Revulytics Blog

Software Piracy and Whac-A-Mole?

May 4, 2010

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Ars Technica has an interesting article by Nate Anderson, Rightsholders tire of takedown Whac-A-Mole, seek gov’t help. The article focuses on the content industries’ challenge of keeping up with the torrential (pun intended) flood of infringing content across the Internet and the cost of sending take down notices to the myriad of sites hosting that content:

Software Piracy Whac-a-mole“Viacom and Universal are fighting this battle in the courts, while groups like A2IM and the Songwriters Guild believe a better approach will be found in attempting to change the law itself—or at least getting more government help in enforcing current law. Given how contentious the DMCA was when passed back in 1998 and the limited appetite for altering its core provisions in the decade since, Congress probably won't get involved anytime soon. But who knows what Espinel will try to do as she corrals the FBI, Department of Justice, Customs, and other executive branch agencies into a lean, mean, infringement fighting machine.”

While combating content and software infringement present different challenges, we can agree that attacking the distribution channels is indeed akin to playing “Whac-A-Mole” (or as Universal’s lawyers put it, “Sisyphean”).

In the case of software piracy, however, there is an opportunity for ISVs to actually leverage those distribution channels to identify businesses that need their software and can pay for the licenses. By using a piracy business intelligence approach ISVs can gather data on real companies that are using unlicensed software to grow their business.

Stop wasting time trying to “whack” the moles and, instead, follow them back to the dens and see what they’re doing - the ROI is much better.

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Michael Goff

Post written by Michael Goff

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.