PTC has a team dedicated to rooting out unlicensed users of their software in China.
"We actually don't feel terribly when we find that someone is pirating the software, because we have a very good success rate in terms of converting it to revenue," says Barry Cohen, PTC's exec vp of strategic services and partners.
"Pirate away, because if we can catch you, we can quickly turn these into immediate license sales when they have to come clean with it," adds Cornelius Moses, company cfo.
The strategy sounds a lot like those of Generic Software, who found that bootlegers tended to pay for the next upgrade. Kind of like the shareware try-then-pay concept.
Become a customer, however, and the hammer comes down. Skip one maintenance (subscription) payment, and you have to pay for a whole new software licence (5x the cost) before being allowed back on. Not just converted pirates, but everyone.
(The comments were made during PTC's Q1 earnings call. More details in next Monday's upFront.eZine.)