Letter: Beware! Pirates at work

January 17, 2007

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 businesssoftware in the UK is being used illegally, equating to global industrylosses in excess of £1 billion. A reduction in software piracywould not only increase tax revenue, but also generate jobs. Is this notalso a serious issue for the country's economy?

Anti-piracy bodies such as the BSA enforce strict regulations oncompanies that fail to comply with software licensing guidelines, andcourt cases are not uncommon as a result. Ironically, assessing thesoftware licensing status of a corporate network is a straightforwardprocess. The Government has taken a step in the right direction for thepiracy problem as a whole. However, businesses must act now to avoidfalling prey to the software pirates.

Matt Fisher, Vice-president, Centennial Software.

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