Copy protection works for software

From Slashdot | Game Developers Should Ignore Software Pirates

Copy protection works for software … (Score:5, Insightful)

by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Friday March 21, @01:06AM (#22816088)

Copy protection works for software. The error that most people seem to be making is thinking that if it doesn’t stop everyone it failed. That is not true. Reznor’s argument is only partially correct, only higher level pirates can not be converted. Lower level pirates can be, and they are more numerous. This also means that the most intrusive and questionable anti-piracy methods do not need to be used.

On numerous gaming forums over the years I have witnessed a recurring story. Kiddies saying: I burned a copy of my friend’s disc and it didn’t work so I went out and bought my own. Copy protection worked.

On a larger scale I am familiar with selling academic software in a university bookstore. I’ve seen required software sell 1/15th of what the required textbooks sold, software that was initially released without copy protection. The developer then added some copy protection, simple and easily defeated copy protection, a package that is known and had pre-existing cracks. It worked, the next quarter’s sales of the required software was nearly in line with required textbooks. Copy protection worked. I’d like to add that this was in a university environment, no shortage of people with the technical knowledge to crack the discs for someone else. Also, these were pretty inexpensive software packages, the textbooks came with coupons reducing the price to about $30.

Most pirates will pirate software if it is trivially easy to do so, regardless of a low price. If you erect some sort of barrier a large number of these will buy.

Trying to stop all piracy is futile. But not using simple non-intrusives copy protection does cost sales. There is an optimal point balancing protection and incompatibility, and it is not zero protection.

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