71 thoughts on “Depressing piracy statistic

  1. Sorry for not commenting more here – I got sidetracked by a lost dog :) Michael, I use separate EXEs for TopStyle, and what happens now is that warez sites host cracked copies of the registered EXEs (usually purchased with a stolen credit card).
    Having separate EXEs has also meant a lot more work getting registered customers updated EXEs when a new version is released. Most likely, the next major version of TopStyle will switch to using serial numbers as well.

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  2. I have heard good things about Thinstall. It should work very well with any type of application (ie. Delphi apps, .NET etc.). It protects the actual application and has licensing options for your software baked right in with features like “Create 30-day trial demos of your software”. Take at look at http://www.thinstall.com

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  3. For better understanding of Thinstall, I found this flash-video. it’s great at introducing the features.
    http://thinstall.com/demos/overview.php
    Btw. I’m not affiliated in any way with the Thinstall company. I just hope it could help Nick in protecting his great software from scumbags stealing his software. I have a licensed copy of TopStyle and the money is well spent. However FeedDemon IS awesome, but I have not urgent need for newsreaders so I uninstalled it after a few days. If I should change my mind, I would register FeedDemon without a doubt. Bradsoft products is always good value.

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  4. Thinstall looks nice, but I’ve had too many problems with similar tools in the past, so I no longer use them. And quite frankly, no matter how good the protection is, it will be cracked – and once it’s cracked, every warez site on the planet will have it.

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  5. RE: all the comments about pricing. I’ve seen plenty of claims that people only steal software because it’s too expensive, but there’s little evidence of this being true. If you visit most warez sites, you’ll see applications as cheap as a few dollars offerred for free.
    I priced FeedDemon in the same range as other commercial RSS readers. NetNewsWire, the leading RSS reader on the Mac, is $39.95. NewzCrawler is $24.95. NewsGator for Outlook is $29.00.

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  6. This pisses me off, since I’m protective of software in general, but I have an functionally emotional attachment to apps that I depend on daily — FeedDemon is one; my text editor is another. And when “my” developers are losing money, then I know they’ll tend to move on to more profitable projects.
    When it comes to pricing, as a user I judge its value on what the developer is doing. For example, are they upgrading major versions to often? Do they continue to actively develop and debug the app throughout its current [major] version? Is it clear that the author is committed to the app’s future development? I see these points as more important than price alone.

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  7. So FeedDemon cost $29.95 and my salary in last work was about 250$, so can I afford to buy it if I pay (like all most you) have to for rent, study and so on and so on… I’m developer too and steeling someone work sucks, but look at the bright site, if so many attempts to register with fake/cracked serials it are a demand for your software, and there always will be someone who can afford and buy.
    P.S. I’m using trial but I saw cracks for FeedDemon, and they work…

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  8. How many people who use a cracked copy would actually buy it if they couldn’t crack it? Hardly any. So what impact does that have on revenue? Hardly any. So why worry?
    Comparing software theft to theft of a physical object such as a car is not valid. It is a copy of the software which is stolen – leaving the owner no worse off. There is only one copy of a car.

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  9. Bob, I don’t buy that argument. Even if nobody using a stolen serial number bought FeedDemon, I’m still paying the bandwidth costs of people downloading the trial version from my site (not to mention the bandwidth costs of warez sites linking to my images, etc).
    And as I’ve talked about before, people using cracked versions still contact me for support.
    Last but not least, many cracked versions were the result of purchases made with stolen credit cards, and I pay the chargeback on those.

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  10. I’ve got a very different take on pricing: Charge more! Or, at least, charge differently: Software should not be a one-time charge, because it’s not a one-time event. I use FeedDemon every day, and I expect Nick to continue to update it, fix bugs, add new functions, etc. I would happily pay a monthly/quarterly/yearly fee for him to continue to do that work.
    I also like the idea of having FeedDemon randomly “check in” with its home server, to make sure it’s a valid copy. Since FeedDemon has to have an Internet connection to do its work, that doesn’t seem to be prohibitive.

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  11. “…many cracked versions were the result of purchases made with stolen credit cards, and I pay the chargeback on those”.
    That’s not fair!. I get angry when I hear something like this!. Nick, you should change the way purchase works. Let people register, but before using the credit card, verify the email they use and then send them a link to complete the purchase!. The information that is required for the registree would allow you to cancel all the scumbags, since I doubt they would use their real name and address when registering. I know it’s more work on your part, but you can narrow down the payments with stolen creditcards etc.

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  12. Hi,
    I might have overlooked that, but how many attempts (in numbers) to activate the program have been made and is this a trend or just a spike? 9 out of 10 is still 90% percent, but 900 out of 1000 would be even more sad.
    Anyway, I hope you still have enough customers to make it worth your while.

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  13. hey Nick –
    maybe a different perspective on this issue — if 90% of your users are crackers, then i’d suggest you haven’t reached the broader market out there.
    most folks would simply be too lazy to deal with the knowledge required to steal a $30 product, so if 90% of your users are stealing it, then either:
    1) you’re not converting enough of your free users to paid users
    2) you’re not marketing to a broad enough audience for paid usage.
    i’m convinced that 90% of people don’t steal… maybe 30-50%, but not 90%… unless it’s a really easy “steal” that most people don’t think of as stealing (like copying MP3 files).
    i’d guess that you’re just looking at a microcosm of your potential audience with a skewed behavior pattern, and that if you shift your economics / marketing / purchasing models you can reach a much larger paying audience. or at least one that only exhibits 30-50% stealing behavior.
    just my $.02,
    – dave mcclure

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  14. Surely 90% of activation attempts isn’t the same as 90% of users? Users with a valid serial number will only require one attempt, as opposed to trying lots of serial numbers until they find one that works. So maybe the figure is closer to the 30-50% suggested?
    Have you thought about making a free version available with advertising and maybe a reduced feature set? That way it discourages people from bothering to crack it and you get an income stream from every user. Like Opera do. Obviously the maths would have to be done to compare the income from advertising vs the loss in paid registrations, but I’d be interested to know if it’s something you’ve looked into.

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  15. 90% is not so surprising when you consider the demographics of internet users (china, russia and so on). It suggests to me that your potential market has increased (is the 90% stat interpolated?) along with the value of your company. Now would be a good time to look at your exit strategy, some companys thrive on this type of market and would love to have a mature rss reader in their portfolio and lets face it there are not many of those

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