Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 6th Dec 2010 22:46 UTC, submitted by sawboss
Privacy, Security, Encryption It's no secret that I'm not a particular fan of antivirus software vendors. Other than the excellent Microsoft offering, I haven't yet seen a single antivirus program that doesn't suck the life out of computers, infesting every corner, making machines slow and full of annoying pop-ups. Still, a single license key for Avast! Pro being shared 774651 times? That's a bit harsh.
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In their place...
by Delgarde on Mon 6th Dec 2010 23:03 UTC
Delgarde
Member since:
2008-08-19

If I were in their position, I think I'd put out a patch that disabled that key in such a way that it appeared to still be working. Keep sitting around eating resources, but not bother reporting any viruses it might detect. Because anyone installing their anti-virus software from a warez site deserves it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: In their place...
by judgen on Mon 6th Dec 2010 23:13 in reply to "In their place..."
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

The problem with that sollution is that they would get bad reputation for not doing what it is supposed to be doing even though it is infinged upon and has the right to do so.

Reply Parent Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Yeah, they would take a brand hit when people started posting "it says it's turned on and up to date but I keep getting my system hosed". The perception would be that it's not effective AV as a result of it being coded to be not effective AV.

There's a different issue though; an AV company actively misdirecting users to place them at risk. It's really not different from an AV company writing viruses on the side to justify the product. They don't do it. If an AV company ever got caught dropping custom malware to promote sales they'd be out of business. The company is shut down, the staff may not be employable at other AV research labs and the class action is only just getting drafted. I think the same potential outcome would keep any rational AV developer from intentionally crippling there product to put users at risk. It's not just the copyright infringer who is harmed by the malware they spread.

It would cause a brand hit but I think there are some more serious legal implications to intentionally putting people at risk.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: In their place...
by Elv13 on Mon 6th Dec 2010 23:13 in reply to "In their place..."
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

That's basically what start to happen to Norton after 2 weeks (virus are so used to try to disable it first). But would cause bad publicity for them (Avast).

It is a PR stun, but they are right about one point. 95% of those users would not pay in the first place, so if they manage to make 7.5% of them pay, they make a profit while the other 9.1% will downgrade or see Avast blocked. They should do that with all warez licences. Having pirated "pro" version does not cost them anything, they provide no support for them and the fixes/features would be coded anyway.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: In their place...
by WorknMan on Mon 6th Dec 2010 23:37 in reply to "RE: In their place..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

It is a PR stun, but they are right about one point. 95% of those users would not pay in the first place, so if they manage to make 7.5% of them pay, they make a profit


I wonder how many conversions they will get. Proponents of piracy often say that most people who pirate would've never bought the app/content in the first place. Now we could probably put a tangible figure on the number of folks who WOULD have bought (at least in this case).

BTW: I have Avast Pro, which is fully licensed. I didn't really have to, but they were offering a 2yr deal for the price of 1, so figured what the hell. I'd been using the free version and kinda felt bad, because it seems like a good app, and I like the company.

Note that I honestly don't know how good Avast is when it comes to stopping viruses, only that it doesn't slow down my PC. If you look at av-comparatives, most of the better anti-virus programs will catch 95-98% of viruses; you just hope that whatever virus manages to make your way to your machine is not one of the 2-5% that your AV app misses. Basically, it's a crapshoot. (Which is also one of the reasons why common sense will keep you a lot safer than an AV app ever will. The AV app is just a failsafe for me.) Thankfully, I haven't had any virus problems in 12+ years.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: In their place...
by Morgan on Tue 7th Dec 2010 05:55 in reply to "In their place..."
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

That's not how Avast works as a company though. The reason they offer a free version is a philosophy that even if you can't afford their full product, you still should protect your computer. Not only for your own good, but for the good of those you might otherwise affect with your compromised machine.

It's one of the many reasons I recommend their free version, along with Windows Defender, to my clients. For most every normal user out there the free version is more than enough. The Pro version really only caters to those who need full sandboxing, and they also offer a managed product for corporate environments.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: In their place...
by libray on Tue 7th Dec 2010 12:02 in reply to "RE: In their place..."
libray Member since:
2005-08-27

Yes they offer a free product. The pirates are using the paid for Pro version though. They don't deserve anything if they are pirating.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: In their place...
by Deviate_X on Wed 8th Dec 2010 16:58 in reply to "In their place..."
Deviate_X Member since:
2005-07-11

....I'd put out a patch that disabled that key in such a way that it appeared to still be working ....... but not bother reporting any viruses it might detect....


Clever... so that people can go around bad mouthing your software saying it wont detect s£*t...

It would be better to treat them like trial users and just expire the license at some point in the future

Reply Parent Score: 2