Approaching Websites Using Unlicensed Plugins

Hello fellow authors,

lately, I’ve received many support tickets for my plugins from users who don’t have valid purchase codes. I assume that they were either using the plugin files from nulled websites or the plugin was installed by some agency.

So I went through my website logs and wrote a small script to find websites that have not registered their purchase code with my server. Registering their purchase code is only necessary to receive updates through the WP plugins dashboard and to have access to my form templates library.

Only 24 hours later, more than 3,500 distinct websites were using my plugin without a registered license. Of course, there are tests and staging sites, but I’m still concerned about the number of websites with unlicensed versions of my plugin.

Quick math section ahead. Let’s say that 10% are tests and staging sites, 10% are abandoned websites and 30% have a valid license but not registered with their website. Still, there could be more than 1,750 websites without valid licenses that are constantly checking my servers for plugin updates. At the current price, this is a financial loss of more than $68,000 for me.

The numbers could vary, of course, but I feel like some agencies or freelancers use the plugin on more than one website with only a single license.

I’ve contacted a few website owners about the plugin, and they said they have a valid license but not registered it with the site. However, many other websites were built by an agency and the agency itself only had a single license which is not allowed as stated in Envato’s licensing terms.

I’m sure there are other authors battling with the same issue, so I’d like to hear how you are dealing with this topic.