Reflection of software cracking

From CPCWiki - THE Amstrad CPC encyclopedia!
Jump to: navigation, search

This article is just a draft. Please improve it where you think it makes sense.

Commercial software has to be paid for by the user who wants to use it on his computer. As it is usually possible to copy software from disc to disc or in another way, the user has the possibility of not paying for the software he uses but just copy it from a special source instead. To prevent this behaviour, software companies started to introduce copy protections during the 1980's.

Crackers are persons who are illegally disabling these copy protection mechanisms in order to make commercial software copy-able again. In this way, users are again able to get commercial software for free. As commercial software houses have a lot of costs and have to pay the programmers' wages, they are not very happy about these crackers, as they are losing money due to them.

Arguments pro crackers

  • Crackers are like modern "Robin Hoods": They steal software from the "bad rich capitalistic companies" and distribute it to the "good poor people".
  • People who are using cracked software don't have the money to buy commercial software anyway - so it doesn't matter at all.
  • As software is spread more widely after it has been cracked, it becomes much more popular. This is also an advantage for the software company.

Arguments contra crackers

  • Software companies have a lot of costs, their work is not for free. If people are using cracked software, the company is losing money and can't keep the amount of employees and the level of quality.
  • Why should some people pay money for software while other people are getting it for free? At the end it means that a few customers are paying so that other illegal guys can use things for free.
  • In any way according to the law using "stolen" software is as illegal as using stolen material productions.

Consequences of software cracks for the CPC

To be honest, Crackers were active on most 8-16bit home computers from the mid 80's generation. This explain partly why Consoles producers (Sega and Nintendo mostly) were the winners of this era.

Crackers were quite active in france because CPC sold very well mostly there (best selling 8 bit computer in France). It is to mention that C64 and ZX spectrum were far more sold around the world.

As said, cracking was of course a nice way to get games for a few amount of money so it popularised those games. But it also got sales far inferior to what it would have been possible. As a result, CPC got a lot of Speccy ports because it was even more a lesser market :

--less computers users.

--very talented crackers.

So CPC games were not always as good as they could be, because the market was not so lucrative..


Anyway because of the exotic format of disks on CPC (the 3") even to have copied games could be somewhat expensive for a CPC user (even for a speccy +3 user) as a 3" disk could cost something like 3,5 euros equivalent (20Fr... perhaps 2£...)