My take on pirated software

About a month ago, I found out that the paid version of Mizuu was pirated. How did I find out? Well, I googled, and to my great surprise it’s actually really not that hard to get.

Naturally, pirating and download software without permission is illegal and should be treated as such, but there is one thing I simply don’t understand: Why do these people make a pirate of themselves and do something illegal over a mobile application that costs roughly a dollar? I mean… A dollar. It’s not like it’s five, ten or twenty dollars. It’s ONE dollar. Apparently some people still think this is too much. Here’s my take on it:

  • People don’t want to support any developers or care about legislation
  • People are unsure of whether they’ll like it, so they get the full version to try it out – maybe some will purchase it to get updates
  • People don’t have access to paid downloads on Market (could be due to low age or a location that is not yet supported by Google)

Some would probably say that I should hunt every single site down and demand an immediate takedown of everything. And I have actually done that with a few file sharing sites, but after finding out about the immense scale of this, I stopped and realized something: People are sharing it because they like it. I’m basically getting free publicity, and although it’s a ridiculous way of doing it, they “help” me spread the word.

Again, some would say that I’m crazy, but I don’t think my customers are the people who are looking for pirated software and actively download and use it. I don’t think they’ll ever be my customers, so I really haven’t lost anything. These pirates will likely show it off to their friends if they like it, and perhaps one of these friends will purchase it. Free publicity.

I’m not trying to endorse pirated software or the “warez” scene. I think it’s wrong. But I also think that developers should look at it from a positive angle and hopefully get something good out of it.

One thing that does annoy me, though, is when these “pirates” are asking for support. There was this one guy, who sent me an e-mail about something and said that he couldn’t get it to work. It’d just crash. I asked him to send me a crash report, but naturally you can’t do this when you don’t download via Market. I then asked him which e-mail address he had used when purchasing the application – no answer. It’s really sad that these people expect support on something they’ve stolen. It’s like stealing a TV and then coming back to the original owners only to ask how the remote works.

Hope you found this interessting. I’m very happy to hear from you with your thoughts 🙂


  1. Hey Michell, you are 100% right man! I was one of those who found your app on one of those pirate sites. I didn’t know what to expect but the app looked really interesting so I had a run with it and I loved it. Went on the market after a few days and saw that the price was only 1.30$ (that’s New Zealand dollars) and I was like – “This guy deserves it!” so I went on and purchased the full version. Being an android developer myself I know how much it means when we keep our customers happy so just wanted to thank you for creating this great app and keep up the amazing work dude!!!

    On a side note, I am using the app as a cataloger for my bluray collection by creating 0byte avi files with the names of the movies in my collection. It works brilliantly and I am loving it =) It might not have been the intended use for the app, but it works for now, once you build-in NAS I will probably use it for that cause my device is not rooted at the moment.

    • Hey Gligor! Thanks a lot, looks like I wasn’t too far off on my thoughts then 🙂


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