Tag Archives: scam

Beware of “OEM deals”

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) “… can be used as an adjective to describe software licensed only for a particular system. OEM software is purchased alongside a system or hardware parts.” (source: Wikipedia).

Broken CDRecently I come across number of websites that advertise so-called “OEM deals”, where you can buy cheap software. They offer popular titles for about half of the price, claiming that you’ll receive perfectly legal and working copies.

Allow me to explain why this is not true.

Developers use knowledge, time, patience and fingertips to create software. Customers decide that they need (want, like, …) the software and use money to buy a licence. If software is good, more customers buy it to make a better compensation for developer’s work, and everyone is happy, supposedly.

Then there are Hackers, who use their special kind of knowledge and some time to release a crack, patch or keymaker. Developers fix the leak, but hackers always can find another one (it’s common knowledge that every software can be cracked). This is a closed circle, almost some kind of a “mental game”.

Then Pirates use hacked software for free, risking getting a virus, trojan or worse. 🙂 That’s their decision – I’m sure they think they have perfectly normal reasons to do this (although there are often legal alternatives).

It’s always been like this, and that’s something every software company should count on.

What bothers me much more is new category of people, who think that they are smarter than all groups mentioned above: OEM Dealers. They decide to use cracked versions of software (combined developer’s work and hacker’s special knowledge) and other people money and trust to sell software in half of the price.

Except them, everyone else is betrayed:

  • developers lose money
  • hackers feel that someone else is making a profit on their “job”
  • and honest people think that they have purchased legal licences, while they are actually becomming pirates, getting all risks that come in the package, including possible legal consequences

Speaking as a founder of software company, we can take losing some money. No problem with that. And I personally don’t care about hacker’s feelings. But I do care about honest and innocent people thinking that they found a “great deal”, just to realize what’s behind it first time they contact technical support.

As OEM means buying software in package with some other product, these websites are obviously a fraud. So take our advice: don’t take the bait! Software companies sometimes run promotional deals (I know we do), so if you are desperate, ask and thou may receive. 🙂

“Scam” is a right word for this

While small independent software companies are trying hard to raise a trust with potential customers, some of their partners (payment processors) are undermining these efforts.

Second time in recent history it happens that some of payment processors, on its own, without actual vendor consent and knowledge, are charging extra ~$10 each month from MicroISV customers for something they call a “discount scheme for future purchases”. This fact is hard to notice new item in credit card statement shows up. Oh yes, customers should “just call” to cancel this payments, but damage is already done.

Incidentally, both payment processors, as significant number of others, are owned by same large corporation. It’s not clear if this politics is something their owners require or they are just doing on their own. Just in case, our main payment processor (Plimus, Inc.) is independent company that so far understands that most important recipe for success is to satisfy both sides: customers and vendors.

That said, we can never know what and when will our partners decide to do, so if you notice any sign of dishonesty related to our web site or purchasing our products, please let us know immediately so we can react accordingly. Thank you in advance!