Quite a few years ago, I wrote a blog post about the most pirated software applications. I was curious about what had changed over the years. To my surprise, not much it seems.
Software Piracy, the act of obtaining and using software that the user does not own a license to. Pirated Software has been around for as long as computers and software have existed. The distribution of pirated software has changed a lot of the years but it has always existed and will continue into the forseable future. As they say, where there is a will, there is a way.
When I was a teenager in the 90’s, pirated software was distributed over bulliten board systems (BBS), IRC chat rooms, public and private FTP sites and newsgroups. Many of those sound foreign to the younger generation of internet pirates because they almost soley use bittorrent to distribute pirated software today. It’s also much easier for them to find since there are torrent sites that make it easy to search for practically anything such as software, movies, books, etc.
Enough history, on with the list of the most pirated software for 2022.
Top 10 Most Pirated Software
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft Windows
- FL Studio
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Premiere
- Adobe After Effects
- Adobe Illustrator
- Ableton Live
- Adobe Acrobat Pro
Taking a look at most pirated software, there are some things that haven’t changed over the years. Microsoft and Adobe software has always been heavily pirated. In particular Windows, Office, Photoshop, and Premiere.
Many hobyist build their own PC’s and they need a license to install Windows. Instead of purchasing one, they use generators, cracks, etc. to bypass the activation.
Photoshop is the top tool used for graphic and image editing, for good reason. Because of it’s popularity and high cost, it is pirated quite often. Adobe has also moved to a subscription model to reach an audience who can’t afford to fork over hundreds of dollars all at once. This means that the older versions, prior to the subscription model are still used in by software pirates.
WinRAR is an interesting one, personally I’ve been ok with free tools for file archiving so I’m not sure why someone would feel the need to pirate this application. Maybe it’s for commercial use or they want to support the developer, I’m not cetain.
FL studio and Ableton are digital audio tools for creating music. Hobby music creators are likely the ones who favor pirating expensive software like Ableton for music creation.
One way companies can help prevent being on the list of most pirated software is to offer adequate trial periods. Some companies do not offer trials at all, so how is a user to know if they like the software and if it serves their purpose? Another tactic would be to release a limited version that offer some capability, enough to get a feel for what is offered and how it works.
Subscription models aren’t all terrible either. A trial period could be offered for those as well, such as the common 7 day trials we see across many products. Some users feel better about paying a smaller monthly fee over a large yearly or one-time fee.
We also can’t ignore the fact that some companies do not really care about pirated versions at all. The amount they make from legitimate purchases covers their costs and then some. A few pirates don’t hurt their bottom line so they let it be.
One thing for sure, the most pirated software list doesn’t contain application from small software vendors. These are big names that have been around a long time. While illegal copies may not hurt them, it will the smaller guys. If there is an alternative that suits your needs that is made by a small vendor, considering purchasing from them. Even better, support open source software alternatives as well. For each big name, there is probably a free and open-source version that offers a similar experience.
What are your thoughts on this list? What are your favorite alternatives? Let me know in the comments.
- @ October 13, 2022 4:18 pm