Software Piracy

I was looking at a recent error report and surprised to see included in the error report a screen shot of a software pirate at work. The miscreant appears to have been trying to figure out why a crash was occurring with the license checks removed:

It’s not the first time I’ve seen such screenshots but it’s a useful reminder of how hard people work on tasks that, consciously or not, undermine the  structure of the company and the ability to support and improve the very products they, the pirates, want to use.

Unfortunately, piracy is widespread and so we do need to implement some anti-piracy features. It’s not fun work, it tends to be fiddly and annoying not to mention counter productive.  Every line of code devoted to piracy prevention is one less line of code devoted to new functionality, and every time you add a new hurdle for the pirates to jump you potentially make the software harder for a legitimate customer to install. One day I hope we can remove all anti-piracy features but for now we do still need them.

The one upside to finding these reports is that it further enhances the appreciation of our paying customers. These customers help keep the company alive and flourishing so that we can pay the bills and keep improving and supporting the products.

So, a big THANK YOU to all our paying customers but also a small nod to the pirates who we hope one day will switch to becoming the former.