4. A moral aspect of the problem - часть 3

Chekhov, by his own confession, "squeezed out the serf from himself drop by drop". But he never had it in mind to forcibly squeeze the bad qualities from his readers. Chekhov just helped them become better through his works, and nothing more. Let's squeeze computer piracy from ourselves, drop by drop. This process should go on without hysterics, without police swoops and especially without informing, while remaining comfortable with our own conscience and casting only occasional glances at our purses and the Criminal Code.

I fear that the computer piracy problem in our country will be settled in a purely Soviet manner: through the further expansion of the administrative machinery. A computer police would be established, for instance, which in much the same manner as the tax police wouldn't be able to poke its nose into the opulent private residences, springing up all over near Moscow without any tax returns; or into the wholesale markets that service half of Moscow without any cash registers. Harassing the ordinary business person or worker, hardly surviving in our tax disorder, is what this police would do. The tax police should break in not only bootleggers' doors, but also the luxurious office of the authority, decorated on budget means (in the first case an armoured vest should be put on; in the second, napkins). So, I am afraid that the computer police, if it is nevertheless established, won't go first to Gorbushka, but to any high school or a research institute in order to impose a fine on the above-mentioned post-graduate student.

I will spend a part of royalties for this book on a legal version of the text editor which has helped it to be written. But I want to be completely frank with the reader and say that I will only do this: if royalties suffice; if no new version of the text editor appears (in which case the new one will be purchased – or "stolen"); and if I don't change my mind.

[1] As this book was being perfected, there appeared on sale a 'black' laser disk "Mathcad 8 Pro with Russian language specification". But it was a double trick: a) the disk, naturally, contained a stolen copy of Mathcad; and b) the specification turned out to be scanned or stolen from the published paperback of VP Diakonov's Mathcad 7 manual.

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