Thursday, September 15, 2016

Software Piracy and Sales on Twitter

I recently discovered an issue on Twitter in regards to the unauthorized selling of pirated software. I discovered this while doing promotions for one of the software companies I support. While doing these promotions, I found a user on Twitter who was marketing cracked copies of some of the most popular programs to others at a fraction of the price via direct messages on Twitter.

This bothered me for 2 reasons. One, it was interfering with people like myself who are helping to promote legitimate sales of authentic software via the official companies, and two, it was just very morally wrong.

It is one thing to illegally download a software program for your own use, which is wrong to begin with, but then to turn around and try to profit off that by selling it to others is just taking it to another level of wrong.

I decided to try to do something about it. I contacted some of the companies whose software was being illegally sold on Twitter to let them know what was going on. Most of them have an online form or email to report these things. I got a few replies back thanking me for letting them know about it.

A few weeks went by and I noticed this user was still actively trying to sell pirated software on Twitter. I decided to contact Twitter about it directly. It was not very easy and they requested personal information which I was not really comfortable giving out, but I placed the report anyway.

A few days later they replied and basically said they reviewed it and it does not violate their policies. So basically what they are saying is they are ok with people using their platform to illegally sell unauthorized copies of software to others.

I was surprised that even after contacting the makers of these programs, nothing seems to be getting done to prevent this from continuing. It makes me think maybe software piracy is a much bigger issue elsewhere and these companies think it is not worth their time to try to stop one individual from stealing from them.

Overall I am disappointed in Twitter for not taking any action in this case and surprised that none of the companies have yet to make an effort to stop this from happening.

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