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Regarding cracks - CD Keys

I have always wondered about the point of CD keys since I first noticed them on Microsoft products. How do they hamper piracy?

If I copy the CD, I write the key on the CD label.

I don't get it. I've done this when I've made backups* and it's never caused me a moments grief.

* I carry a zip case with copies of the more important MSDN CD's and some other component/utility CDs instead of carrying around my good'uns. If I lose one, I don't cry.

Geoff Bennett
Sunday, July 6, 2003

Well, clearly, it doesn't have any impact at all unless you're required to use the key in some way -- like with activation.

Brad Wilson (
Sunday, July 6, 2003

Much like locks on doors, "It keeps honest people honest."

Monday, July 7, 2003

Ah yes, the old "so what if anyone could defeat it, it does have SOME security feature" argument.

What's to prevent you from going through your neighbor's mail? It's easy enough to do.
Monday, July 7, 2003

If you register your software, the key then tracks that copy of the software to YOU.

If the key gets out, they know where it came from.

Chris Tavares
Monday, July 7, 2003

And even if you don't register, they can easily trace you.

Monday, July 7, 2003

In Microsoft's case this is only since the changes that came with XP and Office XP, prior to that all MSDN licences used the same number for registration.

Simon Lucy
Monday, July 7, 2003

The CD Key concept was born before the 'net explosion (and definitely before MS caught on to its importance). The "big deal" was that you couldn't get support (which you've ostensibly paid for when you bought hte software) unless you've registered with your unique CD Key.

Unfortunately for MS, CD keys were about a year old when there was suddenly a Mr. Wizard on everyone's desktop and the importance of support as a way to enforce licensing compliance wasn't what it had been in the past.


Monday, July 7, 2003

pb, they can only trace you if your software depends on the vendor's participation in operating correctly.
So if say you have a cracked version of the perfect (and relatively bug free) DooDat 2003(TM), you can go for years if the vendor never bother to place in anti-piracy measures in the code.

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

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