Yo Ho, Me Hearties, Yo Ho

[Edit: This post originally included a quirky joke with me linking the words “Bingo Card Creator serial” to a funny video on YouTube for SEO purposes.  i.e. if someone searches for it on Google, they get the video instead of actually getting a crack of my software.  Then I thought, wait,  here’s a Seth Godin moment: why not make this an ideavirus?

If you are a shareware author, an uISV, or if you just want to take a stand against software piracy, you can do so in thirty seconds. Pick three software programs you enjoy, and write a blog post saying how easy it is to find Visual Studio keygens or Adobe Photoshop serialz or what have you. And link our happy pirate friends to that video on YouTube (why? Because its an insanely catchy tune, thats why!). Blam, instant Google bomb — or should we say, Google Cannon. Arr, pass the rum. Just a few people linking a small program will get that as the #1 result, and a few more people will cause it to rank highly for any query including words like keygen, serial, etc, because our poor pirate friends don’t typically get trusted links from anybody.]

It seems like that cracker group finally got around to realizing that their old keygen didn’t work anymore (the comments I saw were priceless — unrepeatable, but priceless), so they went ahead and cracked version 1.04. *yawn* Guess I’ll have to wait a day or two and then break their keygen again, since this time at least one of them actually does show up on Goooogle.

In the spirit of sticking it to pirates everywhere, I heartily support the #1 Google result for “Bingo Card Creator serial“, which is SharewareConnection’s excellent page on the subject. I think every download site should implement similar language (check the waaaay bottom of the page for why that page ranks for those search terms), because doing so would make it impossible to find the needle in the haystack. After all, its not like anyone is hotlinking the Bingo Card Creator keygen directly.

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19 Comments on “Yo Ho, Me Hearties, Yo Ho”


  1. […] [Edit: Yo ho, me hearties.  If ye be wantin’ to stick it to a pirate without having to program a thing, cast yer glass over this way.] […]

  2. Andrey Butov Says:

    Thanks Patrick! Now that friggin’ pirate song is stuck in my head! 🙂

  3. Ryan Says:

    What would happen if the person googled:
    Bingo Card Creator Serial -“youtube”

    BTW, I wrote a bingo card generator in Excel.

  4. Jericho Says:

    As I said in a previous comment: Never taunt or provoke the crackers.

  5. Patrick Says:

    >>
    BTW, I wrote a bingo card generator in Excel.
    >>

    Congratulations! I hope it works well for you.

    >>
    What would happen if the person googled:
    Bingo Card Creator Serial -”youtube”
    >>

    One thing I’ve learned about SEO is gigantic falloff you see after you’re out of the first spot, after you’re out of the top three spots, and after you’re out of the first page. If you require a query refinement, something like 90% of my target market is “priced out of the ballgame”.

    >>
    As I said in a previous comment: Never taunt or provoke the crackers.
    >>

    Yarr, this one isn’t aimed at the crackers, matie. What are they going to do, crack me again? They were going to do that already, scurvy scum. It be aimed at the pirates, or more specifically, at the folks sitting on the pirate fence (group #2/3 from the earlier arrrrticle). And most of them cannot tell poop from a poop deck, let alone backtrace the swarm of links that makes any one page #1 on Google for a query. I mean, supposing President Bush were to be an all-powerful evil overlord, would he even be able to find out who started the whole miserable failure thing? (Oops, I need to piratify that last sentence. Um, pretend there is a parrot in there somewhere.)

  6. AJS Says:

    I would define “piracy” as including the act of writing a piece of software which would improve the lot of humanity as a whole, then seeking to restrict who may use it. Software is a non-rivalrous good: it is not diminished by the act of sharing. When someone makes a copy of a piece of software, the person who had the original still has it, just as a sunset over London does not get any less beautiful just because more people are looking at it.

    Every user of software should have four freedoms: The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0). The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbour (freedom 2). And the freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for freedoms 1 and 3.

    Although I have made a conscious decision never to use any software that does not give me these freedoms as standard, I believe that the use of reasonable force is absolutely justified in the pursuit of these freedoms.

    I leave you with a promise. One day we will have a working decompiler, and then you won’t be able to conceal your source code anymore.

  7. Patrick Says:

    Then does piracy also include failing to use one’s talents to improve the lot of humanity as a whole?

    Because there is an open-source bingo card generator out there (http://sourceforge.net/projects/bingo-cards) written by a guy who would totally not mind you viewing and improving his source code, and its broken. It won’t run on the machines of 98% of my users. And it hasn’t seen a patch in two years, despite all the folks who have enough time to come over here and lecture me about how I’m an evil, evil person for charging money for software. Why not leave me with a promise that “One day, we will have a working open source bingo card generator, and then folks can choose whether they think yours is good enough to spend money on or not if there is a totally free option available”. (There’s some other thing bingo-cards needs, too, stuff that can’t be done in any IDE, like actually getting it into the hands of real teachers, but you could start with having an executable that opens successfully.)

    The difference between the sunset over London and Bingo Card Creator is that one of the two of them exists totally because I can charge money for it. If I couldn’t have charged money, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 kids across the US would not be learning to read today the way their teacher wanted to teach them, because nobody bothered to donate enough labor to make the sun rise for their neighborhood. And without a profit incentive, there are MANY neighborhoods for which the sun will never rise.

  8. engtech Says:

    I would define “piracy” as including the act of writing a piece of software which would improve the lot of humanity as a whole, then seeking to restrict who may use it.

    That may be how you define piracy, but that’s not how the rest of the world defines it.

    I agree that there is some kind of gray area when it comes to making a profit versus the benefit of humanity. Things like AIDS medication in Africa, drug patents, Monsanto genetically engineering rice to force Indian farmers to have to rebuy seeds every year instead of being able to reuse them as nature intended…

    but a Bingo Card Reader? Literacy is an important issue, but you can’t fault someone for seeing a niche and creating a product like this. It’s not like by working on this software he is keeping open source software from being developed. By your logic anyone who *gasps* makes money by doing things that should be in the public good is at fault. So doctors, teachers, firefighters, and policemen should work for free?

    I heartily support open source, but you’ve had too much Koolaid.

  9. dm Says:

    >>
    AJS comments in entirety

  10. Capt'n Woot Says:

    Arrrr!

  11. Dave Says:

    Just to make a point that’s been made many times before elsewhere; there is a difference between open source software and software that doesn’t cost money. These often go together because the GPL allows you to give the software away for free even if you paid money for it but the GPL is not the only license out there. You can even roll your own if you feel the need.

    You are perfectly within your rights to burn Apache to a CD and sell it to whoever you like. The license states that you must make the source code available, even if you have made changes to the source code and that the source code must not cost extra but it doesn’t say that you can’t charge for it.

    Conversely, even if Patrick allowed you to download his Bingo Card Creator without paying him any money, that would not make it “open source”. It would only become open source if he also allowed you to download the source code.

    There is presumably a license that applies to this software that states that you are not allowed to distribute it to anyone else for free or for money. The author has also attempted to enforce this by technical means. This is legal and within his rights to do. The author has also come up with a way of reaching the top of the Google search rankings for the search terms most likely to be used by someone searching for software that would break his copy protection. This is also legal and if Google don’t like it they will do something about it however I suspect that this is probably the most desired outcome as far as Google is concerned.

    You may argue that software should be free (and I believe this also, in both senses of the word), but the fact remains that not all software is free and attempting to make it free in either sense of the word is not necessarily legal if the license does not allow it. There are also arguments about the enforcability of license agreements but that is another matter.

    Lastly, kudos on the Google idea but I don’t think it will make much difference. Google displays 10 results by default and the chances are good that there will always be one that is a valid serial or serial generator. That said… do let us know if it does make a difference (how do you tell ?) or if it just gives a warm fuzzy feeling.

  12. bky Says:

    >>I mean, supposing President Bush were to be an all-powerful evil overlord, would he even be able to find out who started the whole miserable failure thing?

    The whole point of it goes away when you make a stupid post like this on a blog in google that you link to on a number of sites. It was so simple as for me to find it (though I have seen bitching about your “Bingo Card Creator” getting pirated on /.), it’s going to be really easy if someone is looking.

    But that’s off topic.

    You sit here and whine and complain that “pirates are ruining your sales”, yet how many have you lost? I am willing to bet it’s less then what you would have made making another app, or add ons to your current app, instead of whining about pirates.

    As far as for google bombing to the point of not finding a crack…. you cannot really think that will help. Take a trip to any crack site and there you go.

    Or is it something else you want to hide? I googled for a crack, because I wanted to know how easy it was to find. Surprise-surprise, I seen no crack, yet I did see a number of other apps that did the same thing- a few free and a few OSS. Is this the real goal? Bomb out the competition? I am not sure, but it’s at least a side effect.

    Nice to see also how you use a free host to post your rants about “freeloading pirates”….

  13. Billy bob Says:

    Piracy is more complicated then simply stealing software. Software is not a scarce good, this has both good and bad properties.

    Pro’s and Con’s:

    -Infinite profit potential through software patents (both good and bad)

    -Zero reproduction cost (good all around)

    -The time it takes to make software versus the end user results a user gets out of it are currently disproportionate for software makers. If software was easier for users to create many programmers that sell programs that don’t do a lot would be out of a job.

    -Robots and Artificial intelligence will eventually make a lot of programmers and human beings in a wide variety of fields obsolete anyway and we’ll have to come up with new socio-economic, and socio political models.

    -Defects of markets and business models, create demand for pirated software.

    I think of many pricing models for software that adjust according to the users income, i.e. the more income u make the more u pay, the poorer you are the less u pay. Has any enterprising programmer or business done this? No the stick to their old fashion “one size fit’s all model”, in which they can maximize profit and DENY people the enjoyment of using their software, all for the sake of their own greed. You create goodwill by not treating potential customers like crap. It’s up to you to come up with something that people will want to pay for.

    Lastly… you know the pro’s and con’s of developing software, if you can’t take the heat, find another job.

    You’re like the old factory workers who’s job’s got shipped to mexico for cheaper workers, boo hoo. Fact is most software is too expensive for what most people who pirate it use it for, much pirated software isn’t even used enough to justify paying for it.

    I’ve paid for a lot of software in my life that I USE all the time, if I don’t find myself using it in my life and that it is adding value to it, I wouldn’t bother paying for it. The fact is, it’s up to the developer to come up with Killer applications that he can monetize, not the user.

    Many programmers made a hell of a lot of money by realizing they could get rich developing P2P software or DVD copying software, they SAW DEMAND and jumped on the bandwagon and made mad profits, or they started their own businesses creating commercial websites or FILLED a DEMAND in the market, so why didn’t you?

    This is why things like Daemon tools, etc, are so popular, and make that author money… he realizes that SUPPLY and DEMAND are king, you have to find something there is truly demand for and fill the need, there will always be people that want something for nothing, but there are also those of us who wish to SUPPORT those who serve our needs, and are not just selfish bastards out for themselves and realize the defects of markets and society.

    IMHO piracy is just shows you that if real world goods were not scarce, socialism would be the norm. i.e. the greatest goods to the greatest number of people.

    Maximizing utility, happyness, exposure and distribution, something that strictly market based commercialism cannot do.

  14. Miseph Says:

    What? Are you seriously trying to say that this guy who makes a single piece of niche software is being greedy and harming the world by charging a couple bucks for BINGO CARD CREATOR?!? That’s just silly. This is not and never will be a “killer app” no matter how good it is, because the demand for a piece of software to make custom bingo cards just isn’t high enough for it to “kill” anything.

    Beyond that, the software only costs $25. It is inconceivable that this is putting it beyond the price range of someone who truly needs it. I suppose that MAYBE there is some teacher out in the third world for whom that is an insurmountable amount of money who really needs the software, but there’s nothing to stop said impoverished third world teacher from personally contacting the author and explaining that in their country $25 can buy you three yaks and a small hotel, and politely asking if some sort of discount could be had.

    The impetus isn’t on anyone to make stuff that’s worth buying, the impetus is on users to NOT STEAL. It doesn’t matter if the reproduction cost is zero, because it still cost time and money to produce in the first place… never mind the bandwidth and other hosting costs for the site where it can be downloaded (oh, yeah, maybe the reproduction cost isn’t quite zero after all…). Anyway, if the software isn’t worth buying, then why go to so much effort to pirate it at all?


  15. […] So I thought I’d help out all those people who can’t use torrents to download stuff and who need serial codes (serialz) , cracks (crackz) and warez. Here are some crackz: Adobe Photoshop CS3 serial Photoshop 7 Serial Generals: Zero Hour keygen […]

  16. cliffski Says:

    Wow that AJS guy really is some kind of delusional drug addled communist fool. If you want to live on welfare while you write software to benefit mankind, go for it kiddo, dont drag the rest of the world down to your insane ramblings. Wow, this is sure a great palce to get adobe photoshop cracks plus that crackz and serial and serialz for the bingo card creator software.

  17. Concerned Says:

    The video link just takes me to youtube, no video plays…

  18. citsacras Says:

    I find deliberately skewing search engine results to be just as immoral than downloading a crack for a piece of software. If I weren’t so lazy, I’d probably do something that would fsck your world up just out of spite. But then I remembered this is all about a Bingo card, and I HATE BINGO!


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