It just doesn’t feel the same, does it? When you steal a piece of software, a very intangible artefact, it doesn’t have the same weight that you will have stealing candy from a shop. Though the software might be worth a lot more, a few taps on the screen doesn’t really evoke a feeling of guilt. But it should.
When we at Envision caught our first cracker, someone who had found a vulnerability to distribute our app for free, the first reaction was that of disbelief. This mainly stemmed from our romanticisation of our users. Our culture has such a strong belief of being in love with our users we just gasped “They wouldn’t do that!”.
When the reality set in, we put on our engineering caps and started to investigate where the vulnerability was and how to fix it. That’s when the second shocking thing happened, the user who had cracked our app had just uploaded a step by step guide of how others can do it on YouTube. On YouTube! Though this was super helpful to understand what the vulnerability was and how to fix it, we were also in awe of the audacity of the user.
Ever since then we have been hard at work building safeguards to stop people from stealing the product that everyone at Team Envision has been putting their heart, sweat and soul into. This problem was a lot more prevalent on Android than on iOS and we were disappointed at how little help we got from the Android folks to help stop it.
After several weeks of more work from our brilliant engineering team, we have managed to fix the current existing vulnerabilities and are cracking down on all the users who have been stealing the app, starting today. If you have been one of them, here’s our message to you:
You chose to crack and use the Envision app instead of purchasing it. It’s okay, we understand. We hope you also understand the tangible effect this has on our resources, in addition to the intangible effect on the morale of our whole team trying to build this tool for you. When you crack our app, you steal not just from us, but also cheat thousands of other paying users who genuinely need the app.
To prevent this, here’s what we will do:
Here’s what you can do:
In closing, I would just like to say that we chose to build this tool because we believe in the collective and long term good it can do. We could have spent this time and effort building any other app or game filled with ads and other money-making possibilities. Instead, we chose to do this because we feel its the right thing to do. We hope you do the right thing too.
Karthik from Envision