The Final Answer to Prevent Piracy

In his blog, The Bottom Feeder, Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel writes about what he thinks is the best way to prevent piracy, and coming from a fairly successful PC indie developer it's a fairly interesting read.
From the very beginning, I have sold hint books for my games. People like them, and they are easy money. When I started, in 1994, there was no convenient format like pdf for online file delivery, so I had to print and mail actual books. This cost lots of money and boxes of hint books took up tons of space in my house.

Then pdf files happened and people started to request that I send the book in electronic form instead of making them wait a week for the post office to do whatever it does. I refused this reasonable request for two reasons. First, I was afraid people would buy the pdf version and send it to their friends. Second, I didn't know how to create a download link for the file that couldn't then be e-mailed around to everyone in the world. So I kept spending money and precious storage space for the booklets, inconveniencing my paying customers as I did so.

Finally, three years ago, I got fed up with it. I made hint books available as downloadable pdf files. (People who want a printed version can get one for an extra two bucks, but they almost never do.)

But how did I secure the download link so it couldn't be shared? Here's the brilliant part. Ready? I just put it in with all of our other files. Anyone can download it. Anyone who knows how to use ftp can find it. When people order the hint book, I send them the download link, but they could have found the file for themselves if they looked around.

Thanks, The Escapist.