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Without getting into the whole debate about the pricing of pirated software, and the degradation rules, I wanted to raise a question from Unwired.

The rules state that legally purchased software is registered and copy-protected. This seems to mean that the software regularly checks for updates / patches, has some restrictions on what it can do (depending upon the software) and reports (some?) of its actions.

So, for a shadowrunner, is that a killer? I am afraid so.
Runner's companion goes on repeatedly about the need to sanitize your clothing, etc so that you don't accidentally report in while on a run. This seems to apply as much to software (for example the OS, Firewall, and Analyze on everyones comlink?) as it does to the RFID tags in your clothes?.

The other side of it is the copy-protection. As far as I can tell, the copy-protection has to be tied to the SIN that was used for the purchase. (Otherwise, there is no copy protection.) But runners change SINs frequently.

This is driven by a desire to at least be able to justify retaining legal purchased software for character creation, while using the Unwired rules.

Legal software, like everything else that is legal, is tied to a SIN, and if the SIN goes south, so does the software. It's likely why runners never use legal software.
In this thread Pirated software, at post #5, it is observed that each piece of registered software increase the difficulty of editing the log, and decreases the difficulty of tracing you. That would seem to make it very clear that player hackers MUST start with cracked software, and therefore will have to use pirated software. (Sorry, no page reference in unwired for the effect, but it matches the general text I could find.)

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