Revulytics Blog

Software Piracy Research - Who Knew?

October 14, 2009

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As frequent readers know, we do a lot of original research on software piracy to better understand and quantify the risks to software vendors. In July, we issued a report focused on a review of crack releases and piracy enablement approaches. We followed up in September with a report on software piracy distribution channels and networks.

Our September research was the focus of recent articles on Computerworld by Eric Lai and The Register by John Leyden. Not surprisingly, many of the comments to the articles (and on Slashdot) were variations on the theme of "This is not news" (other comments weighed the relative merits of different channels for obtaining unlicensed software, and some defended/rationalized the practice of obtaining software without paying for it).

Our response? Of course this is not news to the people who have been downloading unlicensed software from these channels! It is, however, important for the software vendor community to understand the wide range of distribution channels where their unlicensed software can be downloaded.

More than one commenter echoed our opinion that trying to take down file sharing sites is like playing "whack-a-mole" - even in the face of the BSA doubling the number of takedown notices it had issued in the first half of 2009.

Given this, a piracy business intelligence approach makes more sense and is more effective. By leveraging these decentralized and well organized piracy distribution channels, vendors are recovering license revenue from the businesses that are actually using their software without paying for it.

-Michael

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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.