SocialEngine Blog

SocialEngine is the best way to create a unique community website. Let your friends, fans or customers geek out about anything you want.

SOPA is lethal to online community creators

We are a software vendor and copyright owner, and we hate SOPA.

SocialEngine is different than most online community-building tools. While our platform is commercially-licensed and not open source, we do give our customers total access to our source code. We don’t compile or encrypt anything because we want our customers to have complete creative freedom when they customize their community websites.

The downside of making our source code accessible is, you guessed it… piracy. SocialEngine is widely pirated and not terribly hard to find in the Internet’s murkier recesses. Ostensibly, the SOPA/PIPA legislation is designed to protect intellectual property owners like us from this kind of activity. The obvious truth, though, is that SOPA/PIPA would absolutely ruin our business because it would drastically inhibit SocialEngine customers’ ability to create their own online communities in the first place.

Gigaom published a great article about the rise of social content curation on social networks and interest-based communities. At SocialEngine, we’ve seen tons of evidence supporting this. Much of the content that end-users share on the thousands of community websites powered by SocialEngine is being re-shared from other sources, or links to copyrighted content that’s hosted elsewhere. SOPA/PIPA puts niche online communities in as much jeopardy as it does the mainstream networks like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. Communities powered by SocialEngine only make up a fraction of that long tail. There are millions of online communities and hundreds of millions of end-users that enjoy them every day.

We are calling on our community of SocialEngine customers, developers, service providers, and hosting affiliates to speak up in solidarity against SOPA/PIPA. Here are some ways you can take action right now:


  1. Posted January 19, 2012 at 4:40 am | Permalink

    Unity on the internet has apparently paid off – lawmakers are no running away from this Bill – Congratulations to all of us!

  2. Nicholas
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    This makes me mad. I posted It on public at Facebook.

  3. Posted January 19, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    haha nice that social engine admits that there are nulled versions.

  4. viki
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Great to have u onboard SOPA really hinders creativity this is bad for the internet. Kudos to socialengine team.

  5. kelvin
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    well said

  6. Dan
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Being allot of nulled versions out there is also good for business if you believe it or not. Many newbies in the nulled community get introduced with SE for the very first time and start out testing the script and if they are serious about it they will eventually buy it. This nulling community also is good for many things like finding bugs, creating mods, resolving security issues, really helping each other out with respect to the original creators, try before you buy. If you don't buy it you don't have serious intentions in my opinion. It feels so much better to have the original licence instead of having to worry about the developers finding out one day your using a nulled script.

    Anyway it's a good thing you guys are against the SOPA/PIPA/ACTA bill also, its bad for innovation and it will lock the Internet down, isolate freedom of speech and many other disadvantages.

  7. Fidel
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    First of all thanks for sharing this article.

    Now, as for what Dan E. says, I agree 100%, because before I purchased a license for SE 4.2.0, I tried out a nulled version of Social Engine. The nulled version was what prompted me to purchase a license, as I had access to the code in its entirety and was able to play around with it. I thought it was fair to pay for it if I was going to use it seriously. So, piracy also helps bring business for a company.

    All the best,


  8. Kenneth
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Good read.

    Down with SOPA, PIPA, RIAA, WMG etc.

  9. Mohammed
    Posted January 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Then I think all the blogs that are using word press would also gets impacted as WP code is freely available.

  10. Posted January 24, 2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    i bay!

  11. Posted January 24, 2012 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    Hmm, I kind of agree about the SE piracy bringing in more business, but I don't think it's quite that simple.

    I actually ran nulled version at first because I couldn't get the locked trial to work.

    I never would have considered running a nulled one in production (or anything else than as a trial), but I think this is more a problem with Social Engine's trial & price model.

    The trial is too difficult to use, and people who are not 100% convinced they want to use SE yet are often more likely to pirate it than buy it.

    Once pirated, unless the site takes off I'd guess most stay nulled.

    I'd try to build a way that each site install authenticates with SE4 and checks the license key – give out the open code in a time limited trial.

    (socialengineaddons manage it and they don't get nulled)

    The cats out the bag anyway as one of the main forums distributes openly the pirate code.

    Most people want to do the right thing, so help them do it and guide them.

    There's no excuse in my eyes for trying to make money with pirated software.


  12. Posted January 24, 2012 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Dear friends,
    You'll be able to engage a article author regarding community posting, blog site creating, internet marketing, selling your business, creating essays, dissertations, article marketing and many more. This is such kind of site that helps you a lot.

  13. Jonathan
    Posted January 26, 2012 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    I'm so glad you guys are far-sighted enough to realize that. Good for you on the stand you're taking! I and everyone in my community totally agree with you.

  14. tbo
    Posted January 31, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    +1 bought registered after trying nulled.

  15. littlebrit
    Posted February 2, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    personally i think its a good thing… where do i go to support SOPA and stop the downfall of society with this social revolution?

  16. Nick S.
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    @littlebrit are you serious? why are you aggravated about social networking, it's a great thing when placed in the right hands, some people don't deserve to run community, such as warez forums, sites, etc..i am disappointed about all the warez too, maybe the law should go after servers instead of a group of business owners in the same field who're doing nothing except BUSINESS, take down those who're obviously exposing download links.

    there are a lot of new communities that are either being developed or establishing their name with good intentions, I know this because I 've talked with a lot of SocialEngine clients. i hope everyone has a good lawyer. oh wait, my brother is getting out of law school this year in May, maybe he'll be able to knock out these pesky companies for us all. :)

  17. Nick S.
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    @ littlebrit, please regard that last post, I clearly read that wrong. :)

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