My Software Is Being Pirated

I’m totally agree with you on the piracy.
For example, I’ve been using Total Command from the version 4, but only until version 7 that I had my own job and the very first software that I paid for was TC. It’s simply because by using a software, I’ve increased my performance and earned more money. The amount that I paid for the license is much less that what I gained by using it.

As a user, I hate any software with a complicated activation process, especially Windows. Windows activation is always a nightmare for me.

I am a developer, and I always receive requirements from customer to provide the software with the best protection possible, even hardware lock, license dongle, web+phone activation, etc…

That harder the protection, the more interesting it is to crack it. My idea is to always a protection for your software, but with balance:

  • You effort to maintain it.
  • Additional system requirements caused by the protection.
  • Registration easiness.

I completely disagree with enforcing hard protection like SafeDisc, DRM stuff that requires lots of money on develop and maintain the technology, lots of time for user support, lots of trouble for user and major victory for crackers.

In contrast, providing user with no information whether their software is licensed or not is not a good idea. A user who is willing to pay for your software may not always remember that he haven’t paid. A user who still consider evaluating your software may not notice that he had not paid for it.

For those who really don’t want to pay for it, they will never do. No matter how strong the protection is, how complicated the encryption is, your software will be cracked. Even in the best case, they simply doesn’t use your software. But you should know that those who are willing to risk their computer by using a cracked version of software is those who really interested in warez, who love warez, who will provide his friends what is the best software for their needs.

Let say a geek want to use your software:

  1. The protection is not too hard, still, he doesn’t want to pay for it, so he get a crack and use it without a license. Still, you lose nothing. He then tells his friends that your software is excellent, and you have a strong, live advertisement channel without paying for it.
  2. the protection is too hard, so he simply doesn’t use your software. You gained nothing. He tells his friends that your software is crap, or at best really nice but the registration process is a pain in the ass and of course, he tell his friends to use another not so nice software but doesn’t kick their ass. You’re having one more anti-fan, who loses nothing to attack you, you’re losing customers and your competitors are having a extra advertisement channel which should have been yours if your protection was not so hard.

I think 10% download/buy ratio is actually considered very very good in shareware business. In fact it is unbelievably good. I think even 2-3% is considered very good.
I have been in shareware business for over 10 years and actually I don’t mind my software pirated. Of course it would be nice if everyone paid for it but in reality it is better if someome pirates your product instead of one of your competitors… :wink: Everyone who is too greedy to accept that his software is pirated should stay out of the business, as anything that will be worth using will have key gens and serials postied in a few days after release.

Glad you recieved my letter. AFTER 32 FRIGGIN YEARS!

As an it professional working in it-security and it-forensic i can say, that there is no real way to protect a software.

You can make it harder using drm, hardware controlled drm, encryption …

But… There are more people outside which enough time to hack the software and remove the protection as you think.

Each hour you spend in writing protection code for your application is worthless, because they have unlimited time to crack it.

The price for world of goo is more of fair. I still bought it, because i finished the demo. Nice game btw…

But… people don’t want to spend money for the work of other people. Why paying 10 Cent, if you can get it somewhere for free?

I for myself choose the solution to pay for everything.

Would you rather have 90% of the copies of your game be pirated, and sell the other 10%; or have 0% piracy, and nobody buying it either?

/ proudly posted from a 100% pirated operating system and browser

If you’re downloading and using software that you didn’t pay for but you should have then it’s stealing

That’s a circular argument, because you define the act as something that should not be done — you start by assuming the conclusion.

If you want to claim that something “should” be done, you need to show why. (No, merely pointing at the law is not helpful; the morality of an act is not determined by what the law has to say about it.)

The interesting thing here is that piracy rates seem constant. Both have almost no DRM, and a sample size of two is quite dodgy too. I’d be interested to see what piracy rates are like for well-protected AAA PC games.

I don’t agree with you that all software will be pirated. partly because i learnt server-side programming before desktop programming and every app that i’m going to build will be validated/run from the server and hence it can’t be pirated. Instead of saying ‘your app will absolutely be pirated’, i think you should be advocating SaaS instead.

Heh, I bought World of Goo at pre-release stage, and the funny thing is, I haven’t played it yet. I do not regret the purchase, though. Sometimes, you have to vote with your wallet.

As a professional programmer, I decided years ago not to pirate software. I make my living at it. Is it really right for me to ask others to pay for my services and then turn around and steal others?

Like Jeff, I donate to software I like. Unlike Jeff, I don’t give thousands of dollars away. I’m not that wealthy.

In fact, the most effective anti-piracy software development strategy is the simplest one of all:

  1. Use a convenient payment method.

Applicable primarily for online software sales, but if it’s fairly priced, I will buy it, but only if the website supports my preferred method of payment, and the process is painless. Some people only use paypal, others only use credit cards, etc. Snail mail payment and software receival is a quick route to having your software pirated. A convenient, painless, payment and delivery process is important when I consider buying a piece of software online.

… writing a completely server-side application like World of Warcraft or Mint

That’s not entirely true … There are several server emulators for World of Warcraft that allow one to host a private server. I would probably deem that as pirating, as you are playing the game against Blizzard’s EULA.

World of Goo is really fun, when I saw they had a Mac and Linux versions as well it was a no-brainer, I had to support that. One thing I would recommend the developers is to drop the fixed price as well, let people pay as much as they can and/or think the game is worthy. I think they would be surprised with the amount of 3, 5 bucks transactions showing up, from people that otherwise wouldn’t pay anything.

The fallacy here is that the claims of piracy are valid. Not a lot of data to back up their claims. Gates wrote the 90% figure based on what metric, exactly? Isn’t that part of the allure of software engineering over code monkeyism: measurable results? Gates claimed 90% piracy, and now it’s a truism.

The World of Goo gents claim 90% piracy, throw out a couple But our numbers could be wrong and yet the rest of this article keeps citing that 90% number. Remember kids, if you happened to load World of Goo on your laptop, anytime you happen to connect to a wifi hotspot, you could be contributing to their piracy numbers. Or if you’ve an ISP that recycles pooled addresses. Gosh, what would happen if you happened to use Tor to anonymize your traffic, wouldn’t it be a shame to find out that you’re contributing to piracy…er…piracy statistics?

I appreciate the conclusions of the article suggesting high quality for fair prices. And I applaud anyone that’s willing to go the open source route.

I do think the article took the wrong path in getting to that conclusion, though.

Can you really buy software? I have always been under the impression that you can only buy a license for its use.

There was an interesting editorial about DRM at Eurogamer recently.

Worth reading.

Exactly. My ISP changes my IP every 24 hours. If I buy World of Goo and then play it over 15 days, their system will record 15 different IP addresses. That 90% estimate is complete rubbish and should be ignored, not repeated.

One reason (obviously not the only reason) is that the Pirate Bay is so convenient. Imaging a database of all the software in the world, with a simple search interface and and Amazon-like interface (customer reviews and a one-click download) and you’re pretty close to the Pirate Bay. No more trawling the net to find little indie developers’ websites, almost never any hassle from DRM. There are many people who would be driven to piracy by this convenience alone.

Anyone who thinks 90% is an unrealistic number needs to consider PKZIP and WINZIP. It was easier to find the Holy Grail than to find a purchased copy of either.

Wow. That game is great.