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Computer: Security: Authentication
Legal Crack   (+3, -12)  [vote for, against]
Service to Crack Legally Licensed Software

Sometimes computer owners purchase software out of necessity. The computer owner may not like or agree with the software manufacturer. In particular, the software manufacturer may be acting as the worst kind of monopoly. In other cases, the software manufacturer may attempt to apply countless unfair contract terms to the software license.

Reading the license, entering your code and clicking accept is a subservient act to a company to which you certainly do not wish to be subservient. Them getting your money is quite bad enough.

As a law-abiding citizen, the only option is to go and get some legal crack.

Logging on to the legal crack website, you supply your purchase details to demonstrate that you have actually bought the software. You then download a crack to bypass licensing and activation for whatever software package. Use of this crack ensures you do not need to agree to any license terms.

There was nothing on the software packaging which indicated the need to agree to license terms or indicated that you could not use the Legal Crack. Therefore, you now have the software installed free of license terms. (If the license terms are only displayed during the supplied installer; then they must only apply when you use the supplied installer... otherwise they would be clearly explained at the point of sale)

Software which phones home is best under this system. Large numbers of reports of unlicensed software will infuriate the manufacturer. If they come and check, they will be further infuriated to discover that you have purchased the software.

In the case of bundled software, there will come a time when this kind of manipulative system will come under the fire of the legal system. A question will be asked in court "what percentage of the bundled license keys are activated?" and the answer will be low. The court will rule that as so many users are not activating the software, they clearly do not have need of the bundled software; and the practice will be ruled illegal.

Finally; legal crack could help with staff retention. Experienced computer programmers develop a distaste for certain companies and their products. They might quit your company in disgust if they discovered you were buying licenses from those companies. Legal Crack allows you to conceal the license purchase from your staff, enabling them to continue to believe that their employer is as much a raving liberal as they are.
-- vincevincevince, Jan 29 2008

Crack http://www.inspect-...ageCrack121DJFs.jpg
[normzone, Jan 29 2008]

This just seems like wishful thinking about a small detail of the legal framework within which software is used. Either the license is bogus, in which case you can crack and use your software because it's yours, period, regardless of the terms; or the license is valid, in which case no amount of talk will render your cracking legal.

How would the website verify your "purchase details" without collaboration from the original vendor, which, presumably, will be reluctant to help?
-- jutta, Jan 29 2008

wow. you actually read one of those agreements... and were offended.....


-- evilpenguin, Jan 29 2008

Free Software is Teh Solution™ to the problem, not this overcomplicated idea.
-- erlehmann, Jan 29 2008

<possible worm-can hazard>I'm not sure where raving liberality comes into this.</pwch>
-- pertinax, Jan 29 2008

I for one can remember the days when licensing agreements only came with freeware. I've read the licensing agreements on several purchased software items, and am invariably offended by them, albeit I am more offended by some than by others.

I agree that the free software manufactured by my buddy Teh, is indeed the answer... but until then, I'm glad to see that someone is thinking up a way to bite back against rampant corporate megalomaniacs.
-- ye_river_xiv, Jan 29 2008

//or the license is valid// - I don't see how a license which you are never told about and never see can be valid.

Just for clarification - the basis of this idea is to fight against the software manufacturer as much as you can - whilst still actually having purchased the software.
-- vincevincevince, Jan 29 2008

I see no point in this, I mean, they have your money anyway so you're not hurting them at all.

Nobody actually reads or enforces the EULA so you're not helping yourself either.

Also, I think that the DMCA makes it illegal to make cracks (and even more so to distribute them) anyway, regardless of what they're used for.

Also, for anything to be a sucessful business, money needs to change hands. Charging for this service would just make matters worse.

This sort of business would incriminate itself easily plus leave a clear paper trail to follow.
-- Spacecoyote, Jan 29 2008

Wasn't there an idea for putting all the Halfbakery moderators on crack last year??.... I was hoping this might be a follow up.
-- xenzag, Jan 29 2008

Sure... I'm sure that "Legal Crack" would get along great with Microsoft or any other large-scale coorporate operation. Furthermore, GO DOWNLOAD THE FREAKING CRACK AND DO IT YOURSELF IF IT'S NOT A VIOLATION OF THE "TERMS OF USE." Idiot.
-- RXAaron, Jan 29 2008

vincevincevince - could you give an example of the terms to which you object, and/or cite any instance where enforcement of these terms has caused grief?

Surely, the gripe is that you only see the terms when you've already bought the product, yes? So, the simpler and fairer solution is to make the terms viewable (online or on a box's label) before you buy. Then, it's up to you whether to agree to the conditions imposed by the people who wrote and sold the software, or take your business elsewhere.

Trying to fix the "see terms only after purchase" problem by a software hack is just creating one problem to fix another. [-]
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 02 2008

//vincevincevince - could you give an example of the terms to which you object, and/or cite any instance where enforcement of these terms has caused grief? //

Sure - let's start with Windows XP and the fact that having bought the software I later learn I can't move it between machines.
-- vincevincevince, Feb 16 2008

Well, OK, fair enough, I agree. But the solution is a change in the law that requires the terms and conditions to be made available before the purchase is made.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 18 2008

I agree with [the MB]. Just make the terms of use available prior to purchase.
-- gabrielsnew, Feb 18 2008

random, halfbakery