Hint: If You Want to Pirate Software, Use Spellcheck

On a trip to Shanghai to research an article on “fakes,” I walked into the Xiangyang Market. Thirty minutes later and after some fierce haggling, I walked out with copies of Adobe Acrobat 3D, SolidWorks 2006, AutoCAD 2007, and PTC Wildfire. Total price: $22.00. Oh yeah, and I did snag a six season set of The Sopranos for $19.00.


It’s a pretty safe bet that nobody who buys an engineering software package worth thousands of dollars for just a few bucks at a place nicknamed “the fake market” actually thinks they’re getting the real thing. It may be a working copy of the software, but don’t try calling tech support or inquiring about an upgrade. Nevertheless, it’s always amazing to see how, well, fakey some of these fakes are. Note the spelling of PTC WildFire in the area with the black background. (Click on the photo to see detail.)



  1. It’s not suprising that so much electronics is manufactured in Asia – they can afford the software!

  2. Yes, my purchases were for reporting purposes. I had heard it was easy to buy working versions of even very expensive engineering software on the street, and that proved to be true. In the interest of full disclosure, though, the knockoff Prada bag I picked up was for personal use.

  3. I take it your illegal purchases were just for research purposes?

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