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The Future

The point of this article is to illustrate the amount of time, expertise, and dedication that goes into the distribution of warez. Hackers and crackers have always been at the forefront of technology. Without their dedication and rebellious activities, this world would not have many of the items we take for granted, including the methods and techniques by which warez is created and spread. For example, peer-to-peer software is now being eyed by businesses as a viable method for making money. To illustrate, Napster was recently targeted by a porn company as a potential method of creating a peer-to-peer porn distribution service.

While warez seems to be growing at a phenomenal rate, there are several attempts being made to stop the cracking and spread of pirated software. However, they are mostly targeted at the more common means of distribution, such as KaZaa; and by strong-arm tactics, as demonstrated by the infamous Business Software Alliance. In addition, the FBI is targeting some of the more well-known warez groups, such as the recently dismembered Drink or Die. Regardless of the attempts of various governments, will this actually make an impact on the spread of pirated software?

The answer to this is a resounding no. The simple fact remains that hackers and crackers remain one step ahead of the rest of the world in using new technologies and abstract concepts to their advantage. For example, imagine that there is just one small country in which hacking, cracking, piracy, and porn was legal. Not only legal, but what if a country made this its sole method of financial income? Well, this has already happened! HavenCo, Inc. (http://www.havenco.com) operates out of a small but completely government-free pseudo-country. The following is the ONLY rule regarding the storage of files on their servers, which can be had for the low price of $7,500 a year:

"Unacceptable publications include, but are not limited to: Material that is unlawful in the jurisdiction of the server. For instance, if a customer's machine is hosted on Sealand by HavenCo, content which is illegal in Sealand may not be published or housed on that server. Sealand's laws prohibit child pornography. Sealand currently has no regulations regarding copyright, patents, libel, restrictions on political speech, non-disclosure agreements, cryptography, restrictions on maintaining customer records, tax or mandatory licensing, DMCA, music sharing services, or other issues; child pornography is the only content explicitly prohibited. At the present time, child pornography is not precisely defined; HavenCo is obeying rules similar to those of the United States, specifically a prohibition on any depiction of those under 18 in a sexual context."

In other words, pirated software can legally be stored on their servers. In addition to earth-based server farms, how long will it be until some company figures out a way to make a profit from a similar rules-free server farm in outer space that can be accessed by satellite? And if alternative physical locations aren't enough, a new storage technique was recently found that uses ICMP (a data protocol) to store data on the Internet itself. In other words, at any one time there is a huge amount of data in transit on the Internet that could be used to hold various amounts of information. While this technique of storage is relatively new, hiding data between the cracks of the Internet is just one abstract method of distributing warez that demonstrates the futility of the many activities of the DCMA and RIAA. If a U.S. citizen can remotely control a computer in another country, are they actually breaking an American law?

In addition to the alternative methods of distributing warez, what would happen if software companies created their own cracks and gave them to the warez underground for distribution? This, in fact, has already happened! While many may find this hard to believe, one such company has taken the outlook that providing their own warez'd copy of their software will help market their name. What better way to break into the global market than to familiarize a huge base of highly technical hackers and crackers with your company's name!?

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