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Thread: Is it ok to 'hack' commercial software for Linux?

  1. #1

    Is it ok to 'hack' commercial software for Linux?

    In another thread, relating to Opera 6, someone asked whether or not it was acceptable to 'tweak' programs like that to remove the banner, or rather, to alter it so as to give the impression that you had actually paid for the product.

    All comments on morality aside, what do you all think about things like this?

    Is it OK to manipulate commercial products for personal use if "nobody is getting hurt"? Do we as linux users have the right to make all closed-source products 'free'? Why does anyone care what we do in our own homes, and why shouldn't we, say, run a cracked version of Windows XP Pro on our cracked copy of VMware?

    Capitalism == bad?

  2. #2

    Re: Is it ok to 'hack' commercial software for Lin

    First you say, all moralities aside, and then you ask about the morality of hacking commercial products?!
    ???

    Anyway, for personal use, as long as you paid for it, then I think that a person should be able to hack commercial software. Redistribute the modifications of commercial software? Probably not, unless the company that you bought it from OK's it.

  3. #3
    Guest

    Re: Is it ok to 'hack' commercial software for Lin

    No it's not right.

  4. #4

    Re: Is it ok to 'hack' commercial software for Lin


    No it's not right.
    If it isn't right, then why is it that I only see Linux users speak out against software piracy only once in a blue moon?

    I've always gotten the feeling that while many zealots may not partake in the thefts themselves, they aren't always very vocal when they observe others committing actions that are generally considered immoral and criminal.

    Do we as linux users acknowledge that all Microsoft products and all of the products that run on Windows are bad (because Microsoft is so successful and because they produce software that is superior to their competitors', thus driving them out of business), and that stealing them is 'right' because they've already taken so much money from us and it is now our 'duty' to redistribute their wealth to the people who can't afford their products?

    If this is the case, how are we doing anything wrong? The corporations should be serving the public, not the other way around! They owe us free software, and we shouldn't owe them a single cent! Those greedy capitalist pigs! They're practically bathing in the blood of the people!

  5. #5

    Re: Is it ok to 'hack' commercial software for Lin

    No, it's not ok to hack comercial software if you do not own a license for it. If you do, I think it is fine as long as it is for personal use (like moding a Tivo). As for stealing serials or other things like that, definatly not. The software model the company embraces is closed, and there are always alternatives to it ... use them, make your own, don't use anything, or buy it.

    The only time I can see hacking closed software without a license is for security testing in which you report the findings to the comapny and the community.

  6. #6

    Re: Is it ok to 'hack' commercial software for Lin

    This is a tough issue, and it is not one that has an easy answer.

    In short, I would say that it is morally permissible to modify all proprietary software. Regardless of what the license may say, they do not have the moral right to tell us that we cannot.

    I'd love to talk more about this, but it will have to wait till tomorrow.

  7. #7

    Re: Is it ok to 'hack' commercial software for Lin

    In short, I would say that it is morally permissible to modify all proprietary software. Regardless of what the license may say, they do not have the moral right to tell us that we cannot.
    Do you think that They have the moral right to stop producing their product if you don't play by their rules? Or should they cater to every whim that the user might have, even if it should result in their going bankrupt?

  8. #8
    Guest

    Re: Is it ok to 'hack' commercial software for Lin

    I haven't hacked/cracked/stole software since I left the Windows world 3 years ago.

  9. #9

    Re: Is it ok to 'hack' commercial software for Lin




    Do you think that They have the moral right to stop producing their product if you don't play by their rules? Or should they cater to every whim that the user might have, even if it should result in their going bankrupt?
    They absolutely have every right to stop producing their software. In what way did my statement imply their catering to my whim?

  10. #10

    Re: Is it ok to 'hack' commercial software for Lin



    They absolutely have every right to stop producing their software. In what way did my statement imply their catering to my whim?
    Well, that isn't quite what I meant...you said that the company producing the product (we'll call it 'AHB') had no moral right to dictate to the user how he/she should use it, right? If you were to actually send a letter to someone in that company telling them what you wanted to do with their product, it would more or less say this: "I'm going to do whatever I want with your software, and you should not do anything to stop me from doing this."

    By not doing anything to prevent you from doing whatever it is you want with their proprietary software, they are more or less catering to your whim, which is to mutilate their software, which they may have spent millions upon millions of dollars on in programming and market testing. All of their money could go straight down the drain if you took your licensed copy of AHB, cracked it, and tossed it up on the net where just about any script kiddie with a 56k modem and AOL can download it.

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