Digiarty Software (WinX DVD Ripper Platinum) apologizes to SOS members

Hi friends,

Last week I made a post about questionable tactics by Digiarty Software, the maker of WinX and MacX programs, in regards to the giveaway of WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition we did back in October. In the post, I mentioned I was willing to give Digiarty Software the benefit of the doubt since they have a good track record of providing legitimate giveaways in the past; however, I vowed to not work with Digiarty Software any longer until they publicly owned up to their mistake and issued an apology to SharewareOnSale and its members.

As it turns out, the power of the pen is indeed more than the sword because today we have received a formal apology from Digiarty Software. You can read the apology below and make your own conclusions about the company and its actions. As for SharewareOnSale? Digiarty Software has done as we asked and they have, minus the issue with WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition, been a reputable company to work with. So, assuming this doesn’t happen again in the future, we will continue to work with Digiarty Software to bring you giveaways and discounted.

Dear Users,

Please accept our sincere apology for the inconvenience you may have experienced in respect to the WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition, promoted with SharewareOnsale in October.

We at Digiarty Software, Inc. take pride in bringing customers the first class software and service. But at the same time, we are facing the problem that we’ve been trying our best to solve – large-scaled license code leaking. So we barely gave away WinX DVD Ripper Platinum in 2013. ONLY ONCE, we promoted the special edition – WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition with TWO pre-written registration processes: if the license code hadn’t been disclosed in large scale, we would not change the registration process and users could keep that version for lifetime; if license code had been largely disclosed to the internet, torrent, rapidshare, etc, till then we ran the process to change the registration. Sadly that happened, and thereupon brought inconvenience and confusion to the users we value deeply.

To make up this mistake, we’ve provided new and free license codes to those who wrote to us [at support@winxdvd.com] regarding this problem. But still we feel very sorry for those who downloaded and installed this special edition yet not contacted us, as we aren’t able to get into touch with them initiatively. We apologize for this mistake. For those who haven’t got a new license code, we will launch another giveaway of WinX DVD Ripper Platinum with SharewareOnSale in February, then you can get a license code of the latest version for free.

If you have any further questions or comments regarding this matter, please also feel free to discuss with us.

Best regards.

Sincerely,
Molly Young
Digiarty Software, Inc.

Feel free to discuss Digiarty Software’s apology in the comments below.

As a parting note, please realize we need your help to keep developers honest. If you ever have a software (giveaway or discounted sale) expire on you and it wasn’t mentioned in the Terms and Conditions of that particular sale, please contact me immediately at admin@sharewareonsale.com so I can sort the matter as soon as possible. I only learned about issues with WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition after a reader gave me a detailed report; otherwise, we wouldn’t be having this conversion.

Take care,
Ashraf
Mr. Boss @ SharewareOnSale.

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  • Brett O

    PeStudio is a perfect in depth tool for checking over a programs behavior. I used to sandbox a program then look manually through processes and services. this saves time and gives more info than usually wanted… great! Thanks to Philx for the link.

  • Trust Later

    @Miltos – First, try uninstalling by opening Revo Uninstaller and choosing the “Forced Uninstall” option. If that does not work, then use Revo Uninstaller to *RE-INSTALL* WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe. Revo will overwrite any existing files/entries and trace them; therefore, it will be able to completely uninstall the app from your machine.

    @PhilX – We travel in some of the same circles, I see. After reading Vic’s article, I tried that impressive tool, which is bit over my head. :-(

  • Philx

    Flagged up on Tech Support Alert (Gizmo), a security tool I’ve never previously heard of but one which may — emphasise: “may” — be of interest to others who, at this particular time, have a particular interest in knowing as much as possible about what they’re downloading. . . before they use it:

    http://www.winitor.com/

  • Miltos

    After reading the above, I decided to unistall shareware software I have in my PC from Digiarty.
    I am trying to unistall WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe, but not possible. It cannot be uninstall because ../unins000.dat is missing. I tried with Revo, same. Please advice how can unistall this software. Thsanks for your great work, Miltos

  • Dataman

    I have WinX DVD Platinum 7.3.5 from a Dec 2013 giveaway. It was still registered after the pull down. My ChicaPC-Shield Pro 7 anti-malware key was pulled. It was from a recent giveaway, maybe in Dec. They said the key was published on torrent sites and I could buy the program that I recently had a lifetime key to.

  • Brett O

    Any software that does a phone home to activate a kill switch is totally suspect – while deactivating the program it is really easy to pull a little code down to add to some already there in the program and launch a new bit of malware/trojan/keylogger etc on your machine.. Once activated the program should be firewalled immediately to have NO internet access at all. thus keeping you from making the upgrade boo-boo as well. That being said it does sound like Digiarty has to be viewed with suspicion. Too bad for them – perhaps they eventually won’t be able to “even give it away” if a really close look at their software reveals they ARE up to something.

  • Trust Later

    *** THEY PLANTED A TROJAN ON EVERY COMPUTER ON WHICH THEIR SOFTWARE WAS INSTALLED. ***
    *** THEY FORMED A BOTNET WHOSE PURPOSE AND EXTENT ARE STILL UNKOWN. ***
    ** BESIDES A ‘KILL’ COMMAND, WHAT OTHER INSTRUCTIONS CAN THEY SEND TO INFECTED MACHINES?**

    No one should accept this “apology” but, rather, should be further outraged by Digiarty Software’s response. They intentionally built malware and wrapped it in a DVD-software package which they then gave away in order to infect as many computers as possible. Then, after being caught, they say they only did it because they believed those who accepted THEIR offer were thieves. They deceived us before and now are calling us stupid, to boot.

    If they thought that their offer would be abused, then why make the offer at all? Alternatively, if they thought their offer would be abused, then why did they not offer individual licenses/keys which would make abuse more difficult? We should not even discuss what their motives may have been in infecting our machines. We should focus on the one most important fact: THEY PLANTED MALWARE ON OUR COMPUTERS.

    Was this was a “proof of concept” experiment to demonstrate how easily and widely a trojan could be spread simply by hiding it inside a desirable wrapper (software) and then giving that bundle away. They ran this experiment either for their own corporate purposes or at the request of a consortium or a government that wants a cheap, effective way to infect thousands or millions of computers.

    I think there are ample grounds for serious legal action against Digiarty Software. I personally don’t have the knowledge to take apart their software and learn exactly what they can and cannot do but I will make this bet: This particular event is only the tip of the iceberg. There is much more that we are not seeing.

  • Ernie F

    Ashraf: Thanks for pursuing this issue with Digiarty. I will continue to use their products, but will monitor their behavior related to this type of activity and their other ‘marketing’ actions. Time will tell….

  • RawData

    Trust, when once lost, is difficult to gain again. Using built-in switch to perform mass kill was wrong. If Digiarty is so concerned about “leaking” keys, perhaps they should use per-user keys instead. When you give a gift, it’s not yours to take away any more. You gave it, so taking it away is taking from someone, as theft. Not 1:1 same, but think about giving a book to a friend as birthday gift. Next week you take it back, even while it’s not yours to take any more. That’s stealing. It is a bit more murkier with software lisences, but basically same thing. You never take gifts back!

    That being said, I have already removed all my softwares from Digiarty and will not install or recommend them to anyone.
    Apology is a start. Lost trust may or may not come back later.

  • one

    I think here is a legal problem. How they disabled the software installed on computers. I think monitoring the usage of applications on someone personal computer …is illegal. Now, even if they (Digiarty Software) choose to have a promotional 100% discount, being a commercial company, it is bound to have ONLY commercial(economical) relationships with …anybody. Tempering with something that you sold/promotional given, it is not yours anymore to modify anything in it without that user making an update – and also stipulating in the promotion that it is not with upgrades – as long as it is installed on a personal/private device (PC etc.) unless they are bound by the law (in a National Security matter).

    I think they could be easily sued and loose the trial, for promotional deceiving (I think that requires a legal fine to be payed to the authorities) and by activating a kill-switch on a personal/private device (PC etc.) they are guilty for building a hacking tool inside a legal software and for using that in hacking those devices (I think that means jail time to be served). It makes you wander, how many software they sold and in reality they have that hacking tool build inside it. If you (a person or a company) create a software and give it for free (like freeware) and put inside it a hack tool … still that means ….Jail Time! A hack tool hidden inside something it is still created for illegally hacking and that means also > bad/wrong/evil/ill doing and predetermined intentions … there is no escape from that in Court.

    Of course these giveaways find their way in torrents, direct connect, direct download etc. and last more than the giveaway span (e.g. 24h) … but that is also part of the promotion because you can not stop globally this kind of behavior. It is way to expensive to check every device that exists at this moment on this planet, for illegal software. If it is for free, than it is for everybody and anytime! (this is applied also to giveaways)
    At some point, the people using those promotions, will have jobs, maybe better payed, and they will start to buy the software they liked to use and that just because it is easier to have no legal worries when you can buy it. Some, they do not do this, they start having money but they still prefer the illegal software, and that is a social mental disease, for a the most of them (not everyone of them), and no company can heal them of that behavior. Some of them will end up in jail; only very few will escape jail time as long as they live (very very very few). Digiarty Software wants to go meet them in a jail institution … :))) Keep it up guys!!! But do not forget: not everybody is Apple/Google/Microsoft to break the law and still be free.

  • LeRoy L Bernard Jr

    This is the problem with my pc It has started to crash since how should I resolve this Just uninstall or did it destroy strings???

  • Feeling Deceived

    Something else strange I just realized – the WinX DVD Ripper Platinum 7.0.0 software that I had became disabled at exactly the same time you say the Halloween edition did. At least that’s around when I tried to use it for a new DVD I had purchased.

  • Feeling Deceived

    Ashraf, I thought it was the Halloween Edition, but when I look at it now it says Thanksgiving edition so maybe it updated itself – not sure. I did not get WinX DVD Ripper Platinum 7.0.0 from your website and I believe I got it more than a year ago, in fact I think it was the first software I tried from Digiarity, so version 7.0.0 may be very old. Either way, it too is disabled.

  • Ashraf

    @Feeling Deceived: What Thanksgiving giveaway? Are you referring to the Halloween Edition? Because there was no WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Thanksgiving Edition giveaway last year nor did we feature any on SOS. Also, did you happen to update the program?

  • Feeling Deceived

    Ahraf, I have the THANKSGIVING giveaway version of Digiarity WinX DVD Ripper Platinum 7.0.0 and it too is disabled! Something is not good here. I’m conflicted because the software works so well, I’ve planned to purchase, but this makes me not trust this company.

  • Ashraf

    @Philx: I’m glad I could reassure you and thank you for the kind words!

  • Philx

    @ Ashraf re my earlier post:

    (1) On the basis of the assurance given to you by Digiarty, then I for one am happy. The tactics Digiarty adopted were bound to be self-defeating rather than self-protecting; the fact that Digiarty now seems to recognise this is a major step forward in the re-establishment of user / developer trust; and:

    (2) Of the countless software related forums and websites out there on the Internet, there are precious few — and they are, indeed, precious — which value integrity to such extent that they set great store by (and invest not inconsiderable effort into) maintaining meaningful dialog between their readers and themselves. SoS is clearly in that category.

    Many thanks!

  • Ashraf

    @Philx: Here is my understanding, based on what they say in their apology and my conversation with them. They built-in a “kill switch” into WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition. This switch was not on a timer — it had to be manually triggered. Then Digiarty monitored to see if the code was “leaked” and decided to activate the kill switch.

    A stupid move, as I’ve said before. But it seems like they’ve recognized their mistake, hence the apology and assurance to me that it won’t happen again.

  • Philx

    “Otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversion. . .?” Ah, Ashraf!!! Typos get no more glorious than that, though I am wondering if you’re being converted to MP3 or MP4. However. . . onto more serious stuff. Digiarty’s response to your complaints is better than no response at all even if translanguage difficulties may be rendering it a mite hazy. Unfortunately though, it’s that haziness which is clouding my understanding of what happened here, and specifically if Digiarty did, or if Digiarty did not, bake a kill-switch into its Hallowe’en special to be triggered as-and-when by covert phone-home linkage.

    Until it’s clear that Digiarty’s conduct was a 100% reactive (and misjudged) response to a situation of commercial concern rather than a 100% proactive (and covert) strategy of inbuilt future-locking, then there’s one heck of an elephant still in this room.

    Apology without explanation is no reassurance at all that a breach of trust perpetrated once will not be a breach of trust perpetrated again. The elephant is still here. It hasn’t gone away.