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Twitter Client Shames Pirates

TweetbotTweetbot

A popular Twitter client called Tweetbot has apparently found an interesting way to shame those who pirate copies of their app. The company can apparently link these app installations to valid accounts, and if they find out that your installation is pirated, then the very first tweet that your client offers you to send out says:

I've been demoing a pirated copy of @tweetbot and really like it so I'm going to buy a copy!

A quick search on Twitter shows that many, many people have been hit already, showing just how often Tweetbot gets pirated. This tweet is not sent automatically, and an attentive user could cancel it, but apparently there is a large amount of pirates and people who either don't pay attention, or don't mind to have their Twitter followers know what they did.

The practice of software developers taking measures to protect their software is not new, but in this case it hurts the company more than with simply loss revenue. Twitter implemented an API limit on their side which means any client has a maximum number of users they can get before Twitter cuts them off. This means each of these illegal copies takes up an extra slot, leaving Tweetbot with less space for actual paying customers.