A Single Pirated Software License Was Used 775,000 Times In 200 Countries

Illustration for article titled A Single Pirated Software License Was Used 775,000 Times In 200 Countries

Just how big a deal is software piracy? When security company Avast noticed that one of its paid-for licenses was being distributed illicitly online, they decided to track it. A year and a half later, the downloads approached one million.

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The license was first purchased by a 14-user firm in Arizona, according to PC Pro. From there, it landed on enough file sharing sites to top out at 774,651 users, spread over 200 countries. According to Avast, two of the computers that installed the program were in Vatican City.

The plug's been pulled, though; Avast has started putting pop-up notices on machines with the illegally downloaded application that link to the free and paid versions. There have apparently been "some conversions," but the real value may come from the publicity the story's generating with posts like this one.

I just enjoy that the pirates went after a product called "Avast!" because of course they did. [PC Pro via Geekosystem]

DISCUSSION

I find it funny that this story is:

A. On the same page as the DJ Hero "shutdown because of copyright infringement" story.

B. Has people saying "stop hating on the big company by stealing from them", while people in the DJ Hero story are saying "stop hating on the little guy who stole from the big company and the songwriters".

Truly a sign of the times: people despise the recording industry and will gladly steal music in any form they can, while many of those same people will then turn around and chastise people who gladly steal software in any form they can. Can't have it both ways!