The Copyprotection Wars

All general stuff about SPS, like philosophy and mission - discuss it here!
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ZrX
Posts: 245
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:09 pm

The Copyprotection Wars

Post by ZrX » Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:03 am


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IFW
Posts: 2634
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:42 pm

Re: The Copyprotection Wars

Post by IFW » Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:47 pm

Nice - I bet they would have enjoyed a KF board back then :lol:

SomeGuy
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: The Copyprotection Wars

Post by SomeGuy » Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:37 pm

The article does mention the then-new Copy II PC Option Board, which provided similar functionality.

Honestly, I'm surprised most vendors dropped floppy disk copy protection in the very late 80s, and magazine software reviewers had enough guts to publicly chastise those that continued to use it.

As I archive stuff, I still get a kick out of the copy protected 5.25" floppy disks that insist I stuff them in my 3.5" "A:" drive instead of running happily from my 5.25" "B:" drive.

That article really doesn't describe what a pain software copy protection was to end users.

- Even if you had an expensive new hard drive, you still had to bother with placing the program or keydisk in the floppy drive.
- You had to do that EVERY time you ran the application.
- And you had to do that for EACH copy protected application on your computer, possibly keeping dozens of keydisks around.
- If your fragile floppy keydisk failed, you were screwed.
- If the company you bought it from went out of business or no longer supports the version you need, you are even more screwed.
- You know, nobody even ever sent in their registration cards that entitled them to replacement keydisks.
- Machines with 3.5" (or other) drives often would not be able to run the software.
- Also, forget about running things off of a fancy new LAN or diskless workstation.
- Less compatible clone computers would often fail to run the software.
- Some protection schemes would fail if you were running debugging tools or other odd resident software.
- Those that would copy "protection" to a hard disk would often make it impossible to upgrade the hard drive.
- With hard drive protection, forget about taking a copy of the software "on the road"
- Some hard drive protection schemes would fail after running disk defragmenters or other cleaning/management tools.
- Some hard drive protections would fail if you were running a newer version of DOS, different partition types, or anything else unusual.
- Most hard drive protection schemes only allowed one install ever, ocasionally with an "uninstall" option. If you had a hard drive crash or reformatted you had to buy a new copy.
- When some really pin-headed protection schemes failed, they would do "scary" things like making a siren sound from the PC speaker, or threatening to reformat your hard drive - as if being put out of business was not scary enough already.

But ironically we have all gone crawling back to using copy protected software. Somehow software constantly phoning home to get authorization/activation and hoping the vendor is still around is deemed acceptable.

spags
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:46 am
Location: Australia

Re: The Copyprotection Wars

Post by spags » Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:07 pm

Some of your pain points also remind me of the pains of a certain modern console.

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