The makers of the popular anti-malware software, Malwarebytes, announced earlier this week that anyone with a counterfeit code for Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Software (MBAM) will soon be given a legitimate code in its place. Instead of punishing pirates, Malwarebytes has developed an Amnesty Program to protect its Anti-Malware Premium customers “who have been inconvenienced by piracy or abuse.”

Malwarebytes

It doesn’t matter if you made a shady purchase or you happened upon a Malwarebytes key posted in an underground forum. They’ll give you a 100% legit key and let you activate Malwarebytes Premium at absolutely no cost. The subscription is good for 12 months and the hope is that (former) pirates will take the olive branch, use the key, and then decide Malwarebytes really is worth a few bucks a year.

The process of receiving a legit key will require users to open up the Amnesty Program and select one of two options. Users who select “I’m not sure where I got my key, I downloaded it from the Internet,” will be given an original and authentic MBAM Premium subscription. Anyone who selects “I purchased my key” will be given an (authentic) replacement key to the same software tier the that the original code granted.

Previously identified illegitimate keys will no longer work “after a period of time,” so users of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium should claim their new codes as soon as possible. According to TechSpot, in an attempt to avoid potential backlash from paying customers, the company issued a statement to keep everybody on their good side:

“…We’ve grown up, and we’ve got a new licensing system that we’ve rolled out in stages. The only problem is that we have millions of users that we’ve sold keys to, or a reseller has sold keys to, or we’ve given out keys to without keeping track. It is a mess, and you as a consumer have every right to be upset,” writes CEO Marcin Kleczynsk. “…I know this doesn’t excuse those who feel cheated because they bought the software. I am happy to work with you on some free shirts, or a free copy of anti-exploit as you continue to support us through this process.”

Basically, Malwarebytes is remodeling their licensing system since their current one fails to distinguish real customers from pirates. This is why everyone will eventually have to reset their license. Enjoy your treasure mateys. It’ll be gone before you know it.