Archive for December, 2007

68% of Mac Users are Pirates?

December 4th, 2007

Hi All,
A software company I’m friends with recently released a new version of their application. This application, which is under $50 (aka affordable), has server side activation due to ‘the times we live in.’ Without fail, soon after the release the same serial number kept trying to be activated over and over. They realized this serial number had been posted to a pirate forum and blocked the serial number. Over the course of the next several days they watched the number of people trying this number go up and up while the paying customers leveled off. On one day, 68% of all activation requests were with this *one* pirated serial number.

Are small Mac developers, like ourselves, just supposed to accept this rampant amount of piracy? Why do people feel they can simply steal software when it is affordable (they do own a computer after all)? Does every software company need to put in online activation to try and slow piracy? Do we need to increase the price of our applications to offset piracy?

Ultimately, customers are the real victims here. For example, we do ES as a side project because we simply can’t make enough on our software to make a living from it. If we could see a theoretical 68% increase in registrations we would probably be able to make it into a full time gig. That would result in more software, better software and quicker releases. Now think of that across the entire Mac shareware industry; imagine all the new and cool apps people would be making.

The thought that 68% of our users could be pirates really makes me just want to quit. Our software is very affordable, but without a doubt, we still have to block pirated serial numbers every release. Even for a $5 application! Perhaps you might think twice before pirating your next piece of software…



# posted at 1:41 am by Will