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Amerrrr
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You guys are always saying how "We take Piracy very serious" but no matter how many times we report nothing happens.

But anyway here's a brilliant suggestion that most people will find pretty good.

How about you guys do this, if someone try's to install a nulled forums of IPB make a feature where in one week if that Owner doesn't provide a IPB License his/her forums will get auto deleted or get an auto message saying "You have not provided your License so we have shut down your forums. If you wish to buy a License please click here".

BOOM PROBLEM SOLVED.

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The whole point of software nulling is that any protections like that get removed. It wouldn't do a whole lot of good.

Depending on where sites are hosted, there is not always a whole lot that can be done. You have to go through legal channels to take such sites down (DMCA requests et al. -- you can't just click a magic 'take offline' button), and not all hosts are willing to comply.

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The whole point of software nulling is that any protections like that get removed. It wouldn't do a whole lot of good.

Depending on where sites are hosted, there is not always a whole lot that can be done. You have to go through legal channels to take such sites down (DMCA requests et al. -- you can't just click a magic 'take offline' button), and not all hosts are willing to comply.


Then we should make a new TOS? For example, "If any nulled forums of ours are used both the hosting company & the user will be taken to court" or something like that..
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Sometimes there is simply nothing IPS can do. It's not often as easy as "hey IPS, here's a forum that's using a nulled version of IP.Board, please flick your switch and make them go away!"
It's sadly rarely ever that simple. When a piracy site is hosted in a country such as Russia or Sweden, for example, it's much more difficult and sometimes virtually impossible to have these sites taken down. Even when they can act, it can still be a lengthy process to get a nulled forum shut down.
Don't think IPS doesn't care just because they may not be able to act in all situations. They most definitely do care, piracy is just a difficult battle to fight sometimes.
It's not realistic to hunt down and take every person that runs a nulled board to court, and usually these people go through extensive measures to keep their real identities hidden.
If you see a forum you have good reason to suspect is nulled, just report it once and move on. Some can be taken down, some can't, others eventually will but just take time. It's IPS that has to deal with it though, and regardless of the outcome, your report/tip won't go to waste.
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You are really only going to be able to do what the OP suggests by encrypting the code and requiring a run time decrypter (ion cube for example) to be installed. Even then determined people will be able to decrypt. Encrypting also undermines the quality of the self help and modding community.

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The only way to enforce what you are describing at the code level is to encrypt the code, which we are not interested in doing at this time. Otherwise any code-level protections (such as disabling access after a week if no license key is provided) are simply bypassed by the people who upload "nulled" copies.

Beyond that, we are not going to cause this sort of grief for our legitimate customers in the hopes we might stop one or two people using our software illegally. Our clients should always come first.

As for taking down sites using nulled copies of our software, as has been explained above this is not very easy in practice. We have a fairly high success rate, but it isn't as simple as just shooting an email and the site saying "oh this isn't allowed, guess I better take my site down".

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The only way to enforce what you are describing at the code level is to encrypt the code, which we are not interested in doing at this time. Otherwise any code-level protections (such as disabling access after a week if no license key is provided) are simply bypassed by the people who upload "nulled" copies.

Beyond that, we are not going to cause this sort of grief for our legitimate customers in the hopes we might stop one or two people using our software illegally. Our clients should always come first.

As for taking down sites using nulled copies of our software, as has been explained above this is not very easy in practice. We have a fairly high success rate, but it isn't as simple as just shooting an email and the site saying "oh this isn't allowed, guess I better take my site down".



Sorry, tbh I thought it was really that simple lol.
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Precisely as Brandon said.. this "idea" would inevitably fail. There is no way for IPS to "automatically" take down forums that are unlicensed. That's like saying boards that still run IP.Board 2.3.6 (like mine now) is unlicensed just because it's not up-to-date. I have my IPB License key in the IPB License Settings. That's all that matters, whether or not my license has expired. Not that I refuse to renew it, but this simply just restricts me from upgrading my current software version along with support.

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Beyond that, we are not going to cause this sort of grief for our legitimate customers in the hopes we might stop one or two people using our software illegally. Our clients should always come first.

This is a practice I wish more people held true to, and something I respect you all for.
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Sorry, tbh I thought it was really that simple lol.

not mentioned yet (that I saw) is that there are also a plethora of laws involved, what is allowed to be done in one country may not be allowed in another and the attempt itself COULD (as in it has the potential to be) be illegal.

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If you see a "nulled" board take some stock in the fact they're probably using a version that's riddled with back doors. Why people are stupid enough to use such software is beyond me. It's their registered members I ultimately feel sorry for.

As long as you are paying your licence then move along and enjoy. :smile:

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I have to admit that the only way you could force IPB license entry is to encrypt the licensing feature in the code. It's impossible to insulate yourself against piracy because someone is eventually going to crack the encryption. The only thing that IPS could do is to file a DMCA complaint against the webhost of the websites distributing or using nulled versions of the forum software. With 3rd party dev Marketplace items such as skins, plugins, hooks ans addons it makes it difficult to even file a DMCA if they are using your item on their site as part of their forum installation because a dev could sell a copy of that plugin, addon or skin and then still file a DMCA claim against the webhost.

Hate to say it, but fighting piracy is a time consuming process and impossible to fight. The only thing you can do is either encrypt your marketplace items (which defeats the purpose because those buying your wares aren't going to if they cannot modify it for usage on their own websites) or continue to whine about it. Not trying to sound sarcastic about it, but fighting piracy is a never-ending battle.

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The only way to enforce what you are describing at the code level is to encrypt the code, which we are not interested in doing at this time. Otherwise any code-level protections (such as disabling access after a week if no license key is provided) are simply bypassed by the people who upload "nulled" copies.

Beyond that, we are not going to cause this sort of grief for our legitimate customers in the hopes we might stop one or two people using our software illegally. Our clients should always come first.

As for taking down sites using nulled copies of our software, as has been explained above this is not very easy in practice. We have a fairly high success rate, but it isn't as simple as just shooting an email and the site saying "oh this isn't allowed, guess I better take my site down".

I have to agree with you in some way. Though I have to admit over the past 2 years I have thought of many ways to stop piracy of my own products I released, here is what I came up with. This will not be a hassle on customers as most have a decryption tool installed server side anyway. You encrypt part of the file, include some basic code that won't need to be messed with by developers or can be tied into as developers already know the code. Then you use your own system to check that code to make sure the code exists and license provided. If both comply then you do nothing, if not then the site is reported grabbing the IP, domain, etc. This will bring pirated versions down and really make them think about pirating the software.

One thing I do know is that many customers have tried a pirated version before ever purchasing so in a way it helps but it is still illegal. That is my input and I'm not saying I'm fully right.

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Yes, the people "nulling" the software would simply bypass that functionality (or, more likely, recreate it just to get the software working).

Believe me when I say that we take piracy very seriously. Every user who illegally uses our software in effect takes food out of our children's mouths (and I don't know about your kids, but my kids eat a lot :cry: ). The reality is though, it is a balancing act. Just believe that after doing this for about a decade we do feel we have the inside scoop as to the best practices, and what works and what doesn't. We appreciate piracy reports and even if you don't see any immediate action, we are diligently working on resolving legitimate reports of piracy of our software.

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I have to agree with you in some way. Though I have to admit over the past 2 years I have thought of many ways to stop piracy of my own products I released, here is what I came up with. This will not be a hassle on customers as most have a decryption tool installed server side anyway. You encrypt part of the file, include some basic code that won't need to be messed with by developers or can be tied into as developers already know the code. Then you use your own system to check that code to make sure the code exists and license provided. If both comply then you do nothing, if not then the site is reported grabbing the IP, domain, etc. This will bring pirated versions down and really make them think about pirating the software.

One thing I do know is that many customers have tried a pirated version before ever purchasing so in a way it helps but it is still illegal. That is my input and I'm not saying I'm fully right.

so if your server goes offline or becomes unavailable what happens to legit customers?

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There are new studies showing piracy may actually benefit the entertainment industry, I imagine the same could apply to software. Somebody starts out nulled and converts afterwards for example. Free advertising and such as well.

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I admit that i started with a nulled version back in 2007. I was using the free 1.x version, and then i downloaded a nulled version to check how it was the new version.

After a few months(October of 2007) i received an email from Invision to take my site down or buy a licence.

And i did that, bought the licence and im a happy costumer from the last 7 years. I even bought IP.Content last year.

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There are new studies showing piracy may actually benefit the entertainment industry, I imagine the same could apply to software. Somebody starts out nulled and converts afterwards for example. Free advertising and such as well.

.. I recently seen this

I admit that i started with a nulled version back in 2007. I was using the free 1.x version, and then i downloaded a nulled version to check how it was the new version.

After a few months(October of 2007) i received an email from Invision to take my site down or buy a licence.

And i did that, bought the licence and im a happy costumer from the last 7 years. I even bought IP.Content last year.

Point proven.

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When I first started using IPB, I started off with the free version of IPB 1.3, when it was distributed through the Fantastico cPanel script provided by my webhost, at that time. When IPB 2 came out, I upgraded to a nulled version of the script and stayed with that for about three months before I opted to purchase a license to IPB. That was back in 2005. Rikki was kind of enough to assist me in getting a license and I have always used 'licensed' IPS products. At one time, I used IP.Gallery, IP.Downloads and IP.Nexus on a test server to try out the products, deleted it after testing them out and have slowly started purchasing licenses to IPS' other addon products. Over the past few yearsyears, I have upgraded to IP.Content and IP.Gallery; IP.Blog is next on my list. Where I'll go from there, I don't know, but that this is all a slow process for myself.

The one thing I like about IPS is that, unlike vBulletin, you don't need to repurchase the license for the full cost every year. While there is a learning curve with each mnajor release (v1 to 2, 2 to 3, and so on), I'm still satisfied with the IPS product line, despite the fact that IPS keeps removing key features of the software that many of us use a whole lot. The only way to get around piracy is to leave it in the hands of the lawyers and continue to make a quality product, that's why we keep renewing our licenses.

Piracy will continue to exist as long as produce premium content, there's no way to stop it. The most you can do is convince those who are using nulled copies of your product to get a license to your software. many of us have gone legal after using nulled copies and we're the better for it. The people who pay for a license are those who want or need assistance from your support staff, those who use nulled software, much as you hate to admit it, probably never will get a license, especially if they distribute your software through a warez site. I sincerely doubt that piracy will ever end but all you can do is convince people that buy purchasing a license or buying your marketplace downloads, that they stand to gain more from technical support than in the use of the product.

Convince nulled users that you offer something more than just the use of the software, highlight the "customer support' aspect of your product, and you'll get more users asking to purchase a license or purchase the marketplace item.

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There are new studies showing piracy may actually benefit the entertainment industry, I imagine the same could apply to software. Somebody starts out nulled and converts afterwards for example. Free advertising and such as well.

I hate to admit it, but I'm one of those.

Got fed up with SMF and wasn't enjoying the design process of MyBB, I didn't have any interest in the ACP of vBulletin, nor the money to buy my own.

So a friend transferred me a nulled package of IPBoard 3.1.4 and the first 'Animate' skin I ever uploaded! :D After poking around on it and seeing what it could do I started to get more and more into the blackmarket of IPBoard. I didn't have the financing to purchase my own licence so nulled had to do. Eventually I bought my first license and haven't looked back. It still gives me pride to see websites using IPBoard (sites such as Neowin, Acne.org or Grasscity) that have made such a statement on the web using the forum software and associated components. It's pretty incredible to see what can be done.

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Well, the thing of it is, is that IPS has actually benefitted from the nuklled market. While it's unfortunate that piracy exists, everytime someone who uses nulled IPS software purchases a license and begins a license, IPS gains anolther customer, another client. I'd be curious to know how many nulled users IPS has benefited from where they have purchased a license and became legit users.

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Well, the thing of it is, is that IPS has actually benefitted from the nuklled market. While it's unfortunate that piracy exists, everytime someone who uses nulled IPS software purchases a license and begins a license, IPS gains anolther customer, another client. I'd be curious to know how many nulled users IPS has benefited from where they have purchased a license and became legit users.

Piracy will always be a net negative instead of positive. Nulled forum software often contains bugs and backdoors that don't necessarily exist in the legit licensed release. So, you have users that can have a bad experience with the software as a result of the forum admin choosing to not use licensed software. This is ultimately bad for Invision, because end-users don't distinguish between licensed and unlicensed software.

You also have many cases (seriously, just watch these support forum on a daily basis) of people who have stolen the software coming here trying to get support. That takes time for the devs to deal with, that they could be using for paying customers.

Converting piracy to legitimate customers is a possible benefit, except that usually comes with a bunch of questions on how to "go legit", which adds additional support above and beyond someone who is coming fresh as a legitimate customer.

I'm sure Invision is happy when people pay for the software, but lets not pretend that it's all roses when someone chooses to steal it and starts down the path to legitimacy. It's better for all of us (because I like my license fees going to development, not having to deal with thieves) when people don't steal other people's hard work, period.

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You also have many cases (seriously, just watch these support forum on a daily basis) of people who have stolen the software coming here trying to get support. That takes time for the devs to deal with, that they could be using for paying customers.

Playing the devils advocate here.. kind of, that takes probably 5 seconds for the devs here to respond to, because I'm pretty sure it's just a single multi-moderation rule click away to deal with members that don't have a license coming here asking for support. It's a cut and paste response and automated topic lock for everyone one of them.

I assume the same is so for anyone that's odd enough to try and contact the sales support desk requesting support without a license too.

So that's not really an issue.

I would honestly say the same for the extra "support overhead" some people coming legit my require. People don't read the documentation and ask trivial questions all the time, this certainly eats up supports time as well. So this I believe is very moot.

As for pirating just to demo the software, IP.Board offers full demos on request, so that's not even a possible excuse to pirate the software today (though I'm not insinuating that it ever would have been).

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