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Warez ( English pronunciation [ weɐs ], [ wɛɐs ], also Webwarez ) denotes illegally procured or distributed software ( black copy ) in computer jargon . The word comes from the term software, where the plural s was replaced by a z in the course of the Leetspeak . The word creation originated in the BBS scene in the mid to late 1980s .


The concept of the public became known at the end of the 1990s, when the Internet gave numerous opportunities to illegally download application programs ( Appz ), video files ( Moviez ) and games ( Gamez ) from websites . Due to the great popularity of the Internet, the warez pages also increased, but there was significant commercialization. This manifested itself in the fact that more on warez sites via banner ads and pop-ups for pornographic been advertised websites. In addition, numerous porn sites included the term "warez" in the meta tags read by Internet search engines , which made it difficult to find "real" warez sites.

The main distribution channels of warez have changed again and again in the past and adapted to the technical developments. Until the beginning of the 1990s, warez were mainly exchanged via BBS systems, larger amounts of data also via postal mail with diskettes. With the spread of the Internet, the main distribution channel switched to FTP servers in the early / mid-1990s . The exchange via IRC networks also increased noticeably. At the end of the 90s, more and more websites appeared that offered warez for download, and Usenet groups ( newsgroups ) were also used for exchange. With the spread of peer-to-peer networks such as eDonkey2000 , BitTorrent , Kazaa or WinMX , the spread of black copied software shifted more and more to Internet file sharing platforms from around the year 2000 onwards , which from around 2010 onwards was gradually replaced by share hosts be replaced. These “new” distribution channels can be used by everyone and are at the lower end of the distribution hierarchy. The Release Groups have been using FTP servers to distribute their releases since the early 1990s. The servers available in the distribution hierarchy very far above the "Site" or in the comparative form as "be Topsite called".

FTP servers are also installed on poorly maintained or freshly set up and not yet patched , but already connected to the Internet, third party servers with known security gaps, which have a sufficiently fast connection and sufficient disk space. A directory structure that is often ramified and provided with special characters makes deleting with the standard Windows Explorer interface more difficult , but not with the DOS compatibility mode with 8.3 file names.

Terms from the warez scene

  • ISOs - complete CD / DVD copies (applications, games) in which, unlike rips, no files have been removed
  • Rips - stripped-down versions of programs , games (e.g. cut scenes with cutscenes, or background music removed, superfluous options or assistance deleted), often found earlier, especially in order to save bandwidth. A music album can also be meant that has been ripped into MP3 , Ogg Vorbis or other formats with the help of “rip” programs (e.g. Audiograbber , EAC ) . However, the proliferation of high-speed connections in households (DSL) has led to a sharp decline in this type of release.
  • Appz - (Applications) application software
  • Gamez - Games
  • Moviez - films
  • Scripts - designs and so on
  • Release - A release of a black copy or the like, mostly it comes from an organized release group or iND (independent, by an individual who does not belong to any group) has been published. The latter, however, is rather rare.
  • 0-day - warez published on the respective day (e.g. programs that are not older than 24 hours)
  • 0-sec - recently released warez
  • nuked - a release that is excluded from further distribution in the scene, which for example has gross errors or qualitative deficiencies, ie does not comply with the "Scene Rules". Nukes are initiated by the so-called nukers or the release group themselves and are also recognized globally in the event of particularly serious defects in a release. Today, nukes are only used to mark low-quality releases, as the prohibition of distribution is generally ignored.
  • (to) pre - publication of a release by a release group
  • FXP - Direct transfer mode for transferring files from one FTP site to another without using your own bandwidth.
  • NFO - .nfo files are written by the releasing group (or by Artgroups on their behalf) to inform the downloaders of the releases; they usually contain the date of the release, the group from which it originates, the copy protection, the number and size of the File packages as well as a brief overview of the contents of the copied software. For the layout, pictures and lettering made up of ASCII charactersare oftenused, with each group having its own style, similar to the tagging of the graffiti scene. In addition, friendly (release / demo) groups are greeted here and, if requested by the release group, new members are recruited (e.g. suppliers - employees in a press shop or a software shop or couriers - distributors of the latest releases) . Often there is also the CD key or the installation and crack instructions.
  • Dump , distro or site - FTP server used to distribute the files made available by the release groups. Such a server has a lot of storage space and a very fast connection (typically e.g. 1 gigabit connection and 600 GB storage space). A user account for such a server can only be obtained through very relevant connections. As a rule, these are not hacked (see Stro ), but purchased servers (“Legits”). Some dump admins also give accounts for a fee, which is not at all welcomed in the scene.
  • Topsite , Affil or HQ - a term for larger FTP sites that are “pretended”. This is where the distribution of releases in the worldwide FTP network begins.
  • Fake - files that are different from what they are advertised as, sometimes unintentionally bad files.
  • Bad Link - Links that lead to nowhere or to a website that has been blocked from access ( 403 error ).
  • Crack or Crackz - Small programs that break the protective mechanisms of commercial software. Usually it is EXE files that are intended to replace the original EXE after installation.
  • Keygen - Small programs that are supposed to generate a valid serial number
  • E-Bookz - E-Books (electronic books, mostly PDF , ePUB or MOBI format.).
  • No-CD - changed program files from which the copy protection has been removed
  • Serialz - valid serial numbers
  • Patch - mostly modified EXE files to bypass a protective mechanism
  • Portable Tools - These are programs or games that do not have to be installed and no longer require a crack or a serial, in addition, most of the redundant data is removed from the portables, so that they can often be removed from smaller USB sticks Start directly, hence the name "Portable". With the reduced size, an increase in speed can often be achieved.

Music videos (Mvids), TV documentaries and TV shows (Tvrip, series) have also gained popularity in the warez scene .

Distribution of warez

The so-called “supply” is a person who makes software / films / music available to a release group (usually before the official sales or cinema release). Mostly they are employees in the production of participating companies or in pressing plants. If a release group has received the desired material from its "supply", it is immediately played on the computer, processed accordingly ( encoded , cracked , etc.) and transferred to its own FTP server. Now the actual publication of the “release”, the “pre” takes place: The release is transferred to another FTP server (“ top site ”). Through the corresponding further distribution from these "top sites", a worldwide network of these servers is created, via which the "releases" are available all over the world within a few minutes.

After some time, sometimes up to two days, but more and more often hours after the release, the release then finds its way on FXP boards or in P2P networks. This is not welcomed by the scene and the release groups are trying everything to prevent FXP & P2P or to prevent all releases from being published. In the eyes of the release groups, warez are only intended for the scene members. However, there are also release groups that have specialized in producing releases only for P2P networks, as this makes less work for the groups (e.g. you don't need a server, just a connection to the P2P network and a website that Distributed links for it).

See also


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. CUCKOO EGGS , no-copy.org