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bob.bernstein

ANTI-PIRACY MEASURES

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This is not directly relateed to FS but I thought it was worth airing.I have a legal copy of a major application, costing several hundred dollars, from a major international company. When I installed it, I had to enter my serial number then use the internet to get it validated. No problems, and I've been using now for several months.Last week I had to do an XP System Restore. The application then required me to re-validate it, presenting me on-screen with the 24-digit serial number, an even longer validation number, and a shorter number which I guess was a code for the reason for re-validating. I was given the option of validating by internet or phone with the message "Internet connection detected". When I selected the internet option it displayed another screen with "Internet connection not detected" and wouldn't proceed.I then tried the automated phone option, entering the serial number on the keypad followed by several unsuccessful attempts to enter the validation code. Eventually, the automated system told me that there was a problem and I was put through to the help desk. The help desk operator checked my serial number, told me it didn't exist - the implication was that I was a pirate and, too bad, there was nothing that could/would be done about it.In desperation, I re-started the application and got the same re-validation screen and tried the internet yet again. This time it worked and I was promptly revalidated.My point is that if a company the scale and size of this one can screw-up like that, what hope is there for smaller companies trying similar approaches?I have no objection to companies protecting themselves against piracy, but it shouldn't be at the expense of legitimate users. I guess I spent an hour of my time trying to sort it out. Do you think they'll reimburse me for it?Regards

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Yes, the modern way of treating the customers! And then phoning to hear that "all our collaborators are presently occupied" and to be put in an endless waiting-queue....

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I think this is very valid to flightsim as well. Customers are constantly inconvenienced by antipiracy measures in pretty much anything we buy. The fact Microsoft forces us to put cd#4 in the drive to "validate" our ownership every time we go to use Flightsim 2004 is a great example (I have a legal copy of FS, but I use the no-cd patch because I see no reason to wear out my already tired and old cd drive every time I go into flightsim). For almost any commercial addon you have to enter in your serial number, do an online activation, etc. just to install the product. I don't have a problem with companies trying to protect their product from theft (and using a commercial product without paying for it is theft, and dishonest, but it almost appears honest people are becoming few and far between these days). The problem I have is that it basically punishes honest customers like myself, and the dishonest "pirates" just get around these measures anyways. So in the end it's perhaps the customer that loses in the end. I should point out that almost all flightsim addon companies are very reasonable and helpful for when you wish to reinstall and reactivate a product. However, it just ticks me off that I, an honest and paying customer, have to jump hoops because others want to use that which they did not pay for.Oh and for those who do engage in software piracy, give up the lame excuses. Just because Microsoft makes a load of money, or artists don't receive a lot of profit off cd's does not justify piracy and dishonesty.

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I don't much care for that activation thing either...and I just had a similar event, it couldn't detect the network connection and I had to do it by phone. <I would like to make a point, however, in an effort to overcome a common, yet incorrect assumption...that is, big companies are naturally more able to make customers happy than small companies. I've worked for small companies for many years, and one really big one before that. Small companies have the ability to connect to you. Bad small companies exist, just like bad big companies, but good small companies will connect with you in a way that good big companies can't. Good big companies still depersonalize the connection out of necessity, it reduces the high highs and the low lows creating a sort of vanilla customer service experience. Just a perspective, Bob

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