Ahoy, mateys! Malwarebytes, best known for its Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) software, announced on Sunday that anyone sporting counterfeit codes for MBAM will soon receive legitimate keys in their place. As part of its Amnesty program, Malwarebytes aims to protect its Anti-Malware Premium customers “who have been inconvenienced by piracy or abuse."

The process of receiving a replacement code will require users to open up the program and select one of two options regarding the origin of the fabricated key. Users who select "I'm not sure where I got my key, I downloaded it from the Internet" will be supplied with an authentic 12-month subscription to MBAM Premium while those who choose "I purchased my key" will be appointed a replacement key to the same software tier that the original code granted.

Previously deemed illegitimate keys will fail to work "after a period of time", so users of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium should claim their new codes as soon as possible. Keep in mind that this program extends to lawful customers of Malwarebytes products, so even if you genuinely subscribed to the software, you'll still be required to reset your key in order to make use of it.

As a result of the potential backlash this might cause from paying customers of its products, Malwarebytes issued a statement of explanation to keep end-users on its good side:

"...We’ve grown up, and we’ve got a new licensing system that we’ve rolled out in stages. The only problem is that we have millions of users that we’ve sold keys to, or a reseller has sold keys to, or we’ve given out keys to without keeping track. It is a mess, and you as a consumer have every right to be upset," writes CEO Marcin Kleczynsk. "...I know this doesn’t excuse those who feel cheated because they bought the software. I am happy to work with you on some free shirts, or a free copy of anti-exploit as you continue to support us through this process."

Essentially, Malwarebytes is rebooting is licensing system since their current system fails to distinguish paying customers from pirates. Doing so requires everyone who uses MBAM to reset even paid licenses. And, although this requires some extra work on behalf of the consumer, Malwarebytes seems fairly confident that the end result will be a tighter security system.

Enjoy the free software while it lasts, pirates.