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Malwarebytes moves to a new licensing system, will give a free 12 months license to pirates and people who bought a counterfeit key

Malwarebytes moves to a new licensing system, will give a free 12 months license to pirates and people who bought a counterfeit key

by AshwinJune 29, 2015

Malwarebytes is renown for its excellent Anti-malware application for Windows computers.

The application comes in two versions: A free one which scans for malware and removes them, and a premium version which offers more features, like realtime protection, scheduled scanning, databases and more.

Like most premium software, Malwarebytes too, was affected by an unsolvable problem: Piracy. The company has sold millions of keys for the premium version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. But apparently, the software’s licensing system was insecure,and was easily fooled by duplicate keys (a same key used by more than one user) as well as pirate keys.

VentureBeat reports that Malwarebytes has announced the launch of a new licensing system for its product. When you update to the latest version, i.e., Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, you will be greeted by the screen featured in the above image.

You will have two options to choose from:

  1. I’m not sure where I got my key, or I downloaded it from the Internet”
  2. “I purchased my key.”

If you have a legitimate key, choose the second option and you are good to go. However there is something you should note. The old licensing system used two codes: an ID, and a key, to activate the premium version. This system will soon become obsolete.

Now, when you update to the latest version and selected the second option, you will get a new key for the new licensing system. Click on the “My Account” option, in the top right corner to view your new key, as well as the subscription duration of the key in this tab.


The company wants to find out how many keys are active. That is why they are stopping the old licensing method. They can easily gather the data, of how many users actually used the new license.

And the news doesn’t end here, Malwarebytes wants to compensate people who bought a counterfeit key, and even offer pirates a free license.

So, the company is offering a new key with 12 free months of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium, for users who selected the first option.

The company’s founder and CEO, Marcin Kleczynski, calmly explained the licensing system change, and also stated that the company will give free shirts, or a free copy of anti-exploit, for people who feel they have been cheated by this change.

This Amnesty offered by Malwarebytes, is solely to offer protection for customers who were duped by third party sellers. The 12 month genuine license offer for pirated copies is also a limited time one.

If you have bought a license, or won a key from a giveaway, here is what you should do:

  1. Assuming you have an older version of  Malwarebytes Anti-Malware installed, and activated, update to  version or above.
  2. Click on the second option (I purchased my key)
  3. Copy your new key from My Account, and save it somewhere safe.

If you don’t update soon, the older keys will expire, and the license system will change and may ask you for a proof of purchase of the license.