Drastic software piracy
The author of the Mac program "Display Eater" got tired of piracy, and said that he coded the program such that if it detects a pirated version of itself, it'll destroy files from your home directory. It was all a hoax to scare people into buying the real version.
This turned out to be a major mistake and a PR catastrophy. As the developer explains in this statement on his home page:
A reporter called me today, and suggested that I make it free, and or open source. I plan to do both. Once the code is cleaned up, a GPL'ed version will be released.
It is never a good idea to treat your customers as criminals (unless, of course, you are involved in arms smuggling or some other illegal activity - then your customers actually are criminals). This is no different than the whole Sony rootkit debacle a few months back - a huge PR disaster.
Piracy isn't just going to go away by fighting fire with fire. I'm not even sure whether fighting piracy is worth it - I'm almost certain that the only way to end piracy is to put more money in it than is possibly lost by piracy in the first place, and therefore it makes no economical sense. There's surely a sweet spot somewhere, and this sweet spot is different in different industries, but I think that after this sweet spot you gotta think of piracy like a progressive tax. It's just a price you have to pay for being popular.
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|"Main_blogentry_250207_1" last changed on 25-Feb-2007 13:55:53 EET by JanneJalkanen.|