A Precedent of Piracy

I want to thank everyone who shared some insight in the Stopping Flagrant Piracy of Mint. While I agree it will be nearly impossible and far too resource intensive to stay one step ahead of the pirates forever, I refuse concede this matter based on the precedent of piracy alone.

I brought this issue to the community because Mint is in an interesting position as pirated software. It’s not hidden away behind a firewall on someone’s desktop. In order for Mint to do what it does, it needs to be on a public facing website. Its user base consists primarily of web-savvy early adopters with integrity and a strong sense of community. Using feeds, Digg and Google they have a good chance of encountering sites running these unlicensed versions of Mint—over the course of their daily browsing—without even knowing it.

It’s a unique situation which I thought could result in a unique solution. The proposed “Neighborhood Watch” Firefox extension is a novel, unobtrusive way to throw a wide net out there to see what we can catch. It allows the community, those sharing the effects of the piracy, to participate in the addressing the problem.

There have been some really great suggestions so far. As mentioned in my Ruby on Rails post I am working on a solution that ties the availability of support to your account status on haveamint.com. That said I won’t be closing the forums to the public. There’s a value to being able to see what problems others have encountered—and that they were promptly resolved—before laying down your hard earned green.

The new Peppermill will allow anyone to browse available Pepper but require login to download (Of course, Pepper developers can still host their plug-ins on their own site). However, I don’t think locking down distribution of Pepper will have much of an affect—it hasn’t helped Mint in respect to this piracy.

Enquire Within Upon Everything
Shaun Inman
February 5th, 2006 at 10:24 am