Today, I want to touch upon what I think is a very thorny issue, that of piracy.
I've been hit by this myself. Many times I've seen products I've released (and put hard work and effort into) being circulated all around the Internet, without my permission.
As an Internet Marketer, you need to be vigilant and take steps to prevent your products being pirated. You'll never stamp it out altogether, but you'll deter the worst of the culprits.
Protect Your Download
Never put your paid download in a freely accessible area on your web site. Too many people will be able to find it.
If you're not careful, you'll even find the download being indexed on Google (I've heard of top Internet Marketers products being simply indexed in this way).
Use a download protection script to prevent people accessing your download unless they follow a valid (and often time expiring) link.
Alternative, invest in a service that manages all the downloads on their own server. Although you lose some flexibility, you may well find that the additional technical benefits far outweigh the small cost.
By doing so, you've already prevented the casual thieves.
Be Vigilant At Known Sites
The 'blackhat' forums often seem to get the latest Internet Marketing products and offer them, free of charge, to their members.
One solution is to be a member of their sites. They are less keen to rip off one of their own.
But, even without that, you could soon monitor these sites through a Google backdoor. Just search for the name of your product.
You'll also find people trying to sell your product, even though you haven't released any rights to it. Once more, you want to look at the different digital marketplaces. Google is again your friend.
In either case, a 'cease and desist' request to wherever your files are being hosted will usually get them taken down.
How Do You Tackle Piracy?
Do you have an innovative method of your own to share?
Just go ahead and reply below and we'll be glad to see it.
10 replies on “Save Your Products”
Right now I couldn't tell if my content is being pirated. Although there is no direct link to my thank you page, I worry that experienced hackers could get into my directories and just take it anyway.
I've done the basic precautions.. hope that's enough.
Personally, I don't worry too much about protecting my products. I generally use some kind of delivery script anyway, such as Rapid Action Profits, many of which have built-in protection. But even if I'm not using those, I don't really go to any extra lengths to protect them.
The way I look at it is the more secure the protection is, the more of pain it becomes for paying customers. I'd rather my paying customers were happy and it was easy for them to buy from me than make them jump through hoops because of the pirates.
I also believe that most people who pirate these types of products wouldn't have bought them anyway. There are probably some who happen to find them and might have bought if they'd come across them through the proper channels, but the people who frequent those Black Hat forums are, for the most part, "collectors". They want every product but rarely implement any of it anyway. It's all about "getting" it.
I don't particularly want those people as customers anyway, even if they would have bought the product. If they're willing to rip me off for a few bucks, I'd rather not deal with them. 99% of the time they're going to be one of the biggest pains in the butt after buying.
People selling a product without the rights is another matter, mind you. I would take action against sites I found selling my stuff.
John, that's definitely true. I use Rapid Action Profits as well, as I find the protection is excellent, although it does lead to its own issues with support, which you have to weigh up against the security and other features that the script provides.
I also use Rapid Action Profits for list building through affiliate promotions. When used that way it's excellent and kills two birds with one stone.
One thing to think about it that many people who download information products illegally just don't do anything with them (the 'collectors' as you call them). That would involve work, and that defeats the object. Since I don't release 'Get Rich Quick' products (when there's money involved – it's a product of the 'you will get rewarded for working' type), then I don't worry about those so much.
But people selling your products, when they aren't released with rights, is a big deal, and I've seen it happen with mine. I've got most of them taken down, but there are some parts of the world where it's just so difficult to contact (and messages seem to disappear into a black hole). Any innovative ways of dealing with issues like that are very welcome.
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My site is built with Drupal and uses Ubercart for sales. This has expiring links emailed to the purchaser.
All purchasers become members of the site and all are affiliates. Why steal something when you can make a commission from it?
Even the free products have the same rules applied, all visitors brought via an affiliate link are your affiliate for 1 year from their last purchase so even if they only buy once per year they remain your affiliate.
Hi Thom, it's the first time I post on your forum, but it's some time I read your post here around 🙂
I've the same idea about download pages to protect, because many people can get your product free, without paying you a cent.
What I do every time I release a product is generally edit the robots file before posting the download page.
But I need also to get a download protector account or install a script on my own.
I'm checking also the "alternative" forums to see if my products are uploaded by someone.
Until now I was lucky, but in case it happens there will be no problems…
It will be the time to pass to a new product.
Thanks a lot for your article and see you soon,
I use DLguard for a Clickbank product and that works fine. It's not in the "make money" niche, far from it, so there's probably less interest in 3rd parties reselling it.
Every now and then I get someone who, for some reason, didn't DL the product right after paying for it and the DLguard link expired. I just ship them a copy (once Iook up their receipt) and it's cool. DL guard isn't hard to set up, but some HTML knowledge definitely helps.
As for DL pages, noindex, nofollow, and noarchive are your friends. 🙂 You can also set you .htaccess file to deny search spiders to certain directories. Non-intuitive directory names and passwords for your download directories will stop guessers. Direct links posted on forums are another issue.
As for "customers" who spread it around, well, I like Mr. Bearly's idea. 🙂
How to tackle piracy…
I am thinking about releasing a product for sell by December, what script would you recommend?
This is the reason it is easier to be an affiliate than a product creator.
But the time has come and I really need to get a product up for sale.
Great subject this!
Something that comes with the territory
1.Don't you think maybe the person who got your content with out paying for it wasn't going to buy it in the first place. So maybe you didn't loose a sale.
2.Maybe a piece of stolen content passed by an ethical person who liked it and found out what other products you offered and then purchased one of them off you.
3. If you are able to churn out reasonable content all of the time, then just concentrate your energy & time on that productive side of your business.
This would be more beneficial for the bottom line of your business over all
Thanks I have learn't something from these comments in this post. bruces……
There are some great recommendations here. Greg, I know a number of people who use DLGuard and they're perfectly happy with it. I personally use Rapid Action Profits, which is a similar script, but also allows instant affiliate payments (and a number of other cool features), and it's served me really well with building my mailing list over the last few months,
Bruce, I agree completely with you that most people who download a product of mine illegally probably wouldn't have even considered buying it in the first place – and that there can be some advantages to be had based on this exposure. I still think though that sometimes making these products available tempts people who might not otherwise have even considered doing anything illegal.
Actually, I recently found one of my products selling for $2 on a site with lots of other stolen content. I found that more annoying and offensive based on devaluing the product than I found seeing it being given away for free.