Is Unauthorized Access Of Software As A Service The Same As Software Piracy?
from the start-pondering dept
It's true that these two cases involve both client and server software, as opposed to a completely hosted model -- but you could see similar actions occurring with hosted software as well. In the meantime, it certainly looks like NCSoft is exaggerating the damage that was done by this service, claiming that they lost around a million dollars just in the bandwidth costs of people downloading their free client software to use on the unauthorized server. Of course, the problem is that their client is free, and it doesn't come with any implied warranty that users will absolutely sign up and pay for the official version of the server. Do they accuse those who simply download the game but never sign up of also stealing from them? Either way, the more you read about this case, the more confusing it gets. Another report says that the people running the site sold "pirated" versions of software to people, but that doesn't seem true at all. They may have used illegally obtained server code to create an alternate server -- but the software people were using was available for free, so it's hard to see how it was "pirated." No matter what, it seems clear that cases like this are going to keep challenging the questions about how people view "piracy" and unauthorized access to both software and services online.