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V.i. Labs Handles Copyright Infringement Differently

Feb 18, 2009, 03:04 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Carla Schroder)

"But I digress. Despite being insanely aggressive and unrestrained, none of these tactics work, and several have backfired spectacularly. V.i. Labs' CodeArmor uses a different approach: it reports on copies that are actually being used. The idea is to find out who is using the software without paying for it, and then pay them a friendly visit and turn them into a paying customer. They're not interested in distributors of unlicensed copies, or the odd nerd who makes a copy, uses it once, and then never touches it again. It also protects against reverse-engineering and cheat codes.

"As you have already guessed, CodeArmor phones home and reports whatever data the developer has configured it to collect. The reporting mechanism runs in userspace and does not mess with the kernel or any system functions. Savvy nerds who are determined to get a free ride can figure out how the data are leaving their networks and block it. But Mr. DeMarines says this is rare. The more common scenario is the customer purchases some licenses for the product, and then copies are made and passed around. By focusing on the customers who are using unlicensed copies, the software vendor avoids all the traps that the entertainment industry fell into-- different laws in different countries, escalating levels of intrusiveness, becoming public laughingstocks, and having nothing to show for any of it."

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