Enfour is a software company that primarily makes dictionaries for Apple devices and, understandably, doesn’t like piracy. So if you find a way to steal an Enfour app, here’s what might show up on your iPhone screen:

And if you’ve given the app permission to access your Twitter account, here’s what you’ll tweet:

However — and this is a big “However” — this could happen to you even if you’ve paid fifty bucks for the software which, also understandably, makes some people rather angry.

Enfour has issued an apology — oddly enough in a PDF rather than a simple page on their website — but plans to keep fighting piracy because, they claim, there are 100 pirated copies of their software for every legally purchased copy. I’d like to see some evidence for this ratio, since it’s about twenty to twenty-five times higher than the usual estimates for the industry as a whole. So the claim seems pretty unlikely, to say the least.

But there’s no doubt that piracy is a real problem for companies like Enfour. The question is whether that problem can best be addressed by treating all your customers as potential or even likely criminals.

I suppose this sort of thing bothers some people more than others. A few years ago I went into a nearby Fry’s Electronics store and after waiting in line to pay had to wait in line again to have my property searched. Well, actually, I didn’t have to submit to the search, but I preferred not to make a big fuss. I just decided that I wasn’t going to shop there any more, and I haven’t. But the store’s still open and the parking lot is is often pretty full — so perhaps few others mind. I’m often surprised by what people are willing to put up with from companies they’re paying money to.