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Piracy Whistleblowers Paid $57K In 2010 141

Posted by timothy
from the fueled-by-revenge dept.
alphadogg writes "In 2010, the Software and Information Industry Association received 157 reports of alleged corporate end user software piracy. Of the 157 reports, 42 (or 27%) were judged sufficiently reliable to pursue. Of these, 16 qualified for rewards totaling $57,500. The profile of sources reporting software piracy indicates that most reports come from former IT staff – these are the people who typically witness the illegal use of software. 75% of all reports come from IT staff or managers, 11% from the company's senior management and 4% from outside consultants. More than 59% of those reporting are no longer employed by the target company. In fact, many of SIIA's sources report that their primary reason for leaving the target company was the company's lack of ethical behavior related to software compliance."
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Piracy Whistleblowers Paid $57K In 2010

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  • FTW! (Score:4, Funny)

    by iserlohn (49556) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @06:18AM (#35191356) Homepage

    In fact, many of SIIA's sources report that their primary reason for leaving the target company was the company's lack of ethical behavior related to software compliance.

    It's a shock what people lose sleep over in this day and age.

    • Re:FTW! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Yvanhoe (564877) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @07:20AM (#35191494) Journal
      When you are in a company that forces you to write DRMs, but that shamelessly pirate other softwares or integrate GPL code without mentioning it, I can see why employees would report them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes.

        Companies that engage in the unethical behavior, or encourage their employees to be complicit without concern shouldn't be surprised when that behavior is taken against employees results in revenge via the money factor.

        Of all the companies I've worked for, the largest ones kept a relative control on software piracy, however not everyone engages in ethical actions.

        For example a call center outsourcer, the management tried to steal software written by an employee, and when the employee refused, he quit an

        • by jimicus (737525)

          But I can tell you with absolute certainty that past a certain point, large companies don't keep track of individual licenses, they just buy bulk site licenses (not physical copies) and some IT staff ignore the license (much like everyone ignores license agreements) and are only aware of software that they can audit. This results devices like laptops not being accounted, and when staff are fired/quit they don't "return the license." So in some cases the IT staff actually are over-purchasing licenses for software just so they don't have to deal with the BSA.

          I'll tell you why that is, because I was tasked with keeping my former employer up to snuff with their licensing.

          It is virtually impossible to get everything perfect. You'd think it was simple - if it's a commercial piece of software, one license per user.

          Nope.

          Let's start with Windows. We'll assume that your company has been making do with fairly elderly PCs for some time, but has since come into money and is taking the opportunity to replace every PC with new hardware running Windows 7. And, in order t

          • Now, I'm no lawyer, but that sounds to me an awful lot like you can't simply say "We're running Linux on these 50 desktops, so we're not counting them.

            Sounds to me like you can. What are they going to do, sue you for not having a license on a computer where you use none of their software? Yea, thats going to hold up REAL well.

            Looks more like MS is pretending PC=Windows, and conveniently ignoring the fact that Linux desktop distros exist.

            • by jimicus (737525)

              Now, I'm no lawyer, but that sounds to me an awful lot like you can't simply say "We're running Linux on these 50 desktops, so we're not counting them.

              Sounds to me like you can. What are they going to do, sue you for not having a license on a computer where you use none of their software? Yea, thats going to hold up REAL well.

              Looks more like MS is pretending PC=Windows, and conveniently ignoring the fact that Linux desktop distros exist.

              There's a couple of issues with that, which is why it doesn't tend to get tested in practise.

              • Certainly in the UK, there's very little legal protection to stop a business signing a contract that makes no sense and that contract being enforceable. Microsoft are offering a contract which says in essence "you license this for every PC, whether you use it or not" and there's a real risk it could stand up. AFAIK, the legal system doesn't really take much account of the fact that most businesses have precisely z
              • by Yvanhoe (564877)
                Maybe there could be some arguing about the definition of a "PC". From the wording, ti makes it clear that it is the number of computer running windows that is to be considered. I am pretty sure that one could argue that "linux computer" != "PC as defined in the Microsoft contract"
          • There are so many things wrong with your post, Im not actually sure youve ever had to deal with MS licensing - my experience (mid-sized corporation of about 120 desks, up to a year or so ago) is completely in contrast to yours.

            I had no problems at all getting an Open Value license agreement for my initial 10 Windows licenses with SA, and these were full, complete and perpetual licenses - at no time was I offered "upgrade only" or limited time licenses. I paid about £45 per license, plus £4 f
      • Many years ago I worked for a small startup that pirated pretty much every piece of software we used. This wasn't light piracy of not keeping track of licenses or something of that nature. People there had literally had downloaded programs like Word and Photoshop from warez sites. As a startup, we were broke and felt somewhat justified in not being able to afford software.

        Eventually we were acquired by a mid-sized company (maybe 500 employees or so) that was reasonably profitable. When my boss went to ask f

      • by initialE (758110)

        Afaik the BSA does not chase after and reward whistleblowers of GPL violations. No money to be earned there, no siree.

    • Alternatively... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NickFortune (613926) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @08:25AM (#35191658) Homepage Journal

      Of course, there is another plausible scenario:

      Boss: You're fired!

      Ex-Employee: Oh shit!

      Later, at home.

      Ex-Employee: Fire me, will you? We'll see who laughs last...

      dials telephone...

      Ex-Employee: Hello? SIIA? I'd like to report a case of widespread use of unlicensed software by a major company...

      Ex-Employee: Uh... no, no, I'm no longer with the company. I uh, left ... because I was disgusted at their wanton disregard for intellectual property...

      Which isn't to say that some of those reports aren't made by highly principled people, of course. But I bet I know which category had the most hits...

      • Hardly matters, IMO. When you're a crooked employer, you better take better care of your employers than the competition does. Giving someone a powerful weapon that they can use against you, then dumping on that someone, is just plain stupid.
        • When you're a crooked employer, you better take better care of your employers than the competition does

          So your advice for jobseekers would be to find a crook and work for him, because you'll be better looked after?

          • by h4rm0ny (722443)

            When you're a crooked employer, you better take better care of your employers than the competition does

            So your advice for jobseekers would be to find a crook and work for him, because you'll be better looked after?

            Hardly. By "you better take better care", the GP is obviously saying that you 'should' take better care. Nowhere does the GP state that they 'will' take better care. People who are ethical in one area, in my experience, are more likely to be ethical in other areas. All things being equal, even from a pure self-interest point of view, I would rather work with an employer who doesn't defraud software companies.

      • by chudnall (514856)

        Even more alternatively:

        Employee: Crap, I'm going to be over budget this year. I won't get my bonus. I know, I'll just pirate this expensive instead of paying for it. It's not like they ever audit licenses around here anyway. As long as everything works, the bosses are happy.

        Boss: Sorry, you've been doing a great job, but we're downsizing you. Naturally we're doing this just before we have to pay bonuses.

        Employee: Well, at least I can make a few bucks reporting these guys to the BSA. It's what they get for

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Its more like they SAID that was the reason, when in reality they were all for it and participated in it.

      • by AvitarX (172628)

        I don't think the two are mutually exclusive.

        I know in a period of my past I've been a willing participant in corporate piracy, but over time it wears one down.

        Being asked to commit a crime (circumvent drm ) on a regular basis for work was no fun.

    • by sribe (304414)

      It's a shock what people lose sleep over in this day and age.

      Consider that honesty is mostly not something that people turn on and off depending on the situation. Management that requires IT staff to pirate software is management that's likely to screw staff over other things as well.

      • by vegiVamp (518171)

        My general experience is that an overwhelming majority of people does indeed treat ethics and values as something that's important except when inconvenient. I know a few people with very strong ethics who are willing to swallow the disadvantages, but they seem more the exception than the rule.

    • by ajlisows (768780)

      I agree with you for the most part, but I worked at a place where we were not even close to being compliant on licensing. Those handling the money were told...but hey! We already HAD Microsoft Office on every computer. Why should we buy it again? We went as far to take MS Office off a bunch of computers and going with...Star Office I believe it was. Our supervisor went to battle over that and lost. We were told to put MS Office back on the computers. During the ordeal a lot of employees outside of IT

  • good (Score:5, Informative)

    by mrphoton (1349555) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @06:23AM (#35191370)
    pirated software also hurts open source take up too.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Unlikely. It's just a cheaper path to the only solution they can employ. FOSS wasn't even on their radar.

      • Re:good (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Vapula (14703) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @08:25AM (#35191656)

        Some people would NEVER think about some commercial software if they couldn't pirate them...

        Think about these many kids toying with programs like 3DStudio, Adobe Photoshop, ... Their budget is near to zero but they are learning to use these tools using pirated versions... The alternative is they playing with Gimp, Blender3D, ... Which would lead to more people interrested in these softwares which would greatly benefit to the FOSS.

        The kids of today are the grownups of tomorrow...

        • As a user of Adobe Photoshop who switched to GIMP, Hooray! However, as a user of Lightwave who tried switching to Blender... Yuck, Blender sucks.
          • by Vapula (14703)

            Well, I didn't say that Blender or The Gimp were complete replacements for commercial application... There are still a lot of functionnalities missing...

            But a child or student who use it "for fun" instead of using a pirated copy of Photoshop/Lightwave/Maya/... would learn to use them...

            Many commercial software are closing their eyes on piracy because it means that more people learn to use their tools and, when they'll have to use them for commercial purpose, they'll have to pay... It's somehow a two speed h

        • I always wonder why The GIMP is listed as a viable alternative to Photoshop, given its awful interface, when the respectable and free (tho not FOSS) Paint.NET is overlooked. I really dont see why FOSS vs free would matter in the least to a business or burgeoning graphics artist, especially when the alternative is piracy.

          • by Alex Belits (437) *

            Shut up! Seriously, shut up. Gimp functionality is on par with everything useful that is in Photoshop, and was for quite a while. If you see it as an equivalent of Paint.NET, it means that you have not done with it anything other than clicking on big buttons in tools menu.

    • by h00manist (800926)

      pirated software also hurts open source take up too.

      A tidal wave of software inspections and lawsuits would certainly accompany a tidal wave of open source interest. The only times I ever heard anyone seriously considering switching over to Linux was when they just couldn't pay for Windows, and running unlicensed was not an option. I have removed Linux many times and replaced it with unlicensed.

      There is one heavyweight factor - *cost*. Zero cost Windows CD certainly competes with Zero cost Linux CD. People understand exactly what price means. They don'

  • $3,593.75 average (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 13, 2011 @06:24AM (#35191372)

    More than 59% of those reporting are no longer employed by the target company.

    Yep, and I wonder how many are unemployable?

    Or, how many can actually get another job?

    Two things you never want to be associated with:

    1. Thief.
    2. Whistleblower.

    $3,593.75 isn't worth it for me. If there were piracy going on where I worked and management was part of it, I'd keep my mouth shut and leave.

    No company wants someone who's going to go reporting on illegal activity - none. They may say they do, but in reality, they don't.

    Everyone, let alone entire companies, has something to hide. You may not know it, but you do - there's just too many laws, IP, regulations and whatnot to run afoul.

    • by thijsh (910751) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @07:16AM (#35191492) Journal
      1. A thief is a person who removes something of value for his own personal gain (either to use or sell for money).
      2. A whistleblower is a person who highlights inethical practices of otherwise unchecked entities without personal gain.
      3. A snitch on the other hand sells out his peers for a small reward, which is exactly what is happening here...

      Like you said everyone has something to hide and you should respect their privacy by letting them. This should only be violated for highly unethical practices that greatly affect people's lives, like whistleblowers do... These people are heroes who think of the greater good before thinking of themselves, they may be in low esteem from corporations but they are heroes to the common man. Snitches on the other hand are the scum of the earth who violate peoples privacy for mundane things like software piracy and get paid for it too... everyone rightfully hates a snitch because their actions are more unethical than the supposedly unethical things they snitch on. A whistleblower understands this equation of ethics and is on the right side of ethical behavior, a snitch only thinks of personal needs and grievances and does not take ethics into account until after the fact when it might be a good argument to hide their motives...
      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @08:54AM (#35191720)

        It isn't as though piracy in every company will be the same. So suppose that you work for a company and piracy is widespread, they don't pay for any of their apps. This includes apps by small developers, for who the couple thousand licenses would be a major, major sale. You go and talk to management about it and get told "You'll keep your mouth shut if you know what is good for you."

        In that case, I'd say you are quite justified going to an anti-piracy group, even if they do offer a reward. After all you tried to deal with the problem internally and couldn't, and the company is just ripping off others for their own gain.

        Now on the other hand if you work at a company where most software is licensed. You occasionally find some unlicensed stuff, but it is clearly not the norm or the policy. Things like users installing their own stuff because there are poor IT policies, or a group pirating something they need to do their job because their supervisor is incompetent. Management is clearly unaware of this, and you never bring it to their attention.

        In that case ya I'll call you a money grubbing asshole if you go to an anti-piracy group. After all it is entirely possible that the situation would be rectified if brought to someone's attention and if you don't want to do that for risk of retribution, just let it go, it isn't a big deal.

      • by h4rm0ny (722443)

        Snitches on the other hand are the scum of the earth who violate peoples privacy for mundane things like software piracy and get paid for it too...

        You think its mundane. A company selling software could be out of pocket by a lot of money, though. And bringing privacy into this... We're not talking knowing what some individual you wrote in a personal email or what websites they visited. We're talking about whether a company paid for the software licences or not. I don't believe you can't see the difference between those two categories of information.

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        I wonder if anyone ever turned down the reward? Even if I were desperate for money, I don't think I'd go that far.

      • by canajin56 (660655)
        I hope somebody robs you, and there are witnesses, and that fortunately for you, none of them are scum. You wouldn't want them violating the robber's privacy.
    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday February 13, 2011 @08:59AM (#35191738) Homepage Journal

      Two things you never want to be associated with:

      1. Thief.
      2. Whistleblower.

      If your boss is using some software without proper license, it's just not worth it to be a snitch.

      On the other hand, if your boss is dumping toxic chemicals into the water supply, is torturing people, or lying about weapons of mass destruction in order to start a war, it's definitely worth it to be a whistleblower.

      • On the other hand, if your boss is dumping toxic chemicals into the water supply, is torturing people, or lying about weapons of mass destruction in order to start a war, it's definitely worth it to be a whistleblower.

        Becoming associated with whistleblowing about torture and WMD lying? As Lenny Kravitz would say, "I wonder if I'll ever see you again". ;)

        Just kidding. I'm not diminishing the value of revealing important information, just noting the need for anonymity to avoid turning the whistleblower into a martyr.

    • by JordanL (886154)
      Oh, I dunno. I worked for this place once where they had an OSHA violation that was actually causing me to be ill. I asked them to fix it, and said that I wouldn't care except that I was getting headaches. They fired me the next day. Guess what I did? That's right, that day I got home and the first thing I did is call OSHA and report them for violations, and explain I'd been fired for mentioning it to my superiors. They got in some deep shit over that.

      Generally, and I know software piracy is a bit differ
    • by 1u3hr (530656)

      Or, how many can actually get another job? Two things you never want to be associated with: 1. Thief. 2. Whistleblower.

      I haven't read TFA but I wouldn't be surprised if you could rat out your (former) employer while keeping your name out of it: the BSA or whatever is going to do a raid to collect the evidence.

      Personally I was quite surprised when I realised that my former employer had pirated virtually all their business software. At least that explained the crappy quality of the manuals. If I'd ratted them out after I quit (there were plenty of reasons, but not as a protest against software piracy) they probably would h

    • by Grishnakh (216268)
      Ok, maybe I'm missing something, but how exactly do they find out that you're a whistleblower? It's not like you put that on your resume, or tell them in the interview.

      Now, of course, if they call your former employers, they might tell them, but remember, if they do, you can sue them. There's a reason that most companies now will NOT say anything about former employees except 1) dates of employment, and 2) eligibility to rehire (yes/no). You can easily find out if a former employer is trash-talking you t
  • by gstrickler (920733) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @06:24AM (#35191374)
    From TFA,

    "In 2010, SIIA sent approximately 1400 demand letters, collected close $40,000 in restitution."

    That's under $30/letter on average. From the SIIA website:

    "Those who report piracy taking place within an organization to SIIA may be eligible for a reward of up to $1 million."

    From TFA:

    "In 2010, the Software and Information Industry Association received 157 reports of alleged corporate end user software piracy. Of the 157 reports, 42 (or 27%) were judged sufficiently reliable to pursue. Of these 16 qualified for rewards totaling $57,500."

    $57k for 16 cases is a far cry from "Up to $1M". Could it be that they're being deceptive/misleading?

  • by upuv (1201447) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @06:28AM (#35191390) Journal

    OK So these people may feel morally better. They probably are.

    But when asked the question during an interview. "Why did you leave you last organization?" Answer "Oh I turned them in for a few thousand dollars."

    That is a career limiting move.

    Yah it's wrong but it's true.

    Then there is the industry. Only coughing up $57,000 grand total. That's not even an IT persons full time salary for a year. The reward or even stigma of the reward is doing more damage to personal lives than the good of correcting the poor behavior of companies. I'm sure MS has paid more for a poster about piracy than it paid out to people doing the right thing.

    It just makes me shake my head.

    • That is so true though someone turning in their organization for money should not be stupid enough to resign for that reason and let everybody know what he did and 57K is just lame
    • "What did you do at your last job?"
      "Oh, I saw something clearly wrong and participated in it."
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Threni (635302)

      > "Why did you leave you last organization?"

      "As a professional software developer, I wasn't prepared to stand by and watch other professional software developers suffer as a result of crimes carried out by my previous employer, nor did I want to participate in the aiding and abetting of criminals just because they're paying me.

      Stigma? Please! Only a company which commits illegal acts would have a problem with this.

      • Stigma? Please! Only a company which commits illegal acts would have a problem with this.

        So.. How do you like working for Santa Inc.?
        commits illegal acts is pretty much page unavoidable these days given the number of laws.

        http://www.amazon.com/Three-Felonies-Day-Target-Innocent/dp/1594032556/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top/177-5432351-7342110 [amazon.com]
      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @07:54AM (#35191568) Journal

        Only a company which commits illegal acts would have a problem with this

        Every company commits illegal acts. The nature of our legal system is that it's impossible to go through a normal day without breaking a few dozen laws. This is especially true of copyright infringement. Are you 100% certain that every piece of software in your company is licensed? No one has kept WinZIP installed past the shareware period? No one has copied a program from another machine without checking the licensing? The Windows installs are all on the corporate license key and not OEM versions?

        • by Ant P. (974313)

          Are you 100% certain that every piece of software in your company is licensed?

          Yes. Most of it's licensed as GPLv2. The windows installs are kept strictly quarantined and accounted for.

          • So, no one in your company has ever given someone they're working with a copy of the program binary and forgotten to include the source or a written offer for the source? That's probably the easiest way to violate the GPL, but there are a great many others and once you violate the GPL, you no longer have permission to duplicate the code, so the next machine that you install it on is illegal.
        • by h00manist (800926)

          Only a company which commits illegal acts would have a problem with this

          Every company commits illegal acts. The nature of our legal system is that it's impossible to go through a normal day without breaking a few dozen laws. This is especially true of copyright infringement. Are you 100% certain that every piece of software in your company is licensed? No one has kept WinZIP installed past the shareware period? No one has copied a program from another machine without checking the licensing? The Windows installs are all on the corporate license key and not OEM versions?

          That's not sufficient. Apparently you need the reciepts, proof of purchase. If you have all your CD's, stickers on the computers, serials installed correctly, software passes the audit, etc, but no reciepts, it seems you're still liable for piracy.

      • by upuv (1201447)

        You can basically assume that some sort of copy violation is taking place. Whether it be systemic or that stupid intern you just hired. The larger the company the more likely a violation will have occurred. Most of the time people actually think they are not breaking any rules. Software vendors all have different copy rules.

        Some for example state that you can X copies running at a time. This allows you to install the product everywhere but only run X number. While other are node locked meaning you ca

    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @08:04AM (#35191604)
      You're honest in job interviews? You're insane.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Mark me as insane, too. I'd rather flip burgers for someone honestly than hate myself for being a lying sack of shit at some place where my boss would hate me if he knew me.

        On that note, I'm thinking about going to work for someone else again, because I'm thinking about moving... cue the insanity

      • Ha! I know what you mean. I used to be quite frank in my job interviews, and although it usually caused a positive reaction, sometimes it backfired on me. I once told a developer in an interview that his proposed technical solution was just half-way to completely solve all of his problems and I offered an alternative solution. Obviously, I didn't get the job. Whatever, I got a much better one, in the interview, once again, I was frank (without being as aggressive :P ), and instead of rotting in a cubicle I

      • by upuv (1201447)

        Never lie in a job interview. Maybe don't exactly answer a question directly but don't ever lie.

        If you lie you will be found out. I have put a halt to a few interviews when clearly the person in front of me is telling a "I caught a fish this big" story.

        If you are lying to me in an interview what are you going to do on the first deadline?

    • If you're stupid enough to admit you turned in your last company for software piracy during an interview, you might want to consider these interviewing tips:

      1. Leave out the part about banging your secretary in the closet at the Christmas party. (This is a true story, an executive of a company I used to work for did this and was fired the next work day).
      2. Don't mention how you hacked in and read others' emails.
      3. Don't mention your recent discovery of youporn.
      4. Don't mention that you are a scratch go

  • by harvey the nerd (582806) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @06:29AM (#35191394)
    Only 57k total ???? I would expect from one, half decent bust. Sounds like beer money rather than bait. Let's face it, animus, deserved or not, is the big motivator.
    • by eddy (18759) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @06:41AM (#35191424) Homepage Journal

      You shouldn't be surprised, because typically these bounties state that you get some percentage of the money collected as damages through a court, but most cases are never reach that state, they're settled out of court. The idea that you can "turn someone in and become rich" is but a dream; in all likelihood you'll never see a dime. You'll just be that guy.

      • by jimicus (737525)

        In which case, the immense likelihood is not that 42 people received $1,357 each. More likely only one or two people got any money.

        The rest got nothing.

        Suddenly, it doesn't look like such a great deal. Furthermore, I can see an obvious way this could go wrong for the whistleblower:

        Give too little evidence, and it won't be worth pursuing. Give too much, and as soon as the BSA show what they intend to take to court, your former employer will settle out of court.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      If you consider $57K to be beer money, then we should go for a drink sometime (you're paying).
  • by unity100 (970058) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @06:46AM (#35191430) Homepage Journal

    In fact, many of SIIA's sources report that their primary reason for leaving the target company was the company's lack of ethical behavior related to software compliance.

    so they say then eh .... rather, they got fired, laid off, or quit/changed jobs and decided to make a quick buck or to take revenge.

  • I don't see any possible way for this to go wrong.
  • This is NOT whistleblowing, this is denunciation. But 57K in 2010 states that such traitors are rare, because ...
  • They are no "whistleblowers", they should better be compared to these people which were pointing jude families to the NASI during WW2...

    And SIAA could be compared to the NASI (or the Inquisition) for asking for such letters... Instead of rewarding such a behaviour, it should be strongly punished...

    Both the SIAA and these denunciators should be dragged to court in chains for such a lame behaviour !!!

    • they should better be compared to these people which were pointing jude families to the NASI during WW2...

      I'm hoping this guy is joking.

  • The HUGE reward was that I moved on, while that small company continued to fail, and actually tried to bribe Government investigators, as to their contract qualifications! They cheated 49 staff employees out of pay, intimidated everyone, and stole works from legitimate competitors. Glad they are gone from this classified government contracting arena, they won't be missed. I still wonder if they were on the payroll of foreign governments who are enemies to free countries. Well, my work there was done, an
  • I used to work with an "IT Professional" that had previously worked for the Geek Squad while he was in school. He bragged about all the money he got turning people in for illegal copies of Windows/Office. Microsoft would give him $100 for everyone he turned in and then call/threaten the person in question into buying a full copy of their software. I mentioned the fact that a lot of these people were probably totally unaware that someone had put illegal copies of windows on their computer (if they had the te
  • lots of repair shops load illegal copies of Window illegal copies of Windows/Office on systems.

    In company's some of it is poor paper work that makes some of the software illegal copies other it's PHB that have no idea or cheap higher ups that will not take that you can not have that software on there systems with out having to pay for it. Other times some taking a high cost piece of software and useing one copy for the full office.

  • 75% of all reports come from IT staff or managers, 11% from the company's senior management and 4% from outside consultants. More than 59% of those reporting are no longer employed by the target company.

    It sounds to me like 75% of the reports come from the people who probably installed the software in the first place, and most of them made the report after they were fired or quit.

  • Somehow, the stats really just don't surprise me at all. Although after this I'm sure all the IT managers will be scrambling to drop a few things..
  • is to never use anything but FOSS. Yes I know there will be those who respond, "But I work for a specialized X company doing Y and we have to use specialized software Z that only runs on Windows. Therefore, there is no way we could ever switch to FOSS." And that describes exactly 1% of all companies in the world.

    The vast majority of companies use a browser, a file server, word processor, spreadsheet, and email. Those problems were solved by FOSS long, long ago.

    So use FOSS exclusively in your company and

    • Using FOSS will save you a lot more trouble than just the BSA. If more companies did this, we'd have more of them poor money into FOSS, and it'd be even better...

      However, I think that corporations are a system defective by design, and we should have more self-employed in the world.

    • However, you may be the target of SFLC instead. Harder to violate the licenses, but just saying using FOSS will just automatically solve everything isn't entirely true.
      • by Alex Belits (437) *

        More Microsoft astroturfers.

        To violate GPL, you have to at very least distribute software in a manner that GPL prohibits. Until you start distributing it, you can do whatever the Hell you want.

        • I'm not sure how I became an astroturfer for someone not even mentioned in the thread before you just did.

          I agree it's harder to violate the GPL than most commercial licenses, my point was that it's a bad idea to use _any_ license - FOSS or commercial - without knowing what you agree to by using it.

          The limitations are usually there, just in different forms for different licenses.
    • by Grishnakh (216268)
      The problem is that lots of companies use some special software program that their business basically depends on. For instance, tons of dentist offices depend on Dentrix these days. Many other places use special accounting software. Sure, most of their other needs could be satisfied just fine with Ubuntu Linux, Firefox, and LibreOffice 3.3, but there's always that one special app that only runs on Windows. Because of that, that means they have to run Windows OS for all the employees who need that app.

      Of
  • I wonder how many of those who reported this obtained and/or installed pirated software. I am guessing that a lot of the time when businesses are reported, it is revenge motivated.

    Even if the person reporting the piracy wasn't the one who actually pirated the software, I hardly find reporting businesses to the BSA to be admirable behavior.

  • It was open source but Paint.net is not open source. The author was annoyed at people misrepsenting and reselling his work and closed the codebase.

"Who cares if it doesn't do anything? It was made with our new Triple-Iso-Bifurcated-Krypton-Gate-MOS process ..."

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