[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Quick, Illegal, and Wrong

December 10th, 2012 by Benj Edwards

ADAPSO Anti-Piracy Advertisement - 1985Piracy is as easy as hitting the Enter key on your numeric keypad.

27 years ago, the industry group Association of Data Processing Service Organizations (ADAPSO) created this public service ad warning of the evils of software piracy. I’ve transcribed its text below — just so you don’t miss it.

It’s easy to make a copy.
It’s quick.
It’s illegal.
It’s wrong.

It’s hard to believe.

People who wouldn’t think of shoplifting a software product on their lunch hour don’t think twice about going back to the office and making several illegal copies of the same software.

Making unauthorized copies of software is a violation of U.S. Copyright Law. Yet, the problem has reached epidemic proportions because many people are unaware, or simply choose to ignore the law. The software industry is urging decision-makers and software users to take steps to stop software piracy in their organizations. In the meantime, the industry has been forced to prosecute willful copyright violators.

There are legal, moral and economic imperatives forbidding theft of copyrighted software.

There is a free pamphlet on the subject. Call or write for a copy. A copy. A copy. A copy for everyone you know.
Please ask for Priscilla.

1300 North Seventeenth Street
Arlington, Virginia 22209
(703) 522-5055

“A copy. A copy. A copy. A copy.”

It really says that. I think it’s supposed to be a joke, albeit a very bad one.

ADAPSO changed its name to Information Technology Association Of America (ITAA) in 1991, although its supposedly current website is now owned by the International Trial Attorneys Association, so who knows if it even exists today.

[ From Compute!, November 1985, p.67 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What was the first piece of software you ever copied (or received a copy of) illegally?

See Also: Why History Needs Software Piracy (2012)
See Also: [ Retro Scan of the Week] Software Piracy (2009)
See Also: [ Retro Scan of the Week ] “What’s Wrong With Copying Software?” (2008)
See Also: Old-School PC Copy Protection Schemes (2006)
See Also: EGM Advertisement: Sell Famiclones, Go to Prison (2006)

10 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Quick, Illegal, and Wrong”

  1. Eagles409 Says:

    It was either Sid Meiers Pirates for the Apple 2e or the original Castle Wolfenstein for the Apple 2e. I remember Pirates was basically useless without the map, so I had to find a friend with a copy of the map and xerox it.

  2. Tan Coul Says:

    Almost certainly The Hobbit for the Spectrum – at the time it only came packed with a copy of the book, which I already had, and saw no reason to fork over £15 in 1983/4 money to buy again…

  3. Xyzzy Says:

    My first was a collection of cracked Apple II games on a double-sided 5.25″ floppy, but I only remember a few of the games that worked (most didn’t) — Mario Bros., Spy Hunter, Repton, and Moon Patrol. Having a stepfather working in his brother’s computer store was useful for acquiring software, I can say that much.

  4. s1500 Says:

    I knew a guy who made an RPG for the TI-99/4A. In order to play it, you do have to back it up to another floppy disk. Never bought it, and was too honest to keep it after borrowing it from him(Ie I erased it all afterward). Copied plenty else though for the TI back in the day. Just not the local friend’s commercial software.

  5. Thomas Says:

    Can’t remember, but it had to be some game or another for the Atari ST since it was the first computer I owned. Previously I had helped friends make a copy or two for the Commodore 64 and the MSX but that wasn’t technically for me so…

    It was very much a different time then and yet so much haven’t changed about it. Parents still don’t know what it’s all about. Kids still send games to each other (or links to the torrent files) and despite all of this the games industry is larger than ever. Go figure…

  6. MDJ Says:

    I received a floppy for my Atari 800 that had four games on it with this cool bootloader. Archon, Bluemax, Eastern Front (which I never beat) and another game I don’t remember the name of.
    This was back in about 1985ish.

  7. Unodir Says:

    Kinda reminds me of Brando’s line in Apoc now, “The horror” (A copy)

  8. Ant Says:

    Apple 2 software, but I don’t remember what was the first one. I know a lot of games. Blame my pappy. 😉

  9. Zoyous Says:

    I don’t really understand why the reader is advised to ask for Priscilla. Shouldn’t the organization know how to handle requests for the pamphlet without having to specify a particular contact person in the ad?

    And isn’t that guy letting his fingernails get a bit long? Is that supposed to represent “me” making a copy of a piece of software?

    I don’t remember the very first pirated software I encountered, but I particularly remember the way they would alter the title screens. The Bilestoad title screen featured the message “The Dirty Dozen Rules.” Where are they now?

  10. SirFatty Says:

    Ultima 3 on the C64…. and many, many more after that.

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