copy protection(kop´ē prō-tek´sh&n) (n.) Refers to techniques used to prevent the unauthorized copying of software. The idea of copy-protected software was created by software manufacturers who wanted to prevent software piracy -- users copying programs and giving them to friends and colleagues free of charge.
As enticing an idea as it may be, copy protection has not proved to be a viable strategy. For one, it is practically impossible to create software that cannot be copied by a knowledgeable programmer. Second, many consumers shy away from copy-protected software because backup copies are difficult to make. Thus, if their original copy of the software is damaged, the user must contact the manufacturer for a new copy. Finally, some copy-protection techniques can actually damage other software on the system. For these reasons, copy-protected software is becoming less common.
Most software producers now protect their programs by issuing registration numbers with each package. When you install the software, you must enter the registration number. This does not prevent all piracy, but it limits it. In addition, users cannot get updates to a product unless they own the original diskettes and documentation.
An alternative strategy for dealing with the problem of software piracy is shareware, where users are actually encouraged to copy and disseminate programs. Shareware publishers rely on people's honesty to pay for the products used.
Taking ownership of our own misjudgments or simple forgetfulness takes a healthy amount of humility and some honest self-assessment. Yet sometimes... Read More »Have We Become a World of Addicts?
It's hard to imagine our lives without smartphones. But people who suffer separation anxiety when they don't have their phones nearby may be in... Read More »13 Best Free Android Apps
From secure messaging to document editing, our top free must-have apps have been rated, reviewed and named the best free Android apps of 2015. Read More »
From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »