What happens when you ask a software pirate for Ubuntu?

We’ve all seen the email scams, where software pirates offer amazing deals on software through email. In fact I got one such message today:

From: [email protected]
Date: Fri, May 23, 2008 at 6:22 PM
Subject: Software

Software up to 75% off retail.

Most of the major programs are to expensive for most of us to justify buying. Now you can. Your opportunity is here.

Operating Systems, Business Software, Internet Security Suites. If I don’t have it, I’ll get it. Tell me what program you need.

Here are some examples:

Vista Ultimate w/SP1
QuickBooks Pro 2008
Microsoft Office Professional
Adobe Acrobat 8 Standard
Rosetta Stone Spanish Level 1-2-3 for Mac/PC
Chief Architect Better Homes & Gardens
Macromedia Flash Pro v8.0 PC/Mac

These are just a few. Let me know the program you want.

Shipping is free.
Michael

Those are some fantastic deals! His claims of up to 75 percent off retail is amazingly quite accurate. If I were to buy a copy of each piece of software he is offering for a mere $655, I would have spent right about $2800. By shopping with Michael, I would have saved 76.6%.

The problem is, I didn’t want any of the software he was offering. He says in his email that if he doesn’t have it, he’ll get it. I’ve been needing to get a copy of Ubuntu 8.04 64-bit Server Edition, but haven’t quite got around to it yet, so I sent our new buddy Michael an email asking if he could provide a legal copy for me.

Date: Fri, May 23, 2008 at 6:40 PM
Subject: Re: Software

Michael,

I’m not very technical so please bear with me. My technical support said I need several legal copies (very important they are legal because this is for my business) of Ubuntu 8.04 64-bit Server Edition.

Can you supply that? You have very good prices, so hopefully you can get me a good deal.

-Wayne

Strangely enough, I got a reply just a short while later!

I don’t have that in house so will have to go shopping. Get back to you soon.

In a short 15 minutes he found what I needed and helpfully provided a download location for me.

Yes, I can supply it and you are going to like the price. It is 100% legal.

http://releases.ubuntu.com/8.04/

It’s all yours.
Michael

Haha! I absolutely love playing the village idiot screwing around with folks… in other news, I’ve been extremely busy for the last few weeks. I’m moving 1500 miles to Texas for a new job. I’ll be the IT ninja for an amazingly kickass game developer in Austin.

The last bit of news I have is that fsckin w/ linux is going to see its 1 millionth unique visitor today! As of this moment we’re right about 3,000 away, which is not much at all, should happen by about lunchtime. I was planning to throw a party in celebration, but unfortunately I’ll be finishing up packing instead of having a few beers with friends and family.

Ahh well. I’d rather have a new job than a silly party.

Thanks to everyone who has ever promoted my site in any way, whether it be a digg here, a comment there, or a link with a quick blurb — without you I’d never see a million visitors in a paltry 9 months. I’m absolutely astounded by how many opportunities fsckin w/ linux has given me on a professional and personal level. Thank you again, and have a few beers for me, alright?

-Wayne

  • http://twitter.com/agetlame Neil

    Wait, you’re not quitting fskin, are you?

  • http://www.fsckin.com/ Wayne

    No way! I’ll keep writing of course. The only stipulation with my new job is that anything I write can’t damage their interests, which won’t be a problem.

  • http://proogey.org Proog

    It’s good to see that he didn’t reply with “Well, it’s extremely hard to get, but I guess I can provide it for $500.”

  • http://dieter.plaetinck.be Dieter_be

    @Proog, I was expecting the same :)

  • Zach

    Welcome to Texas dude. I’m from Houston and Texas is a pretty sweet state. Hope you like it here. Austin is definitely a cool town. Just remember “Keep Austin Weird” :D lol

  • Vadim P.

    That is very nice of him.

  • http://asarazan.wordpress.com Aaron Sarazan

    Hey, great to hear of another joining our esteemed industry. Looks like you’re getting in with a good group down in Austin.

    Congrats :-)

  • Richard Venneman

    Lol, the dude got some sense of humor too.

  • PredatoryFern

    Congrats Wayne!

    Looks like you’ve landed a really sweet job. Hope you enjoy it! Keep up the good work with fsckin, eh?

  • peterrabbid

    I thought you wanted 64-bit Server edition?

  • http://jhansonxi.blogspot.com jhansonxi

    Yet another example of how free software is ruining the economy. How is even a pirate going to make money with a margin on $0? Maybe he can survive by offering a subscription service but the future doesn’t look good. :P

  • http://mckooiker.byethost5.com/blog/ Maarten

    Nice joke and indeed astonishing he didn’t try to make money screwing “an ignorant fool” like you played.

    I’m happy you found a job that hopefully you’ll enjoy. Tonight I’ll drink a few beers for you ;)

    Cheers,
    Maarten

  • Nerdydude

    Welcome to Texas dude! I moved here for a job over a year ago and love it. I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and find it very informative. Keep up the good work.

  • cease

    what game company are you going to be working for.. if you can answer :)

  • Pingback: scams

  • http://oddco.ca/zerothsblog Zeroth

    Hey, thats pretty funny. He at least was smart, and mostly honest, lol! Or maybe he’s a FOSS supporting pirate?

  • Marcelo

    What’s to love about Texas? Don’t believe the hype dude its all podunk-ville.

  • http://xiirus.net Carlo Mendoza

    I get a lot of that type of junk email, and thought about messing with the spammers in some way. That’s just funny.

  • Yaro

    At least he didn’t charge you money, I can probably imagine other pirates would do that to make a quick buck.

  • Lloyd

    I live in South Africa, but met a guy who lived in Austin and said they have an annual shroom festival. Live bands, loads of people and a mass harvesting of psylocibins (magic mushies). Sounds pretty far out…

  • http://tocker.id.au/ Morgan Tocker

    I did manage to buy a “pirated” version of MySQL from the markets in Bangkok. It costed me almost $5.

  • http://nmwoodworks.com/life BillinDetroit

    The guy would have been entirely within his rights to have quoted you a few bucks to burn and mail a copy.

    Now, quit working by the hour and code freelance … ain’t no way an employer is going to pay you what you are worth.

  • Dopey Joe

    Ummm … you asked for a good price on Ubuntu Server … he provided you a link to downloaded it, and insinuated (very clearly) that it wouldn’t cost you a thing.

    So … he took it at face value that you needed help obtaining Ubuntu … and gave you that help without charging you for it.

    And therefore the joke’s on him, what a dummy he is, you’re so clever, etc. etc.

    Have a nice life in Doucheville, you freetard jackass.

  • http://vadi-blog.com Vadim P.

    Um, I didn’t think it was a joke on him at all. I thought he acted quite well.

  • Keoni

    Umm… that guy is probably not a pirate inasmuch as he is selling OEM software. For example, you buy a new computer and it comes with a copy of Quicken. Legally, the EULA of that software states that it can only be installed on the original hardware that it shipped with. But a lot of people sell these copies on the graymarket. It’s not illegal to sell them, but it is illegal for the buyers to install them.

    But this wasn’t a blatant scam artist. If we was, he would have been trying to sell you Ubuntu for $29.95 a CD. I thought he handled the whole very nicely, actually.

  • Visitor

    Well, one point in your post is certainly correct: if this is your idea of humour then you really *are* the village idiot.

    Here’s another great prank that I have heard of:
    Call someone on the telephone, or email them, or even ask them in person, the following question: “Is your refrigerator running?” When they reply “Yes” that is your cue to respond “Well you better go and catch it!”

    I KNEW that you’d like that one!

    :)

  • wilco

    Try to understand. The guy is not used to be asked for things nobody wants :-)

  • Zero Hour

    So you mean if I ask for Ubuntu, I’ll land a job in Austin? :D :P I wish I had stayed in Austin a month ago. I was there for 3 months as a contractor and hate that kind of work but there’s so much business and money and oppurtunity there it’s sick. Apple this Hp that Sun this Dell that blah.. Have fun!

  • stabbim

    Dude, working for Certain Affinity? That rocks. I don’t suppose there’s any need for an assistant Ninja?

    What with the people flaming this post? It was a funny idea that got an unexpected result.

  • Inara

    Holy fsckin hell.. reading the comments and I find anti-foss jacktards being rude on your own, out of the way little blog. And insinuating that freesoftware is “ruining the economy”. Wow.

    So I guess I’ll just blame the people helping SMBs to afford to buy their equipment vs. pay extremely bloated amounts of money for a simple OS and officesuite. It has nothing to do with hundreds of millions of copies of overpriced bloatware… or playing witchdoctor with imaginary billions of dollars being loaned back an forth to no one in a so-called trade market.

    No, lets blame anything near us we can that threatens a dollar in our pocket… and when things get worse, we can get violent about it… like the people beating up “foreigners” down the street cause they dress funny.

    Why are these backwards asshats even reading this blog? I expect these self-made schills to inhabit the slime covered comments of zdnet, but why here? Are they -that- bored? Or maybe… you’re just too popular *laughs*. Good luck in Austin, and hope we get a good review of Ubuntu 8.10 soon… Released before the election.. OMG! they’ll blame Ubuntu for their candidate not getting in! RunAway!

  • http://www.twitter.com/PabloVTB Pablo

    You don’t get it.

    The spammer was very SMART.

    By giving him the download link, being helpful, and telling him that the software wasn’t going to cost him nothing (that means: “I won’t scam you”), he has proven to him that he is “”legit”" and trustworthy.

    Now, you’d probably contact him in the future when you’ll want to buy a pirate software

  • AMAMH

    I agree with Pablo

  • http://www.thinkofmac.com Adrian

    is there a pirate version for ubuntu?