Welcome back to V.i. Labs’ weekly update on software piracy and copyright infringement. In this edition: Game Dev Tycoon pirates bemoan piracy but miss the point, and a Sri Lankan garment manufacturer is caught using pirated software.
Game Dev Tycoon is a simulation game where players work to build a successful software gaming company. The developers, Patrick and Daniel Klug, anticipated that the game would be pirated, so “in addition to putting out a legit copy the brothers also released a cracked game which they voluntarily shared on The Pirate Bay. This modified version of the game comes with a slight change in gameplay.” TorrentFreak notes that:
A few hours into the game players of the “cracked” copy see a rather depressing in-game note, telling them that their virtual game is being heavily pirated.
Soon after that the player’s funds start to decrease. The other games they release are hit by piracy as well, resulting in the bankruptcy of the virtual gaming company they had just built up.
Absolutely brilliant. The game pirates see the error of their ways and begin to contemplate the impact of piracy on their favorite developers, right? Not so much. Instead, the pirate gamers went online to complain about the virtual pirates in the game that were ruining their companies.
Sadly, Greenheart Games' site seems to be down right now, [UPDATE: Greenheart Games' site is back online] but Patrick Klug blogged about their piracy experiment and discussed why they refuse to add DRM to their products: “Customers get the trouble with always-on requirements and intrusive DRM, while pirates can just download and enjoy. A twisted world.”
While different software vendors have a wide range of approaches to piracy, I applaud Greenheart Games for taking this creative approach to holding up a mirror to the pirates and showing them the impact of piracy. Although many of them clearly missed the point, the addition of some targeted in-application messaging might have driven the point home. With CodeArmor's ability to target messages to different scenarios of unlicensed use to specific adopters, vendors are able to respond with prevention, education or revenue recovery responses. Stay tuned for more details on new functionality in controlling the use of your software after you have released it!
Sri Lanka's national newspaper noted that “police raided a reputed garment manufacturer suspected of using pirated and unlicensed software” on April 11. The raid resulted in the seizure of more than 50 computers “with suspected pirated business software valued at over Sri Lanka Rupees Five Million (Rs 5,000,000/-) [roughly US$40,000] all of which were taken into Police Custody for further inspection and to be produced in Court.”
While this case appears to involve more horizontal business applications, we have seen significant adoption of software specifically developed for the garment and apparel industries. As we discussed in our recent webinar on Unfair Competition Law, software vendors have a new strategy to deal with the adoption of unlicensed software that occurs in jurisdictions with less protection for intellectual property rights. The recent cases by the California attorney general point to increased interest in leveling the playing field and ensuring a more competitive environment for both software publishers and apparel manufacturers.
Questions, comments? Is there a story or topic you’d like to see covered in depth? Please leave a comment below or visit us at our Software Piracy Initiatives Forum and discuss the topics with experts in the field.
Marketing Director at Revulytics
Michael is Marketing Director at Revulytics where he is responsible for corporate marketing, content, and social media. He has helped to educate the industry on the benefits of software usage analytics for compliance and product management through the company's blog and contributed articles in trade publications. Michael was previously a marketing programs manager at The MathWorks and principal at Goff Communications. Michael earned a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. from Colgate University.
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