Avast Claims Single Pro License Installed 774,651 Times Around The Globe

from the that's-a-lot dept

In yet another case of a copyright holder turning “piracy” into publicity, security firm Avast has been making some news after watching a single pro license apparently “go viral” on file sharing sites, leading it to be installed 774,651 times around the globe. The company is claiming it’s been installed in 200 countries — including two computers in Vatican City. Of course, this might raise some skepticism, because depending on who you talk to there are fewer than 200 countries in the world (though, others claim there are more — so… who knows). Either way, it does appear that Avast has turned the whole thing into a publicity stunt, both with the press coverage, and popping up a note on those 774,561 installs, urging people to switch to legit versions (including the company’s popular free version).

Filed Under: ,
Companies: avast

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Avast Claims Single Pro License Installed 774,651 Times Around The Globe”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
27 Comments
Michael Longsays:

Re: The trouble with quibbles...

Of all of the things to quibble over… Mike is actually trying to refute their numbers based on country codes?

How about facts instead? There are 239 current ISO 3166 Country Codes USED BY COMPUTER AND DATABASE SYSTEMS. Plus dozens more that have been deleted or are in transition.

http://userpage.chemie.fu-berlin.de/diverse/doc/ISO_3166.html

And that’s not even counting any that might have been entered or reported to their system incorrectly.

Hey Mike, why don’t you contact them and get some facts, instead of simply making fun of numbers it’s clear that you don’t understand anyway.

Re: Re: Re: The trouble with quibbles...

How about facts instead? There are 239 current ISO 3166 Country Codes USED BY COMPUTER AND DATABASE SYSTEMS. Plus dozens more that have been deleted or are in transition.

And if you actually looked at them, you’d realize that many of them are not actually for countries, but territories, and some are for places that have no residents.

I linked to the explanation of how many actual countries there are. It’s a lot more complex than how many “country codes” there are.

it’s clear that you don’t understand anyway.

I always know when I’m right: it’s when people claim I don’t understand something.

Michael Longsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The trouble with quibbles...

And if your computer system is in one of those places, it will no doubt use one of those codes to indicate such.

Over the years, they probably have over 200 such locations reported and stored in their database, and did a database query to count them. Or would you been happier if they’d said, “over 200 countries, territories, and locations, including a few countries that have been renamed, and some that no longer exist?”

Feel better now?

Regardless, you’re quibbling over a simple technicality in what, for you, is an extremely lame attempt to discredit them and their findings. I really expect better from you.

Software Piracy Business Intelligence

This type of data is critical to software vendors confronting unlicensed use of their products. Trying to attack the piracy distribution channels can only yield Pyrrhic victories, but identifying the businesses that are actually using software without paying for it gives vendors the data they need to make the most informed decisions on how to address the problem.

Vendors can analyze the data and see which geographies require a stronger presence, the actual size of their piracy problem, the license revenue recovery opportunity, which businesses they should pursue for license revenue recovery, etc.

If a business is using unlicensed software it has made a decision that of all the solutions on the market (“free” or not), this one works best for them – they are a customer in every sense of the word except the most obvious: they haven’t paid for it. If vendors can identify these businesses, they can reach out and offer them a real customer relationship complete with support, training, feature requests, and other added value.

I’ve blogged about this here – please let me know what you think:
http://www.vilabs.com/blog/software-piracy-lemonade-part-2/

Michael Goff
V.i. Labs
http://www.vilabs.com

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Software Piracy Business Intelligence

businesses are pretty annoying creatures. Many of them are willing to shell out tons of cash for products that do them no good at times. Other times they go cheapo depot.

If the business wasn’t going to buy your product anyways then… no loss.

If the business is made aware that they could get better support for their products by paying a software fee which is far below normal and they go for that… then you just made money you would not have made anyways.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Software Piracy Business Intelligence

Many businesses would (and do) pay when approached by the vendor. If the business depends on a specific application, it’s providing them with value, they’ve invested in processes around the use of the application, etc., it is hard to switch to an alternative (free or paid). Keep in mind that when the business made the original decision to use that application, it had all of the other free/unlicensed alternatives to choose from as well. Of course, businesses do switch applications over time, but there can be significant cost to doing so (time, effort, training, new/revised processes, etc.)

fogbugzdsays:

Some people converted

The first article I saw on this said that at least some of the people who used the pirated copy converted over to paid before Avast took any action.

Global marketing is expensive and nearly impossible for a small company. Avast saw what happened as a marketing opportunity. That seems like it would be a more profitable approach than the approaches taken by some other companies and organizations.

telnetdoogiesays:

Donationware

If they asked (not mandated) those using the pirated license to make a donation and allowed them to keep using the software, they’d probably make MUCH more than they would by trying to shut those folks down or ‘convert’ them to paying customers. “Oh shit, they’re asking me to buy it. I’m switching to the illegal downloaded version of Norton instead”

With all the free avast alternatives out there (even avast itself) it’s kind of interesting to me that so many people are pirating the ‘pro’ version anyway.

Personally I find myself MUCH more willing to donate to useful free products online than to pay ridiculous prices in order to be a ‘privileged’ retail customer (who will inevitably have to pay again for a new version when the next major release comes out)

Jonsays:

It's a strategy

You nailed it. They did this on purpose for the publicity.

I worked for a software company that intentionally named a product too similar to one offered by Microsoft. They counted on Microsoft filing a trademark lawsuit in order to get PR from the lawsuit. It was a marketing strategy.

To their credit, Microsoft never filed that lawsuit. Our product eventually died.

ashleesays:

This was a great viral marketing campaign for avast.

Around 770,000 user systems are/were sending mutiples of emails daily with a footer message with a web link direct to http://www.avast.com/ as follows;

avast! Antivirus: Outbound message clean.
Virus Database (VPS): 9/12/2010
Tested on: 10/12/2010 7:51:19 AM
avast! – copyright (c) 1988-2010 AVAST Software.

Avast chose to let this run for almost 18mths and then gloat about how many pirated copies they “detected”. Who’s fault is that?

Running a sting operation such as this does not help their credibility as reputable software vendor.

cegorachsays:

Re: Re: This was a great viral marketing campaign for avast.

How was that a sting operation? Sure, they left up a way to find the pirated versions, but they aren’t going after the users. Instead of freaking out and giving themselves bad PR by attacking people, they are just encouraging people to switch.

If anything, Avast’s response to this should be the model for all companies to react to piracy. Work with the people, rather than against the people.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Report this ad??|??Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...
Older Stuff
12:25 Australian Privacy Commissioner Says 7-Eleven Broke Privacy Laws By Scanning Customers' Faces At Survey Kiosks (6)
10:50 Missouri Governor Doubles Down On 'View Source' Hacking Claim; PAC Now Fundraising Over This Bizarrely Stupid Claim (45)
10:45 Daily Deal: The All-in-One Microsoft, Cybersecurity, And Python Exam Prep Training Bundle (0)
09:43 Want To Understand Why U.S. Broadband Sucks? Look At Frontier Communications In Wisconsin, West Virginia (8)
05:36 Massachusetts College Decides Criticizing The Chinese Government Is Hate Speech, Suspends Conservative Student Group (71)
19:57 Le Tigre Sues Barry Mann To Stop Copyright Threats Over Song, Lights Barry Mann On Fire As Well (21)
16:07 Court Says City Of Baltimore's 'Heckler's Veto' Of An Anti-Catholic Rally Violates The First Amendment (15)
13:37 Two Years Later, Judge Finally Realizes That A CDN Provider Is Not Liable For Copyright Infringement On Websites (21)
12:19 Chicago Court Gets Its Prior Restraint On, Tells Police Union Head To STFU About City's Vaccine Mandate (158)
10:55 Verizon 'Visible' Wireless Accounts Hacked, Exploited To Buy New iPhones (8)
10:50 Daily Deal: The MacOS 11 Course (0)
07:55 Suing Social Media Sites Over Acts Of Terrorism Continues To Be A Losing Bet, As 11th Circuit Dumps Another Flawed Lawsuit (11)
02:51 Trump Announces His Own Social Network, 'Truth Social,' Which Says It Can Kick Off Users For Any Reason (And Already Is) (100)
19:51 Facebook AI Moderation Continues To Suck Because Moderation At Scale Is Impossible (26)
16:12 Content Moderation Case Studies: Snapchat Disables GIPHY Integration After Racist 'Sticker' Is Discovered (2018) (11)
13:54 Arlo Makes Live Customer Service A Luxury Option (8)
12:05 Delta Proudly Announces Its Participation In The DHS's Expanded Biometric Collection Program (5)
11:03 LinkedIn (Mostly) Exits China, Citing Escalating Demands For Censorship (14)
10:57 Daily Deal: The Python, Git, And YAML Bundle (0)
09:37 British Telecom Wants Netflix To Pay A Tax Simply Because Squid Game Is Popular (32)
06:41 Report: Client-Side Scanning Is An Insecure Nightmare Just Waiting To Be Exploited By Governments (35)
20:38 MLB In Talks To Offer Streaming For All Teams' Home Games In-Market Even Without A Cable Subscription (10)
15:55 Appeals Court Says Couple's Lawsuit Over Bogus Vehicle Forfeiture Can Continue (15)
13:30 Techdirt Podcast Episode 301: Scarcity, Abundance & NFTs (0)
12:03 Hollywood Is Betting On Filtering Mandates, But Working Copyright Algorithms Simply Don't Exist (66)
10:45 Introducing The Techdirt Insider Discord (4)
10:40 Daily Deal: The Dynamic 2021 DevOps Training Bundle (0)
09:29 Criminalizing Teens' Google Searches Is Just How The UK's Anti-Cybercrime Programs Roll (19)
06:29 Canon Sued For Disabling Printer Scanners When Devices Run Out Of Ink (41)
20:51 Copyright Law Discriminating Against The Blind Finally Struck Down By Court In South Africa (7)
More arrow