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    I suppose that archivists must view copy protection technology in about the same light as the librarians of Alexandria would’ve viewed portable flamethrowers.

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      That’s one positive of the “warez” scene - pretty much all copy protected software ever has been cracked, making it easier to archive for posterity.

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        Most of the popular software is cracked, but there are a lot of things that aren’t. Check out the work qkumba and 4am have been doing lately, there is a lot of software that remains to be properly copied and archived. Educational software is a big one right now.. It’s historically interesting, but in its day, it wasn’t the cool stuff to work on.

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          Yes, very good point - I really was thinking of common gaming/application software on personal computers. Lots of areas of software are under-represented in archives - as you say, educational software, console games, enterprise software, etc.

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          Are professional archivists making use of warez efforts? I’ve heard things like GoG are often found to be quietly distributing cracked executables (and apparently Max Payne 2 on Steam for a while), but it’s not like warez groups are likely to throw a hissy fit about having the copyright infringed on their copy prevention circumvention software. :)

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            I’m not sure whether they’re making use of it, but they’re certainly treating the warez community as itself historically noteworthy, and archiving things about it: https://archive.org/details/warez-scene-notices-2006-2010