God Bless You, Purveyors of Warez!
Because every time my damn, completely-legal-and-paid-for damn installation of Windows decides to start giving me seven flavors of funky trouble and I end up wiping the hard drive and starting from scratch and reinstalling all my completely legal-and-paid-for software, I have to hunt up several dozen registration codes and serial numbers in order to prove to the damn software that I own a damn license for it. Many damn commercial programs released these damn days, conveniently housed on CD-ROMs sporting over 640 million bytes of information, refuse to let you past installation unless you can provide a couple dozen damn ASCII characters supplied on an easily-losable damn piece of paper. In the case of damn Microsoft damn Office damn 2000, and its individual damn components sure-as-hell purchased damn separately, the damn program not only requires a serial number, but furthermore will eventually decline to run if you don’t allow it to report back to the damn mothership.
I am just about to reinstall my damn-completely-legal-and-damn-paid-for edition of CorelDRAW! Graphics Suite 9, and because the little black-and-white slip containing the registration code vanished into the fabled, hidden land of registration code slips months ago, I would ordinarily be up the proverbial creek if I could not find a valid code on a warez web site somewhere. I disapprove of actual software piracy in all its forms, but every single damn time this damn thing happens to myself, who am almost saintly on the whole matter to the decades-long annoyance of friends and family, my damn damn damnity damn resolve on this whole matter weakens a few additional degrees.
I understand that I do not own the code, only a license for it, and I understand that piracy is a problem (but not that big a problem, c’mon now), but this is just bizarre. Since when did I pay to have my computer house, on my own hard drive and RAM, and run, using my own electricity and CPU cycles, these wonderous pieces of code which serve only the purposes of their creator? Hell, Microsoft Office 2000 appears to send information about the computer on which it was installed back to Microsoft, in order to prevent the user from installing it on additional machines. Didn’t Microsoft claim, back during the Windows 95 Registration Wizard system inventory furor, that this information would not be used for such purposes? What fundamental user right has changed in the meantime?