There is a good article in INC this month about protecting corporate data. In the last two paragraphs it talks about securing demo software. MindBridge, the article reports, won't send demo instructions to free e-mail addresses in order to help prevent it's competitors from getting the demos and reverse engineering them. Something tells me that the competitors capable of reverse engineering these products don't even find this a hurdle. However, the potentially paying customers who genuinely want to demo the software - perhaps somebody considering starting out on their own after years in the corporate world - have a tougher time getting their demo. Just such actions tend to push consumers towards P2P networks and other sources so they can "demo" the software they can't get legitimately. From there it's a short step to "forgetting" to pay for the software. Note that I'm not condoning P2P. I'm commenting on the unintended consequences of companies actions. As a graduation speaker recently reminded graduates in telling the story of Prometheus - beware that what you do to help the world doesn't have unintended consequences.
by Joshua Brauer on May 28, 2003