Piratic websites: is the blocking reasonable?

An interesting material has appeared on the website of the Doctor Web company, well-known for its antivirus software. They added a new function into their products not long ago: since version 9.0, Dr.Web antivirus for Windows can block not only websites infected with malicious software, but also websites with piratical content (a user can disable this function); the reason is that when downloading such a content, one can receive a virus in addition. A new survey was also begun on the company’s website on 5 February (in Russian only, finished on 15 February) – whether such a feature is really necessary. Its results are more than clear: although 75 percent of respondents agree that there can be viruses on piratical websites (where can’t they be?), and only 42 percent ‘certainly would not buy’ an antivirus ‘that has a function of informing the user that visiting piratic websites is undesirable (which can be disabled, however)’ (41 percent don’t mind to buy such a software), yet 56 percent of respondents are going to turn off this function and to decide themselves which websites they shouldn’t visit. What is more, 61 percent of respondents think such a function is not required in an antivirus at all (and it’s in fact reasonable because a function like this is of not so great importance for protecting the computer against viruses).

Probably these answers were an unpleasant surprise for developers of Dr.Web because as early as 17 February, two days after the survey was over, a new article was published on the company’s website (in Russian only). The text is rather incoherent, even hysterical, full of resentment and, I would say, with little respect to the participants of the survey; the author simply insists all the users of piratical software are no more than ill-mannered, screwed-up, irresponsible outcasts who can’t respect not only the others’ work, but also the others’ care about their own well-being (that is, the new function of blocking the access to piratic websites). All the arguments about often unreasonable prices for licensed software are rejected completely: the author thinks these are nothing but a pretext. I’m afraid he (or she) has absolutely no experience of salary of $500 a month or even less, which is still quite usual in Russia, for example for a school teacher in the country, or even for a scientist at a state research institution.

Honestly speaking, I didn’t expect such an approach to the clients’ opinion. Hope this article is no more than a private view of its anonymous author and its publication won’t be followed by any changes for the worse in the company’s licensing policy or in the quality of its software which I’ve used (legally) for quite a long time and still recommend to my friends and colleagues in spite of the doubtful assertions of the developers.