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Single Software Licence Shared 774,651 Times

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the running-rampant dept.

Piracy 446

nk497 writes "A single licence for Avast security software has been used by 774,651 people after it went viral on a file-sharing site. Avast noticed that a license for its paid-for security software, sold to a 14-user firm in Arizona, was being distributed online. Rather than shut down the piracy, the company decided to see how far the software would spread — it's since popped up in 200 countries, including the Vatican City. Now, the company is turning it into a marketing opportunity, with a pop-up encouraging users of the pirated copy to download a legal copy of the free or paid-for version. Avast isn't sure how many pirates have gone legal, but said some have made the switch."

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They didn’t sue them... (5, Insightful)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460800)

Well, that’s a good start, I guess.

News flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460820)

People like free stuff.

And also, people cheat when they think they can get away with it.

Re:News flash (2)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460864)

people cheat when they think they can get away with it.

Your post was completely unrelated to mine, yet you replied to me. Did you think you’d get away with that?

Anyway, to respond more to your point, yes – people cheat when they think they can get away with it. However, pirating software that (by definition) phones home is... sort of... especially dumb. By which I mean, you’re unlikely to get away with it.

Re:News flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460996)

More accurately, some people cheat when they think they can get away with it.

Re:News flash (1)

Kymermosst (33885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461248)

In my experiences with people, I'd have to say that the correct word is 'most,' not 'some.'

Re:News flash (1)

Lobachevsky (465666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461278)

Unless we redefine "people" to mean those who cheat, and reserve some other word to describe those who don't. The Supreme Court has already redefined "people" to include corporations, so it's apparently fashionable to redefine key terms like this.

Re:News flash (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34461006)

> Your post was completely unrelated to mine, yet you replied to me. Did you think you’d get away with that?

People make unrelated replies to early posts all the time to get their comments to show up early in the list.

Re:News flash (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34461048)

Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Re:News flash (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34461148)

People make unrelated replies to early posts all the time to get their comments to show up early in the list.

I don't know WTF you are talking about. :)

P.S. niggers, jews, and faggots

Re:News flash (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34461298)

Thank you for the segue.

I hereby invoke Godwin's law so that this conversation may return to a reasonable discussion. Well, as reasonable as it gets around here anyway.

Nazi

Re:News flash (2)

dmomo (256005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461186)

Also, the "Reply to This" button under the first post is much more prominent than the "reply" link to the left at the footer of the Article text. I've accidentally replied to the first post my share of times. Mind you, the "first post" differs depending on who is reading it and how the replies are sorted for them.

Re:They didn’t sue them... (1)

bchickens (255621) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460832)

yeah no kidding, im very suprised.

Re:They didn’t sue them... (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460840)

Suing hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world could be tricky.

Re:They didn’t sue them... (4, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460930)

And suing one of several people in the Vatican... lets just say that might be one time to expect the Spanish inquisition.

Re:They didn’t sue them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34461044)

That wasn't unexpected!

Re:They didn’t sue them... (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460974)

Perhaps, but plenty of the unauthorized users were in the US, so if they’d wanted to make a payday from it, they could’ve.

Measurement opportunity (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460852)

I am somewhat interested in how many people will actually pay for a license; this might be a good way to estimate how many people who download unauthorized software would have paid for the software in the first place.

Re:Measurement opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460918)

I would imagine that a bunch of these were installed by "technicians" or even small "mom and pop" computer stores / white box builders. It isn't very likely that all of them were actually done by the end user. So "conversions" of people who weren't intending to cheat in the first place are actually fairly likely. They may either think that their "free trial" expired or something else and just go on to purchase.

Re:Measurement opportunity (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461042)

I've never had a "mom and pop" store install software illegally on any of the machines I bought there or had serviced. If they did install any, it was removed before I got my hands on it.

Most of them are more concerned with going out of business when they get caught doing it.

I wouldn't imagine that at all (2)

judeancodersfront (1760122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461120)

Even mom and pop stores can get a commission from anti-virus subscriptions. There is a free version of avast, why would they not install it instead?

Re:Measurement opportunity (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460940)

I am somewhat interested in how many people will actually pay for a license; this might be a good way to estimate how many people who download unauthorized software would have paid for the software in the first place.

I don't think this would prove that at all. It's more likely to show how many people felt guilty and decided to buy a license just in case the company eventually decides to sue people.

Re:Measurement opportunity (1, Insightful)

judeancodersfront (1760122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461234)

I am somewhat interested in how many people will actually pay for a license; this might be a good way to estimate how many people who download unauthorized software would have paid for the software in the first place.

You really can't make any assumptions with this case given the nature of the software. It's security software that has to be constantly updated so there is more of an incentive to keep a legit copy.

When Android games are 1 dollar and still pirated heavily it is hard to believe that those pirates would have paid for the data plan but not bought any games. Pirates should not be given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to software that is affordable.

And now they got a free ad on Slashdot! (4, Insightful)

mattdm (1931) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460814)

Amazing how that works.

nice works. (2)

swschrad (312009) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460892)

you know, like the old days, when code was in magazines, and you could use it free. you could patch it or turn it around yourself, and learn something useful reading the stuff you didn't want to type in.

and the Avast folks have a list of the files in Windows handy, so they don't have rogue updates that brick your system by quarantining core files.

try it, you just might buy it. I did for my last surviving XP machine.

Re:And now they got a free ad on Slashdot! (5, Interesting)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461156)

I would love to see how they worded their pop-up so as not to offend people or scare them away.

ATTENTION! The Virus Software you are using has been pirated.
Please put in your name and credit card number, and you will be legally licensed.

The last thing I want to do, if caught pirating something inadvertently is to provide my identification.

Re:And now they got a free ad on Slashdot! (2)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461212)

No, that would be if we linked to the official press release [avast.com] .

Re:And now they got a free ad on Slashdot! (1)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461222)

A single licence for some mysterious anti virus software has been used by 774,651 people after it went viral on a file-sharing site. The vendor of the mysterious anti virus software noticed that a license for its paid-for security software, sold to a 14-user firm in Arizona, was being distributed online. Rather than shut down the piracy, the company decided to see how far the software would spread — it's since popped up in 200 countries, including the Vatican City. Now, the company is turning it into a marketing opportunity, with a pop-up encouraging users of the pirated copy to download a legal copy of the free or paid-for version. The vendor of the mysterious anti virus software isn't sure how many pirates have gone legal, but said some have made the switch.

Happy?

great (5, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460816)

Cue 4,000,000 slashdot posts how this proves, objectively, with 100% accuracy, that software piracy does zero economic harm and is actually beneficial to everyone involved.

Re:great (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460844)

This proves, objectively, with 100% accuracy, that software piracy does zero economic harm and is actually beneficial to everyone involved.

Re:great (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460898)

This proves, objectively, with 100% accuracy, that software piracy does zero economic harm and is actually beneficial to everyone involved.

3,999,999 to go.

Re:great (-1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460954)

Ahem, This proves, objectively, with 100% accuracy, that software piracy does zero economic harm and is actually beneficial to everyone involved.

Re:great (-1)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461090)

X 4,000,000

Re:great (-1, Offtopic)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461196)

Next i

Re:great (-1, Offtopic)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461288)

Dammit, I hit the wrong reply button.

Re:great (0)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461208)

iteration X:

This proves, objectively, with 100% accuracy, that software piracy does zero economic harm and is actually beneficial to everyone involved.

Re:great (0, Redundant)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460890)

#2
This proves, objectively, with 100% accuracy, that software piracy does zero economic harm and is actually beneficial to everyone involved.

(Man 4 million is going to take a while.)

Re:great (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460900)

No, it only proves that whether there is any damage and how much is unknowable. You can determine how many sales resulted because of their response to it, but you can in no way determine how many sales were lost to getting it for free. People may have purchased, but from other companies. Or gone with free and open source options. Or used nothing. Certainly, one can't honestly say it doesn't do damage, but there's no way you can quantify it legally, say, to charge the culprit $580,000,000.00 in damages (the number of copies, by $750).

Who cares about "lost sales?" (0)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460972)

Last I checked, nobody was crying over how many "lost sales" resulted from the invention of personal computers -- think of all the typewriter manufacturers that went out of business! So what exactly makes software companies so special? The Internet is here to stay, and it has completely destroyed whatever scarcity software companies were capitalizing on in the past. The companies need to find a new business model or die, just like every other company whose business model was rendered obsolete by new technology.

Re:Who cares about "lost sales?" (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461058)

Better lobbyists.

Re:Who cares about "lost sales?" (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461230)

There's nothing special about the software industry. Plenty of industries that offer services not needed or wanted or which can not do so to a degree that the free market can support them continue to survive, thanks to government (tax payer) subsidies. If you have a big union that wields a lot of votes, you're even more likely to long out live your usefulness, without suffering from it.

However, I'm not really sure what any of that has to do with a million people using a commercial piece of software without paying for it. Unlike typewriters, people *need* anti-virus software (well, most of them, at least). Comparing typewriters which nobody wants or uses anymore to a piece of software that everyone wants and does use (just doesn't want to pay a few bucks for) doesn't exactly make sense. The fact that it was copied and used almost a million times sort of invalidates the idea that it's an unwanted service.

Re:great (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461146)

>>>you can in no way determine how many sales were lost to getting it for free.

Precisely. I'd go without virus software rather than pay for it, just as I go without Cable TV rather than pay for it.

Re:great (-1, Redundant)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460908)

#3

This proves, objectively, with 100% accuracy, that software piracy does zero economic harm and is actually beneficial to everyone involved.

Try to ignore Asia (1)

judeancodersfront (1760122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460998)

where lots of software doesn't get ported because software companies can't make a profit due to the high piracy.

But yes piracy isn't a problem because of this one case. Nevermind how this would benefit software that only needs to be updated once per year like a utility or software that is only used for a month like a game. We just need to find 2 or 3 more cases like this one to show that copyright laws aren't needed.

Re:great (1)

lunasee (1766706) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461066)

More like, cue the Linux users who will state that they do not need to pirate AV software.

Re:great (0)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461132)

For i=1 to 4,000,000

Re:great (-1, Redundant)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461166)

Print "This proves, objectively, with 100% accuracy, that software piracy does zero economic harm and is actually beneficial to everyone involved."

Re:great (0)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461244)

Wow. This is some old school BASIC. Yet you forgot your "Next" statement.

Re:great (2)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461198)

Interestingly, for the most part, personal non-commercial use of a software shouldn't really be taking money from anyone IMHO.

However, in this case each and every copy is taxing Avast's servers, which is most definitely harming Avast.

It's quite nice to see such a constructive approach to the problem.

Off-Topic, but still funny (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460818)

I think Microsoft might have them beat... (5, Insightful)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460824)

FCKGW-RHQQ2...

Re:I think Microsoft might have them beat... (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461012)

There was a time when the algorithm for testing Microsoft keys was that the sum of the digits was divisible by 7 (I think). Setting every digit to 7 was the simplest way of doing this, although there were other options were possible. I often used these instead of bothering to look up what the actual value should have been.

Re:I think Microsoft might have them beat... (1)

larppaxyz (1333319) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461190)

Et tu, Brute

Re:I think Microsoft might have them beat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34461200)

I recognise that key.

If it was not so serious, it would be truly funny! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460830)

“We found our licence code at a number of warez sites around the globe,” said Vince Steckler, chief executive of Avast Software. “There is a paradox in computer users looking for ‘free’ antivirus programs at locations with a known reputation for spreading malware.”

paradox (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34461096)

The paradox might be that pirate sites are trusted more by users than antivirus creators.

uh...what? (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460836)

The pirating of legally-free software never ceases to amuse me...I know the licence is for a "paid" version of the program, but still, for personal users, the "free" version is more than sufficient. That being said, Avast's response to this has been PERFECT.

Re:uh...what? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460982)

I could be wrong but doesn't the free version of Avast refuse to close its window or something equally annoying? Or was that some firewall software?

Re:uh...what? (1)

Cytotoxic (245301) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461184)

I don't know about any problems. I've been using it for the wife's computer for about 6 months. Seems pretty nice so far. They'll pop up and try to sell something every now and again, but it really isn't a big deal compared to the free service they provide.

I use clam anti-virus on linux for my laptop, and it seems a little more intrusive when scanning than Avast on the wife's PC - but that is probably due to the massive difference in spec between the two machines.

Re:uh...what? (1)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460986)

I think Avast about it *because* they have the free version available. They know that they are losing next to nothing because, at best, most of these people would be using the free copy anyway.

Re:uh...what? (1)

windcask (1795642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461074)

The pirating of legally-free software never ceases to amuse me...I know the licence is for a "paid" version of the program, but still, for personal users, the "free" version is more than sufficient.

Replace "personal users" with "people possessing common sense."

The #1 reason I avoid pirated software is because more often than not, they contain malware and viruses. Now, isn't pirating an anti-virus program that has a free version readily available more than a little self-defeating?

Re:uh...what? (2)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461246)

Now, isn't pirating an anti-virus program that has a free version readily available more than a little self-defeating?

They pirated the license key.

Re:uh...what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34461078)

How do they know the license was intentionally shared by the firm in question? There's a whole underground economy build around the use of trojans to "steal" software keys, credit card numbers and website credentials. Considering how easy it is to get malware on a Windows box, this is just as likely as intentional copyright violation.

Most non-techies (or reset-button pushers) never read the actual license, and are not aware of or do not understand per-seat, per-CPU, or the difference between maintenance and permanent licenses.

Re:uh...what? (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461264)

no one reads the license, and pushing the reset-button on windows is a perfectly acceptable way to cure whatever ails it.

Re:uh...what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34461086)

The pirating of legally-free software never ceases to amuse me...I know the licence is for a "paid" version of the program, but still, for personal users, the "free" version is more than sufficient. That being said, Avast's response to this has been PERFECT.

I wonder what the legal ramifications of allowing your product to be pirated are... Does willfully neglecting to protect your assets from piracy prevent you from proceeding with copyright or patent infringement litigation? Inquiring minds want to know.

Re:uh...what? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461218)

I don't know, but that's a topic I'm going to have to get educated on in the next year or two...I'm writing a book as well as a series of short stories that I intend to self-publish and distribute digitally, but I will also host them for free on my website (one of those "I'd love it if you paid me, but I care more about you reading it" kind of deals.)

Re:uh...what? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461178)

I think it would be better to say "you are using a pirate version, it'll continue working for 30 days, then auto updates will stop working, if you want to buy go here". If people want to continue using it then fine but after 30 days they're putting themselves are greater and greater risk because it won't stay up to date any more.

AVAST, ye mateys! (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460846)

AVAST, ye mateys!

Am I right or am I right?

Re:AVAST, ye mateys! (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461276)

you are right.

Just demoing (4, Funny)

nlawalker (804108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460850)

As it turns out, when asked, all 774,651 people were "just trying out to see how it was before they bought it."

Re:Just demoing (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460876)

That's probably the weakest excuse one could come up for it.

Avast has what they call a 'Free Trial Version' and going through a fileshare to get a license key might be actually more work to "demo" the software

Re:Just demoing (2)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460926)

That's the excuse most software/media thieves use.

Re:Just demoing (5, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460948)

I believe he was demoing a joke right there. The keygen for the full version spits out "whoosh."

They were going to buy it (0)

judeancodersfront (1760122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461056)

but didn't have enough money after giving so much to charity. Since you can't prove me wrong that most pirates give generously to charity we should assume that they do.

Been caught stealing. (1)

glrotate (300695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460856)

When I want something,
I don't want to pay for it.

I walk right through the door.
Walk right through the door.
Hey all right! If I get by, it's mine.
Mine all mine!

The Pope's copy of avast was also pirated (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460882)

But the controversy was that he downloaded it from demonoid. And that he has a pretty leechy ratio.

Re:The Pope's copy of avast was also pirated (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461236)

But the controversy was that he downloaded it from demonoid. And that he has a pretty leechy ratio.

Demonoid's ratio tracking is extremely broken. I'm not sure why they bother to even display it... it's a public site in every way these days.

To me, all this says is.. (2, Insightful)

dmomo (256005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460886)

At least 774,641 searched for the file (wanting to pirate it) and found this copy first. If this copy was not there, 774,641 would have searched for the file and found what was otherwise the second result for said software. What we can say is that 774,641 pirated the software, not that the uploaded caused it to be pirated 774,641 times.

I'm trying not to condonng the pirates or sympathizing with the software company. This is just (hopefully) an objective observation.

Re:To me, all this says is.. (3, Insightful)

Corbets (169101) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461292)

At least 774,641 searched for the file (wanting to pirate it) and found this copy first. If this copy was not there, 774,641 would have searched for the file and found what was otherwise the second result for said software. What we can say is that 774,641 pirated the software, not that the uploaded caused it to be pirated 774,641 times.

I'm trying not to condonng the pirates or sympathizing with the software company. This is just (hopefully) an objective observation.

You're still applying an interpretation. What it says is that 774,641 copies of the pirated key are in use (or something similar; depending how they gathered their stats, it might be that many IP addresses, which may or may not correlate to actual installed copies, or... whatever).

When you say that 774,641 people searched for the file and found it first, you're making an assumption that is no more valid than any other guess. My own assumption, to provide a contrary point of view, is that people actively went out actively looking to get their hands on the paid version without paying for it, as when I enter a variety of Avast-related search terms in Google, I get their website, not warez sites.

In any case, I like the way they handled it, though I would have supported cancelling that license as well (after discussions with the actual owner of the license).

As a comparison (2, Informative)

Aussenseiter (1241842) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460888)

The RIAA would extrapolate 774,651 equivalent illegal downloads as $11,619,765 in lost revenue - and then go to the courts.

Vatican (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460894)

The Vatican is a soverign state that does not have a software treaty with the US, so no infringement there ...

Re:Vatican (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34461026)

Why does God need security software?

Re:Vatican (2)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461134)

Vatican does not have a software treaty with the US

That foolish Vatican pirate is simply 10 commandments violator, and we all know what is coming to him..

Still not good (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460914)

This will still be used by the RIAA/MPAA/etc. Because look at it. It's proof that piracy cost Avast 774,651 sales. I like the non-litigious response by Avast, and their remedy is offered in such a way that a lot of people will probably take it, so they don't harm their user base by driving people off. But props to Avast. You handled it right.

Re:Still not good (3, Insightful)

yincrash (854885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461032)

proof of piracy is not proof of a lost sale

Re:Still not good (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461050)

I was being sarcastic and mimicking what their response to it would be.

Re:Still not good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34461102)

This will still be used by the RIAA/MPAA/etc. Because look at it. It's proof that piracy cost Avast 774,651 sales.

Please don't give them any ideas. The number only reached that level because Avast sat back and watched, so to speak. It's not the same.

Linux is also free! (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460950)

Not that everyone pirating Avast and Photoshop could get by with linux. But I bet a huge majority of college kids that are pirating the latest Office, Photoshop, etc could get along perfectly fine with an apt repository.

Maybe that should be Ubuntu's next marketing campaign. Tell college geek-wannabees that there is a super secret way to pirate free software called "apt-get". It's not for everyone since it has a steep learning curve. But if they master it, they can get some sweet software for free. Maybe a wrapper that puts "market" prices on the software.

Office Suite - $400!. But not if you use apt-get. Sssh, don't tell ANYONE.

Before you know it every 'hacker' on campus will be l33t with apt-get. Once you convert the guys that think they know a lot about computers will come the girls as the guys will try and use their skills to impress the girls.

Re:Linux is also free! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34461158)

'...know a lot about computers will come the girls as the guys will try and use their skills to impress the girls.'

You must be new to this.

200 Countries ? Now that is what I call coverage! (1)

haus (129916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461052)

Last I checked the US State Department recognized something like 194 countries. So they appear to have coverage of 103% of the countries in the world!

Re:200 Countries ? Now that is what I call coverag (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461176)

OMG - "they" are hiding entire countries from us now!

Technically, you are correct - there are 194 or 195 countries, but there are dozens of territories and dependencies that might be counted separately. E.g. many would count China, Hong Kong, Tibet, and Taiwan as 4, but China would say 1...

Re:200 Countries ? Now that is what I call coverag (3, Funny)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461216)

Last I checked the US State Department recognized something like 194 countries. So they appear to have coverage of 103% of the countries in the world!

Rounding error. This is what happens when you let arts majors use computers.

Sooo. they spy on their users? (2)

Trelane (16124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461108)

It's clear that they can see where the license is used on warez sites without spying. But how do they know what countries the *users* are in, and how do they push the advertising to them? Inquiring minds want to know!

Re:Sooo. they spy on their users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34461226)

activation/registration of the software - you cando a tracert back to the IP activating/registering it or the idiot who installed it used real information to go along with it

Re:Sooo. they spy on their users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34461250)

Probably all it takes is reading their logs for "license X is downloading the latest virus database file from IP x.x.x.x" And not hard to have the engine sending a response back after such download if programmed to do so.

Re:Sooo. they spy on their users? (2)

TheUni (1007895) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461294)

Are you serious or am I just missing the sarcasm?

User requests updates, server checks license and notes IP. How is there a conspiracy here?

Why pirate AV Software? (2)

Xibby (232218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461136)

As Microsoft Security Essentials [microsoft.com] is offered for free for personal and small business (up to 10-PCs) use, the only reason I can think of to pirate AV software is because you're also pirating Windows and can't pass the WGA validation test. Even then why bother...just use the free version of Avast that doesn't care about WGA validation.

They are likely grateful... (3, Insightful)

ameline (771895) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461174)

They are likely grateful that people are using their software rather than the superior (and free) Microsoft Security Essentials. (Yes, MS makes a piece of software that is superior in virtually every way to its competition. Hard to believe, but it's true.)

http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/ [microsoft.com]

Re:They are likely grateful... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34461284)

Hey Bill, I thought you were retired?

Registration code (2)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461268)

So...what's the code they were using anyway? Just curious....

People or installs (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34461296)

has been used by 774,651 people

I wonder how they figured that out... Installs or IP addresses or People or reported back to Big Brother NIC MAC addresses or ?

I installed AVG-Free four times on two machines this weekend.

I'm the only person using both.

One install on a traditional machine.

The other machine has removable drive bay hard disks. One disk for real work that being Linux. Four with different installs of Winders. (Why? the ultimate compatibility test is to boot into W2K on a W2K only hard drive and see if it works, also I have a "real" windows XP partition that I use exclusively for games and the two apps that I haven't set up on Linux, one being a radio-scanner programmer and the other being a Garmin GPS map uploader/controller thingy)

So was that one person or two machines or four installs?

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