This is a mighty tricky area.Originally posted by Cyber-Spyder
I'm not talking about the law either, but fair use of the software says I can run one copy for myself, even if I do that on two machines alternately. I don't want to have to dig a Cd out every time I load up a game on my box, and I certainly can't carry around any game CD I may choose to use with my laptop.
Forget analogies, look at the situation for what it is.
The use of no-cd patches can be very justifiable, and does not necessarily constitute piracy.
Personally, I think that "fair use" should allow you to install the game on 2 or more computers for your own use (and, in fact, I do this regularly). But I think that the copyright holders could validly argue that the software licence allows the software to be installed only on 1 machine at a time, and that whether or not you use both simultaneously is irrelevant.
Similarly, it is technically illegal to copy the software (whether or not you do this for personal convenience or not). Thus, strictly, it is illegal to use Alcohol 120 to copy the software onto your own machine.
I don't say this is right or just, and note that I do use Alcohol 120 myself. I doubt whether the copyright holders would take issue with users in either of the above circumstances although, conceivably, they might if the situation became known to them (e.g. Microsoft). Most are more interested in stopping copying of their CDs/software/intellectual property by one person for use by (many) others.