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View Full Version : don't copy that floppy

2004-06-14, 03:07
Don't copy that floppy is a nine minute educational video released in 1992 by the Software Publishers Association (http://www.spa.org/). It shows two people at a school playing a software game on a computer. The boy in the game wants to make a copy of the floppy that the game is on so he can play it later on another computer, but when he goes to do so, a rapper comes up on the screen of the computer lecturing him on the woes of copying software. The lyrics to the rap song can be found here (http://www.versiontwo.org/archives/000370.shtml).

In the video the arguments used against copying software are that people will not produce software if copying occurs, and it will be the end of software development and consequently the computer. They also equate copying to stealing. Here is a sample of the lyrics between 5:49 and 6:11 in the video:
So do the right thing, it's really simple for you.
The copyright law, it will tell you what to do.
Buy one for every computer you use.
Anything else is like going to the store.
Taking the disc and walking out the door.
It's called thieving, stealing, taking what's not yours.
Is that really where you want your life to go?
Think about it. I don't think so.
Don't copy that floppy.

Because software becomes obsolete quickly, developers have little grounds to argue against the copying of it. Most software developers treat their upgraded product as a new release that is sold again to the public, while the older ones are left to die. People tend to buy new computers every five years or so, and when they get rid of their old computers they are also getting rid of their old software and licenses which they still own. In the computer industry, when something is released it is already obsolete. When you copy software you are actually copying obsolete software.

Here's a case in point. Microsoft was disturbed that people were choosing to use OpenOffice (http://www.openoffice.org/) instead of their new versions of Office. They compared the open source product Open Office to be as good as their prior release Office 97. At the time Microsoft made Office 97, it was selling it for $500 (source (http://www.oit.umass.edu/publications/at_oit/Archive/spring97/office97.html)). Now the company is admitting that a product which it sold for an outrageous price is available for free. So does that mean it will reimburse those former customers or give them a lifetime of upgrades? No, not in Microsoft's case. Here's a thing to think about. Given that Microsoft has admitted that Office 97 is as good as what is now available for free, does that mean that all past copiers of Office 97 are forgiven? Microsoft has no grounds today to reprimand those who copied their software in the past. And since all software becomes obsolete, there is nothing wrong with copying software anyways.

The fact is that there are plenty of innovative people who do like to create things without the hopes of a profit. The health of the open source community (http://sourceforge.net/) attests to that. Copying software will not create a dark ages of software development. On the contrary it will open up new possibilities for more people all over.

You can download the video here:
don't copy that floppy.wmv (http://www.p2pjihad.org/eclectica/dctf.wmv) (17,310,942 bytes)

2004-07-06, 04:17
when i go to the cinema, before each movie they play a short clip (about 4 minutes) about d/ling movies is stealing.

They says something along the lines of "you wouldn't steal a car would u? You wouldn't steal a purse...you wouldn't steal a video.... DOWNLOADING PIRATED MOVIES IS STEALING!".

i know that had nothing to do with floppy disks... but u know... same ole same ole, we're all being told we're thieves in the eyes of the law makers.

2004-07-06, 06:23
The Big Filesharing Lie is that copying is the same as stealing. Actually when you copy something you're sharing, which is a generous act worth of praise.

If a creator is really worthwhile then he will be glad you are copying his material.