A 'hidden cost' of being a pro Locked

Started Dec 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd Veteran Member • Posts: 9,685
Re: so macs are perfect for software theft then?

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

I have to ask...

if I intall a program on a PC these days it almost always needs internet access to verify you bought it - through activation of some kind.
I use ProSelect, Fotofusion, Adobe products- ALL limit the number of 'active' installs - unless you pay more money of course.
How they ID an unique install I can't say -reading chip serial numbers, IP addresses (all 5 of my computers share one IP from the outside world...) or something else (time sig upon install..there are many ways to do it).
So if you 'copy' or restore to a different machine you've essentially pirated the software - or you have to reactivate it (to be legal). So you need the serial numbers or license keys or the like.
I've spent a good bit of time just finding them and typing them in over the past month as i run other plug ins, run software for the first time, etc.
My kids have iPods and they can share music and apps among all of them - only paying once to do so. Sounds like copyright infringement to me - something us photographers should be opposed to.

so are mac users able to 'copy' software so easily?

Software theft would be illegal.  I strongly advise against it.

Software bought from the App store is tied to your App Store account.  You need to know your iTunes account and password to install or update the software.  Once installed it works for everyone on that computer.

The copy protection for App Store software is built into the OS and seems to work quite well.  This is also how they verify OS downloads.   Assuming you've just put a new drive into your computer, the firmware will netboot you into recovery software.  It will ask for your Apple ID and password, and verify that you have bought the OS (or have bought a computer with the that version of the OS).  Once verified, it downloads and installs the OS.

Applications bought from the App store can be re-downlaoded at any time.  If you don't have a backup you can re-download and install the software.

The system isn't perfect.  For example software bought from the App Store is "sandboxed".  It doesn't have access to some system files or raw disk access.  This means that a disk repair utility might not qualify for App Store distribution.  This does have the side benefit that if malicious software slips into the App Store, the Sandboxing limits the damage it can do.

A lot of companies are moving to App store distribution.  Apple takes a 30% cut.  In exchange the company has zero distribution costs and very little piracy.  Sales go up as it's trivial to buy software on a whim and have instant gratification.

As to software like Adobe Photoshop, it doesn't seem to be nearly as much a pain as others have described.  For instance I recently replaced the 750GB HD in my MacBook Pro with a 960GB SSD.  I let Apple's disk utility copy the files from one the old drive to the new.  I fired up CS5, and it worked.  No need to reactivate.  The copy even went fairly quickly, one drive was on the internal SATA bus, and the other drive was in an external Thunderbolt dock.  Once I had the SSD up and running, I turned on whole disk encryption (in case the laptop gets stolen).  Once enabled I could continue to work.  The encryption process ran in the background, allowing me to continue work.  By morning the entire drive was encrypted.  CS5 continues to run without additional activations.

There are a few software packages that need you to reenter serial numbers if you manually move them from one machine to another, or upgrade.  Off hand, I can't remember the last time I had to reinstall software from scratch.

Obviously, there are plusses and minuses to this system.  Fortunately the App store is optional.  You can still buy a lot of software the old fashioned way.  Apple does strongly encourage that all executable software be cryptographically signed indicating the author.  The OS notifies you the first time you run software, or that software was downloaded from the web.  If the software is not signed, you need an extra step to run it.  I assume these are attempts at reducing malware from installing itself without the user's knowledge.

Overall, the Mac makes it easy to migrate your software and data to a new Mac.  Literarily, when you turn on a new Mac, it asks you for your preferred language, and then asks if you want to migrate from another Mac.  If you do want to migrate, you can do so from a backup disk, over the network, or by starting your old Mac in "Target Disk Mode".  At worst you need to enter a few serial numbers for picky third party software.  I've never had a need to track down original software disks and reinstall any software from scratch.

If you hold down the "T" key after power up, the Mac goes into "target disk mode."  In Target Disk Mode the mac acts like an external HD over the FireWire or Thunderbolt connection.  Start your old Mac in Target Disk Mode, hook it to the new Mac via FireWire or Thunderbolt, and you can easily transfer your files.

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