Clever responses to software piracy

Software companies face piracy issues every day. Three companies took a new approach to dealing with the issue, with interesting results.

Jeff Keacher created Blurity! to de-blur photos. His blog post "How I converted a software thief into a customer," tells how a special sign-in screen triggered by invalid registration numbers paid off. When presented with a coupon code for a discount, at least one person trying to register a pirated copy paid full price for the software.

GameInformer tells how the people at Starbreeze put a .nfo file in their legit Syndicate software. Pirated copies often include the .nfo file for the game cracker to take credit. But Starbreeze asked the person playing a pirated game to please pay up, and consider applying for a job at Starbreeze. And Techdirt tells how Minecraft developer Markus Persson challenged the person running a piracy website distributing his game to a Quake 3 match. Persson won, and the site when dark immediately.


It may also have had an 'oh my god, I've been caught!' effect - no longer is the user anonymous, in their own eyes.

vacri on

Wow, I really like this idea. Kudos to them for not pissing off PC gamers *cough Ubisoft and EA cough*

ChiroSamai94 on

Total man-crush.

Chris Rhodes on

Put a face on it

The popup you wrote had a humanizing effect. It's not just a faceless piece of software anymore. It's a a genuinely nice guy who built a cool product and wants to get paid.

iamdann on

The guy made something that people WANTED, nothing to do with piracy. Offer me something new and interesting, I'm willing to put some cash forward. Offer me remakes and sequels? I'll embrace piracy because the product is not worth the money.

Anonymous Coward on

The people cracking/pirating software are just as human as the authors - any kind of communication at a personal level increases the chance of a sale IMO.

bri3d on

Pirate pro and con

Your game is going to end up in piratebay and it will get pirated. If it doesn't end up being pirated, it's probably not a very good game and won't make you money anyway.

exDM69 on

When it comes to addressing pirates There's no way to win, it's like speaking to a brick wall.

ThisBlueSquid on

Pirates won't second guess, quit, reconsider or anything else. They'll continue to steal and their children should be burned alive in front of them for it. I hope they die with their families in car fires.

Donnie on

Have you ever paid for a game because of an appeal like one of these? Tell us which game, please.

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This story, "Clever responses to software piracy" was originally published by ITworld.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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