Top 10 Tips for Managing Software Piracy

Uniloc releases top 10 software licensing strategies for managing piracy

IRVINE, Calif. -- Uniloc USA Inc., the technology leader in device-based authentication for protecting intellectual property, today unveiled ten software licensing strategies to enhance revenue versus driving customers away. The evolution of the Internet has created greater methods of distribution and increased the options available to software developers, allowing them to design custom licensing models. As new licensing technologies come to market, creative licensing strategies allow small and mid-size software vendors to compete effectively against the market leaders.

The following software licensing strategies illustrate the benefits of leveraging next-generation license management, resulting in new revenue opportunities while tackling software piracy by embracing it.

  • Turn software pirates into software resellers, allowing everyone to make money. Instead of hosting a cracked version of software, allow the warez boards to host affiliate versions. Each download can become revenue to the warez site instead of being a stolen license.

  • Do not succumb to the hype that all piracy is bad. Bill Gates discussed how India's piracy ultimately created a huge market for Windows in a recent Time magazine article. Instead, implement ideas on how to use warez and bit torrents to expedite viral marketing.

  • Do not believe all the industry reports on piracy or guess how bad your organization's piracy problem is. If spending any effort on researching piracy, start by figuring out just how bad the situation really is. New tools that allow 100% accurate piracy audits define the current situation, providing a visual on the viral marketing opportunity while giving insight on how much to tighten licensing.

  • Do not use rigid licensing models that stop people from using your product. If licensing is harsh or evaluations result in pain, the prospect of return business is greatly reduced. One of the advantages of new techniques such as 'Throttling' is that software vendors can ease-up licensing strength in regions where piracy is not an issue and tighten down where piracy is rampant. Software copy control strategies that build-in Throttling are capable of striking a balance between viral marketing and piracy that is most advantageous to the software vendor.

  • Base every licensing decision made on the principle of fair use. A polite software copy control policy is the profitable choice.

  • Reward consumers for sharing software with others. Create an affiliate program that gives users an incentive to distribute a legitimate version of software.

  • Reward peer-to-peer networks with affiliate programs the same way one tackles the issue with warez sites.

  • Resist punishing users for using software on more than one or two computers. Most people install software titles on two or more computers within one year of buying the license and it is not motivated by theft.

  • Refrain from punishing users for changing or upgrading hardware. There is groundbreaking new technology available to software vendors that use a concept called 'Tolerance' to recognize hardware upgrades and update a computer fingerprint. Leveraging new licensing capabilities such as this ensures happy users since users, like most aspects of life, are not static.

  • Throttle back on licensing terms over the life cycle of a product. This involves increasing the overall availability of seats per license over time. Throttling allows users to re-install on their new laptop during month 15, as well as allowing the old version of product to be installed numerous times. If not selling the software, turn it into marketing fodder for the next release.

  • One call to technical support can eat the profit margin on one or many sales. Empower users to self serve.

According to Casey Potenzone, chief information officer for Uniloc, an innovator in software license management, "Software licensing thought leaders are beginning to take everything software publishers, businesses and consumers hate about copy control and throwing them out the window. With new technologies, from licensing innovators such as Uniloc, it is possible to maintain secure software capable of leveraging the best in license management to take advantage new distribution channels previously considered enemies to the software industry."

Uniloc USA

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Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading
Kelly Jackson Higgins 2, Editor-in-Chief, Dark Reading