How to Prevent the Piracy of Your Software


It all starts with…

DMCA Notices are only half the battle when it comes to the battle of piracy: you vs. The Pirate Bay.

The real reason most people pirate your software isn't out of greed, it's because they can't afford it. Lowering software costs lowers the barrier to entry to using your software, but it also lowers your income stream, and reduces the sustainability of your business.

Lowering Costs in a New Way

A new way to lower the barrier to entry (e.g. lowering up–front costs) to using your software legally and properly is by using a subscription based model. This model is becoming increasingly popular with companies both large and small, as it heavily reduces piracy, lowers the financial barrier to entry to using your software, as well has having the opportunity to bring in more income per user than the traditional licensing model:

Example case studies: 

In these examples, there are three major revenue models expressed, all with different pros/cons:


Model 1: Rent–to–own (Supplementary)

The supplementary rent–to–own model (e.g. Splice) is an appealing option, as it lowers the barrier to entry and greatly reduces piracy. Because there is an incentive to "own" the software outright, users are incentivized to continue contributing towards the subscription, even if they are no longer using the software. The downside to this is that income is capped at the price of the software itself, and it can never exceed that.


  • Income is capped at the "to own" price of the software, severely limiting potential revenue opportunities. 


  • Lowers the barrier to entry, reducing piracy.
  • Incentivizes inactive users to continue paying.


Model 2: Rent Access (Exclusive)

The exclusive access rental model, where the only way to use the software is to pay for it monthly (e.g. Ulysses, Adobe CC), has its own pros and cons as well. The appeal of this model is that customers using the software for extended periods of time end up paying more money than they would have otherwise, if there was a traditional license available. 


  • Does not incentivize inactive users to continue paying after periods of inactivity (this can be reduced via discounts for long–term subscription commitments). 


  • Lowers the barrier to entry, reducing piracy.
  • Revenue potential is vastly increased vs. the Rent–to–Own (Supplementary) model.


Model 3: Rent Access (Supplementary)

The supplementary access rental model, where a traditional license is available for the software, as well as a cheaper monthly option to rent the software (e.g. Serum, Circle2, iZotope Ozone), is clearly the best option available for products with established licenses already in place. 

This model allows you to supplement your existing income stream with a new segment of users — the users who would otherwise pirate your software, or simply look elsewhere because the upfront cost is too high for their tastes.

This model allows you to capture new revenue that is otherwise lost, does not reduce existing revenue from your established licensing scheme, and allows your software to be accessed by individuals who otherwise would not be using it. 

In addition, this model also has the potential to bring in even more revenue from a given customer than a traditional license would, given an extended subscription period. The revenue potentials are vast. 


  • None



  • Lowers the barrier to entry, reducing piracy.
  • Exposes your software to a new vertical segment of users, who wouldn't be paying for it otherwise.
  • Has the potential for greater revenue per customer than an established license scheme. 

Unlike the Rent Access (Exclusive) model, which does not incentivize inactive users to continue paying after periods of activity, this model does have more incentivation to continue paying, as the rental is viewed in the eyes of the customer as "saving money" vs. the full license cost. 

All three of these models are good solutions to help prevent piracy for your software, attacking it at its roots. Here at Monescate, we specialize in enabling developers who wish to practice any of these models, especially Model 3 (which we believe is the best model for most smaller/independent developers).

We provide a fully hosted, scalable, and secure solution for your billing and rental licensing needs, and are ready to equip to you (and your team) with the tools needed to increase revenue in new and interesting ways. 

Interested in learning more? Send us an email, and we'll be in touch right away.