Just how big a deal is software piracy? When security company Avast noticed that one of its paid-for licenses was being distributed illicitly online, they decided to track it. A year and a half later, the downloads approached one million.
The licence was first purchased by a 14-user firm in Arizona, according to PC Pro. From there, it landed on enough file sharing sites to top out at 774,651 users, spread over 200 countries. According to Avast, two of the computers that installed the program were in Vatican City.
The plug's been pulled, though; Avast has started putting pop-up notices on machines with the illegally downloaded application that link to the free and paid versions. There have apparently been "some conversions," but the real value may come from the publicity the story's generating with posts like this one.