Today, January 31st, 2014, I came across a sponsored ad on Facebook. Now, we’ve all seen sponsored ads that aren’t QUITE aimed at the right potential customer (NO, BETABRAND, I DO NOT WANT SWEATPANT SLACKS), but this was ridiculous. In an attempt to minimize software piracy through bribery, NoPiracy.org is begging people to report businesses that are using stolen software and are offering them finder’s fees. Now, asking people to find you people to sue is already in bad form, but this ad was even worse, it tried to be “hip” while doing so, like it was written by a 55-year-old white dude who thinks he isn’t racist because he watched The Bill Cosby Show. Here are a few of the problems I see in this three sentence ad.
1st, the ad is condescending. “For once, you will have money, you brokeass motherfucker.” How goddamned rude. You want people to narc out their employer, who will then be sued for exorbitant amount of money, will shut down, and then kill any future pay checks, but you’re going to ridicule their checking accounts? Fuck you. Not only that, but we all know that 99% of the businesses that would possibly be software pirates are mom and pop shops and people who own their own business, not even K-Mart, the epitome of shady business practices, pirates software. Assholes.
2nd, the ad straight jacks lyrics from Lil Troy’s “Wanna Be a Baller,” probably without licensing his copyright and definitely not utilizing it as a parody. Yo, Lil Troy, when you sue the shit out of these pieces of shit, can I get a finder’s fee? Just enough to snag the new Adobe CS.
3rd, If I report these people, are you suggesting that I can then become a “shot caller?” Obviously, the aforementioned near-retiree was unaware that a shot caller is usually a leader within a group of organized criminals (gang, mafia, etc) who decides which laws to break, including “greenlighting” hits. Hits as in MURDER. This ad basically says “If you rat out Uncle Ted’s copy of WinAmp he got from your dad, we will give you some cash that you can put towards your budding career in larceny, allowing you to move up to more violent crimes. BUT NO STEALING SOFTWARE, GUYS.”
THEN, after the bullshit first sentence comes “Report unlicensed software. Get Paid.” Seems simple enough, I tell you that someone’s been naughty and installed Plants vs Zombies on TWO computers when they were only supposed to do it on one, and then I get money. NOPE. From NoPiracy’s terms and conditions: “The decision to pay a reward based on your report and the amount of that award shall be within BSA’s sole discretion. A reward may be payable only if BSA pursues an investigation and, as a direct result of the information provided by you, receives a monetary settlement from the reported organization.”
To paraphrase: It’s only if we get money from suing them do we even consider giving you money, which we don’t have to do. It’s up to our discretion, which means we don’t have to do a goddamned thing.” They do highlight a sliding pay scale should they decide to part with any cold hard cash, but that shit starts at $15K and goes to $15Million. There isn’t a company on this planet that has enough computers to download that much software, and if there ARE, they probably make the fucking software.
Business-types are right to be concerned about software actually being purchased, as that’s what they pay keyboard-monkeys doing day in and day out to create, but just like the Record Industry Association of America, they can’t get their heads out of their ass long enough to take a look around and actually see what’s going on. People WANT your product, so try working on some paycuts for your CEO so that you can more strategically price your product and increase sales, I mean, Adobe’s posting profit in the billions and their CEO makes enough money where I am pretty sure he can buy a country now. There are companies and people actively competing against you at the price of FREE (GIMP, Open Office), so I would suggest you get your shit together.
I hope you lose more money on your stupid ads than you make trying to sue John Q. Public for his downloaded copy of Quicktime.