The widely popular anti-malware application, Malwarebytes, is serving up a sweet deal, offering pirates a free 12 month license under their newly launched “amnesty” program. The company’s plan is to hand out free upgrades in an effort to replace the older key generation algorithm which was easily abused by those wishing to use the premium version for free.
Just like any other popular software, especially anti-virus and anti-malware applications, many users will opt to use the premium version for free with cracks or keygens in hopes on unlocking paid features for free with hacked keys.
In the past, Malwarebytes has been fair with pirates, with one incident two years ago when the company tracked down a group of pirates and asked them kindly to stop stealing the software. No legal action was taken against the accused individuals.
However, the San Jose-based company has more surprises in store for pirates. Just a few days ago Malwarebytes began scanning for pirated and counterfeit keys as the company plans to upgrade their licensing system. Those who were found using an abused key will be granted an “amnesty” option, which will give pirates a free one year upgrade of Malwarebytes Pro, replacing the old pirated key with a new and improved key.
Users who paid for a key can simply choose the “I purchased my key” option and receive a lifetime token to Malwarebytes pro.
“Malwarebytes is offering a free replacement key for Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium customers who have been inconvenienced by piracy or abuse. This new key will be exclusive to you going forward,” the company explained on their website.
Malwarebytes offer is extremely generous, but is necessary as many legitimate keys and pirate keys were found as duplicate. This means pirates could have the same keys as valid paying customers.
The company said while moving forward their new and improved system will use a more advanced license key algorithm which will prevent duplicate keys from being created. However, their new system will make is substantially harder for pirates to nab a free copy once their one year license expires.
“Piracy is not really a huge problem for us in my opinion. There are a lot of people who simply won’t pay for our software and being aggressive against them won’t change that,” Bruce Harrison said when speaking with TorrentFreak, vice president of research at Malwarebytes lab.
Offering pirates an amnesty key is risky, however the greater payout will be in the end when the new system is in place and the year key runs out. Many pirates may think twice and choose to pay for a key renewal.