WARNING: Stay away from Digiarty Software (WinX DVD Ripper Platinum)

UPDATE: Digiarty Software has officially apologized for their mistake. Click here to learn more.


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

Hi friends,

SharewareOnSale has had a good relationship with Digiarty Software, the makers of WinX and MacX brand of software, since we ran our first giveaway and discounted sale together 4-5 months ago. They provide good software, we provide software lovers; we make them thousands of dollars, their software helps drive traffic to our website — it is a win-win situation. Unfortunately, that relationship will now end… at least temporarily, maybe permanently.

Last October we ran a promotion with Digiarty Software consisting of a giveaway of WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition (a fully functional, lifetime license freebie) and sold WinX DVD Ripper Platinum at a heavily discounted price. People who bought the discounted sale license are having no issues. People who took part in the giveaway? They aren’t as lucky. As it turns out, Digiarty Software never intended on actually letting people use the WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition giveaway for lifetime.

Recently I’ve received multiple reports that Digiarty Software has locked WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition (aka stopped people from using the freebie any further), telling users the following:

Due to the update of the kernel, the way to read the license code was changed. Please note any license codes which were largely leaked to Internet, torrent, rapidshare might not be recognized by this version built on Jan.24, 2014. And we are deeply sorry for the inconvenience. Please contact support@winxdvd.com to get new license code. Thanks for your understanding.

The key thing to note here is, Digiarty Software locked WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition for everyone — even people who did not update the program to a newer version. The giveaway came with no free updates and updating the program would cause you to lose it — but even people who didn’t update it lost it due to Digiarty Software’s actions.

I thought there must have been some misunderstanding; I’ve worked with Digiarty Software in the past and they’ve never done anything like this before. Maybe someone flipped the wrong switch somewhere. Or maybe someone updated the program when they should not have. So I shot an email to my contact at Digiarty Software and was told the following:

During 2013 Halloween promo, we did create a special edition of this program – WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition as you know. Because it is our premiere product and has been cracked in the giveaways before. You can search WinX DVD Ripper Platinum crack, WinX DVD Ripper Platinum torrent in Google to see, and lots of license codes have been disclosed on the internet. We have been trying to ask users to keep the code for personal use and not to disclose it. But we can’t stop all. Under this circumstances,  we were forced to try special edition in Halloween promo. If the code disclosed again, we had to change the register process and that finally happened. That’s why this user see the “upgrade-to-full” page.

The truth is, the registration process has been written into the program file before we published it as holiday giveaway, and fully controllable. If the license code hadn’t been disclosed in large scale, we would never run the process (popping up a window and ask users to upgrade to full). But on the contrary, if it had been largely leaked to internet, torrent and rapidshare, till then we ran that process. We never set a specific date to make it expire. It all depends on the situation.

I don’t know about you, but I call bullshit. Digiarty Software literally gave out the license key for WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition — of course it is going to spread all across the ‘net, that is the whole point of a giveaway. And how the hell do you “crack” or “leak” a publicly available giveaway?! No, my friends, I suspect they had this planned all along. I don’t know if management has changed over there or what, but apparently this time they decided they weren’t going to offer an honest giveaway like they have in the past.

However, I was willing to give Digiarty Software the benefit of the doubt because, as I said, I’ve worked with them on many occasions and they have never done something like this before. I figured, okay, maybe they genuinely screwed up by making this move. So I told them the following:

One of the ways to combat this [leak] issue is to put a limit on when users must register by, which you did. Or, if you are so worried about such “leakage”, then don’t do a bloody giveaway in the first place. Or, if you do a giveaway, then issue a unique key to everyone. However, running a lifetime giveaway and ending it a few months later is not the way to do it. That is nothing more than a scam.

You need to make this right. Here is what I want from you. I want you to write an apology letter I can give to my readers, explaining the mistake you made. And I want you to allow me to extend the giveaway of WinX DVD Ripper Platinum we had earlier this week [on the 21st and 22nd] until the end of Monday, the 27th, to make it up to those whose Halloween WinX DVD Ripper Platinum expired but missed our earlier promotion [on the 21st and 22nd of Jan]. Please do this ASAP, seeing as you will be going on vacation for the next two weeks.

They came back and told me that we just did a giveaway with you this past week; that giveaway is a real lifetime license, it is not any special edition, and it won’t be locked like WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition was — so we don’t want to extend that giveaway. They also told me to direct people to email them for a new license if their WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition was locked and they missed the recent giveaway on the 21st and 22nd. Lastly, they said they will be doing a promotion in February and they will leave a relevant comment on the promotion post then.

I said, OK, fine — let’s find a compromise. I told them you did indeed just run a recent giveaway with us and as long as that giveaway won’t be locked like you locked WinX DVD ripper Platinum Halloween Edition, we don’t need to extend the giveaway. I further told them, sure, we can do another promo in February. However, I asked them to issue an apology letter to SharewareOnSale and its readers, along with instructions on how people should email support@winxdvd.com if they still have WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition.

Unfortunately, I have yet to receive that apology letter from Digiarty Software and I likely won’t for at least the next two weeks. Why? Because it is now past work hours in China (which is where Digiarty Software is based) and, because of the Chinese New Year, Digiarty Software staff will be on vacation for the next two weeks or so.

As such, I’ve made the decision to terminate our relationship with Digiarty Software until they make this right. I’m still willing to give them the benefit of the doubt due to their positive track record (excusing this blimp), but we will no longer be working with Digarty Software until they decide to company-up to their mistake and apologize to everyone.

If you have Digiarty Software products and you like them, please continue to use them. As I said, the giveaway of WinX DVD Ripper Platinum we had this past 21st and 22nd is unaffected (and, of course, the people who paid for the free lifetime updates license of WinX DVD Ripper Platinum are unaffected). However, if you have a bad taste in your mouth, then swiftly uninstall their software and stay away from this company until they do the right thing. After all, they aren’t the only fish in the pond — there are many companies that offer DVD rippers, copiers, etc. and who won’t run scam giveaways.

Folks, I know many of you are probably thinking: “What do you expect, they are from China“. Let me say, please don’t fault all Chinese companies for the actions of one. There are plenty of honest Chinese companies who offer quality products and won’t cheat you. In my book, Digiarty Software was one of those companies but now I’m questioning my judgement. I’m hoping they will come back from vacation and fix their blunder, but I’m not holding my breath.

As a parting message, the following is an email forwarded to me by a SOS’er. His WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition was locked and he emailed support@winxdvd.com to get a new (giveaway) license; this is their response:

Hi,

Sorry for the inconvenience!

We are really sorry that the code is only able to activate the program during the giveaway only.
You can keep the full version unless you try to update, remove the license yourself, format/replace the hard drive or reinstall the whole system once you registered the program before the deadline.

However, it is declared that the giveaway version is not available for updates when we were doing the giveaway.
To make it fair to our purchased customers, free updates are offered only for our purchased customers. And we hope you could understand this.

Moreover, we are glad to provide you only $29 to get the full version if you can purchase now.
It saves a lot and you can enjoy the following benefits:

1. FREE lifetime technical support via e-mail, guaranteed reply within one business day.
2. FREE lifetime update to latest version.
3. Get discount for purchasing other products.

As we do not get a single buy link for $29, would you please pay here:

https://secure.avangate.com/order/checkout.php?PRODS=4542872&QTY=29&CART=2

Note: Please email back after the payment, I will send you the code manually.

Best Regards,
Digiarty Support Team

So much for emailing Digiarty Software for a replacement giveaway license.

Feel free to leave a comment below on this whole situation.

Take care,
Ashraf
Mr. Boss @ SharewareOnSale

  • RonL

    I have had a similar experience with them,
    I purchased a promotional bundle and hardly used it, but when I purchase a new computer
    I went to load my old software and found the Licence Code did not work. I contacted support
    and was told that I can only load one licence and I would have to purchase a new licence at a special price.
    I informed them that my old computer was not being used but they refused to issue a replacement code
    so that I could use the software. When I emailed more detail they stopped communicating with me.
    Reconsider making any purchases from this company.

  • Molly

    @irhen Would you please provide your payment receipt / original confirmation email/information to support@winxdvd.com?

  • irhen

    I downloaded the trial version which quickly made it clear it would not copy anything without purchasing winx platinum and gave me a link to download this. So I paid 29.95 which I purchased. I was told that I purchased winxplatinum by avangate the company that handles payment and a downloadable link. There is also no liscence given. There is a link where it states a liscence is given, but this is just a link to your customer account with avangate. But it turns out this version will only copy 5 minutes of a DVD and gives you a link to purchase the full version for 39.95. You are not informed that the version you are buying is not the full version. Wrote winX about the problem. Have not yet received a response. Will update if I do get one.

  • Johnny

    F++K I missed the reissue

  • Ashraf
  • KManer

    Looks like similar case has happend, this time with ChicaPC Shield lifetime license given away here last year. My app turned into a trial version since two days ago. Very strange!

  • mike

    “Personally, I don’t think the copy protections change *that* often,”

    I don’t know myself… Here’s what I found & why I say that…
    What I’ve come across myself is occasional discs that wouldn’t play. When I went & Googled to find out what was going on, I wound up in the forums at SlySoft [AnyDVD] & DVDFab, where it seemed every week with the new releases there were one – three discs with new DRM that their software couldn’t yet handle. Going through the threads, it seemed every week Fengtao at DVDFab would explain he was waiting on the disc to arrive, while the Slysoft folks got fed up and banned that sort of question entirely — they’d get it as soon as they could so shut up.

    For that reason, and because he said the studios were reverse engineering DVDFab every week to design better DRM, Fengtao came up with the system of having the software phone home for specific directions for every individual disc. I check videohelp.com daily for new releases, & since that change DVDFab’s software [DVDFab, Passkey, & their Player] is updated a few times a month, instead of 3 or more times a week, and usually only one of those updates says new copy protections in the release notes. Three or four times a month though, the release notes for AnyDVD usually say the updates are for new discs.

  • mike

    Kelso posted: “My experience is that Digiarty’s main executable phones home each time the app is launched. I’m unaware of anything more nefarious than that.”

    Purely FWIW, what bothers me most is the liberties Digiarty has taken. When a company shows that sort of disregard for their customers, what else will they do? We can’t know the answer to that question.

    As far as what *can* they do — not what they will or won’t but *could* do — the list includes pretty much the same things that any competent mal-ware author is capable of. Instead of just altering a configuration file or three, the app could receive instructions to behave differently, or download a patch or a specialized mal-ware downloader.

    Before this *problem* I trusted Digiarty for two reasons — I couldn’t imagine them wanting to shoot themselves in the foot, & they’d shown no hints to date that they might consider doing something illicit &/or dishonest. But if a thief robs your neighbor’s home, they’d almost certainly be willing to rob yours. If Digiarty feels it’s acceptable to alter files on your PC without notice or permission, breaching their contract with you to boot, why should you or I expect that they won’t do it again, or worse?

    It won’t put those concerns completely to rest, but the apology that Ashraf asked for is the *Only* thing that might restore any amount of that prior trust. At any rate that’s what I’m waiting to see before I scrub everything Digiarty from this system. Like most I do run security software, but that’s because it’s better to have it than not — for them to ID a new threat, some systems have to suffer the exploit first — so if I can’t trust DIgiarty their stuff is gone. Those in charge at Digiarty may feel that there’s a distinction between customers that have paid & those that have taken advantage of free offers — I don’t… a contract’s a contract & if you void one, why not the other? People can always find an excuse to do whatever, so the only thing we can rely on is their always playing by the rules — Digiarty needs to convince folks that from now on they will.

  • Philx

    Not sure if Mike will welcome this comment, but here goes anyway: As one of the most helpful and experienced tech-savvy individuals out there, his arrival on this comment thread demonstrates that every cloud has a silver lining. If Digiarty is secretly installing kill switches in its software then that’s it, RIP Digiarty. Yet I could almost, but not quite, forgive the deceased Digiarty on the grounds that if Mike is going to be a regular contributor to SoS, then a great deal of good has indeed come out of all this.(And Mike: don’t go all shy on everyone, OK? ) All it now needs is for Giovanni to pop up more frequently than he can currently manage and Ashraf can go bask in the ******* sun all day long. It’s not as if he does very much anyway, going around being the Boss and swearing a lot. Tst tst tst. (Note to BenAsp: location deleted by Philx. It was not an expletive.)

  • mrnews54

    @Mike. Interesting info. We’ll see whether blocking WinX from Internet access will affect its performance. Personally, I don’t think the copy protections change *that* often, and the codecs needed to change a DVD movie into an mpeg4 (or one of 359 other formats) seem baked into the program, and shouldn’t need to be changed/updated that often.

  • Ashraf

    @Mike and everyone: If you are looking for free/freeware alternatives to WinX DVD Ripper Platinum for ripping/backing up DRM protected and region locked DVDs, check out http://dottech.org/123332/windows-review-top-best-free-dvd-blu-ray-ripper/

  • mike

    Maybe this will help?…

    1st off, if you want it to work as intended, you can’t block the WinX DVD Ripper Plat. from connecting to the Internet. ANY software that decrypts DVD &/or Blu-Ray video discs needs some method of updating, or else as soon as a new method of protection comes out, which may be as often as once a week, it won’t work on those titles. That used to mean upgrading the app itself — now more & more it means the app phoning home for directions, even with older discs. So, whether you’re talking about a player or ripper or copier etc., blocking on-line access isn’t a great solution.

    2nd, FWIW I verified that the WinX DVD Ripper Plat. phones home to verify the license, & in this case it alters the configuration files for the app, turning activation off. As someone else posted, effectively a built-in kill switch. All that’s necessary to get the message that it’s dead is to start the app & try to import whatever video, in a file-set or on disc. Updating the software is not required. I don’t know whether they have this kill switch potential baked into their other apps, but personally, regardless how this works out in the end, I won’t rely on any of their software. I may or may not use it but I’ll always have an alternative at the ready, & I certainly will not purchase software that I know can be taken back at any time.

    As far as alternatives go, if this has left you without a DVD Ripper & you need an alternative today, DVD video is stored in VOB files, & many [most?] converters will work with them just fine [although they won't work if the DVD has DRM -- you'll have to use something else for that, like the trial of AnyDVD] — it can make it easier if you *Copy* the DVD with DVD Shrink, setting it to use one instead of several VOB files for the movie [that way you just import or open one file]. There are also several free apps to copy the audio & video inside a VOB or VOB set to a .mpg file if you need to.

    RE: Removal… *Most* of these ffmpeg-based apps out of China have a minimal footprint in Windows — the main exception are those that include features for downloading or screen capping on-line video. I don’t have my original installation records handy, but the WinX DVD Ripper Plat. adds a folder to [UserName]\ Application Data [XP] or [UserName]\ AppData\ Roaming [Vista/7/8/8.1], beside the program’s folder itself. You may also have it set to use My Documents or whatever to store your results. You can search the registry for Digiarty of you want — most likely you’ll just find uninstall keys. Some of these apps use a seemingly random CLSID in the registry for registration data — I don’t think this WinX software is one of them. Likewise it doesn’t add any drivers, though this sort of software often adds a hacked Toshiba Blu-Ray driver if/when you install it in XP & the software is intended to work with Blu-Ray, and/or they can add virtual drives to mount ISOs, &/or they can add a virtual soundcard driver. If you’re just removing the DVD ripper not to worry, but if you’re removing everything from Digiarty you might want to search or browse through the driver listing for your system using Autoruns [from Sysinternals at microsoft.com].

  • mrnews54

    @TrustLater- Thank you. I have just created the same rule with my firewall. They also have a folder with various files in it at C:\users\[name]\AppData\roaming\Digiarty, mainly .ini and .log, and an “upgrade.plist.” Hopefully harmless.

  • Trust Later

    @mrnews54 – The option to disable update-checking is available in WinX DVD Platinum, HOWEVER, choosing the “Never” option DOES NOT WORK. I chose that option, restarted the application and it STILL checked for updates. I even, rebooted my computer, restarted WinX and STILL it called home. I have blocked the main executable, WinX_DVD_Ripper_Platinum.exe, with my firewall which successfully prevents contacting their servers.

    Net Tools by MAB, NetworkTrafficView by Nirsofer and Comodo Firewall show no other connection attempts by this product, so, like KELSO. I *think* the only component doing the calling is the program’s main executable.

  • mrnews54

    @Kelso- Thanks, I will check that out.

    BTW, in the WinX DVD Ripper Platinum, under Options, you can choose to Check For Updates “Never.” Since an update would negate the free version one has, the “never” settings seems the most sensible. And presumably, the program would not be checking the version every time it is opened. It may still be phoning home, however, to check for a valid activation code. This would be to prevent you from installing the software multiple times on multiples computers, I guess.

  • Ashraf

    @Trust Later: “Did Digiarty disable the Halloween Special Version absent ANY user action” Yes, that is exactly what they did. How did they do it? I’m not exactly clear. From my understanding, they baked in the “turn off switch” into the Halloween Edition with the ability to flip the switch as desired; WinX DVD Ripper Platinum regularly checks for new updates, so it wouldn’t of been hard to give it a “kill” command, so to speak.

    @BenAsp: If you don’t like my language, you are welcome to leave. Door is –> way.

    @Philx: Thanks for the feedback!

    @mrnews54: Thank you for being the one who sent me detailed info about what was going on, otherwise I would have never known.

  • Trust Later

    Please help me understand what exactly has happened. Did Digiarty disable the Halloween Special Version absent ANY user action, such as trying to upgrade a no-free-upgrade copy? If so, just how did Digiarty do that? Was there a “time bomb” built into the original installer; or a call-home trojan; or a backdoor through which Digiarty sent a “kill bullet”?

    Because of this ongoing controversy and because of the serious, considered comments here with references to earlier complaints about Digiarty, e.g., those provided by Philx, I took a more careful look at just what Digiarty products installed on my system were doing. I found that WinX DVD Ripper Platinum does, indeed, phone home to check for updates even when that had been disabled! There is a pop-up window at program start advising that I have an older version and that a newer one is available. At the very least, this is careless coding but, at worst, a deliberate usurpation of user rights and privacy. Frankly, I am surprised.

    This lends credence to Asraf’s and others’ claims that Digiarty is acting in a sneaky and dishonest manner, which *probably* is illegal whether their actions are the result of some *evil* intent or are just negligent. I am going to contact them and join Ashraf in a demand for answers.

  • BenAsp

    On this site you frequently throw expletives around at all and sundry with a scattergun approach. That in itself is enough to make me more sympathetic towards Digiarty, who at least appear to use civil discourse in their interactions, even if they have misbehaved in time-limiting this giveaway (something that annoys me as much as the next person). However, even if you’re annoyed with Digiarty, your case would be a lot stronger if you kept a civil tongue in your head. I’ve noted you often get unreasonably ratty towards the most innocuous of commenters on these pages. It’s like, say, the proprietor of a popular tearoom swearing randomly at customers (“because, what the heck, I’m popular, so I’ll never run out of customers”). Can you not try a bit harder to be civil?

  • Kelso

    @mrnews54… My experience is that Digiarty’s main executable phones home each time the app is launched. I’m unaware of anything more nefarious than that. I’d be cautious over-interpreting Windows firewall. Much outbound traffic goes out unrestricted unless it is purposely blocked. Windows firewall generally blocks unrequested incoming (not outgoing) traffic. So you are best to disallow all Digiarty executables (in/out). I strongly recommend Windows Firewall Control for users of Window’s built-in firewall. It will show you a lot about what comes/goes to/from your PC.

  • Philx

    Kudos to Ashraf and SoS for going public like this: too many software developers are never brought to account by intermediary giveaway sites because the latter fear the former may cut off product supply. Quite why such nervousness exists is hard to fathom; nowadays, just about every app and every program one can think of is ten-a-penny, if not in price then definitely in availability.

    Unfortunately for Digiarty, it seems clueless in that regard. After all, this isn’t the first time there has been a not dissimilar complaint:

    http://blogcritics.org/software-review-winx-dvd-ripper-platinum/

    What’s unnerving about that post from Dean Wilson is that it was made a year ago and relates to a paid-for Digiarty ‘bundle’ suddenly being represented by the developer as something else, and that as a result of suddenly becoming something else, the software isn’t usable until money had been stumped up for license codes that the buyer had already been told he had .

    And now here we have Digiarty running a holiday special with a non-upgradeable but lifetime license key issued to anyone anywhere in the world (because Digiarty couldn’t be bothered to undertake individual registrations) and propounding the patently ridiculous argument that the reason it has rendered the software unusable is because, er, there are too many recipients of the same key. Yeah. Right.

    Whilst I’ll always listen to voices of reason such as the post from Trust Later, there’s no mystery here and no cause for the exercise of reasonableness. The facts are clear and simple. All that’s happened so far is that Digiarty seems to be deliberately trying to obscure that clarity and complicate that simplicity with a desperate barrage of verbiage that has nothing whatever to do with what has happened here.

    Time to wake up, Digiarty. The kind of self-inflicted commercial damage that another Chinese company – iObit – sustained a few years back by trying to finesse a situation where it was blatantly in the wrong hasn’t been forgotten by savvy computer users worldwide, nor will it ever be. No surprise, then, that iObit is today is an also-ran in software sectors within which it once held a high market share, this due to the emergence of so many other developers, with so many other competitive products, and the flight of former iObit users from a company they nowadays refuse to have anything to do with.

    Digiarty is one software developer amongst many. Its product range is just one amongst so many other me-too product ranges from Chinese, American and European competitors. It either screwed up epically here (though it defies belief that any competent software developer could ever get itself into so shambolic a mess) or it thinks it can cynically get away with screwing over a user base that trusted Digiarty to be honest and true. On which note:

    Way back in the days when his early readers were slightly bemused to find themselves as, er, political theologians – this before the evolution of that blog into dot.tech – what was obvious from the get-go was that Ashraf, like his readers, believed in a simple, easily understood tenet: Fair dealings with fair comment. That still applies to dot tech and, thankfully, to SoS. If Digiarty isn’t prepared to accept that weasel-word tactics on the back of unfair dealings are the ticket for a one-way trip to commercial oblivion, then tough: there are plenty of other developers out there who’ll profit aplenty from more honestly earned bucks and the kind of loyal user base which Digiarty so stupidly discarded.

  • mrnews54

    As one of the SOS customers to whom this happened, (and the recipient of the bizarre email from Digiarty support), I’m glad to see SOS taking a stand on this. Integrity and honesty go a long way toward building customer trust.

    That said, I’m still uneasy about possible “phone home” files Digiarty may include in its installation packages. i checked my (Win 8.1) firewall, and this company and its products do not appear to be permissioned, but does anyone know of any potentially deletable files Digiarty software may leave behind?

  • Ashraf

    @wallace: If your WinX DVD Ripper Platinum still works, then you are fine. If it stopped working, then you have Halloween Edition.

    @Everyone else: Welcome!

  • DavidON

    Thanks Ashraf, you’ve confirmed my low opinion of Digiarty. I had been happy with the paid version of WinX DVD Ripper Platinum, but then I was suckered into installing a “free” WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe only to be requested to pay for it.

    Seems that the company has a consistently evil attitude.

  • joetexx

    thanks for the info AND I thought I did something wrong.

  • wallace thomas

    Thank Ashraf, any way you can confirm the version? I did not get mine til around christmas, I think. Thanks for what you do.

  • Ashraf

    @Kelso: I told them the same thing. One of the ways to fight the “leakage” is to issue unique keys to everyone. Taking a giveaway away after running it is NOT how to deal with the situation.

    @wallace: Hmm? Do you want to get rid of it or are you just making sure you don’t have the locked Halloween Edition? If the former, uninstall any and all WinX and MacX products you may have. If the latter, you should only uninstall if you have WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition. I believe v7.3.5 is from the recent giveaway we did, so you should be fine… but still double-check.

  • wallace thomas

    So do I uninstall all versions of winx dvd ripper platnum? I have version 7.3.5 build date 12/23/13.

  • Kelso

    In some ways Digiarty brought this mess upon themselves when they chose to issue a common key code for the giveaway, not trying it to a user account. Often giveaways will send unique key codes that are registered to specific email address, or even hardware configuration (yuk on this one). Once the code is activated it is useless on all other machines,

    CCleaner recently did the same thing, offering a common master key for “Pro” registration. Within 2 months it was withdrawn, and all programs reverted to the standard, non-pro, functionality (which most user enjoy by default”. Common reg keys, are a bad idea, but some developers like Digiarty chose the easy way, and then grumble when the keys hit the ‘net.

  • Ashraf

    @BerrysCool: Lies.

    @chen: Welcome!

    @mardel53: For future reference, always let me know when something like this happens. I only learned of this because people told me, I didn’t find about it on my own :-)

    @VC: I believe they are afraid it will hurt sales if they do another giveaway, which is probably true, but what they don’t realize is how much goodwill they just killed by using cheap antics.

  • BarrysCool

    @ Ashraf, There was life before Sharewareonsale.

  • chen

    Thank you very very much for your respect and trust of all Chinese companies!

  • mardel53

    Yes, I had the Halloween version; yes it was locked; but I noticed it was locked when pulling it up to see what version I had when you offered the latest version. I was certainly surprised to see it was locked and immediately downloaded the latest version on your give away; it appears to be working and I removed the check mark in the settings to automatically check for updates. I never thought at that time to let you know that the Halloween version was locked since I had not needed to use it during that time. I must admit that in using this latest software, I had trouble copying a dvd; couldn’t understand why it wouldn’t burn to a disc; so I simply pulled up an older version of “Burning Studio” by Ashampoo and had no problems. So I guess I will now remove WinX and update the Burning Studio since you now have it free today. Thanks! I can well understand how you feel about a company doing this. Take a deep breath and forget them as your time is more valuable elsewhere! Thanks for all that you do.

  • VC

    If Digitary was smart, they’d use this F-Up to their advantage. They should make an “Apology” version.
    …or at least send flowers.

  • Ashraf

    @Trust Later: Everyone is entitled to their opinion. And, as I’m sure you know, I tend to agree that people have a self-entitled attitude when it comes to freebies. However, in this case, Digiarty Software was 100% in the wrong. I understand people updating the program and losing it; that was part of the giveaway terms and conditions. However, they locked it for people who didn’t update the program — they locked it for EVERYONE. And the person I quote did not update the program.

    And yes I did demand an apology. Their actions have tarnished their reputation but they also took MY reputation with them — of course I demanded they make it right.

    @Everyone: Thanks for the feedback and comments!

    @BarryCool: Why in the world did you pay $29 for the program when we ran a discounted sale offering you the same exact program with free lifetime updates/suppport for $14.99?!

  • Jeremy

    Thank you for this article Ashraf! And I agree with you 100% And although I won’t use foul language in this comment, I can think of a few bad words to describe what they did. Thank you for the information and article.

  • Trust Later

    As always, I applaud your integrity and openness, Ashraf, but in this instance you may have unsheathed your Righteous Sword prematurely. Digiarty has a legitimate reason for not acceding to your DEMAND for an apology, at least for two weeks, anyway. Just because they did not respond as you ORDERED and within the time frame YOU deem suitable does not make them evil. In addition, perhaps like you or I, they don’t like being pushed or bullied, especially when it is not absolutely clear that they acted in bad faith.

    I do not have the subject Halloween Special Version but do have a copy of WinX DVD Copy Pro and WinX HD Converter Deluxe. The former does not auto-update at all while the latter offers an auto-update opt-out. Does the Halloween Special Version offer an auto-update feature and, if so, can one opt-out? If it DOES HAVE an auto-update function, did affected users carelessly fail to opt-out of that feature OR did Digiarty, somehow, fire a stealthy bullet and disable ALL copies of that Special Version without any action by the users?

    If users were careless and tried to upgrade lifetime licensed (but not lifetime upgradeable) giveaway copies, then shame on them. If Digiarty managed to do the extremely difficult, if not impossible, feat of shooting that stealthy bullet, then, indeed, shame on them and they deserve your “boycott” suggestion. Frankly, I doubt that they hacked into users computers and disabled anything. If my doubts are justified, then they don’t deserve such harsh treatment.

    Giveaways provide a great opportunity for thieves to steal legitimate software vendors’ products. We all know that to be true. Giveaway recipients complain when software licensing is hardware dependent because that “invades their privacy”. Others complain about having to give an email address, as though there aren’t a gazillion ways to use throw-away, anonymous addresses. Others (like me :: embarrassed smile:: ) whine about software “wrappers” that make giveaway-abuse more difficult. My point is that Digiarty has good, compelling reasons to take aggressive steps to protect their products. The Internet is rife with thieving, lying persons whose sense of entitlement makes it hard for legitimate vendors like Digiarty. Some seem to think that, since I can steal something, then I have a right to steal it.

    The unidentified SoSer you quote *probably* attempted to upgrade a free-to-use-for-a-lifetime product thinking that is was freely upgradeable for a lifetime. If that is so (I stress, IF), then Digiarty responded appropriately to his/her request. After all, according to them, there are many people who were/are using their giveaway product without their consent but have an illegally obtained license code. How can Digiarty tell who is who? Since they cannot tell, should they be trapped into giving new, working codes to anyone who asks so as not be to labeled a bad guy?

    I offer my unsolicited advice: Retract your harshest assessment of them, pending their response to you in two weeks. We lovingly accept your justifiably referring to yourself as “Mr. Boss” here and at dotTech but you really shouldn’t bad mouth another because they don’t accept your being their boss, too.

  • BarrysCool

    I have gladly paid the small pittance of $29 for WinX DVD Ripper Platinum even though I had a free copy and consider it to be a small price to pay for a GREAT product.

  • Midwest guy

    Two points:
    First, I experienced the problem you described pertaining to the Halloween giveaway. I emailed Digiarty and was given a new license. (But I ended up replacing that download with the more recent one from a few days ago.)
    Second, I respect your business ethics. Keep taking the high road. In the long run, you won’t regret it.

  • Commonkore

    Good on ya Ashraf. I, like you, have respected and enjoyed Digiarty products but this smells too much like “scam” for my liking. I will await, with interest, any further update on this. Until then, Digiarty are on my “do not use” list.

  • David Roper

    I kissed a girl once in the sixth grade and we fell in love. Later, I found out she was two timing me and I was crushed.
    How dare she wear another boy’s bracelet! Wasn’t the one I gave her enough?.
    I thought the world was over for me,, that I would never find another girl to love.
    But ten years later I did find another girl. We kissed and I have been happily married for 48 years now.
    I, too, will get over the brief romance with Digiarty and be just fine. My heart and mind tells me it’s okay.

  • Hadron

    The thing that puzzles me is why would a company “giveaway” access to a product (that is, any of their products with a life time upgrade) that they sell?…The reason it does puzzle me is it is something that I have not seen them do in the past (until this incident). They have always made it quite clear that if it is not paid for, there is no life-time upgrade. Anyone who trys to upgrade a free giveaway from them is asking for trouble. It does seem like they realise there mistake and are rushing to bog the issue over….

  • Ben

    Digiarty Software is causing problems for other users away from this site. Many of us have decided to black them as they are taking the PXXX DO NOT USE – USE AT YOUR PERIL. Read other reviews about about issues of privacy and what there software may do to your pc

  • beachbouy

    I guess they weighed the consequences of either course, and decided to take the less honorable one. There are nice people in China. But, it’s a different culture.

  • IDontHave1

    How come I can’t find anything about this on their site about this. I was sure they would have it on their press room about the warning on WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Halloween Edition.

  • Brent Carey

    Thanks @Ashraf, for posting this information!1 I have used their software, however, I can’t say I’ve ever received good support from them. These are things to consider before deciding if I want to continue doing business with them. :)

  • Michael Rainey

    After trying out the free versions, I was happy to pay ten bucks each for lifetime licenses for DVD Ripper and DVD Copy. People in China have bills to pay too.

  • Rick

    WinX programs can be easily made as portables and then you don’t have to worry about whatever changes are made. In fact, they don’t even need a net connection for activation.

  • dmcfaithful

    Of course, I don’t think free giveaway lifetime license codes should expire, but if it did, I would just move on and wait for another free giveaway, if the software is that good, which I’ve done before for other giveaways.

    As others have said, I have a collection of these video tools and I always block network traffic for them, by using the free Sphinx Firewall Control software, and even if a software giveaway might require Internet access to initially activate the software, I simply block the connect afterward. If a company practices poor business tactics, I most likely wouldn’t give them a dime for their products (of course I rarely pay for anything these days), but if those same companies provided superb software for free, then I most likely would install and use their free software, as long as I felt that my system most likely wouldn’t be compromised (I would do my homework before making that decision).

    Thank you, Ashraf, for trying to keep this company from practicing poor business tactics, but for now, I will still partake in Digiarty Software giveaways, wherever they might be provided.

  • Jeanjean

    Same thing for me.
    I use their software in an exceptional way, so I do not have realized immediately that some licenses become unusable.
    I recently recovered WinX DVD Copy pro and block all outgoing requests as Kelso.

  • user

    “we are glad to provide you only $29 to get the full version”
    Deal! Can they send the money by Paypal?

  • Peter

    Don’t get angry, just delete Digiarty’s SW and do not hesitate to look for Free DVD Ripper or one of the many dozens of free and/or opensource alternatives (VLC for instance).

  • William W Gorman Jr

    Thanks Ashraf! I know it took a lot of hard thinking on your part to decide to not further promote Digiarty Software until at least they made some folks whole on their product.
    Thanks for looking out for YOUR customers.

    Bill Gorman

  • theodas

    Mr. Boss Ashraf,
    My hat is off to you for standing up strong for the many many folks who trust, enjoy and depend on your software expertise.
    You sounded off in a very professional manner, trying to extend “benefit of the doubt” even when it seemed clear to me that Digiarty was unwilling to cooperate with you.
    Perhaps when they see the financial impact your words have on their business they just might provide that overdue apology.
    I am a customer service representative and I know full well the power of “word of mouth” advertising. They do not need you as an adversary and I hope they come to realize the negative impact this will have on their business.
    Thank you Mr. Boss for your continued wisdom, generous spirit and testicular fortitude in standing up to Digiarty.
    Well done sir!!
    theodas

  • Mike S.

    Part of the issue with it all: if you grabbed the Halloween special, you would not have grabbed the most recent offering, as why do so–you already had the software. And so, now you may be hosed. Bad decision-making and company relations.

  • Kelso

    Thanks for updating us Boss. I set my firewall to block all outgoing requests from my Digiarty giveaways. That’s also useful to prevent unwanted upgrades, particularly since Digiarty is doing away with the “check for upgrades” tickbox on their programs. FWIW, Wonderfox is my current favorite for video software, but Digiarty has always been a strong 2nd (just used their ripper yesterday).

  • Edward Gudz

    I have had problems like this with them before. After getting WinX HD Video Converter from a giveaway where the software was SUPPOSED to be re installable actually was not and after emailing them they bull shit you but will be happy to provide a license for a fee. Digiarty likes to bait and switch people, never again will I ever use their software, free or not. I don’t do business with dishonest people.