal to do. That is never the case with stealing. Even copyright stuff, one day its illegal, the next (when it expires) its not! So some copying is ok and some is not - thats not how stealing works.

For a glaring example of the ambiguity look at a graph of the timespan of copyright. It has gone from say 30 years to 100 years - so which legislators (politicians) got wrong, yesterdays or todays? That trend bespeaks powerful industry lobbying - how do you even associate right/wrong with something that's gone from 30 or 100 simply because of powerful lobbying?

If you read what i wrote I'm hardly saying copying software is right, but I also think calling it stealing is both incorrect and drinking the industry's koolaid; what it is is copyright infringement and its against the law. But its not stealing or criminal (unless its counterfeiting) and assertions otherwise break down when you start thinking about what you do in the grey, like with the manual scenario i gave

Stepside
12-21-2010, 11:01 AM
David D

To answer your question. I own Rhino which is a CAD package. I have used it to send drawings to RhinoCam which is VisualMill operating inside Rhino. I have also sent drawings to MasterCam, Z-Corp 3D printer, Epilog Lasers, Universal Lasers, as well as some large industrial lasers and waterjet machines. Tomorrow I will send some gear drawings to an EDM wire machine.
In all cases the success is directly related to the quality of the "art work". As is true with most CAM, it builds/cuts what you draw not always what you want.

There seems to be some question/argument on this thread as to which CAM package is smartest/the best. My take would be, does it produce the results you want? If so then it is what you need and should use. The high end/expensive CAM packages will do wonderful things once you learn how to use them, but if all you need are some pockets and contours why spend the money.

This gets to the original question of stealing software. In my book theft is theft. Just because it is expensive does not justify stealing the product. If that was not true then it would be okay to steal expensive cars on the grounds that they cost too much.

Ian B
12-21-2010, 11:11 AM
It's generally illegal for someone to walk into someone else's house and take their stuff without consent. Despite the protection of the law, most people put locks on their doors to prevent theft (and insurance companies require this).

It's always struck me as odd how little care major software companies take to protect their software. Take AutoCAD; on the market for around 25 years, they've had plenty of time to develop a strong pass code, or - considering how expensive the product is, supply the product with a dongle. It's nothing to do with the bother of shipping a dongle - they're presently sending out "free" thumb drives with tips to purchasers.

Yet they don't. It seems that a keygen is available from multiple sites to generate a product key almost as soon as an updated version is available.

It's *almost* as if they don't mind it being pirated...

Ian

mochinist
12-21-2010, 12:30 PM
I use CamBam for all of my work and it seems to do a pretty good job.

Is this sophisticated enough pocketing for you?

http://ixian.ca/pics8/pocketing.jpg
for beanbag

this is featurecam 2.5d, it is insanely easy to use and learn. Im not sure what the program is currently going for, but I think it is around 3 thousand USD, if you want it to do 3d or 4th and 5th axis work there is various different plug ins you can buy, none of them very cheap. They use a dongle and some .paf files I have to install on any of the computers I use this program on.

Obviously more expensive than most home shops would ever want to pay for, but it is endlessly customizable and puts out really nice tool paths and code.
square tool path
(green lines are rapid moves, black is tool cutting, blue is the stock, and pink is the profile of features being cut)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/mochinist/th_toolpathexample2.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/mochinist/toolpathexample2.jpg)

weird tool path

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/mochinist/th_toolpathexample.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/mochinist/toolpathexample.jpg)


3d simulation example
This would be better as a video, as it would show the tool cutting the material, but I dont know how to do that quickly, so this is what the end of the 3d simulation looks like
This can also be saved as a solid and imported into whatever solid modeling program you use, although I have never really found the need to do that
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/mochinist/th_toolpath3dexample.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/mochinist/toolpath3dexample.jpg)

mochinist
12-21-2010, 12:42 PM
Ok, after rereading all of this BS , I see that liberals think its Ok to steal from big software companies, but not from movies, books,etc. IT is not OK to steal anything period!

DanI have a vendor that sends me more "conservative" emails than I care to see(Christmas is being attacked, tea bag stuff, obama jokes, cheesy emails about praying, god on our money etc), he also cant shut up about any of that stuff when he is here at my shop bringing me work(he brings me lots of work, so I just smile and listen:)). Anyways the guy is the biggest "conservative" I have ever met, and a few years ago he was over at my shop and we got to bull****ting about CAD software, during the convo I mentioned that I was thinking about buying Solidworks. So a few days goes by and he came by again, this time he had a big ol grin and he handed me a DVD RW that had solidworks marked on it with a sharpie, plus all the codes needed to activate it. I told him thanks, but no thanks and the old conservative bastard was almost offended that I didnt want to take the program for free and couldn't understand why I would still go shell out 5k for the real thing.

Evan
12-21-2010, 01:05 PM
"Theft" of software is NOT theft. It is copyright infringement. You are infringing upon the author's right to be the only one that is permitted to make copies.

Providing copies to someone else is a different matter. However, If someone loans you an original disk and you make a copy and then give back the original they have not broken any law* and you have not committed a criminal act regardless of how much the software LICENCE sells for.

What you have done in this situation is to commit an actionable civil offence under tort law. You cannot be arrested or charged, only sued. The amount of damages that may be recovered are directly related to the actual damages you cause to the holder of the copyright. In the case of an individual that normally amounts to the purchase price of the software. In reality it isn't worth the time and money for most companies to pursue an individual.

*Note: If making a copy requires the breaking of any sort of encryption then you have violated the DMCA and the penalties may be very severe. It can be a felony to break encryption no matter how easy or simplistic it is to break. Note also that different laws apply to software than to music and video content. The friend could be judged an accomplice. These laws were bought and paid for by the record and movie industry with the main players being Sony, Disney, the RIAA and the MPAA.

What bothers me aside from the items I listed in a previous post is that the software industry has managed to bring into effect case law that would never be permitted under contract law in any other area of business. "Click through licensing" is a major item that means you agree to the license even if you don't realize that you just went past the chance to read it.

Some areas have not been explored in court as far as I know. In particular, the fitness of software for the advertised purpose is usually disclaimed in the licence agreement. While this might be held a valid limitation on software costing $100 there is a good chance that it would be thrown out on a package costing thousands. Also, if an engineer uses a CAD program to design a bridge and the bridge falls down because of a subtle mistake in the software that created a hazard the software company disavows all liability for such errors and omissions. That may have been tested but I am not aware of such cases.


Back to the main recurring theme here: Is it theft to copy something? Nothing is removed from the possession of the owner. Information is not a tangible asset. Only the media that contains it is tangible and in fact that point is usually made in the licence agreement.

If I take a picture of a work of art have I stolen it? The legal concensus is no. May a software manufacturer place limits on how you use the software? They do but I don't think that has been tested either.

What if I have a freely distributable copy of software as a trial and I unlock the trial copy. Exactly what offence have I committed? Certainly not copyright violation. Perhaps a violation of the implied contract in the licence agreement? But I am in Canada and the Agreement says that the licence is governed by the laws of the State of California. Since I have a legal trial copy of the software and all I have done is to unlock the functions that are already in that copy AND I do not live in California or even the USA then what effect does California law have on me?

The answer is none at all. State laws are not a matter of international law and tort law in particular is not. In that particular and common instance I have broken no law. I cannot commit a tort offence in California if I am not in Calfornia. I can not be sued in Canada for a breach of contract in Calfornia.

Also, is it ethical to consider someone a party to a contract that you cannot prove they read or even understand, let alone sign?

goose
12-21-2010, 01:38 PM
The value of the software (to the paying end-user), is in part, it's expense. What motivation is there for end-users to pay big $$ for a Cad/Cam product when every other shop in town is using the same, free, pirated version? It's not just being legitimate, or the 24 hour support center they're paying for. It's the exclusivity of a high end, state-of-the-art software product, that hopefully provides them a quality and production advantage over their competitors.

Every pirated copy in use depreciates the value of the underlying product, and , in a sense, does "effect everyone" in smaller margins for businesses.

Like what someone posted earlier, imagine someone sneaking into your shop at night and using the lathe free of charge. Helps him, doesn't help you; you paid for the capital investment. It's not just the makers of Mastercam that lose out. As an ethical question, let's say you, with a pirated Mastercam setup get approached by Mr. Cheapie who wants a complex part fabbed. Do you say "yeah, that's really easy for me ! I'll do it for the cost of materials 'cause it's just a hobby for me and I know the shop across town charges $200 an hour for the same work." ?


Gary

Mcgyver
12-21-2010, 02:14 PM
If I make software commercially for a living and you use it without paying me, you are stealing. Maybe you want to sugar coat it. Does it make you feel better to change the defintion of the word? I do know right from wrong and live by it whenever I can. Btw it doesnt look like you can interpret grey, hence the problem. There are some who think people inherently know right from wrong, I use to think that. Then I asked myself, how would they know if nobody taught them? This thread makes it evident. I am happy that my parents and family taught me right from wrong not the government or a lawyer. Btw I sleep well and dont have any moral battles probably due to a clear vision of the truth.

Maybe its reading comprehension then that's the issue....you keep posting as if we somehow have a different view of whats right/wrong or that i'm somehow saying its ok to copyright infringe? I don't get it. whatever.

S_J_H
12-21-2010, 02:21 PM
It's always struck me as odd how little care major software companies take to protect their software. Take AutoCAD; on the market for around 25 years, they've had plenty of time to develop a strong pass code, or - considering how expensive the product is, supply the product with a dongle. It's nothing to do with the bother of shipping a dongle - they're presently sending out "free" thumb drives with tips to purchasers.

Yet they don't. It seems that a keygen is available from multiple sites to generate a product key almost as soon as an updated version is available.

It's *almost* as if they don't mind it being pirated...

Dongle protection is useless against the talented hackers.
I do not think there is 1 major cam or cad developer that has not had their software protection defeated.
Steve

photomankc
12-21-2010, 02:33 PM
I have a vendor that sends me more "conservative" emails than I care to see(Christmas is being attacked, tea bag stuff, obama jokes, cheesy emails about praying, god on our money etc), he also cant shut up about any of that stuff when he is here at my shop bringing me work(he brings me lots of work, so I just smile and listen:)). Anyways the guy is the biggest "conservative" I have ever met, and a few years ago he was over at my shop and we got to bull****ting about CAD software, during the convo I mentioned that I was thinking about buying Solidworks. So a few days goes by and he came by again, this time he had a big ol grin and he handed me a DVD RW that had solidworks marked on it with a sharpie, plus all the codes needed to activate it. I told him thanks, but no thanks and the old conservative bastard was almost offended that I didnt want to take the program for free and couldn't understand why I would still go shell out 5k for the real thing.

What you have run into is what is known as a loudmouth idiot. They exist across all political spectrum and typically will be the staunchest adherents to the chosen side. Mostly because they can't argue their way from a wet paper bag.

I will not claim to be a total angel in this area either. I have used software knowing it was not completely legal. These days I don't do that much. Sometimes I do look at it as an extended eval. I don't have time to sit and learn one software package over two weeks to decide if it's worth $500 or more to me. Often it takes me several months to get the time to really explore it. Quite often I have later purchased if it was a good app, if not I remove it. There is little point in me trying out a 5K or 10K piece of software. It is not going to happen and there is no point getting dependent on it only to find that you can't get support when that problem crops up or that my machine is now infected and transmitting my passwords to some kid in Denmark.

Evan
12-21-2010, 03:50 PM
Like what someone posted earlier, imagine someone sneaking into your shop at night and using the lathe free of charge.

Not a valid comparison. In fact anything that involves criminal activity is not valid as an analogy. Copying software is not a crime. It is something that someone can sue you for doing. Any comparison to stealing is invalid. Imagine instead that somebody took a photo of your lathe that you spent years building from scratch and then went home and duplicated it in their own shop. What crime was committed?

Also, in the context of this original post how does copying and using software harm the provider of that software? I would never consider paying 1000's of dollars for software and if I were to use something like that I would not in any way take business away from the vendor. At the level of a hobbyist it is a victimless act and it isn't criminal either.

I am not trying to justify doing it but it is important that for the purpose of this discussion to keep the proper perspective in relation to the original question.

Evan
12-21-2010, 03:53 PM
Dongle protection is useless against the talented hackers.


All protection schemes are useless. It isn't possible to secure a machine or the code on it if someone has physical access to the machine it runs on.

photomankc
12-21-2010, 04:09 PM
Copyright infringement certainly can be a crime and the act of circumventing any copy restriction, however laughable or sad it may be is also a crime. I'm not getting into the validity of the DCMA or the copyright laws here but the actions needed to constitue a crime are almost always involved in copying the software and using the crack. You are engaged in illegal activity but the threshhold to get an agency to actually go for a full prosecution are quite high. The companies want the fines and money, and could care less if you go to jail.

Evan
12-21-2010, 04:20 PM
Copyright infringement certainly can be a crime

Only if you redistribute the copies for profit or profit from the infringement in specific ways.




(a) Criminal Infringement.

(1) In general. Any person who willfully infringes a copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18, if the infringement was committed

(A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;

(B) by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000; or

(C) by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution.

(2) Evidence. For purposes of this subsection, evidence of reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work, by itself, shall not be sufficient to establish willful infringement of a copyright.




Further, it is only criminal if they can prove intent to distribute for gain AND if the distribution takes place before the software has been released for sale.

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html

dockterj
12-21-2010, 04:56 PM
ummm, there's that pesky word "or" at the end of clause B. I think that profit is no longer necessary for criminal actions
http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/copy-corner66.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NET_Act

Of course, I'm not a lawyer...

photomankc
12-21-2010, 05:15 PM
ummm, there's that pesky word "or" at the end of clause B. I think that profit is no longer necessary for criminal actions
http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/copy-corner66.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NET_Act

Of course, I'm not a lawyer...

I saw the copyright offices statement on it... now let a federal appeals court and the lawyers loose on the definition of private financial gain. You better not be selling nothing. Anyway the DCMA is not concerned with gain, it's concerned only with circumvention of copy restriction technology. Generate a key to run that puppy? Yep, you just ran afoul. There was a reason software makers were grinning about it.

Alistair Hosie
12-21-2010, 05:35 PM
Could it not be the reason the companies charge so much for the software is because they know they won't sell big quantities ,and know that even the small quantities will be copied by some.Now as I see it if they made each copy say $100 many more people would buy and they would maybe win out much better in the end.The high cost say ten thousand dollars must be an issue for smaller companies and smaller family firms with just several employees to justify the high set up cost .

I say the same analogy as I gave with Levi jeans who went to court here or was it Wrangler I forget.
Their argument against the big supermarkets buying their product i.e. jeans legally in bulk direct from America where their products sold for much less. They sold over here for say 40 as opposed to the rip off price wrangler Levi were selling to UK consumers for approx 120 per pair.
Anyway as said the went to court their argument was they were justified in asking 140 for jeans exactly the same item they sold in USA for $40 .They fought on the argument
A
That they charged what the market could afford,
in other words as long as they had no other competition they could ask what they liked.

The argument B was that selling the product in the UK too cheaply was undermining their brand name in other words that the brand tag /label on the jeans was so popular it justified the extra costs and they won.

The supermarkets here in the UK had to stop charging such a small price for a product which they had bought legitimately in the USA and brought into UK. Alistair

goose
12-21-2010, 05:42 PM
Any comparison to stealing is invalid.

Try thinking FIGURATIVELY, then the comparison is valid.


in the context of this original post how does copying and using software harm the provider of that software?

1: As I explained earlier, the value of the software is diminished as more unlicensed copies are created. You can rationalize/justify it by claiming only hobbyists are using the pirated copies and they really, really do promise to never use the product in a commercial sense, but are you kidding yourself?

2: The software producer takes great pains and costs to protect its product from hacking and illicit distribution (whether effective or not.) These costs add up and take a toll on the companies bottom line and/or are passed onto legitimate users.

3. The company has the right to market and position its products in the most favorable light possible, and may be very particular about hacked over, virus ridden, unlicensed versions being passed around on USB drives.

4. Perhaps harming the legitimate consumer more so than anyone else, companies, knowing that their product line is constantly under attack by pirating are less apt to support their software going forward, both technologically and practically. By technologically, I mean newer versions with zero backward compatibility to older (lock out the unlicensed users.) By practically, I mean: legitimate user with non-registered product, no software key? Sorry no support.



I would never consider paying 1000's of dollars for software and if I were to use something like that I would not in any way take business away from the vendor. At the level of a hobbyist it is a victimless act and it isn't criminal either.

You can whine about the thousands of dollars in costs, but a free ride is just that. I suppose I could go down to a BMW dealership and pretend to be interested in buying a Z4 roadster just to take a test drive for fun. After all, victimless crime?

Gary

RB211
12-21-2010, 06:18 PM
A funny story to tell...
In my younger days, I downloaded a video on how to fly a 767 in microsoft flight simulator.

Years later I am in flight school and one my class mates was one of the guys on the team of that project. He did all the artwork and some voice overs.
I came clean and told him what I did. Talk about awkward.

flathead4
12-21-2010, 07:30 PM
I suppose I could go down to a BMW dealership and pretend to be interested in buying a Z4 roadster just to take a test drive for fun. After all, victimless crime?

Crime???? I would like to know what law was broken.

Tom

sansbury
12-21-2010, 07:56 PM
Perhaps another reason why Mastercam, Solidworks et. al. may not chase the casual pirate too vigorously is that it actually hurts their competitors as much or more than it hurts them.

If the only way to get MasterCAM was to shell out $3000, it might not lead to many more MC sales, but it probably would lead to more sales for Vectric, BobCAD, Dolphin, and CamBam, which is a net negative for SolidWorks.

taydin
12-21-2010, 09:04 PM
Let's see:

- The software vendor owns all rights to the work.
- He agrees to allow you to use the work under certain rules, if you pay the license fee. He doesn't want you to use the work for free.
- You are using it for free :)

I don't see any way how this can be ethically justified ...

Evan
12-21-2010, 09:10 PM
Generate a key to run that puppy? Yep, you just ran afoul. There was a reason software makers were grinning about it.


The DMCA make defeating encryption illegal. Generating a key is not the same as breaking encryption.


1: As I explained earlier, the value of the software is diminished as more unlicensed copies are created. You can rationalize/justify it by claiming only hobbyists are using the pirated copies and they really, really do promise to never use the product in a commercial sense, but are you kidding yourself?


I am not rationalizing or advocating anything. I am simply pointing out the true nature of what the original poster is asking about. All the talk about theft, stealing and illegal activity is not applicable to the question at hand.

"As I explained earlier, the value of the software is diminished as more unlicensed copies are created."

That is not a given. Once people learn a particular CAD/CAM product they tend to stay with it since the learning curve is steep. Software makers give tremendous discounts to schools to encourage the use of their products for that very reason.

"they really, really do promise to never use the product in a commercial sense, but are you kidding yourself?"

Are you? I and many others do this as a hobby, period. The very few items I have sold in the past don't even pay for the time and materials I used. I have no plan to turn my hobby into a business as that would spoil it for me. My wife is still waiting for me to make a few more bow tying blocks. I will, someday.


You can whine about the thousands of dollars in costs, but a free ride is just that. I suppose I could go down to a BMW dealership and pretend to be interested in buying a Z4 roadster just to take a test drive for fun. After all, victimless crime?


That isn't a crime. I don't whine about the cost of high end software. I simply do not use it ( I could) or hack it (I could) or download it ( I could ) or have anything to do with it. In fact, When I need a tool path that I cannot hand code or that my current CamBam copy ( I beta test it for Andy) can't generate then I write my own software to do it. You want spiral tool paths in CamBam? Use my Spiral Pollygone script. It's FREE.

spope14
12-21-2010, 09:12 PM
It's generally illegal for someone to walk into someone else's house and take their stuff without consent. Despite the protection of the law, most people put locks on their doors to prevent theft (and insurance companies require this).

It's always struck me as odd how little care major software companies take to protect their software. Take AutoCAD; on the market for around 25 years, they've had plenty of time to develop a strong pass code, or - considering how expensive the product is, supply the product with a dongle. It's nothing to do with the bother of shipping a dongle - they're presently sending out "free" thumb drives with tips to purchasers.


Ian

I buy AutoCad Inventor each year, pretty keyed up all said and done. I would imagine hard to pirate with the server licences I need. Takes me forever to set up the first station and I always seem to have to go through layers of security to just get, purchase, and confirm the stuff to get it going in the first place. I do agree with your general premise though about how so many companies have laxed in security.

This may be why so many software companies will be supplying their future software via "the cloud". Google has started it with the free OS "Chrome", which even stores your files and some software aps., all on hteir server, never needing to have hard drive storage. How long before every computer has to be hooked to the internet to operate, the days of buying the stand alone computer without any internet access for even the basic standards are numbered. Microsoft is already offering several office based programs licenced via "the cloud" or through total internet access. Your MAC address becomes a part of your "key".

With several of the newest programs I have purchased, the licensing is checked over the internet already, and parts of the programs require the internet to access.

More on the "cloud", how long before our files and access are monitored and limited by your "cloud provider".

Here's one for you, we all get worked up when the Chinese (and all) take away what we invent and make it at 1/2 or less the price through basic espionoge or just plain theft and reverse engineering what they never invented or made in the first place. Heck, they probably even pirate our software for their industry ..... Are we speaking double standard or selective morality here?

RB211
12-21-2010, 09:16 PM
I buy AutoCad Inventor each year, pretty keyed up all said and done. I would imagine hard to pirate with the server licences I need. Takes me forever to set up the first station and I always seem to have to go through layers of security to just get, purchase, and confirm the stuff to get it going in the first place

Here's one for you, we all get worked up when the Chinese and all take away what we invent and make it at 1/2 or less the price through basic espionoge or just plain theft and reverse engineering what they never invented or made in the first place. Heck, they probably even pirate our software for their industry ..... Are we speaking double standard or selective morality here?
Well... Think again..
I see 2011 suite, everything included on a popular website for download... All 18 gigs of it.

Evan
12-21-2010, 09:37 PM
Eighteen Gigabytes!!!! :eek: :eek:

Ridiculous. Totally ridiculous. I bet they have padded it just to make it harder to distribute. Talk about Bloatware.

beanbag
12-21-2010, 09:41 PM
I buy AutoCad Inventor each year, pretty keyed up all said and done. I would imagine hard to pirate with the server licences I need. Takes me forever to set up the first station and I always seem to have to go through layers of security to just get, purchase, and confirm the stuff to get it going in the first place.


Well... Think again..
I see 2011 suite, everything included on a popular website for download... All 18 gigs of it.

See what I mean? U can pay big bucks and then jump thru all these hoops to get your software running, or....

get it once for free and be done with it. :rolleyes:

Who is the one being punished and treated like a crook here?

bborr01
12-21-2010, 10:22 PM
Eighteen Gigabytes!!!! :eek: :eek:

Ridiculous. Totally ridiculous. I bet they have padded it just to make it harder to distribute. Talk about Bloatware.

Very Evanesque,

Keep it coming.

Brian

fixerdave
12-21-2010, 10:27 PM
I buy AutoCad Inventor each year, pretty keyed up all said and done. I would imagine hard to pirate with the server licences I need. Takes me forever to set up the first station and I always seem to have to go through layers of security to just get, purchase, and confirm the stuff to get it going in the first place. ...

Installing software is a big part of my job and the current level of Digital Rights Management (DRM) annoys me to no end. I bet if you downloaded the pirated copy of AutoCad it would be much, much easier to install. Why? Because all the DRM would be stripped out. I can't use the pirated versions... we're a legit shop, everything must be licensed. You, I suspect, can't for the same reason. Basically, everyone that pays for the software is in the same boat. They must use the DRM-protected software to stay legal. Everyone that doesn't bother paying can install it the easy way. It's crazy. If all DRM was eliminated in favour of voluntary license compliance, I suspect the sales of this software would pretty much stay the same. DRM is useless; the world will be better off without it, as would all the companies using it.

As for making a living selling this stuff... Well, the trajectory of software is pretty clear... once the OpenSource alternative is good enough, all you've got left to sell is marketing. Take MS Office verses Open Office. Why would anyone pay for MS Office? All MS can do is add more features that nobody needs, and that just get in the way of using the features people do need, so that they can justify selling new versions. We pay for MS Office at work. Why? Inertia, glacial decision making, ignorance. I suggested we switch to Open Office when they ramped up a training program for Office 2007. They thought I was crazy. Today, they're starting to listen. The days of MS Office (at least being sold) are numbered. MS may eventually give it away to slow down the Open Source alternatives.

With CAD/CAM, well, it's more of a niche market so the whole process takes longer. But, sooner or later, there will be an Open Source alternative that does meet all the needs of most users. When the tool-paths are identical, when the interface works, when the results are the same, what will the commercial vendors be selling? All software packages will eventually reach the point where innovation becomes counter-productive. At that point, the rapid dollar-fueled commercial development will be overtaken by the slower-progressing Open Source method. If you want an Open Source CAD/CAM package to happen sooner, then contribute. There's probably enough interest around this board to build a perfectly functional system in 5 years. It's not like there's a shortage of CAM projects on SourceForge. In 10 years, all these commercial apps people are raving about, you know, the ones with the great tool-paths, would be in the "not worth stealing" pile.

And, thus, I'll get around to my point (sorry for the digression). As others have mentioned, any intelligent software company that made their living selling high-end packages to large organisations would be much, much better off by ditching the DRM and giving the hobby market people free copies to use. Why? Because this will slow the development of an Open Source version. But, most of these companies are as much dinosaurs as the people buying their products... so they screw them up with DRM and saber-rattle about copyrights. Both are counter-productive. If I worked for one of those companies, I'd be looking for alternative employment.

David...

Evan
12-22-2010, 01:51 AM
Very Evanesque,

Keep it coming.


The average full length novel takes about a megabyte or less when reduced to ascii data without compression. That means that 18 gigs is equal to about 18,000 books in a library. Using lossless compression that can be doubled to 36,000 volumes on the shelf. One gigabyte is enough for a thousand high quality large format jpeg images. There is no possibility that the complete Autocad package actually fills 18 gigs of data.

fixerdave
12-22-2010, 02:12 AM
The average full length novel takes about a megabyte or less when reduced to ascii data without compression. That means that 18 gigs is equal to about 18,000 books in a library. Using lossless compression that can be doubled to 36,000 volumes on the shelf. One gigabyte is enough for a thousand high quality large format jpeg images. There is no possibility that the complete Autocad package actually fills 18 gigs of data.

To take the book analogy further...

It would be easy to fill said library if the instructions you were writing said "use page ### from book XXXX, followed by paragraph X on page ### from book YYYY" and so on and so on... Using one page out of each of those 36,000 books is pretty much a description of modern library-based programming ;) This is especially true when book XXXX references YYYY such that YYYY has to be there even though the original program uses a completely different part of XXXX and has no use whatsoever for YYYY. Welcome to to the world of un-optimised code. But yeah, 18G :eek: that's almost enough to install Windows 7!

17.9Gb of library code that never, ever, runs :( Sometimes I miss the purity of assembler, not that I'd ever want to code in it again. nop, nop, nop.

sorry, couldn't resist ;)

David...

Evan
12-22-2010, 02:22 AM
Assembler is all about control. Absolute and total control. By far my favorite way to code but not on an X86 machine. Give me something with predictable instruction timings.

About total control, do you know how to trash a hard drive with only 17 bytes of code? I mean trash, not erase. :eek: No, I won't post it here.

barts
12-22-2010, 02:33 AM
Assembler is all about control. Absolute and total control. By far my favorite way to code but not on an X86 machine. Give me something with predictable instruction timings.

Processors stopped having predictable instruction timings when caches and MMUs became needed.

On a modern PC, the only integer instruction worth considering cycle counting is division.


- Bart

photomankc
12-22-2010, 03:34 AM
The DMCA make defeating encryption illegal. Generating a key is not the same as breaking

Well, I'm not going to argue forever. The understanding I had from discussions with some folks that deal with it was that the crack is itself a violation. The key is generally an encryption algorithm and reverse engineering it to generate one without authority is circumvention of copy control. Eveyone is of course free to operate on thier own understanding. As I said the odds of a federal prosecution is low for a dude at home.

IanPendle
12-22-2010, 04:21 AM
Photomankc wrote:

Everyone is of course free to operate on thief own understanding.

Great typo - was it intentional?

Ian.

photomankc
12-22-2010, 04:37 AM
Photomankc wrote:

Everyone is of course free to operate on thief own understanding.

Great typo - was it intentional?

Ian.


LOL..... no. D@m@ IPhone. :rolleyes:

RB211
12-22-2010, 03:42 PM
Well, I'm not going to argue forever. The understanding I had from discussions with some folks that deal with it was that the crack is itself a violation. The key is generally an encryption algorithm and reverse engineering it to generate one without authority is circumvention of copy control. Eveyone is of course free to operate on thier own understanding. As I said the odds of a federal prosecution is low for a dude at home.
Writing a crack is no different than the guy who disables the built in gps on his car with OnStar. His car, his rights, your computer, your rights.

gnm109
12-22-2010, 04:48 PM
Assembler is all about control. Absolute and total control. By far my favorite way to code but not on an X86 machine. Give me something with predictable instruction timings.

About total control, do you know how to trash a hard drive with only 17 bytes of code? I mean trash, not erase. :eek: No, I won't post it here.


I trashed two of them last year in my 20 ton hydraulic press. I didn't need any code at all....:)

lazlo
12-22-2010, 04:55 PM
Very Evanesque,

Keep it coming.

FWIW: I just looked at the size of the latest Solidworks 2011 distribution, and it's well over 5 GBytes.

But that's the whole Solidworks suite, including the 3D Solid Modeling, assembly tools, sheet metal, weldment, pipe/tubing, mold design, and electrical harness tools and the PCB plug-in, plus all the multi-lingual support tools.

mochinist
12-22-2010, 05:03 PM
FWIW: I just looked at the size of the latest Solidworks 2011 distribution, and it's well over 5 GBytes.

But that's the whole Solidworks suite, including the 3D Solid Modeling, assembly tools, sheet metal, weldment, pipe/tubing, mold design, and electrical harness tools and the PCB plug-in, plus all the multi-lingual support tools.yep, I just downloaded 2011 service pack 1 and it took about 45 mins on my kinda high speed connection:p

spope14
12-23-2010, 08:15 PM
About total control, do you know how to trash a hard drive with only 17 bytes of code? I mean trash, not erase. :eek: No, I won't post it here.

4 to 6 - 1/2 inch drill bit holes through the drive/ body.

I have done this with our administrative hard drives, server hard drives, and DOD and healthcare institution donated computers ( to their hard drives.) The disk platters seem to be pretty hard and generate a lot of heat, especially when the students attack them. I let them use clapped out bits to assure more heat and buggered up holes.

dp
12-23-2010, 08:46 PM
Assembler is all about control. Absolute and total control. By far my favorite way to code but not on an X86 machine. Give me something with predictable instruction timings.

About total control, do you know how to trash a hard drive with only 17 bytes of code? I mean trash, not erase. :eek: No, I won't post it here.

It used to be you could open the disk controller (in software) and poke in the commands to do anything you wanted to the disk. Haven't thought of that since around 1988 or so.

The 8086/8088 CPU was a fun machine to write assembler for. I never had to write any real-time stuff but came close when I wrote a Morse code reader/writer in ASSY.

Evan
12-23-2010, 09:27 PM
There is a trivial piece of code that causes the drive controller to erase the bad block table in the firmware. This causes a checksum conflict on boot that prevents the drive from starting and also prevents the drive from acessing the contents of the platters. While it can be done it cannot be undone without access to the original servo writer that formatted the platters at the factory. I am surprised that it hasn't shown up in a virus although that would defeat the purpose of most viruses.

beanbag
09-23-2011, 08:20 AM
It turns out that TechShop was able to get SprutCAM (relatively high end CAM) as part of an "educational institution" deal, so for now there is no moral quandary.

Your Old Dog
09-23-2011, 09:25 AM
................................
I have been bit too many times buying something that doesn't do what it says on the tin, then because of the unique selling regulations on software you can't get a refund.

..........................................

Ain't that the truth. Can't tell you how many times I've sprung good money for software only to find out I (for a change) was taken.

Only in the world of photography have I been really satisfied with my software purchases. PhotoShop, LightRoom and Silver Efex Pro are/were worth the money.

************************
Evan, the pic in post 7 will never work unless it's a high tech ant farm.

ftl
09-23-2011, 01:33 PM
There is a stand-off between some of the large software vendors and the hackers. Once you have a big market share for your product, you are better off allowing it to be hacked and used for free by some.

If you make it very difficult to hack, or to use a hacked copy, the people who won't pay to use your product will use a different product (for free) anyway. What you gain is the total market share that keeps your competitors at bay.

For both Windows and most Adobe products (I know of several other examples), a relatively simple way of hacking them has existed for two major versions now. Both vendors were completely capable of changing their products in the second version to disable the common hack, but did not.

In the case of Windows, they are effectively making it free to people that wouldn't buy it anyway and are keeping many of them from using Linux. It would be a disaster for Microsoft for Linux to gain significant market share and become a valid option for many other users that currently pay for Windows. It is better to (unofficially) give Windows away for free than to make these people switch to Linux.

The same thing is true of Photoshop. Some people use it for free, but they contribute to the universality of the product, and were not going to pay for it anyway.

The very cheap educational versions of software fall into the same category. You do it for long term market share.

So the bottom line is that it is in the best interests of some software vendors to allow some unpaid use of their software. They'll never admit it, but by leaving major holes unplugged in their licensing security, they encourage it.

lwalker
09-23-2011, 03:24 PM
You'd be surprised to know how many software companies are "little guys" themselves. For a competent and business-oriented programmer, it's trivial to start a one-man business.

I used to work for a hardware/software vendor that had 6 employees when I joined. I can't count the number of times our customers were surprised to find out how small we were, because they just assumed it took a huge corporation to do what we did.

And yes, our software was pirated, and you bet your butt it bothered us.


I don't think most software companies are interested in (don't really care about) the little guys (hobby or student) using pirated versions of their software. Its the commercial use that hurts them.
And there is an avantage to having a larger number of the population familiar with their software.
For me, it was when I started earning money with it that I felt compelled to purchase a legal version.

boslab
09-23-2011, 04:40 PM
i dont feel theres anything wrong with trying a pirate verson, TRYING it that is [i include learning also] but if it works then buy it, then you get the support!
[unless it SAP then you need a spare half a billion!, thats for all the modules and its still crap]
mark