What is the law on copying disks? Almost everyone recommends making backup copies but others say this is a form of piracy. Where is the line drawn?
Paraphrasing the response, the editor responds saying he is not a lawyer but he says if you bought a program you are entitled to a backup copy. Be sure it is only used as a backup, and you should not allow others to copy the program or even if you loan out the original and you use the backup.
I thought this was interesting in that the line for piracy was not drawn at actually bringing forth a new physical copy of the program, but in how the original and new were used. For instance, you could loan out your original, but using the backup was wrong....but what if your friend left town/lost the disk/etc. Could you then use your backup?
If you set the wayback machine to 1983 (the year the great crash came upon us all), programs might come in a variety of media. ROM carts were beyond my capacity to backup, but they were also impervious and along with cockroaches, were thougt to one day inherit the earth. Programs on tape however, and more especially on the floppy disks of the day could be fragile. Magnetic fields could erase the data, heat, repeated use, stretched tape, and the floppy disks were really floppy. We often carried them in hard plastic cases, and probably everyone had damaged them from getting poked or something. We were taught to have backups of all our programs; recall that machines did not have hard drives then. A program you spent money on needed a backup too, but companies were of course uncomfortable with that. Many of us had some sort of disk copy utility, while some companies tried various ways to combat copying. An interesting twist was Infocom and their physical feelies...copy the disk all you like but you migt hit a roadblock without a clue in a feelie. (Something continued up until the Star Tropics letter circa 1990, which made little sense for a ROM cart). Nintendo had some issues with the famicom disk system.
What do you think? Is piracy different if the medium is fragile? Is duplication okay, but the line drawn in how that duplicate is used? I guess there are the legal answers, the moral answers, and the de facto internet age answers.