I noticed recently that the files you can download from the demo & trial versions publisher Brothersoft are now all the same file.
It seems that this chinese company removed the original link to the files grabbed here and there (often without permission as you can see around in many forums) from software developers to replace them with 1 single downloader.
The problem is that the downloader is actually a container for a toolbar that Brothersoft is trying to push and whose scope is something not really clear, and maybe not really clean. As far as i could understand none of the developers that published software through, among the others, brothersoft, has been asked for a consent or informed about this change by brothersoft.
I was able to get an answer from a couple of companies, that i won’t mention here, and they told me that they received one email from brothersoft with a proposal to include their toolbar in the software in exchange for a non better specified “good link” on a brothersoft page, where the page would have been the same one on which the software is already linked. So it is not clear what the advantage would have been for the developers, developers that in any case declined the offer but later realized that the refusal to include the toolbar in their software has been ignored by brothersoft and that brothersoft also refuses to cancel the listing for their software.
It seems therefore that brothersoft is infringing any possible Intellectual property of the publishers that relied on the brothersoft website in order to publish their software.
So far the brothersoft answers to the requests to re-establish a normal link have been ignored or promptly accepted in writing but without any real action or change on the website. Basically they say “sure, we will remove the downloader and the toolbar installer from the software” but as far as i know they did not actually do that yet.
What a shame that a company should be run with such an abusive mentality, the fact that the owner is chinese (Kunlun Wanwei Keji Youxian Gongsi, Beijing, China, +86.13910750213, assuming the WhoIs info is true and correct) does not really change anything since in any case these kind of companies have to rely on non-chinese infrastructure to work and to earn.
But it is a further confirmation that some countries do not really deserve a open-to-all access to internet.
Update: check my proposal about a online petition against brothersoft