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Software body intercepts 45 000 pirated IT software

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THE Business Software Alliance (BSA) has intercepted 18 314 auctions selling 45 000 items of pirated software, worth a combined US$22 million.

The anti-piracy organisation is also tackling the illegal sale of software via peer-to-peer (P2P) networks and other internet-based channels.

The BSA’s activity on the internet has increased three-fold since 2007 and includes a heightened focus on the crackdown of pirated software in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

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, BSA vice-president (anti-piracy and general counsel), said: “The anonymity of buying over the web leads to the distorted belief that intellectual property (IP) theft is a victimless crime.

“While 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, the BSA warns.

The organisation aims to continue closing down auctions and illegal peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. In the first half of 2008, it issued 48 000 notices regarding BitTorrent files being used by as many as 633 000 people, worth an estimated US$525 million.

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