Piratereports.com aggressively chases vbulletin use
by Brian Turner
Piratereports.com, the company which polices vbulletin licencing ownership, has certainly appeared to be more aggressive at chasing up vbulletin licence violations this year.
Because I manage so many vbulletin licences (over 20 at present) it means keeping the records constantly updated can be a challenge, not least when domains are rebranded and boards moved to new domains – something I’ve found myself increasingly doing over the past year.
Normally it’s not caused any problems, but over the past two months I’ve received legal notices directly or via a webhost about unrecorded vbulletin licences I run.
To be clear, I actually have more vbulletin licences than I have active forums, so its simply been a case of ensuring all of my vbulletin licence information are correctly assign to the live domains.
Even still, while I appreciate Jelsoft’s need to protect its vbulletin brand and licencing, I can’t help but feel maybe this is getting too aggressive.
After all, even according to Wayne Luke at vbulletin, look-up tools relating to a licence and its owner are made available to piratereports.com to check up on.
So why should Howard G Spinks feel that someone with 20+ owned vbulletin licences, which are clearly assigned to inactive or forwarded domains, feel that perhaps one of vbulletin bigger customers is actually defrauding Jelsoft?
The simple answer is that licence records are not being checked, even though lookups are provided, so that all piratereports.com is doing is aggressively chasing up any potential copyright violation – without making any attempt to properly reference the Jelsoft licence record.
As a customer it’s my duty to keep my records up to date – I don’t deny that. But for Jelsoft to send customers legal notices on these grounds feels like an over-aggressive and unfriendly customer care policy.
Perhaps Howard G Spinks is too busy to be able to use all of his look-up tools. After all, sometimes I’m just too busy to keep my licences updated. But that’s because I put my customers first.
Meanwhile, you’ve been warned – if you run any vbulletin installs, check that your records are updated to avoid unnecessary hassle from piratereports.com.
In the meantime, while vbulletin is obviously a market leader in forum software, Jelsoft should make a note that many of us have already been looking at Drupal as a potential alternative for the future.
The company might want to bear that in mind as it continues its potentially unfriendly customer care program.
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Posted in: Webmaster