Ok, so we all know, or atleast most of us, the term "Warez" to describe the distribution or sharing of a copyright application, game, movie, and sometimes music. As you may know, usually packed inside or otherwise external is the keygen to the application. Other forms are cracks (nutcrackers), patches and just straight up serial codes. So now I leave a simple question; Is the distribution of a keygen legal?
In my mind, it is LEGAL. Sure it produces working (usually) serial numbers which can then be used to ILLEGALLY register a program, but YOU DO NOT HAVE TO USE IT. So is actually owning or distributing a keygen illegal? I have heard both sides of the story, so let me hear yours.
READ BEFORE POSTING: This post is intended for your opinion, or thoughts, on the subject in questioning. NO keygen/crack/patch/warez sites are to be posted here. Read the TOS, you know it isn't allowed anyway.
It's strictly not allowed on Frihost.
I'm pretty sure it is illegal in most countries.
They are 100% illegal, they DIRECTLY produce kjeys that may be used to hack your software, keeping in mind that the key it produced MAY be an actually existing one on the shelf of some shop. If someone pays $500 dollars for a program and finds the CD jey is in use, it would really suck. Unlike programs like Kazaa which may be used for legal purposes, keygens do not have a legal purpose. I have been a victom of this myself and it is really annoying.
Yes, they do produce keys which may otherwise exist in boxes but I still see it differently. Owning, or having the keygen on your computer, without actually using it to register a product is LEGAL, I believe. You see, it's the user that uses the actual generated serial number that is illegal, NOT the keygen itself. Maybe I am wrong? What are your thoughts?
So when I take a plane and have a bomb in my luggage is that legal? Is it only illegal to let it explode during the flight or is the police allowed to arrest me if they see I have a bomb in my luggage?
well heres something that I think the point is trying to get across. Its not illegal to sell products that cover/hide/what ever your licence plate, but it is illegal to use one.
*Bondings, your example is an extreame and is over the top a little. But it
does make a point.
I also think that they are Illegal and people could be sure/whatever by even downloading one.(maybe)
I also thinkthat this law is differnet depending where you go, but none the less, is illegal.
if you own a store that specializes in selling things to cover license plates. You have no reason to cry when you are being pulled over and questionned.
I think that if you have it, you aren't doing anything bad but if you use it then you have crossed the line
So say you have some really nice stree tuner car that has been modified to the max and it isnt street legal anymore, it doesn't make it so that you cant own it, you just cant drive it
Keygens are illegal.
Keygens (in my mind) are strictly ILLEGAL...
And I think the best trick to counter this is to make somthing like steam (to play games like Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Day of defeat and some other games)...
You need to buy the game or have a friend who he has an account to give or to lend.
I consider them to be illegal because it seems logical and thats my current understanding of the law(UK).
Their only use is that of illegal use. Bondings mentioned a bomb. That can't be used in a good or non bad way so the poccesion would be illegal but a non street worthy car was another example. Illegal to ride on the road however no entirelly illegal as it could be a showpiece or similar in whch case its fine.
I the US they are stricly illegal as well, and even if owning them is not a crime it will make the police/FBI watch you and your online habits just for keeping one on your hard drive. Besides, what is the sense of downloading or keeping a keygen on your computer if you have no intent on using it? Seems rather dumb to me. You have no idea how many trojans are spread thru those particular types of software, it's just not worth the risk of keeping one around.
keygens lead to piracy, and thus, it's illegal. tho, companies would really never lose a physical item, but it lessens the number of potential buyers.
Ok, ok. Then you say drugs are legal...if YOU use them, then YOU are illegal...
From that point of view, nothing is reall illegal, because everything you use is under your own responsibility, so everything is legal until you use it.
If that were true we would be really screwed in this country, alot more people would have and be carrying guns for no real reason except to be able to pull one on some unarmed person. Alot of our possesion laws in this country seem a bit harsh to others, but they in fact keep the amount of violence down to a minimum. If you don't think that is true, just think of all the people that would have guns if they weren't regulated. Or even carrying a concealed knife or some other weapon that is currently banned/prohibited/regulated in the US today. People would go bonkers in this country without some kind of regulations to keep them in line. Sure we are all mature members of society here, and we don't feel the need to be regulated in anyway, but here is not out on the street taking your kids lunch money or robbing your Mother of her Social Security check.
Of course keygens are illegal. They generates a free seriall number, which actualy must be bought from program or game author. It is like a small part of warez.
Hmm depends, most keygens are just simple algorithms so the actual key is an output of an equation. And how can any equation be illegal ) Lets paste it in a non binary form, is that illegal too?
If you didn't pay for the software, no matter if you used a crack or a keygen that is stealing and therefore illegal. To ask if you pasted the info into a non-binary form still gets you the same result....a program you didn't pay for and illegally obtained. They call it Software Piracy here in the US and iit is a federal offense....no matter how you slice it. Do you think your arguement would hold any wieght in front of the softwares author or a judge? Be honest, do you?
Be sure, that's absolutely illegal.
Of course using pirated software is illegal in most countries, i wasnt talking about that, but just the keygen, actually just the algorithm(equation) used to generate the key in any form.
A used CDKEY isn't illegal because it's already used.
I mean, you can ask your friend to give you his game and cdkey - that's not illegal.
With a keygen you can 'generate' a brand new cdkey and play the game for free - that's illegal.
Keygens are illegal, no discussion
They are perfectly legal. Using them for software you don't already have a licence for is illigal. Under certain circumstances the fact that you have a keygen may be used as evidence that you are installing illigaly pirated software.
Just like if you have a bomb in your luggage, the bomb can be used to prove that you are conspiring to destroy the aircraft, which is a crime.
However, that is a bad example, because the bomb itself is illigal.
Ah, what a great discussion and time I had reading upon these posts. Good points by everyone here, I think, and the bottom line I still get is actually owning one is legal, but using it is illegal.
The point mentioned earlier that owning a keygen is dumb if your not going to use it is true, but the point was to get the message across that keygens themselves are NOT illegal, only the person that uses them to register a product illegally is.
Your own actions will predict your own outcomes in life.
i agree that keygens are illegal. People that use them should really be ashamed because many times you are hurting people that write programs in their spare time. Just like everything else, you should pay the price for a service, if you dont want to, make your own programs.
yes keygens are illegal, as are cracks. but alot of people use em anyways cuz theyre free. but full of spyware :/
Of course they are illegal.
This is like saying downloading a MP3 and not listening to it is legal.
This just sounds to me like people trying to justify stealing software much like the 72 hour rule you see on a lot of the sites you can get keygens from.
A keygen is in fact illegal because it does utilize a licensed algorithm to create working Serial numbers.
Another form of question may be, is a Serial Number Generator legal?
The answer: Yes, if you're producing Serial Numbers for your own product and are actually logging those Serial Numbers.
Thus, if you have one and are ever audited and do not have a record of all those Numbers, you are fined.
Here's the grey area: If you wrote a keygen and can prove that you did so without ever hacking the original software, then so be it, it is a legal keygen because at that point you did not copy the original algorithm.
A Frankenstein like that is highly improbable.
I don't think it's illegal. I don't think it matters if it hacks the original software, I think that whoever is smart enough to understand how to do it shouldn't be prosecuted.
This thread is not to induce or encourage the use of any keygens, or any pirated software or content. It is merely a point of view subject, so speak your mind. Anyone thinking I started this thread to suggest the use or distribution of keygens or pirated software or content is wrong.
It is illegal in the strictest interpretation. But so is going 5 mph over the speed limit, but who's going to get in trouble for it. Millions of people around the world have them, use them and download them, and maybe like 20 people max. get in trouble. So you tell me what are the odds of getting in trouble. Legally I am not allowed to do a lot of things that I do, but its not illegal until I get caught.
That is insane! If I am smart enough to do something I shouldn't be prosecuted because i was smart enough to do it? ROFL!!!
So if I am smart enough to break into a bank without tripping the alarm, and smart enough to get into the vault....I shouldn't be prosecuted for stealing all the money? Stealing is stealing no matter if you are a genius or a dunce. If you obtain a (working) serial number, registration number by any means (that also means cracks and/or software bypasses)other than actually purchasing the software, you are in fact STEALING it. I don't now how you can justify a statement like that....but I will sure be interested in hearing you try
In my opinion they should be illigal, and they are here in the UK. I think they should be illigal because there use is for one thing only, to illigally unlock/crack, whatever its called, software they you should have to pay for.
Saying this I also believe that all software should be free to use/distribute but this isn't the case.
So cold-blooded murder shouldn't be against the law if i'm smart enough to get away with it ?
of course it is illegal.. it is infrigement of intellectual property..
You misunderstand wumingsden, you get away with it IF you are smart in the first place, then by proxy you are smart enough to get away with it. Wow....that was so convoluted I can't believe I just typed it
I think I am going to go wash my hands now.
In Poland where I live that is of course illegal like whole word. But in my opinion that is useful... But still illegal...
I think that almost all original programs all to expensive and until it won't have changed the black market will be developing...
Yes but the concept that you said then must apply everywhere. You said "is smart enough to understand how to do it shouldn't be prosecuted" then should it be the same for other crimes when they have got away with it, like murders. If somebody is smart enough to get away with it then... "that whoever is smart enough to understand how to do it shouldn't be prosecuted"
err....I didn't say that, CrazyFists did, I was only interjecting a bit of sarcasm in there. I agree with you completely, I said the whole concept was insane.
no, i didn't quote you, if you see there's a triple quote so it is a little confusing
I don't use keygens - they end up being spyware ridden for some reason. If I need to retrieve a key(like I needed to do because Microsoft switches the default key if you are reinstalling over the same version of Windows ME twice), I use sites that include the key.
I think keygens are illegal to use and to distribute because if they are being distributed, it kind of encourages their use. Then again, if you walk into an arcade where you need to purchase special tokens to play a game, distributing tokens from another arcade isn't illegal(against the arcades rues), but using them with the arcades games is against the rules.
well to have on and NOT use it, thats legal
but who would have one
what are you going to do look at the icon?
stare at the programs interafce press buttons and see what happens?
I think not
people who download them
will use them
in my opinion
I beg to differ. Anyone that downloads keygens only download them for the snazzy GUI and the nice little looping MIDI files that play the fancy tunes.
NOT really, good point.
MOD: Enough said on this topic, this thread can be closed.
Thanks everyone with their opinions, good points.