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Piracy: Ambrosia speaks

Those who had fun with games like: Bubble Trouble, Avara, Escape Velocity, Ferazel’s Wand and others, immediately understood what we are talking about. While, for the few who don't know, we will specify that Ambrosia is one of the most active houses in the production of shareware for the Mac OS, and has always stood out for the high quality of its products.

"The naked truth about piracy" the title of this article that collects some anecdotes about the impact of this criminal behavior towards the company for which it works, explaining the concept of shareware, an alternative method of distribution, an alternative to the costs of commercial products, but not in value. "After all, what are 25 dollars?", he asks, "if not the cost of a dinner at the fast-food restaurant and a movie ticket, for a few hours of fun, while a good game can excite for days and weeks? ".

Matt Scot, delves into the story of the company's early years, in which the distribution of their works was based on a great deal of trust towards the end user. No protection mechanisms were designed, and the games could be used virtually forever, with only one friendly (!) Warning that he did not pay the registration fee. This was a choice that could be fine as long as the members they were college students and their needs were limited to a few entertainment, but after graduation, when Ambrosia software became a real productive reality, things had to change.

The author soon became aware of the percentages at stake in the shareware market. Frightening numbers: the programs actually in use were five times those actually registered. Five times! To this was added, after some time also the threat of lost revenue, brought by some who had carried out a reverse engineering work on their mechanism for generating license keys. Forcing them to modify the systems for the release. of new codes, forcing users of their software to contact the company's servers to get working serial numbers from the old ones. What they discovered was frankly disconcerting. In two days, out of 194 attempts to renew the codes, 107 were pirated (more than 55%).

In conclusion, mr. Slot, although pleased to find a keen interest in their products, and, recognizing that its data would not be statistically valid, emphasizes the phenomenon that certainly cannot be defined as "transient" or "localized", wondering about the future of the company.

The original article, really tasty, for those who know English, can be read directly here.