Finding Pirated Software through YouTube
It’s not uncommon to find music videos and pirated movies on YouTube but you may be a little surprised to know that the world’s most popular video sharing site has now become a haven for software piracy as well.
People are using the YouTube site to not only share serial numbers of software but there are tons of step-by-step “tutorials” explaining how one can activate virtually any popular software title or video game that’s out there. Some of these videos have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
I was recently searching YouTube for reviews of Camtasia Studio 7 on YouTube (that was released just a day ago) and though there weren’t any reviews of this popular screencasting app, there were quite a few screencasts on YouTube explaining how to get this $300 software for free.
Surprisingly, all the search suggestions made by YouTube itself pointed to these unlicensed software. I am not sure how YouTube determines what phrases to suggest in the drop-down but it does indicate what people are searching for on the site.
The auto-suggestions were pretty similar for queries like “Microsoft Office 2007” and “Adobe Photoshop CS4” – both very popular software programs.
There’s one possible reason why pirates may be turning their attention to YouTube – traffic. YouTube videos, due to to Universal Search, are more likely to appear on Google’s first page of search results and that could bring enormous amount of traffic.
Underground websites hosted in China and Russia are very unlikely to make it the front pages of Google for popular queries but with the help of YouTube, they possibly can.
Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion
Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.