Counterfeit software and the Russian mafia. Is WGA a myth?
You are aware that downloading and installing software from p2p services is illegal. The same goes for cracking demo versions by obtaining key generators through astalavista. The fastest growing piracy trend on the internet is counterfeit software. Other sites warn of counterfeit software, but none go as deep as I do.
I don't condone piracy myself... okay, who am I kidding? The fact that this kind of piracy exists just proves that Americans are complete idiots.
Internationally, consider that most software counterfeiting operations start in non-US territories. When I say “non-US,” I mean Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine... you get the idea. Scamming software isn't free to them, it costs money to ship parcels. Just to ship 100 CDs, it costs $30. Additionally, a seldom verified customs form has to be filled out. To ship 1-5 CDs, the cost is $10. This is why pirate resellers often sell hundreds of CDs directly to foolish dot.com startups looking for a “discount” price.
Genuine looking software discs don't just pop out of thin air. Manufacturers like to cite sources of real discs as “theft.” In polite terms, we call this asset liquidation. Companies go broke and need to get rid of their supplies. They sell their software CDs, along with their hardware, for a discount on what they originally paid. This is where piracy comes into play. The CDs pass hands, often by the thousands, until they enter the realm of counterfeit software.
Serial numbers activate software. Astalavista, baby.
A software counterfeiter partner site must be set up somewhere within the United States to appear legitimate. As it happens, one major city will anonymously register both the domain and the mailbox(es etc.) for distribution. This is Phoenix, AZ, the Las Vegas of the digital age. Note Phoenix's rating on the top 20 most dangerous cities in the U.S. They have other fish to fry.
Acquire genuine discs of a software program such as QuickBooks, WordPerfect, or Adobe Photoshop, a serial number generator, a laser printer, and customs forms filled out in a fictitious name. Welcome to counterfeit richness. Others buy the product at an enormous markup. They stupidly pay $5-$25 for each for the discs. One might retire in Dnipropetrovs'k with ducats like that.
Eventually, there is the paper trail. The software resellers get reamed by the SIIA, BSA, and FBI. They find shipments from Zaporizhzhya, all cleared through customs.
If you feel that you are a victim of software piracy, you will never, ever get your money back. Call the authorities, report the “company” to the bbb, do whatever it takes to satisfy your anger... but in reality, you are fucked.