Yo Ho HO!

Monday, May 29, 2017 - 11:07:19 PM

It’s nice to be popular. You’ve got to love it when people like you.

But it’s not too cool when somebody likes you so much that they end up abducting you. Depriving you of your liberty for the express purpose of appropriating your exclusive attention…well, that’s a criminal act. Doesn’t matter how super-terrific you are or how much your abductor appreciates your company.

But hey, if you both agree to hang together, then by all means. Get married. Buy a house or cottage or cave dwelling together. However you come to terms is up to you as long as there’s mutual agreement and mutual benefit. It’s the one-sided, all-for-me, too-bad-for-you option that lands the absconder in trouble.

Check out Steven King’s book (and movie) Misery to see how that plays out.

In the software world, popularity was once measured by how easily available your product was as a “crack” or pirated version. Crackers would reverse engineer the most
popular software and make the fully operational, but protection-disabled, versions available for download on sketchy websites and torrent providers.

But things are changing.

Perhaps, in years past a blind eye was turned to these software pirates. The rationalization may have been that they were benevolent, but misguided youths. Maybe they were just flexing their formidable tech skills and showing off by breaking the protection schemes of highly trained developers. They were perhaps just leveling the
playing field that seemed so stacked in favor of inscrutable, EULA-spewing software giants.

But now we live in a world where the WannaCry virus has held thousands of computer systems for ransom. Malware proliferates with the speed and tenacity of real-life viruses. People with prodigious coding skills and profoundly lacking scruples are just as likely to provide cracked software as they are to write worms and viruses, sometimes combining the two for ill-gained profits.

“I found a free download.”

Well, my friends, sorry to sound so cynical, but “free” typically means “cost unseen.” Anyone who has been involved in business for more than a couple of weeks knows
that everything worth having has a cost attached somewhere, somehow. Is it a deferred or hidden profit? An exchange of one type of value for another? A lead, a referral, an advertising opportunity? Or a penalty just waiting to be triggered?

And with cracked software, a backdoor to your private data, a call from a lawyer or an invoice from the copyright holder may present an unbearable cost.

As a re-seller of proprietary software, Vectorline does not have the technological means nor the legal prerogative to pursue violators of the Alphacam license agreement.  But Vero Software certainly does. Protecting the substantial investment any business commits to their product is not only reasonable, but expected.Doors have locks for a good reason.

Modern software companies can and do pursue civil and criminal action against users and distributors of pirated software. The costs, if you are caught, can be many times more than a legally purchased license. Is the risk worth it?

Here are the facts:

– You are legally responsible for software downloaded and activated on your company’s computers regardless if it was undertaken by employees or “consultants”.
– Every instance of that software represents another license and the software company can and usually will expect compensatory payment for each license.
– In many jurisdictions, copyright violation and software piracy is considered theft and can result in criminal charges.
– Many “free” downloads of cracked software contain malicious code included by the hackers who post them leading to viruses and ransomware that can disable your computer, or your network and prevent access to your data.
– Using cracked software is the modern equivalent of buying stolen tools to operate your business. Anyone with more than a few years of trade experience will recall how shops who operated using stolen goods were regarded by their peers and the business community

“So this guy came in to help us with the new router for a couple of weeks and he installed     Alphacam for us!”

“Oh, really? How much was that?”

“He only charged us a hundred bucks, so we installed it on every computer!”

Most. Expensive. Alphacam. Ever.

Alphacam licensing, like many large manufacturing and engineering software suites is no trival matter. Software activation technology leaves an irrefutable fingerprint that can lead directly back to the individual pc on which it is installed. This is actually a good thing that protects rightful users of the software by ensuring license privileges are available at all times and updated immediately as required. Bad news, however, for anyone using a crack.

Even if you didn’t do it yourself.

Getting help from someone who installs pirated software on your pc – whether it’s Adobe, AutoDesk, Microsoft or countless other brands – is no help at all. That person puts you and your company at risk and leaves you liable for damages and possible criminal charges. They endanger you and your business and deprive rightful income from the many highly-qualified developers and technicians who make top-level software like Alphacam possible.

“Yeah, but I needed it…”

It’s flattering, but still unsettling, that someone would love your product so much that they would break down the door of your shop in the middle of the night to help themselves to it. You would, of course, be well within your rights to try and prevent them and to try to get compensation for your loss afterward.

At Vectorline we are not police. We offer a world-class product with industry-leading service for our many appreciative customers. So, to that end, a piece of advice:

If you have an un-licensed or pirated version of Alphacam on any of your computers, delete it immediately and give us a call. We will ensure you get the right product level and integrating support to get your production running like never before. It’s our passion to get Alphacam in the hands of those who will use it to grow their business and create products and profits they never imagined before.

You will have training, support and resources at your disposal as a registered Alphacam user, provided with our decades of experience and backed by the largest independent CAM company in the world.

And, ah… let’s leave their lawyers out of it.


 

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