The Toll Piracy Takes on Shareware

By Deane Barker on January 4, 2004

On Piracy: Nick Bradbury, creator of TopStyle and FeedDemon explains the damage done by the casual, supposedly harmless, pirating of shareware. To find out the depth of the problem, he created a version of TopStyle that was supposedly cracked, and posted it on a warez site.

This cracked version pinged home the first time it was run, providing a way for me to find out how many people were using it. To my dismay, in just a few weeks more people had used this cracked version than had ever purchased it. I knew piracy was rampant, but I didn’t realize how widespread it was until this test.