Thinking Out Loud...WSO's/Products Being Shared Illegally...

Profile picture of the author BIG Mike by BIG Mike Posted: 12/22/2011
Saw a post earlier about this and as luck would have it, a customer alerted us today about someone on Fiverr selling one of our products for $5.

I've had a loosely formed idea for a while now to put together a group of people who would be interested in developing a mechanism (a portal or ebook or whatever) that details the steps to follow to get a product pulled from these sites.

I know we all do our own thing, but I thought it might be nice to document strategies and the process to give away to members. It would be even cooler to have some sort of automated portal where anyone could report a shared product.

This is not intended to be sold or to build a list just a freebie to be proactive in IM regarding file sharing. It could also be useful if we had some form of organization in approaching sites.

I don't think it would take a huge commitment, but it would be ongoing.

Obviously this topic interests me because our Incansoft products are widely shared...more often than not with a trojan built-into the crack.

If you'd be interested in helping out with something like this and have some related experience, let me know...I'm going to start looking at it seriously right after the 1st of the year.

Again - it's not intended to be promotional or profitable...just to help out the industry and more specifically, WF product owners who have this happen.

Let me know what you think...
#illegally #loudwso or products #shared #thinking

  • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
    Tina Golden
    I think it's a great idea, Mike. There would have to be a reporting mechanism in place for sure, although it would take some time to double check those before posting or whatever you did.

    I know when I come across products being shared/sold illegally, I try to contact the creator to let them know.
  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    CDarklock
    Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post
    I know we all do our own thing, but I thought it might be nice to document strategies and the process to give away to members.
    In general, I think trying to fight pirates is a waste of time.

    However, if you are going to do it anyway, something that saves some of the time you were going to waste is a Good Thing. While I'd personally prefer that you invest none of your time in this, the decision of how to deal with it in your business is after all your own, and anything that can reduce the amount of time you invest in it can only benefit you and your customers.

    So you've got my support.
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    sbucciarel
    Sounds interesting. Might be interested. Want to tell you though that it is very easy to get your products off of Fiverr. I've done it several times. Just use the contact link and tell them the gig and offer proof that the product is yours. They normally take it down right away.
  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    tpw
    A lot of the processes you need to happen here can be automated. That is why I think it a good thing that you are involved in the process.

    There are two sides to it:
    1. People selling our stuff; and
    2. People giving our stuff away.

    If sellers put their product info into a secure database, a cron scan of File Sharing sites could reveal a lot of the products that we are trying to protect.

    All we need to do is identify the product in the database, identify it on the file sharing sites / fiverr type sites, then automate delivery of take down notices.

    Even if there was a fee for this, I'd be interested, so long as it was not a huge fee.
  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    Barry Unruh
    Wow, I could understand selling a service "using" your tools, but selling the tools themselves.

    I've taken advantage of enough of your holiday sales in the past to know that the buyer could buy the product legitimately for not much more...
  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    Fernando Veloso
    Mike, sounds awesome. I am in.
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    sbucciarel
    There is a great automated DMCA WSO product that I bought that makes it a snap to send out DMCAs with one click.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...aaaaazzzy.html
  • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
    x3xsolxdierx3x
    For as much as I believe in planning, I almost hate to admit this--but, this is the dark side of product creation that I was utterly unprepared for. On one hand, I've been taking the unauthorized wide dissemination of our product as a bit of a complement--I mean, doesn't the fact that people are willing to SHARE it mean that it's valuable, at least to some degree?

    Even still, I'm a bit tired of fighting a fight against this that I don't have the time or energy to fight.
  • Profile picture of the author RobKonrad
    RobKonrad
    Sounds like Carl has already done what you had in mind:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...rs-piracy.html

    Cheers,
    Rob
  • Profile picture of the author .X.
    .X.
    Both of the products mentioned above
    are a nice start but there's still too
    much hands-on for my liking (especially
    with a monthly fee attached).

    I think Bill is on the right track with
    something that can handle this with an
    automated system.

    1. You enter your product and business
    information

    2. The system locates shared files

    3. The system sends out the appropriate
    message.

    I'd think Big Mike's crack programming
    team could put that together with
    ease - and I'd probably be happy to
    pay for the service (amazing no one
    offers this already).

    It might still require a pair of human
    eye balls but this is something that
    could be outsourced very reasonably.

    I agree with CD - this isn't worth *my*
    time but we should all do what we
    can to protect our products for the
    good of our business AND our customers.

    X
  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    David Keith
    I do think there are things that can be done to mitigate the sharing of such things. It will never be stopped, but we could up the pressure a whole lot.

    Of course, I am all for automation as well, but I think one of the bigger aspects of this is going to need to be the "show of solidarity" from IMers.

    When these sites get one or two notices from a few people, they may comply, but they don't take it too seriously.

    If however we were more organized with our efforts, we could put more pressure on the folks that run these sites.

    Also, along the same lines there would need to be some serious effort into removing as many of these files as possible from each site even when some of the product owners are not "on board" with this project.

    I am thinking its not going to do a whole lot of good if 10 of us got together to keep our stuff off of a few sites, but there are still hundreds of products being illegal shared that are never challenged from the same site.

    It is a huge problem, and one that can't truly be solved, but I do think a serious dent could be made with automation and a sense of solidarity.
  • Profile picture of the author DavidTT
    DavidTT
    well its the internet and unfortunately you cant have a product without getting it shared by someone. If you can download movies and games, a wso isnt much
  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Barry Unruh View Post
    I've taken advantage of enough of your holiday sales in the past to know that the buyer could buy the product legitimately for not much more...
    A lot of people get mad about how Mike's affiliate program works because they're stupid and don't know how to deal with "Mike can have a sale but we can't" in their business. So Mike suffers a lot of deliberate efforts to damage his business for "stealing" people's commissions when he has a sale. It really has very little to do with potential customers wanting to pirate the products - it's mostly former affiliates wanting to hurt Mike's business.
  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    David Keith
    Another thought just came to mind.

    I think it might be worth the effort to try to get some higher profile coverage of someone getting sued for engaging in this behavior.

    Just like with image thefts, we all know you should not do it, but what prevents the majority of people from doing it is the publicized incidents of 10k lawsuits being filled.

    I see this problem a little like the issue of terrorism, you will never be able to stop it, but if you keep dropping bombs on the perpetrators it is a determent. Being proactive also make it much harder for people to organize such sites.

    without organization, even if someone does share your product, it will likely be with far less people.
  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    tpw
    Originally Posted by David Keith View Post
    Another thought just came to mind.

    I think it might be worth the effort to try to get some higher profile coverage of someone getting sued for engaging in this behavior.

    Just like with image thefts, we all know you should not do it, but what prevents the majority of people from doing it is the publicized incidents of 10k lawsuits being filled.

    The biggest problem in that approach is country borders.

    The guy that ripped me off the hardest is based in India.

    That is not to say that all Indians are crooks. I am just saying that this one crook was an Indian.

    But when it comes to lawsuits and international borders, the job becomes more difficult and way more expensive, with little promise of gaining the desired results.

    I still think the easiest way to address this is cripple the crooks in their distribution efforts.
  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Stephens
    Jeremy Stephens
    For PDFs I can remember seeing some software that you can use to ensure that your documents can not be copied and resold.

    All I can remember is it was a big name marketer from Vancouver Canada, I think who was selling it.

    It was uncrackable and basically authorised the use of a document for a specific computer, so if someone wanted to open it on a computer other than the one it was originally purchased and opened on, it sent a message and invoice to the person that has the illegal copy to purchase a copy. If they don't, the file will not open.

    Can't remember what it's called but it looked good.
  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    CDarklock
    Originally Posted by tpw View Post
    I still think the easiest way to address this is cripple the crooks in their distribution efforts.
    This is precisely what SOPA is designed to make possible.

    Not trying to open a can of worms, here, but regardless of the abuses to which SOPA might conceivably lend itself (and there are plenty of them)... crippling the distribution of pirated material is precisely why SOPA provides for blacklisting non-US servers at the ISP level nationwide via court order.

    If the bill becomes law, it would become possible for a bunch of WSO authors and other product vendors to seek a court order against habitual offenders and cut off their US traffic entirely. And if we can't trust the government with that kind of power, who are we going to trust with it? A few industry volunteers?
  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    tpw
    Originally Posted by jeremy Stephens View Post
    For PDFs I can remember seeing some software that you can use to ensure that your documents can not be copied and resold.

    All I can remember is it was a big name marketer from Vancouver Canada, I think who was selling it.

    It was uncrackable and basically authorised the use of a document for a specific computer, so if someone wanted to open it on a computer other than the one it was originally purchased and opened on, it sent a message and invoice to the person that has the illegal copy to purchase a copy. If they don't, the file will not open.

    Can't remember what it's called but it looked good.

    That works really good except when the "phone home" computer does not respond.

    The option is putting a password on the document, which PDF files permit, but what if your customer loses the password? And what about the programmers in the world who know how to look at the PDF source code to bypass the password?

    There are no easy solutions.
  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    CDarklock
    Originally Posted by jeremy Stephens View Post
    It was uncrackable and basically authorised the use of a document for a specific computer, so if someone bought a new computer, it made them buy the product again.
    Fixed that for you.
  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    tpw
    Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post
    This is precisely what SOPA is designed to make possible.

    Not trying to open a can of worms, here, but regardless of the abuses to which SOPA might conceivably lend itself (and there are plenty of them)... crippling the distribution of pirated material is precisely why SOPA provides for blacklisting non-US servers at the ISP level nationwide via court order.

    If the bill becomes law, it would become possible for a bunch of WSO authors and other product vendors to seek a court order against habitual offenders and cut off their US traffic entirely. And if we can't trust the government with that kind of power, who are we going to trust with it? A few industry volunteers?

    I will let other people play with the worms. :p

    I am not in favor at all of blocking entire IP's or countries from accessing my internet.

    I am simply suggesting a system that will automate the process of finding stolen products and sending take down notices to file sharing sites, etc.

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