Independent Developers Fight Piracy & Lose

Slashdot discusses how piracy is hurting shareware authors. The discussion links to an article from a Mac shareware author who fears that piracy will force him to shut down his business, and it mentions another developer who resorted to having his software delete the user’s home directory when it detected a hacked serial number.

10 thoughts on “Independent Developers Fight Piracy & Lose

  1. I paid for Synergy. Harrumph!
    On the other hand … something which the author doesn’t state is that several freeware Mac OS X applications which perform similar tasks (iTunes control and notification outside the application) have appeared since Synergy, although I am fairly sure that he was first. How can anyone tell that piracy, rather than those applications, has caused the damage?
    Alastair

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  2. That’s a good question, Alastair. It’s exremely difficult to give reliable figures on the cost of piracy, and I would think it’s almost impossible to determine whether piracy is really the cause of a company’s sales slowdown. But it stands to reason that if a free crack is available for a program, the company that made that program will suffer some sales loss.

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  3. Nick, have you thought about implementing a polling mechanism in FeedDemon. So that FD would ping back to your servers from time to time. I wouldn’t mind if it did that and anonymously collected usage data. Given you had proper privacy policy in place etc.
    If you have thought about it but rejected the idea then I’d be very interested to know why you didn’t like it.

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  4. ouch, although FeedDemon is a fairly specific program, only people dealing with internet related work would use it, most common users would have no point of look at RSS feeds. So yeah I can understand the high download bits, cuz with all the hype people want to check it out but atleast quite a few people should be buying it.
    And besides, I just spent the last few minutes to see how many cracks for it there are, there dont seem to be many. the only one I found turned out to be a corrupted zip file.
    So I shouldnt think there are many users who are using FeedDemon with the aid of a crack/keygen.
    Although you mentioned a while back, you removed serials from some forum. So people who crack FeedDemon could be some enclosed groups & not out in the general public. So thats good news.

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  5. You don’t need to collect data. One way Trillian trys to fight the piracy is by making Trillian Pro log into their website on startup. Only valid users can login. There is, however, cracks out to circumvent that.
    Altova does an SN check on start-up with XML spy against their own db. They are easily circumvented by altering your host file to block the site URL that XML connects to. XML spy will trust it’s local SN if it can’t connect to Altova.
    SN/Activation doesn’t work well either. There’s SN/Activation cracks out there. You just gotta disable your LAN/Internet connection and choose the “by phone” route. Pop-up the activation entry page, run the SN->Activation generator and enter the values. I’ve seen activation cracks for Nortons System Works, Adobe Photoshop and even FeedDaemon.

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  6. same here, i’ve had a few clients bring their computers in with Norton Internet Security 2004 and they still had the keygens on the system.
    I tested it out on vmware, quite ingenius on how they did it.
    The only way to defeat piracy is to have a single hive operating system, although i dont want to download 1.3GB upwards of operating system on a dialup. lol

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  7. Software piracy is without doubt very common on the internet. I think it is very difficult for software developers to protect their code. However who is to blame, the cracker or the code?
    Humans are naturally very gifted at solving problems and if someone cant afford the software ‘other options’ are bound to be considered.
    Code can be obfuscated – if that is the right terminology? – Ioncube, Zend, CodeLock etc. However scripts are readily available enabling you to unscramble the obfuscation….
    Whatever next? I guess the only guys who can really give any insight into a viable solution for developers are crackers themselves…”Poachers often make the best Game Keepers.”
    Just my thoughts.
    —————
    http://www.RemoveWinfixer.com

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