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Software theft (Rainbow 1981-09)

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Home / Publications / Rainbow / Rainbow 1981 / Rainbow 1981-09 - Software theft (Rainbow 1981-09)

Although most of us are consumers -- rather than authors --of software, the RAINBOW believes there are some important issues relating to software that bear consideration of everyone who is interested in computers and computer programs.

One of the main issues, to our mind, is that of software theft. Some people, we are sure, call it "swapping" or "trading," programs. But such activities are theft nonetheless.

One of the attractions of publications such as the RAINBOW is in the programs it publishes. This, we feel, is especially true of the RAINBOW, since every program in our publication is written for the COLOR Computer ... and only the COLOR Computer. Many of our readers have told us this is one of the main reasons, they like the RAINBOW so much.

Please note that we do have a. notice in each issue of the RAINBOW stating that purchase of our newsletter entitles you to use any program reproduced on these pages. But you also are authorized only as the "single end user" --- which means you are the only one authorized to use these programs.

Why? The answer is simple, a number of our programs come from software authors who are willing to share some of their offerings with readers of the RAINBOW. But, they're in business ... and these same programs which you can get for free here will be sold to others. It is unfair to them for you to copy their programs and give them to non-subscribers.

As those of you who write any of your own programs know, it takes weeks -- and many times months -- to develop an effective program. That's time invested. And, for a software author, time is money. Sometimes thousands and thousands of dollars.

We hope you. won't share, sell, trade or swap programs in the RAINBOW with non-subscribers. After all, a subscription to the RAINBOW costs only $12. And most of the programs in the RAINBOW will retail for at least that much. That's a bargain for a subscriber, and a rip off by those who freeload off your subscription.

This is, really, part of a larger issue -- that of software theft. Certainly, you can reduce your software costs by going 'in' with a couple of others and buying a program. Or, you can swap with someone else -- and get two programs for the price of one.

Let's consider, though, the author who spent six months writing and debugging. that program. You cheat him out of a fair return on his personal investment in time with every giveaway, trade or swap. And, frankly, if he doesn't make enough money selling software, he'll sure be reluctant to spend his time writing another one. The author loses, but you lose, too. Because he just might not ever write that one great program you really want.

The RAINBOW is against software theft -- and make no mistake, swaps, trades and the like are theft. We strongly discourage you from such activities and hope you will actively discourage others as well.

It’s only fair. find it’s the only legal way, too.


See this article as it appeared in the magazine, page 2