Guy Asks For Software Crack, Creator Provides Free App Instead

from the how-to-react-to-piracy dept

I'm a big fan of two things: vulgarity and people who treat others well.  If you share similar passions, then this story is for you.  While it's understandable for content creators to react negatively to those that "pirate" their work, Techdirt has highlighted instance after instance showing those that have chosen to react in a way that is more beneficial to everyone.  It's kind of sad that, when people behaving kindly to one another (even after someone has tried to infringe on their copyright), it becomes something we have to point to, but consider the reaction of Chris Baker, creator of the F***ing Word Of The Day iPhone application, as shown on the The Next Web blog.

Basically, the story boils down to this.  A person on the Xsellize iPhone app message board put out a thread request for someone to crack Chris' app, without further explanation.  Chris showed up immediately and responded to the poster:

Hello! I'm the creator of the ******* Word of the Day website and more particularly the F-ing Word of the Day App. First of all, this is a huge compliment! As a person who pirates content, I've always placed the moment people are pirating MY goods as the exact time of my arrival, as it were. So congratu-*******-lations to me. With that said, I'd like to just offer that while I'm employed with a decent salary in the city of New York, I am by no means rich...I write all the sentences myself and find the words to use myself and I do this in my own personal time and essentially for free. Sure, I learn a few words too, but I was already a pretty well-read guy, and could have done without the site.

What's my point in all this? Go ahead and pirate the app. It cost me 1500 bucks to have programmed. It's not even a month's rent for me. But if you think the site is cool, and you want to pay for one eighth of a Stella Artois for me, hook me up with 99 cents. The rapture will be here soon, I could use the drink.

It's just... perfect.  Communicate with the potential customer, let them know you'd appreciate their actual patronage, mention that pirating isn't a big deal but it'd be cool to purchase in an agreeable way, and wrap it up with a joke.  About the only thing off here is a willingness to drink Stella Artois, a name which translates to english as "sewer water". 

And the reaction from the original poster?  He thanked Chris for responding and then clarified why he was looking for a crack.  It turns out that he has no credit cards or banking cards with which he could make the purchase from the app store.  But he said he was so enamored with Chris' response that he rescinded his request for the crack and promised to figure out how to purchase the app, even if his situation meant it would cost him a few extra bucks to do so.  But Chris wasn't done:

Sir, you've warmed the cockles of my heart. I believe Apple allows you to gift apps to people, and I'm feeling charitable so if you want to email me your address or whatever in the hell they require to complete such a transaction, I will buy the app for you. I only ask that you give the ******* thing a good rating.  I hope this comment thread goes down as one of the more unexpected things that happens to you online. I like the unexpected. And I like making people happy, even when something stupid like learning vocabulary is involved.

Sigh, bliss!  And take a look at some of the reaction further down in the thread.  It looks like Chris' acting like a human being has garnered him a few more fans and paying customers:

-This thread makes me want to buy the app just to honor such an awesome attitude. If only more developers would have this positive and constructive humbleness towards the consumer, things would go better.

-Chris, I just bought your app for the support!

-I am not a fan of vulgarity, and I would not normally buy or use your app, clever as it is. But your mission is admirable and your heart is gold and I just bought a copy of your app simply to reward you. I'll now delete it, because my kids use my phone and wow, but you know, you're awesome.

-Chris, as a result of this thread I want to offer my body to you.  You make me feel like more of a woman than I have ever felt before.  I have toys and dirty videos.  Please contact me.

Okay, okay, I made that last one up.  But the point is, if you treat people like they're people and not the $.99 they might otherwise represent, you will reap the benefits.  Bravo, Chris.


Reader Comments

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  • icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 19 May 2011 @ 1:22pm

    Huh

    Never heard of this app, not sure if I want it, but I'm going to approach it feeling much more generous than I otherwise would.

    So, that's a win right there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AJ, 19 May 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Sounds good...

    Solved problem while gaining street cred, instead of freaking out ... made additional sales as a result...

    So simple, yet for some, so elusive....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2011 @ 1:56pm

    Excellent Writing

    Great article, Tim. I didn't have to scroll back up to see who'd written it. Your signature is everywhere on this one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 19 May 2011 @ 1:58pm

      Re: Excellent Writing

      Great article, Tim. I didn't have to scroll back up to see who'd written it. Your signature is everywhere on this one.


      Agreed. Tim actually has writing skills, which is why I'm always happy when he's got some posts...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Dark Helmet (profile), 19 May 2011 @ 2:01pm

        Re: Re: Excellent Writing

        Well thanks for the compliments, both.

        I'm particularly pleased that no one has defended Stella Artois, which makes my already high opinion of the Techdirt community rise even higher....

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MrWilson, 19 May 2011 @ 1:57pm

    ::grumble grumble:: doesn't work for my business model... this guy is an exception... how am I supposed to rip people off if I give my app away for free?!?... oh, and get off my lawn!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    drewmerc (profile), 19 May 2011 @ 2:00pm

    About the only thing off here is a willingness to drink Stella Artois, a name which translates to American english as "sewer water"

    fixed that for you, stella is a fine drink(euro version), better than any american beer i have tried (whats with all the lite crap never understood that)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rabbit80, 19 May 2011 @ 2:07pm

      Re:

      Agreed - I only drink premium lagers or real ales. Stella, Kronenburg or Grolsch are my usual lagers. If you want "sewer water" try Carling or Fosters or if you are a lightweight AND lost all your tastebuds try Skol!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Huph, 19 May 2011 @ 2:09pm

      Re:

      Lite stuff is crap. True Americans drink the same beer our founding fathers did: India Pale Ales. Delicious, plus you can actually feel the enamel being stripped from your teeth.

      Stella Artois is painfully terrible. I refuse to drink it, and when I was a bartender I didn't recommend it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2011 @ 3:20pm

      Re: Stella Artois

      "Sewer water"? Nope.

      Wikipedia says: Stella Artois (play /ˈstɛlə ɑrˈtwɑː/) is a 5% ABV lager originating from Leuven, Belgium, predominantly brewed in the United Kingdom.[1] It is named Stella after the Latin word for "star" whereas Artois is a traditional area in France that was once part of the Low Countries.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Nate, 19 May 2011 @ 3:55pm

      Re:

      I'll step up to defend American beer here in the face of drewmerc's slander! Russian River? Allagash? Dogfish Head? Lost Abbey?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Hautedawg, 19 May 2011 @ 3:10pm

    Off subject, but only a little

    So, can you kind folks get Boulevard Ales where you reside? It is made in Kansas City, from teh sparkling waters of the Missouri River (/sarcasm).

    The wheat is delicious, and it is fresh! If not, I reccomend highly.

    Does anyone reccomend anything for a young (50's) lady to drink. She likes Heiniken, but I'd like her to drink local or at least American.

    PS: Great article. Being nice pays

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      anon, 19 May 2011 @ 4:54pm

      Re: Off subject, but only a little

      Well, there are many. If she likes sweeter citrus type stuff, Michelob's shock top is awsome. Blue moon is, decent, but IMO not as good as shock top.

      Widmer Hef is good. All depends if she want's a lager, or something a bit more filling.

      Just remember, beer doesn't make someone gain weight... it's the food people eat while drinking the beer that does. The "carb thing" is a hoax put on by the big beer companies in order to push cheaper made light beers. PHD & Ivy League college busted myth.

      :)

      Stella sucks btw. Another sweet lager, right up there with the crappy piss made mexican beers.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    rooben (profile), 19 May 2011 @ 3:20pm

    Already Doing the Job

    Looks like his attitude is turning into sales - looking at the App Store, there's about 20 comments now from people saying that they are buying the app due to his comments on the site (or via Reddit).

    Hm...having dialog with your customers...discussing their issue...leading to others appreciation and more sales...maybe this guy is on to something!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Khstapp, 19 May 2011 @ 3:21pm

    Buy it

    Hell, I'm tossing him the buck just for a piece of the good karma. Here's your 1/8 Stella on me. Cheers!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), 19 May 2011 @ 3:55pm

    Be honest, Tim.

    You posted that last one to the message board and are now covering your tracks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Alex, 19 May 2011 @ 4:33pm

    if you liked this

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2011 @ 5:19pm

    "I've used it to boil brat"

    Not a bad idea, but here in the states, that would be considered child abuse.

    Course, might just have to threaten my kids with this when they are acting up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    The Original Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 May 2011 @ 6:41pm

    Stella sucks in the US

    The beer, not the actress.

    It's great on the continent. I've never had it in the UK since I'm normally too busy trying all the other bizarre brews.

    For US beer try Schell's from Minnesota. Lots of gold and silver prizes at various competitions. Last I checked it was the second oldest US brewery still owned by the same family, after #1 Yuengling.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), 19 May 2011 @ 8:38pm

    id have bought his app except for two problems
    1. i dont have an iphone
    2. i refuse to support anyone who admits to a habit of drinking bottled pig sweat.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    G Thompson (profile), 20 May 2011 @ 12:22am

    To succeed you have to stop being ordinary and be Legen-Wait For It-Dary! - Barney Stinson


    It seems Chris Baker is both Legendary and F**** AWESOME too.


    True Story

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark Essel, 20 May 2011 @ 5:30am

    Bonus points for that last comment

    Besides cracking up madly at work the find was excellent. Love to see stellar (pre)customer service. No doubt this will turn into a bunch more sales for Chris. In fact, he just got another out of me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2011 @ 7:19am

    Stella Artois is a magnificent beer! Not many people appreciate it the first time they have one, but it's worth getting a taste for.

    As for Americans criticizing beer from anywhere else, well....you should all be ashamed! ;) Off the top of my head I can't think of a country that makes worse beer than the USA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David Bishop, 20 May 2011 @ 7:44am

    Awesome

    Well done, Chris. I want to buy the app as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2011 @ 8:09am

    Sewer Water?

    The real translation is "Wife Beater".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Silent Bob, 20 May 2011 @ 8:13am

    a new approach for RIAA?

    has anyone besides me noticed that Chris managed to trick an anonymous pirate into divulging physically identifying information in order to get his "free" app. Perhaps RIAA should give this approach a try!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Khory (profile), 20 May 2011 @ 11:39am

      Re: a new approach for RIAA?

      That's exactly what Google does with most of their products.

      It's not like that model has worked well for them or anything....

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris Baker, 20 May 2011 @ 9:30am

    Hello

    I'm the "developer" in this story. If you have any questions, or just want to insult my taste in beer, well, I'd love to offer my insight. Thanks!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 20 May 2011 @ 9:59am

      Re: Hello

      Thanks Chris!

      And Stella sucks :)

      I don't expect you to get into minute particulars, but has there been a demonstrable increase in app sales since this whole thing went down?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Chris Baker, 20 May 2011 @ 10:36am

        Re: Re: Hello

        hahaha. Stella. What's funny is that my go-to, just a wednesday night on the couch beer is Amstel. I'm not even sure why I put Stella.

        App sales were at about 5-10 a day. Yesterday I sold almost 700. Definite increase. People loved the story so much they downloaded the app just to give me sale, not because they like the idea of the app. Which is cool, but obviously I like when people get into it because of the idea. :)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    chuck, 23 May 2011 @ 7:26am

    Bear Whizz Beer.
    Like my daddy says, its in the water, that's why its yellow.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Alima, 23 May 2011 @ 1:24pm

    mbaye_alima@yahoo.co.uk

    mbaye_alima@yahoo.co.uk

    Hello Dear
    How are you, My name is Alima i saw your profile today and became interested in you,i will also like to know you more,and if you can send an email to my email address,i will give you my pictures here is my email address
    (mbaye_alima@yahoo.co.uk) I believe we can move from here! Am waiting for your mail to my email address above because i have a lot to tell you, Lotīs of love,
    email me on my mail box not in site
    have a great day and God bless you.
    miss Alima

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Malek Alahmar, 3 Apr 2016 @ 6:44pm

    Remove license verification from this app ?

    hello how are you please bro ? ,I have a metal detector device they have an android app and when I am trying install it on new device it asks me for license code and I don't know what should I do. This is bothersome for me every time I need to ask the company to provide me the license code after giving them my Mac address of my phone. Can you help me on that I would really appreciate it so much I need to bypass the license code checking and keep using it for free.
    http://ziifile.com/y929v9bphcx9/GroundExper_Setup.apk.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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