Letter: Beware! Pirates at work

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It's good to see the Government sit up and take note of the knock-on effects of music and film piracy following Andrew Gowers' intellectual property report. However, while tougher penalties should help drive down CD copying, a gaping hole has been left when it comes to business software piracy.

Recent figures from IDC indicate that more than a quarter of business software in the UK is being used illegally, equating to global industry losses in excess of £1 billion. A reduction in software piracy would not only increase tax revenue, but also generate jobs. Is this not also a serious issue for the country's economy?

Anti-piracy bodies such as the BSA enforce strict regulations on companies that fail to comply with software licensing guidelines, and court cases are not uncommon as a result. Ironically, assessing the software licensing status of a corporate network is a straightforward process. The Government has taken a step in the right direction for the piracy problem as a whole. However, businesses must act now to avoid falling prey to the software pirates.

Matt Fisher, Vice-president, Centennial Software.

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