As part of the internet programme focus, the BSA has released a report detailing the threats of using illegal software downloaded from the internet. Neil MacBride, Vice President, Anti-Piracy and General Counsel, BSA, said: "The anonymity of buying over the web leads to the distorted belief that intellectual property (IP) theft is a victimless crime. Whilst many would not dream of shoplifting a music CD or package of software from a store, they are willing to go online to seek out copies of what is clearly illegal software. Ignorance is not an excuse - businesses should be making basic checks to ensure that what they are buying is authentic."
Internet users face considerable risks when buying software from unauthorised sources online, such as data loss, viruses and system failure. If the price is' too good to be true', it probably is. BSA not only aims to close auctions but also stop illegal peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing and, in the first half of 2008, BSA issued 48,000 notices regarding BitTorrent files being used by as many as 633,000 people, worth an estimated $525 million (386 million euro / £300 million).
BSA and its members, who include many of the top software companies and their hardware partners, have worked hard to protect users and eliminate internet-based software piracy for more than a decade. BSA continually issues 'takedown' requests to auction sites to remove listings of suspicious software that is identified using BSA's Online Auction Tracking System, where permitted by law.
"Auction sites must do more to protect consumers," added Neil MacBride. "To increase protection for their customers, auction sites should, at the very least, assume responsibility and highlight the risks to customers buying software online. Forging close collaborations with the software industry, auction sites could alert software companies of auctions posted and slow the process down by stopping the 'buy it now function' - providing more time to monitor and catch pirated software."
In the UK, the BSA recently took legal proceedings against RJ-Software for selling counterfeit copies of Adobe, Autodesk, Corel and Quark Software. As a direct result, business owner Mr. Clark agreed to terminate his business and pay damages for the distribution of 24 batches of fake software discs. The case sent a clear message to other online traders that however small, the BSA and its members will not tolerate sales of counterfeit software.
The Internet Piracy report is available for download at: www.bsa.org/internetreport
The Business Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the foremost organisation dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world. BSA is the voice of the world's commercial software industry and its hardware partners before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members represent one of the fastest growing industries in the world. BSA programmes foster technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade and e-commerce. BSA members include: Adobe, Altium, Apple, Attachmate, Autodesk, Avid, Babylon, Bentley Systems, CNC, Corel, CyberLink, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation, Famatech, FrontRange Solutions, LINKService, Mamut, Materialise Software, Microsoft, Mindjet, Monotype Imaging, O&O Software, Quark, Quest Software, Ringler-Informatik, Scalable Software, Siemens, Staff & Line, Symantec, Tekla, and The MathWorks.