Extreme Anti-Piracy Measures

By Deane Barker on September 10, 2004

Unsanity.org: Piracy Protection?!: Don’t ever try to pirate this application. Additionally, don’t mis-key the serial number. Fat fingers will cost you dearly.

[…] it has come to my attention that some developer I will not name here has moved further on the road of fighting the piracy. Here’s what the software they make does:

If a pirated serial number is entered, the software erases the user’s Home directory. Yes, you heard it right — the software completely erases it, beyond repair. This means all of the user’s documents, settings, music, movies and whatnot are suddenly gone.

Via MetaFilter.



  1. I read a little deeper into this, and the software didn’t actually delete the home directory, just moved it to /tmp. Problem is that once the machine can’t find the home dir it starts acting all funky and the first thing any user will do is reboot the machine, which flushes everything from the /tmp directory, so in most cases it’s as good as gone.

    But it also sounds like the developer has already pulled the damaging code from his product… lots of complaints from other developers and users that this is just plain wrong.

  2. It’s a moot point. By his thoughtless (albeit brief) action, he is a)no longer in business and b)permanently stigmatized as a “rogue” developer who will hopefully mature as he gets a bit older and realizes that this kind of retaliation for software piracy–which I neither condone nor practice–goes beyond all reason.

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