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Downie 4 individual developers are caught in a big mess or face a large number of refunds, which is a mess of their own in the software industry.

Let's introduce today's protagonist first.

Downie 4 for Mac: The Video Downloading Tool#

An excellent video downloading tool that allows you to easily save videos from the internet to your computer. Whether it's your favorite movie clips, learning tutorials, or funny short videos, Downie 4 can help you with just one click. It supports over 1200 websites, including popular platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and Bilibili.

The Background of a User Using Downie#

It's been a long time since I opened Downie. When I opened it today, it directly popped up a window showing the following content, which made me 🙄. I recalled that I might have wanted to download an English podcast from an Apple podcast and found that Downie couldn't parse the shared link. So I thought it would be convenient if it had this feature, and I politely explained the situation in the feedback in the software. The email I left was either a privacy forwarding of iCloud or my own Outlook email alias, and it was in a normal state to receive emails. The software activation code was purchased on Taobao, and the purchase record will be attached, but when I activated the app, I used an email that I casually typed as because I found that the verification used the activation code, and it didn't matter what email I entered. But he thought I was using a pirated version and deactivated my software, so when I opened it, there was only this popup window. Clicking "OK" will go to the purchase page, but there is no option to activate.

I want to ask everyone:

  1. How can I contact them and express my dissatisfaction? I am really angry that I am accused even though I am using a genuine version, and they even threatened to delete files from my computer.
  2. Does Downie have the right or permission to delete files from my computer?

Responses from Internet Users#

If it's true, then it's really outrageous.
If there is indeed code built-in for this behavior, then this software should be classified as a virus, it's just a download tool.
Paying for a father?


Some people think that this is just a simple kidding joke, what do you think?

They are just making a joke, foreigners like to joke, isn't it normal to have a sense of humor...
Can this even be considered a joke? It seems like you enjoy this kind of humor, I wish you encounter more developers like this.
Those who say it's a joke are truly humorous.
Just scaring, foreigners have a sense of humor, think about the emotions of the person behind the words.
I'm a bit confused. It's really a country of etiquette.
Where does your understanding of foreigners come from, from watching 3-minute European and American movie marketing videos on Douyin? Every time I see you randomly talking and pretending to understand foreigners, it's embarrassing. If I argue with you and suddenly say, "I will hang around your child's kindergarten, or should I say I won't go?" Do you think it's funny????? Foreigners can distinguish between a sense of humor and a threat, thank you.
If this was a Chinese developer sending this kind of content to users, would anyone care if it was "kidding"?
This kind of developer's software is simply a time bomb. Regardless of whether it actually deletes files, once it threatens, it should be treated as malicious software.
This is so rogue, Twitter should find a way to expose it.
What a joke. Just report this to Apple. Let them remove it from the Mac App Store! It's obviously a virus-like behavior.
This is outrageous. Regardless of the attitude, as a software author, being able to pop up this dialog box accurately for specific users is a serious problem... Who knows if the author will do something else after popping up a dialog box?
You have a bad temper. You paid for it, so you shouldn't tolerate it. Just expose it on Twitter in English.
If you combine the context a little, it's easy to see that he didn't actually want to delete files... He said he had already deleted some random files, not that he wants to delete them.
And his tone is not joking. I don't know if the person who said it was humorous did it intentionally or has poor English skills.
You can post it with evidence on Reddit or complain to Apple. Did you buy a father for yourself?

Although the surface text is important, the emotions behind the speaker's words are also important. This sentence clearly expresses a strong aversion to piracy, not targeting ordinary users. Although his words may be too extreme, as a small developer, he doesn't have the ability to fight against piracy merchants. Besides arguing, what else can he do?
The problem now is not whether he really wants to delete files, but it is inappropriate for a developer to make such a threatening statement. For example, if you buy a bottle of drink and the manufacturer says you stole it and threatens to randomly poison it one day, can you accept it?
He didn't verify the email himself, didn't check the activation code, and he still had the nerve to revoke it?

It is obvious that the authorization code purchased on Taobao belongs to the activation code activation mode, which does not go through the MAS store. Apple doesn't care about these things.

If you're unhappy, just write an email to complain to the headquarters. I remember that the software vendor has a human reply in the email backend, and it usually takes about a day to get a response.

P.S. After using the Mac ecosystem for a long time, I found a problem. Every little function is developed into a software and sold, and the prices are not low, and there are even subscription-based ones. In the end, I installed a bunch of software for no reason. Since I started using PD, I uninstalled all these software after receiving the Toolsbox license. I really hope someone can lead the development of an open-source Mac platform powertoys to replace these colorful software.
I don't think this kind of statement can still be classified as "kidding".
hey, it is not funny
How big-hearted do you have to be to consider this a joke?
You have a conflict with your neighbor, and your neighbor says they will kill your child when they leave school. Do you still think it's a joke? You would have called the police long ago.
Some people don't understand the law themselves and think that others don't understand it either. They use their own thinking to speculate whether others would actually do such things.
The NPP author made a political joke, and a bunch of people "won't use it anymore."
All I can do is smile.
If this continues, you will also see the cap of Nongfu Spring, which is red and round, being called the Japanese flag.

Just post this on Reddit or HN, and it will become popular.

Foreign netizens also unanimously believe that this is a very scary thing, not just a simple joke, and the winter for individual developers may be coming again.

Later, someone actually posted it on Reddit (a famous foreign forum), and even provided methods on how to complain. Some feedback was also given on Hacknews, but the post was quickly taken down.

Unexpectedly, there are also users who have discovered the software author's accusation that the users are lying.

Is it possible that he is just stubborn and unwilling to admit his mistake? Originally, it could have been a good apology and explanation, but now he is on Twitter: first, he replied to the people who retweeted this message, saying it is false information; second, no one would be bored enough to specifically create a popup window to defame this software. If it is really a popup window he wrote himself, then his behavior should apologize to OP. But now he completely wants everyone to delete the post and eliminate the negative impact.


Finally, a user solved the case and said that the author included the code in the application and it was not sent through a backdoor warning.

Traverse every file under /Applications/Downie and output the strings contained in them (it also works for binary files), then filter the "punishment" string among them, and finally find the original text, proving that the program contains the popup window text described by OP.

The author quickly updated to make everyone unable to see these so-called "punishment texts."

zzsqwq on X: "@charlieMonroe @MsDurex Software downloaded from the official website contains this. What else is not sure? Reproduction method: use VSCode to open /Applications/Downie 4/MacOS/Downie 4 in text form, and then search for keywords related to this passage, such as 'punishment'." / X
Dowine4 threates a legitimate user with random deletion of files from my computer : r/mac

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