Rachel "Sparks" Blackman (seattlesparks) wrote,
Rachel "Sparks" Blackman

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[Rant] Software Pirates

So, we have version 3.0 (free and Pro) out in alpha testing. We know that it'll leak, so we've made it a semi-open alpha and done screenshot leaks and stuff ourselves so we have more control over it. We also know that folks will pirate it; it's a fact of life, and there's a pirate group whose primary purpose in life seems to be pirating and repackaging our software and add-ons. (Suffice it to say they've based their group's name off of ours, among other things.)

That doesn't make it any easier when we see that they've already cracked the Pro version of the alpha so it doesn't require registration, packaged it up as 'Trillian Pro 3.0' (without any indication that it's an alpha test copy) and placed it on their site, and are advertising that they have exclusive downloads of Trillian Pro 3.0.

So, not only do we have an alpha floating around masquerading as a final release (which I know will bring folks to our forums to post about how the 3.0 'final release' has bugs), but we have folks who will doubtless just download that instead of even considering purchasing it, or else sticking to the Free version. Worse, these people will try to enter support tickets into the system, demand paid user support (i.e. time from our actual paid support folks), and will invariably claim that they lost their password for the members section. The following is an actual exchange that I know not only Cerulean employees but some fellow Trillian Pro users have seen all too often:

'Yeah, I can't enter a support ticket because I forgot my password.'
'Well, just enter your e-mail and click forgot password, it'll give you a new one.'
'I don't have access to that e-mail anymore.'
'Well, then talk to Don or Glenn and give them the original password and registration name, and they'll see what they can do.'
'Well, I can't remember what e-mail I registered under.'
'It's in your Trillian registration dialog. Just pull that up.'
'My computer's not working, I can't get that information. Can't you just enter the ticket for me and download all the newly released plugins so I can pick the ones I want?'

How dumb do they think we are?

And I know there are folks who will justify it as 'well, it wasn't worth the money to me, and it's not like I'm really stealing from you anyway.' No, you don't get the moral high ground to make yourself comfortable with the decision! We release a free version for folks who can't afford the Pro one, and we even have updated the free one and combined the codebases as of this version to make it easier to maintain. If it's not worth the money to you, just stick to the one we give away for free! Grah.

Hate humanity today.
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