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Missions and software piracy

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nojosecool

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« on: <06-20-11/1428:30> »
I have a couple technical questions about software piracy.  The FAQ says "Programs cannot be copied, downloaded, or otherwise pirated."

Does this include copying my own programs for personal use?   For example, can I have the same program on both my main commlink and my backup commlink?  We wouldn't [EDIT: necessarily] call that piracy in today's world, so I wouldn't think that the SR universe would call it piracy.  I can see how, for game balance reasons, we wouldn't want to allow a  hacker to just hand out free copies of his own stuff to everyone, but I don't see a problem with me running the same software on 'link A and 'link B.

What about my agents and IC?  Can I run my IC in both of my commlinks?  Can I have the one copy in my personal node, and one copy roving the nodes in my slaved network?  I'm worried because if we cannot copy our own programs for personal use, this will nerf my agent/IC pretty severely, and my hacker overall...  If this is okay, can I override the copy protection to use two copies of my IC in the same node?  (This last part seems like piracy, properly.  I wouldn't shed a tear if this were disallowed, but it would be nice if it's fine!)

Last question:  Instead of purchasing the unrestricted agent, can I just buy the restricted one and override the restrictions on my own?  (During down-time after my first run, of course)  I'm just running out of money, and this seems to be the best place to pinch pennies.

Thanks for looking this over!

-CooL
« Last Edit: <06-20-11/2150:26> by nojosecool »
This is not Grand Theft Auto, this is Shadowrun.

bigity

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« Reply #1 on: <06-20-11/1651:04> »
Actually, that could be piracy in today's world depending on the licensing.  Some licenses are for one PC, period.  You can move it to a different PC (which sometimes takes a phone call) but you are legally required to remove it from the old computer.

Most software from MS is this way, as well as most commercial software in general that comes off a shelf at Best Buy. Volume licensing requires going through some type of sales department, either from a 3rd party vendor or the company that sells the software.

Now, as for Missions questions, I have no idea :)

Bull

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« Reply #2 on: <06-20-11/1929:42> »
Item Creation and Item "Piracy" are generally off the table for a couple of reasons.

One is class balance.  Mages can't simply steal spells from another mage.  And while they can swipe a focus, they still have to bond that focus (WHich is, IMO, more costly than the money).  Likewise, we don't let Samurai "steal" cyberware.  So why should Hackers be able to steal programs?

The second reason is that money is one of several balancing factors in the game.  Juggling software is no different than juggling magic gear or cyberware or drones and vehicles.

The third is just simplicity.  We didn't want to mess with Software and Hardware degradation.  That's more bookkeeping than we need, and it's poorly explained and written in the rules anyway, and too many players don't really understand how they're supposed to work.  But one of the purposes of those was to simulate the fact that Pirated programs still have limits, and the longer you use them, the more likely they are to get shut down or weakened as features begin to "shut off". 

Basically, in 2073, Every Commlink is unique, and has a unique signature, code, or ID number.  Programs get locked into those IDs.  Same way that Windows get locked to individual PCs, for example.  Off the shelf programs are designed to lock on and stay locked.  Custom Built Programs are coded around your hardwares unique configuration.  Both have the same result:  Not able to be copied to another machine.  At least not easily.

Likewise, things like IC and Agents, which are designed to be a bit freer, all have unqiue ID tags to them.  These prevent the IC or Agent from being run in more than one location at the same time.  (Ever had a program tell you it can't boot up because it detects another copy of the program running?  Same concept). 

And this is to prevent the Agent Smith concept.

Keep in mind, this is a semi-unofficial explanation to explain the rationale behind the Missions ruling. 

Bull


Charybdis

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« Reply #3 on: <06-20-11/2058:29> »
In Australia, it's still illegal to copy DVD's or software even for your own personal use, or to transfer to another medium (ie CD to MP3/iPOD).

So everything OP suggests is still very much illegal here under standard licensing requirements.

Note: It's an Illegal act, but incredibly rife and common.... we're expecting the laws to be changed before anyone actually gets charged under the copyright legislation in this regard... it's just never caught up with the digital revolution...
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nojosecool

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« Reply #4 on: <06-20-11/2148:34> »
Excellent, thanks Bull.  That answers all my questions.  I'm glad I asked.  I didn't know that some of that was considered piracy since there are explicit rules in SR4A about how copying agents (for example) is meant to work.  Maybe an additional note for future FAQ's?

Bigity, I should have said "we would not necessarily call it piracy."  As you have pointed out, there are many (most?) cases where my statement was wrong.  I've fixed this in the original posting.

One more question for this thread: Can I load/run the same programs as my agent running on the same node?  How about if it's running off my persona?  (Example, can we both be running my attack 6 program since we're both running off the same node?)  I just need to know how many copies of stuff I need to buy now.  Hackers are hard to make  :-[ , but sooooo worth it.  ;D

Thanks again,

-Joe
« Last Edit: <06-20-11/2154:17> by nojosecool »
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CanRay

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« Reply #5 on: <06-20-11/2359:01> »
Note: It's an Illegal act, but incredibly rife and common.... we're expecting the laws to be changed before anyone actually gets charged under the copyright legislation in this regard... it's just never caught up with the digital revolution...
You mean like Software being treated the same way as written work in Copyright Law, with the "Author" being a Corporation and thus effectively immortal?
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squee_nabob

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« Reply #6 on: <06-21-11/1650:12> »
My group plays like everything is OEM. You can reinstall it just fine if you have the original discs, but you cannot run the same program twice.

Charybdis

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« Reply #7 on: <06-21-11/1947:46> »
Note: It's an Illegal act, but incredibly rife and common.... we're expecting the laws to be changed before anyone actually gets charged under the copyright legislation in this regard... it's just never caught up with the digital revolution...
You mean like Software being treated the same way as written work in Copyright Law, with the "Author" being a Corporation and thus effectively immortal?
Among other issues, yes.
'Too much is never enough'

Current PC: Free Spirit (Norse Shamanic)
'Names are irrelevant. Which fake ID do you want me to quote from?'

Phreak Commandment V:
If Thou Be In School, Strive To Get Thine Self Good Grades, For The Authorities Well Know That Scholars Never Break The Law

Sichr

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« Reply #8 on: <06-22-11/0601:12> »
Item Creation and Item "Piracy" are generally off the table for a couple of reasons.

One is class balance.  Mages can't simply steal spells from another mage.  And while they can swipe a focus, they still have to bond that focus (WHich is, IMO, more costly than the money).  Likewise, we don't let Samurai "steal" cyberware.  So why should Hackers be able to steal programs?

The second reason is that money is one of several balancing factors in the game.  Juggling software is no different than juggling magic gear or cyberware or drones and vehicles.

The third is just simplicity.  We didn't want to mess with Software and Hardware degradation.  That's more bookkeeping than we need, and it's poorly explained and written in the rules anyway, and too many players don't really understand how they're supposed to work.  But one of the purposes of those was to simulate the fact that Pirated programs still have limits, and the longer you use them, the more likely they are to get shut down or weakened as features begin to "shut off". 

Basically, in 2073, Every Commlink is unique, and has a unique signature, code, or ID number.  Programs get locked into those IDs.  Same way that Windows get locked to individual PCs, for example.  Off the shelf programs are designed to lock on and stay locked.  Custom Built Programs are coded around your hardwares unique configuration.  Both have the same result:  Not able to be copied to another machine.  At least not easily.

Likewise, things like IC and Agents, which are designed to be a bit freer, all have unqiue ID tags to them.  These prevent the IC or Agent from being run in more than one location at the same time.  (Ever had a program tell you it can't boot up because it detects another copy of the program running?  Same concept). 

And this is to prevent the Agent Smith concept.

Keep in mind, this is a semi-unofficial explanation to explain the rationale behind the Missions ruling. 

Bull

So if the rigger wants to use Command program for multiple drones, running it in the drones node, he will need to buy the command program for every specific drone/node?
Not just running the same command on multiple nodes...even if they are slaved. Each drone needs its own, specific program?
And command is cheap, right..its common use.
What about ECCM? Or Biofeedback filter? etc... up to 6K each...additional to the cost of the drone...
So everytime Ill buy a drone as a rigger, Ill need to buy every piece of software I want to use with this drone again and again, list it somewhere and keep the track of running/active/inactive programs?

Now...you call this simplicity or ballance?

Wasabi

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« Reply #9 on: <06-26-11/1118:41> »
One persona loaded on one commlink can use the program any number of times. You aren't duplicating the program you've just got the equivalent of multiple Word docs open.

Programs are all loaded on your persona so regardless of what you are using Command to order around the orders still come from your commlink.
« Last Edit: <06-26-11/1244:21> by Wasabi »
Missions Characters:
[SR4] Jax - Merc Technomancer
[SR5] Reece - Journalist TM

Sichr

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« Reply #10 on: <06-26-11/1637:55> »
...well...bad example, my glitch, sorry for that. You can run only single Command at the time...

I think this may be the bad place for this question, but Ill ask for it because I need to know: You run your persona from your commlink, or you can run your persona from any other node you have a subscription at? I mean, if Im a rigger, can I run my persona from my slaved vehicle node?

Wasabi

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« Reply #11 on: <06-26-11/1727:52> »
Good point on it being the wrong forum. Sorry, everyone!
I replied in PM, sir. :-)
Missions Characters:
[SR4] Jax - Merc Technomancer
[SR5] Reece - Journalist TM

Sichr

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« Reply #12 on: <06-26-11/1733:13> »
perfect. +1 thx a lot for clarification.