Why do people keep stealing my work :(

David Griffith dgriffi at cs.csubak.edu
Thu Jun 29 22:03:49 CDT 2006

On Thu, 29 Jun 2006, Don Y wrote:

> Put errors in your work?  :>
> Allegedly, map printers (cartographers) have errors in their
> street maps to help identify blatant copies.  I guess they figure
> the effort to verify all of the street names, etc. makes it
> unlikely that a counterfeiter would catch the deliberate error...
> not sure how this has changed with more modern technology.

I was told a story about how the Thomas Guide people did this, naming an
unremarkable alley in the LA area the "Mark and Brian Expressway" after a
rather colorful pair of morning disk jockeys.  Later when the city decided
to redo street signs, they used the Thomas Guide and thus ordered and
installed signs marking this particular alley.

> In the 80's, video (arcade) game software was *regularly*
> copied.  Blatantly.  The offenders would simply grep the binary
> for key strings (like the title screen) and change them
> to different text.  The time required to catch the infraction,
> get an injunction (usually the offending games were imports)
> and have it enforced was longer than the life-cycle of the
> game (at the time, many games were "90 day wonders").

Many of these ripoffs were horridly bad, though interesting examples of
beating on the thing until it works.  For example, Donkey Kong running on
Galaxian hardware.  Nasty colors.  Nasty sounds, but it plays more or less

David Griffith
dgriffi at cs.csubak.edu

A: Because it fouls the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing in e-mail?

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