Poll of the Day - Bypassing copy protection

Poll of the Day - Bypassing copy protection

Summary: Poll of the Day - Have you ever bypassed any form of copy protection mechanism?

TOPICS: Tech Industry

This is the first in a series of polls aimed at getting a quick show of hands on a particular subject.

A simple yet provocative question to get the ball rolling:

[poll id=9]

Feel free to post your thoughts on this topic in the TalkBack section.

Topic: Tech Industry

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • A very sad statement of our times.

    Currently the poll says 86% of the people asked have stolen something. How very sad. I guess it just shows that stronger laws with harsher penalties are needed.
    • Not even wrong

      [i]Currently the poll says 86% of the people asked have stolen something.[/i]

      No, it says that they've bypassed copy protection. Which is, among other things, not "theft" -- at least according to the United States Supreme Court.

      [i]How very sad.[/i]

      Agreed -- it's a very harsh comment on our society that corporations go to great trouble to damage their own businesses and abuse their paying customers.

      No wonder the US economy is losing ground.

      [i]I guess it just shows that stronger laws with harsher penalties are needed.[/i]

      Enforcing the ones we have against copyright abuse would be a good start.

      Oh, and by the way: according to black-letter and case law at the US appellate level, bypassing copy protection on a work that you have legal right to is perfectly legal.

      Oops. Better luck next time, thank you for playing, you can pick up the consolation prize on your way out.
      Yagotta B. Kidding
    • Does not mean Stolen...

      Just because you have gotten around copy protection, does not mean it has been stolen. If you have ever made a legitimate backup copy of anything in the last two years, you have probably circumvented copy protection at least once.
    • Nice spin there axe...

      But that's not what the question asked.

      It only asked if you've bypassed copy protection.

      It said NOTHING about stealing.
      • I think Ax is only trying to start a conversation!

        Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
        • Polite euphemism

          Isn't that a rather verbose way of saying, "trolling?"
          Yagotta B. Kidding
    • Hard to steal something you own

      Wow, when I used JHymn to free the songs I bought from iTunes so I could stream them to my own stereo I was stealing something? What, pray tell, was I stealing? And what penalty do you think I should face?
      tic swayback
      • Stealing Apple's Right

        You, sir, are "stealing" Apple's "right" to make you pay 99 cents for every device you want to play something on! Eventually, they will charge for every eardrum that hears something and every eyeball that sees something. And that's only until they can charge you for THINKING about a thing. That song that's been stuck in your head all day? It's really going to cost you....
        • $129, not 99 cents

          ---You, sir, are "stealing" Apple's "right" to make you pay 99 cents for every device you want to play something on!---

          Actually, Apple only wants me to buy the song once. But they apparently insist on me spending $129 on their Airport Express/Airtunes device if I want to listen to it wirelessly on my home stereo, rather than the Squeezeboxes I already own. Who knew a 99 cent purchase was going to cost me $258?
          tic swayback
          • Good point ...

            "Who knew a 99 cent purchase was going to cost me $258?"

            No wonder they want to keep the songs at 99 cents.
            Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
    • 50 Cent = copyright thief

      How sad when popular artists are thieves and they get away with it, right No Axe?

      tic swayback
    • Re: A very sad statement of our times.

      [i]Currently the poll says 86% of the people asked have stolen something.[/i]

      No it doesn't. It says 86 percent have broken copy protection, like I do every time I play a DVD on my Linux box - DVDs I have paid for.

      But you knew that. You're just stirring the pot. How sad.

      none none
      • Somewhat...

        Well you're not really bypassing the copy protection, per se. As long as you're not distributing copies of your DVDs, you're fine. Just watching it on your Linux box isn't bypassing the protection, otherwise watching DVDs on my Windows box is also bypassing the protection.

        True that the Linux software was written as a result of someone else bypassing the protection, but there were good intentions and the purpose of the software was not to bypass the protection for the purpose of making copies but to watch and enjoy.
    • What's sadder...

      ...is that with all the education and technology, the world still produces morons like you to waste the gene pool on.

      People like you deserve an award... the Darwin Award.
    • And How Fast Do You Drive?

      So tell us you've never driven above the speed limit. Not the same as theft, but twice as dangerous and could have far worse consequences.
      Besides, the question was "have you bypassed copy protection?", not "have you stolen anything?", two very different animals. If I thwart the ill-concieved copy protection on a legally purchased cd by playing it on my computer, it's NOT theft, it's NONE of their business, and it's NONE of your business, and does NOT warrent your sarcastic and insane comments.
      Ole Man
      • Zoom Zoom

        "So tell us you've never driven above the speed limit. Not the same as theft, but twice as dangerous and could have far worse consequences."

        Some states you can get a ticket for ging the speed limit.
    • Macrovision

      many people have difficulties playing DVD's in game consoles (xbox, ps2) due to Macrovision and similar anti-theft systems.

      The easy way to resolve this is to use an RF switch to filter through before you hit the TV.

      Macrovision is a protective system, and the RF switch is used to bypass it.

      does this mean they are stealing? or bypassing a system which would otherwise make the product inconvenient or impossible to use?
    • Have you never held down the shift key...

      when inserting a CD containing copy protection software into the CD-ROM drive on your Windows PC? I have, therefor I have bypassed copy protection. Nothing was stolen, nor was copyright infringed. Infringement by the way, is an entirely different thing than theft. Theft is a criminal matter while copyright infringement is a civil matter. That's why there are different laws for each.
      • You're not quite correct

        Copyright infringement is a criminal offense, as defined by 17 US 1204 (Title 17, Section 1204 of the US Code). Subsection (a) defines criminal copyright infringement as "Any person who violates section 1201 or 1202 willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain".

        For reference, section 1201 deals with circumventing copyright protection systems, and section 1202 deals with copyright information on the work and its removal, alteration, or falsification.

        In other words, it is illegal to bypass copyright protection, and illegal to try to pass a work off as your own or with modified copyright information, and doing so for financial gain makes you guilty of a federal felony. Just violating the terms makes you liable under 17 USC 1203, which provides for civil remedies.

        But if the protection makes it impossible for you to use the work in a non-infringing manner, then you are legally able to bypass the protection, and there are restrictions in what is considered "impossible" as well.

        For example, if playing a protected DVD required you to purchase a brand new DVD player with a retail cost of around $100, then bypassing the protection is reasonable, if you did not know and a reasonable person would not have been able to ascertain that the new DVD player would be required. (This is why they state on the DVD cover if something specific is required.)
        • OK

          Some copyright infringement may be criminal, and not civil. That still does not address the point that I was trying to drill into No_Ax's adamantium skull. Specifically, that theft and copyright infringement are not the same thing. Personally, I believe he's being willfully ignorant in regards to the difference.

          Interestingly enough, if a CD contains copy protection software, and you bypass it by holding down the shift key, you may be committing a felony.