May 14 2008 :: by Alex Yumashev
Piracy is what every software company worries about. We all do our best to protect our software from cracking, patching and other kinds or reverse engineering. But should we really try to build an invincible protection? With all these hardware-lockers, network activations and stuff?

No way. That's what we think here at Jitbit Software. And here is why:

There are three kinds of users:
  1. Ones that will buy your software and never use a pirated version.
  2. Ones that will never buy your software and search for a crack till death. If there's no crack, they turn to your competitor or even buy it with a stolen credit card, which is even worse, because you will have to deal with chargebacks and bank penalties.
  3. Ones that will try to hack (or search for a pirated version), and if this cannot be done easily, they buy (bingo).
The purpose of a software protection system is - turn group 3 users into buyers. Period. A simple asynchronously (to prevent keygens) crypted serial number will do. But if you make it unbreakable, you will have to deal with carders and chargebacks from group 2. If you make it too complicated (network activation, hardware-binding, USB-keys and similar crap), you will lose your customers from group 1.

But this is not the whole story.

We all know, that you can buy a fake Rolex for 40 dollars, or a D&G shirt for 20... That's something we should learn from non-software (tangible) companies: D&G does not fight piracy! Actually D&G even encourages piracy as it promotes the original. That's why when you release the first version of the software, you should use an intentionally weak protection system.

When we released the first versions of our Macro Recorder back in 2004, our serial number system was so lame, that a keygen was out two days after the release. We had gigabytes of traffic and thousands of visitors coming from piracy websites, but we've gained publicity, backlinks, downloads and Google-PR.

'Piracy Concerns' was written by Alex Yumashev
Alex Yumashev
Alex has founded Jitbit in 2005 and is a software engineer passionate about customer support.

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