Revulytics Blog

What We Mean By Software Piracy Assessment

December 9, 2008

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I want to provide some more context on the free software piracy assessment service that we recently announced.

Unlike other services that focus on assessing the number of references to pirated software on FTP, P2P, and Web sites, we are focusing on the piracy groups themselves and their recent and past activity.

By focusing on the group activity we believe ISVs can learn about the piracy trends affecting them and what anti-piracy strategies they should consider. Piracy groups are “enablers” of piracy. They enable piracy by creating quality “crack” release versions of the ISV’s generally available software by disabling license enforcement or software DRM capabilities. Once the release is packaged, the groups quickly distribute the software to Top Sites which are high bandwidth and storage FTP servers. Although these sites have exclusive memberships, index sites and other aggregator sites are able to access and retrieve the files to make the releases available to the public Web (see diagram below) or index the releases by tag name to broadcast their availability. Once available on a top site, the cracked software is quickly made available on BitTorrent, piratebay.org, and the piracy channel at large.

We leverage a few of the public (but obscure) index sites to validate vendor piracy activity and perform further trend analysis. The goal of an index site is to allow users to search pirated assets, but they normally do not offer downloads of this software. We have validated a few of these index sites by downloading and testing the cracked software from other locations which have been announced on the sites.

Our free assessment service uses information from the vendor and various piracy index sites to uncover high level piracy trends. For more information on what’s contained in the report check out our offer.

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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.