So I'm using Windows Vista (yeah, yeah, arguments about that can go in their own thread, I'd rather not see it here because that's not the issue at stake) and it's time to install Service Pack 1.
And then I come to the End User License Agreement, and lo and behold, I discover that if Microsoft suddenly decides I have pirated Windows (which it has done to various people on various occasions), I may have to actually START pirating Windows to be able to use it.
This isn't some sort of simple measure to make sure that people don't just casually distribute copies of the software. That's pretty simple. It's hard to describe why there's a demarcation line, but there is. At a certain point, copy protection ceases to become more effective by becoming more vigilant. This is because the people who don't have extreme tech smarts have all been weeded out, leaving only the people who are hard-core determined to pirate the software.
In addition, most users of Windows did not actually buy their copy, having had it distributed via a new computer and will next upgrade their OS by buying a new computer. So what we have left, ladies and gentlemen, is the simple fact that we have essentially reached the point wherein the level of copy protection serves only ultimately to force people TO pirate the software if glitches or side effects start showing up. For WGA it's a false positive. For StarForce it's your disk drive. For some people, it's other stuff.
I said this earlier in the post but let me highlight it here:
If Windows Genuine Advantage ever hiccups and tells me that my copy of Windows (which I own legally) is in fact NOT legal, the simplest, easiest, and cheapest solution is to actually make my copy of Windows illegal!
The only alternatives are to take Windows to trial, which would be ridiculously expensive, require good lawyers, and I might just lose, too, or else buy my copy of windows AGAIN.