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Re: The ethics of software emulations?

I think this is an important topic to discuss and I see several
misconceptions in this thread.  I don't have time right now for one of
my usual bloviating responses, but here's a few quick comments.

 > As far as Im concerned, copyright and IP are just killing
 > everything at the moment.. im so bored by it.. of course before ...
 > when everything was physical it was hard to rip off somebody elses  
 > you needed a factory to do it, now any one with a crappy old computer
 > and a "C++ in a month" book can be a pirate...

There is a difference between "piracy" and "emulation".

Piracy is generally understood to mean copying the actual program
files and making them available to other people without them paying a  
fee to the software manufacturer.  Often this involves "hacking" the
executable files to remove copy protection or distributing a license
key that can be shared by everyone.

I know there are lawyers on the list so feel free to correct me, but
legally piracy is a form of copyright violation.  It is clearly
illegal and it is a big problem for the software industry.  It is one
of many reasons why it is difficult to be successful in consumer

Emulation is writing a completely new program that has a user interface
that looks and behaves like another program.  The emulation can be
very exact as it is with the PSP emulations of Lexicon delays, or it
may just contain similar features that are presented in a different way.

Emulation is not illegal, in fact you should be glad it is allowed
or there would be absolutely no innovation in software.  We would have
one DAW, one wave editor, one delay plugin, one amp modeler, one  
and one word processor.

When we write software we do however have to be respectful of
three things: trademarks, copyrights, and patents.  I don't have time
to go into these in detail, but briefly it's fairly easy to avoid  
and copyright issues.  Just don't name things the same and never use
even a paragraph of someone elses code in your own without knowing
what the licensing restrictions are.

Patents are quite simply killing the software industry.  I don't have
time to properly explain just how bad they are, but you should be  
about them because if we don't fix the patent system, software  
will stop.