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BradDaBug

Buisness machine/personal machine and piracy

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My house has several computers, but only one is considered "mine." I''m developing a game on that computer, and basically all software on it is legal, except for maybe some shareware stuff that I was supposed to register but forgot about. But my brother''s computer has tons of pirated games and software. The thing is, all the computers are connected on a network. With all the recent raids on companies looking for pirated software, i''m kinda paranoid. How much seperation would there be between my computer with legal software and my brother''s computer full of pirated stuff? Since everything is accessable to my computer via the network, would they be able to prosecute? Or would they go "ok, this is your computer, the only one you use, so that''s all we care about," and go away? Or would they even care at all?

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Yes, I agree you have little chance of ever being raided unless your brother was a HUGE pirate (like mabye the kind that imports and distributes thousands of CDs from Hong Kong...those always seem to be the guys getting busted). Businesses almost never get raided. Usually they get audited by the crooks (oops, I mean the BSA), which means they have some warning that it is going to happen.

On the off chance that your brother somehow did get you raided, you would probably get off free and clear in the end. However, you will be seriously inconvenienced as they would likely take all of your computer equipment and software and hold it as evidence indefinitely (at least several months, maybe even more than a year).

Ron Frazier
Kronos Software
www.kronos-software.com
Miko & Molly - Coming July 2002

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You should be fine. I knew a guy who went to RIT in Rochester. He got busted with several other people on campus for distributing pirated software by the FBI. Now, the only reason the FBI even came knocking on his door was because he was distributing it. By that, I mean that people were downloading thousands upon thousands of illegitimate copies of things like Photoshop, Windows, Acrobat, AutoCAD, Matlab, etc. Essentially very expensive software bundles that he and his buddies had acquired.

I knew everyone on the floor that he lived on and RIT has a very high speed network in the dorms. He made his computer accessible to all of them, not to mention the thousands of people who downloaded it.

My understanding is that he was the only one on the floor the FBI wanted, along with the other people on campus whose computers were actually distributing the illegal software. I had since graduated when I heard about it, so I don''t have all of the details of exactly what happened. I know he wasn''t in school when I went to visit my friends on the floor though. I''m not exactly sure what happened, although I''m told that the fact that he failed out had more to do with his departure than anything else.

It''s simply not worth it for Microsoft or any of the other companies to hunt you down for a few pirated copies of Office. It''s not worth it in terms of PR, or in terms of dollars.

On the other hand, if you cost them $100k in sales, you can bet they''re going to take you to the cleaners. Individuals aren''t typically worth tracking down and prosecuting. So, even if your brother is distributing it, so long as the computer you do your work on is clean, you will be fine.


Looking for an honest video game publisher? Visit www.gamethoughts.com

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If your a software developer and your brother has loads of pirate software, shouldnt you have a go at him about this? AFAIK your brother might have hacked copies of software I worked on (im a shareware author) and anyway you look at it, this is theft. If software developers cant even persuade thier own family to not use warez, what chance do you have of making a living as a developer?
I could have got a hack of Medal of honour no problem, but I bought it because the demo kicked ass and it was well worth the money. Tell your brother to grow up and do likewise.

http://www.positech.co.uk

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