Copyright Infringement & DMCA Takedowns

I didn’t see any topics devoted to this subject, so I thought I’d start one.

This has only happened to us twice so far (that I’m aware of). Someone purchases a license for our software, downloads the software, issues a chargeback through the payment processor, and then proceeds to post our software online for others to freely download (either scuzzy pirating boards or a torrent or what have you). I think the biggest mistake I made here is not disputing the chargeback. The “customer” issued the chargeback an hour after the purchase, didn’t contact support, and in numerous contacts beforehand, attempted to get a free or highly discounted license.

Part of me knows that people who opt to use the software dishonestly are not customers and therefore do not receive support, upgrades, etc, although I can’t say it still doesn’t bother me… but this could also be because we’re relatively new to selling software under a commercial license (just launched on Apr. 20th this year) and I haven’t grown a thicker skin about it just yet.

So, I suppose the question I wanted to put out there is this – for those of you who sell on-premise software, how many of you care enough about the copyright infringement to take time to issue DMCA takedown requests where you can?

Thanks for your input!

I’m selling desktop software for nearly 3 years now and I never bothered with any of the above. My customers are mostly larger cooperations which, in my experience, never pirate any software.

You cannot win this fight so my advise would be to use the time and manpower for more productive things :smile:

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The same here. I never bothered about possible cracks, keygens or any unlicensed usage. Those people who pay for software will always pay and will never spend time searching for cracks, but those who use cracked software will always find a way to crack it and will never pay you. It’s just waste of your time.

All you can do in your situation is blocklist a license you gave to this “customer” and in future updates just block launching the app that uses blacklisted license. This is general scenario, but implementation depends on your implementation of licensing inside the app.

Ok, so obviously I’m an idiot and failed to mention a rather important bit of info – by “on-premise”, I meant web-based software that the customer can install on their own servers. Definitely not desktop software. The full, unencrypted source code is distributed when the customer purchases a license.

I briefly dabbled in on-premise/server web software many years ago, and one customer took the trial version & hacked at the code to remove the trial version restrictions. I confronted the customer about it, and they did eventually buy the software… but probably because it would have been damaging for them if it had gone public. (Let’s just say it reaffirmed my distrust of politicians.) But there was no need for a DMCA request, a polite but firm email did the trick for me.

With my downloadable / desktop software, torrents are very common, especially with newly released versions. Thankfully chargebacks aren’t so common, unless the cracker wasn’t able to figure out how to crack it on their own (and then they use stolen credit cards). I usually don’t bother sending DMCA requests unless it’s particularly obvious. I might do it if the link is ranking really high on Google for my keywords, or if I see a user group sharing the crack link instead of the trial link… something where removing the link will actually have a noticeable impact. Though if I’m having a grumpy day I might use software like CrackTracker to find & nix a bunch of those links via DMCA all at once.

Otherwise, like others have said, the energy is better spent on improving the product, marketing it better & focusing on genuine customers.