Gandalf wrote: ↑
What if you have no choice? Who are the potential alternatives?
Doesn't have to encrypt the files - just store them at a different location than where you are, then cut your connection.
In this case, if your connection is cut after non-payment that IS the system working properly.
Now, with sufficiently large customers, like a government, there might be other arrangements than simply "you're immediately cut off" but for the little guy, why wouldn't it be an instant cut-off? Don't pay your Netflix bill or your World of Warcraft subscription your access ends. Stored all your data in the "cloud"? Too bad - you no longer have that either. MAYBE if Microsoft is being nice they won't instantly delete everything, but I don't see where they're obligated to be that nice.
So for some reason they're going to create ransomware, but also bring in the layer of complexity wherein some smaller customers get the ransomware, and everyone else gets a functioning OS?
What I describe is no more "ransomware" than taxes are theft.
If you rent a storage locker and don't pay rent your access to the box can be cut off. If you're renting software or storage and don't pay the rent your access can be legally cut off. If you keep your data locally, on your machine or local detachable drive, then you still have access to it, but not the operating system and if you need the operating system to access it... well, too bad, pay your rent and stop whining.
It's no different than if I didn't pay the rent on my apartment the landlord can change the locks and deny me access to the unit, even if my stuff is still inside. That's not "ransomware", that's what renting is
If you're renting your OS and cloud storage and don't pay the fees the owner of all that most certainly can cut off your access to the remote locations and you're screwed. That's different
than ransomware, which fucks up your local storage.
It used to be you went out and purchased a copy of Microsoft Windows. It came on physical media. You then installed it. You could install it on a different machine. And - best of all - you never had to pay Windows another dime ever for your continued use of it. That's why my spouse could continue to run a 20+ computer controlled lathe and several equally old software packages off a Windows 98 system as late as 2005. Granted, that's a bit of an outlier (and for damn sure that computer system was physically isolated from external networks at that point). Regardless, Microsoft never got any more money for that OS than the initial purchase price. Assuming the system is still intact, I could go into his workroom right now and fire up the system and use it today.
In your rush to bring about another round of Broomstick's patented stories from times gone by, you didn't really address what I said. Though I am curious, was it legal at the time to take an install and put it on several machines simultaneously?[/quote]
Or rather - it wasn't addressed. Partly because at the time very very few people owned more than one computer (outside of larger corporations). It was legal because there was nothing against it in the user agreement, it wasn't forbidden so it was permitted. Then it went to where you had an option to purchase licenses that allowed either one installation or several. These things evolve over time.