Etsy has become a hotbed of audio plugin piracy, be careful!

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Etsy is a fascinating platform for synths from boutique music tech developers; sadly, it has also become a hotbed for plugin piracy.

As you know, I’m a big fan of platforms like Etsy or Tindie. You can always find exciting synthesizers and music tech products from small, passionate manufacturers here who can’t make it into traditional shops. Either because of their manufacturing capacities or the products themselves. Such platforms are perfect for them.

I’m usually there 1-2 times a week to see if anything exciting new is available to cover. Not everything is gold and enjoyable, especially on Etsy. For some time now, there have been sellers on the platform that you don’t want to see there. This time, it’s not about hardware but software.

Etsy Audio Plugin Piracy

Etsy Audio Plugin Piracy 

Not everyone may have known this, but Etsy also allows you to sell software. Sounds good at first glance. So, less-known plugin developers could also offer their products to a larger public. The reality is, however, different.

I have been observing the software market on Etsy for more than a year. This brings me to the point that most dealers offer an illegal portfolio, i.e. cracked software. As a bonus service, they often contain fresh malware, spyware, or other viruses that can infect computers.

From finance and office software, photo editors to the latest DAWs and audio plugins. Everything is available on Etsy and is downloadable at very catchy prices.

Etsy audio plugin piracy

For example, I get the WMware Workstation Pro 17 for 14.62€ instead of $199, Ableton Live 12 for a crazy 29.95€ instead of 500€, all ValhallaDSP plugins for 12,68€ or the complete Spectrasonics product range (Omnisphere 2…) for 40.59€. 

In times when people scour the internet for the best deals on plugins, these WOW prices come in handy. And as we know, with such massive deals, many people stop thinking and buy it immediately. I guarantee the disappointment comes early because many people recognize the rotten fish in the downloaded folder. 

Yes, this is cracked software or plugins from hacker teams that you can find on the World Wide Web. Worse for me, not only do they charge you for it, but Etsy also makes money from every transaction thanks to its commission-based system. Plus, these offers rank pretty high on Google. 

End of Software on Etsy? 

These offers cast a big shadow on the fascinating Etsy platform. In my opinion, a platform like this doesn’t need such activities. I think it’s a shame that the responsible team can’t get this under control. Or even decide against software. This way, they would get the problem under control straight away.

The topic was already discussed at the famous VI Control music tech forum in 2022. The writers also warn against purchasing and downloading music software from the platform. 

I hope Etsy does something to stop these sales. Until then, I can only warn you not to buy anything software-based on Etsy. Unless you want to throw your money out the window. Your decision. 

More information here: Etsy 



  1. I can understand why someone would want a cheap copy of Live, but a plugin? What specific plugin does anyone actually need in 2024? Like what’s this generation’s equivalent of Massive for example. Not sure there is one.

  2. “From finance and office software, photo editors to the latest DAWs and audio plugins. Everything is available on Etsy and is downloadable at very reasonable prices.”

    -Arrrr, thanks for the free promotion Matey!

      • No, the language you used ostensibly promotes pirated software whether that was your intent or not. The word “reasonable” removes your impartiality from the subject matter and implies that you “feel” the prices are fair for the products of services provided, their origin is inconsequential.

          • Thank you, I think that is the responsible thing to do as piracy is theft and Etsy has turned a blind eye to various illegal and questionable “sellers” on the platform.

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