It’s easy enough, I suppose, to glamorize pirates in fiction, since they all seem to possess redeeming qualities. But in the modern age, (think Somalia), pirates have no redeeming qualities – they are simply thieves.
Pirates don’t restrict their activities to sailing the bounding main however. The vast majority of present day pirates (the software pirate), sail the the currents of the Internet – stealing and pillaging.
If you’re a software pirate you’re definitely on my shit list. Because of you, part of every dollar I spend in buying software, goes to cover the cost of of your thieving behavior.
Yes, I’ve heard all the arguments in support of software theft –
How about lowering ridiculous high pricing in the first place?
Some steal it because they can’t buy it, in which case your not going to sell it to them anyway.
Users in third world countries can’t afford to buy the software even if they wanted to.
Software vendors already put the fact that there will be piracy into the price of their products. (My point exactly – you cost ME money).
Most of these argument revolve around the cost of software – always assumed to be artificially high. Frankly, I support the argument that software pricing is often outrageous. But, is that fact a justification for being a thief?
Personally, I find the cost of new cars too high. But, that doesn’t mean I’d be justified in stealing a car from my local Toyota dealership. Why is it, stealing from software developers is seen by many, as somehow different?
Recently, I happened to come across the Seventh Annual BSA and IDC Global Software Piracy Study, which made the point “for every $100 worth of legitimate software sold, an additional $75 worth of unlicensed software made its way onto the market.”
I had some difficulty with the methodology used in this study, but overall, the findings are reasonable accurate.
Selected findings from this study:
Commercial value of software theft exceeds $50 billion: the commercial value of unlicensed software put into the market in 2009 totaled $51.4 billion.
Progress on piracy held through the recession: the rate of PC software piracy dropped in nearly half (49%) of the 111 economies studied, remained the same in 34% and rose in 17%.
Piracy continues to rise on a global basis: the worldwide piracy rate increased from 41% in 2008 to 43% in 2009; largely a result of exponential growth in the PC and software markets in higher piracy, fast growing markets such as Brazil, India and China.
So here’s the deal I mentioned in the title to this article – if you search out, or use, pirated software, in almost every case you’ll get an added bonus – malware.
My good buddy Rod, an Australian security developer executive, who generously keeps me in the loop regarding Internet threats detected by his companies through their various Internet resources, passed on the following information, this week.
Those who are into downloading pirated anti-malware programs or dubious license keys, could be in for a nasty surprise!
“HijackThis Pro 2.0.4 Portable” on WaReZ and Torrents sites is not a Trend Micro product. You don’t have to run it to get infected … merely unpacking the archive will zap you with TrojanDownloader.Pegel.BU.
Several websites offering stolen or otherwise illegally obtained “free keys” for Kaspersky, SuperAntiSpyware and ESET programs have been poisoned with malicious iFrames in the past few days (which doesn’t say much for the intelligence of the webmasters), and the trick is spreading.
You don’t need to download anything to infect yourself … depending on which site you visit, the front page will instantly zap you with TrojanDownloader.Pegel.BR, or TrojanDownloader.Pegel.BU.
In the end, there is no justifiable reason to steal software. It is piracy, and it is a CRIME. Many commercial software applications have an open source equivalent and that’s the route to choose.
Not only will you be choosing the moral path, but you will be supporting the greatest concept in software, ever – Open Source.
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