back to article BSA dubs Manchester second worst for piracy

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has claimed that Manchester is the second worst city in England for software piracy. It said thousands of firms in the city will be targeted in the group’s latest campaign to clamp down on counterfeit software in Blighty, which it claims costs the economy nearly £1bn a year. The anti- …


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  1. Giles Jones Gold badge

    It's not piracy!!!

    Having a standard 'ghost' image of software or having a legal CD with the software on and installing it on a few too many PCs is not piracy. You are not running a pirate copy of the software downloaded or purchased illicitly.

    It is licence infringement or being unlicenced to run the software. Poor configuration management or auditing is to blame. Not all business knowingly run themselves into such a situation. Those that do realise they're unlicenced should be punished.

  2. Colin Morris
    Gates Horns

    line Microsoft’s pockets

    The crossed out line in the article of 'line Microsoft's pockets' should actually read 'line Microsoft's pockets FURTHER'.

    I agree that software piracy should be illegal but anyone who thinks that Microsoft do not benefit indirectly from software piracy is living in cloud cuckoo land. If people in developing countries or people elsewhere in the world who can't afford M$'s high prices switched to free alternatives then Microsofts market share of operating systems and Office productivity software would be in serious decline.

    ... and don't get me started on anyone who believes that M$'s prices are high because of software piracy. The Balmer/Gates cartel charge what they like due to having historically non-exisitant competition. Now if international goverments and organisations could just be brave enough to switch to open source en masse.....

  3. Law


    It's a proud day for us Mancunians then!! :)

    Wonder if we can up our game and beat the Londoners....

    *starts replacing all the linux workstations with pirated Windoze*

  4. evilbobthebob

    Software piracy has a devastating effect on the economy

    – the sector employs 40,000 people in the UK.

    Well, if piracy gives people jobs, what's so bad about it?

  5. dervheid
    Paris Hilton

    Oxymoron here...

    "definitive evidence from trading standards or the HMRC"

    Overly optomistic morons there!

    Note to BSA. Cheaper original software = less piracy.

    Paris, as I'd imagine, like any woman, she (probably) loves a bargain.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    BSA - Bull Shit Alliance?

    they must think of a number and x100 lol

    if the gov put a stop to rip off britain it wouldnt be so bad, but they never will, and neither will the companies extorting us all, so long live the pirate's YARR HARR!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    LMFAO at that one :D

  8. Joe Stalin

    Glasgow Company

    I got a phone call from a buissness owner in Glasgow after he recieved the letter from BSA. So I went over to his small office to do an audit for him, but not only of the software and it's licenses but also the function of the software. The end result was his ten computers were re-organised, two binned, 6 upgraded to linux (with openoffice and other FOSS goodies), one left with XP (for legacy app) and one with Server 2000 (soon to be upgraded as well). BSA let loose with a foot-gun turned another customer away from M$. The BSA is the best friend Linux ever had

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Line Microsofts pockets...

    So MS make Photoshop, AutoCad, Premiere, Acrobat, 8i etc etc?

    Yes MS is pirated / overused, but I bet there are several thousand dodgy copies of Photoshop floating around in businesses, in fact it wouldn't supirse me if there were more dodgy copies of Adboe software than Office.

    @ Colin, yes everyone move to free software. Oh and farmers provide our food for free and can we have our petrol for free and Colin, can you work for free thanks, after all why should anyone pay you for any work you have done?

    For those who promote the wonderful world of "free", remember it's only "free" because of other peoples good will and donations. If no one is going to get paid for writing software, why would anyone enter the career in the first place? Scary I know, but people do have to pay wages, run systems, pay petrol etc etc.

  10. Jamie

    Worked IT sector in London

    I have done installs of MS software at companies in London for a thrid-party software company and I have on multiple occassions seen licenses being flaunted and actual pirated software being used.

    One company (no names) had a VKL copy of Win2K3 server running for a network of 3 other computers. This was setup for a cut down cost by his IT person. Because of such and the lack of an update he paid over 2000£ for me to install a peice of software that I could not do as I could not get a MS update.

    At another site they had MS SQL Developers edition running as that is what was recommended by the IT Manager, as a way to save money compared to Standard.

    If cost is that big a problem, just start looking at Open Source. Dump Office and go Open Office, which would save some companies more per year than an IT persons salary.

  11. Gerrit Hoekstra
    Paris Hilton

    BSA - the end is neigh

    "Software piracy has a devastating effect on the economy", exaggerates Julie Strawson from the BSA, although she may be right for the big 90 vendors who line BSA's pockets. I can imagine Bill Gates' little children queueing up at the local Redmond soup kitchen with empty tin bowls were it not for the BSA's noble efforts, can't you?

    Seriously though; to generalize software piracy to an economy at large smacks of self-serving, tabloid-style scare mongering. Licensing costs are a small part compared to implementation and operational costs of software, so the BSA's role in all this is of little consequence. Perhaps the BSA realises that its days are numbered, especially with the increased use of open source software (which you are free to 'pirate')?

    Paris Hilton - because she, like Julie Strawson, is also prone to a little exaggeration.

  12. John Cockroft

    Why not use open source software rather than pirate commercial software

    So is the BSA suggesting that businesses install *legal* open source software instead of pirating commercial software e.g.:

    * OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office

    * Dia instead of Microsoft Visio

    * Evolution instead of Microsoft Outlook

    * Planner instead of Microsoft Project

    * Scribus instead of Microsoft Publisher

    * KompoZer instead of Microsoft Frontpage

    * SharpDevelop/MonoDevelop instead of Microsoft Visual Studio

    * PDFCreator rather than Acrobat Distiller

    or even (gasp)

    * GNU/Linux (e.g. Ubuntu/Fedora/openSUSE/PCLinuxOS/Slackware) instead of Microsoft Windows

    Of course they won't recommend using open source software rather than pirating commercial software. They are a self-serving corporate software propoganda machine intent of maximizing profits of commercial software vendors such as Microsoft or Adobe rather than actually trying to educate the public and reduce piracy.

  13. Mark

    @Stu Reeves

    Stu, last I looked, neither Adobe nor MS had a large presence in the UK. So if all this money is spend, where does it go? The US.

    Not much help for the UK.

    And remember that the BSA don't consider the sticker or certificate of authority or even the upgrade license a valid license.

    If you upgraded, you MUST have each and every previous upgrade back to the original purchase. Even if that goes back to Windows 95. The Inland Revenue don't require longer than 5 years for their records to be accepted. The BSA wants to count a lost sale in ANY WAY IT CAN.

  14. Jaster

    Not all Commerical is the same

    Some like Windows/Office etc have open source alternatives, some have possible alternatives (Photoshop/GIMP) which many will not use because of an alien interface or lack of features, some have no alternative

    Much of the software piracy in business is unintentional, unnoticed, or ignored

    Many of the software developers who contribute to open source projects, write as their jobs the third type of program, many of these are vastly expensive "systems" that no-one could or would want to pirate since most of the cost is installation configuration customisation and maintenance not a price for just the licence (usually the cost of the licence is a minor part of the cost)

  15. Tim

    Software Makers are the WORST for using unlicenced gear!

    Having worked in software, the people who write the software are the worst for using unlicenced copies of other's software themselves. Our place had one legit copy of 3d Studio (then about £3500), and went about de-dongling it and installing it on another 20 computers.....

    My heart doesnt bleed for these people, as i have had my hard-earned money stolen by Mssrs Brown and Darling anyway!

    Skull and crossbones? for Piracy.... Yeaarrrh!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fuck em

    Our business has had letters from the BPI and the BSA in the past. They go in the bin because I'm not listening to fuckwits sending letters out blindly in the hope that some moron will be scared by their meaningless threats.

    Tell them to fuck off is my advice.

  17. Geoff Mackenzie

    @Stu Reeves

    I've heard that argument so many times. Very little of software developers' pay comes from the sale value of the software they write. I'm paid to develop software that has zero sale value because my employer wants to use it. If it was open source and distributed freely it wouldn't impact its use value and wouldn't hurt my salary.

    Most software developers employed in the UK and worldwide are paid based on the use value of the software, not its sale value. Most of us are working on systems that are not really worth distributing, because they are quite exactly matched to the requirements of a particular business.

    Well, anyway, I'm not going to write the whole argument out again. Eric S. Raymond said it best anyway. I recommend reading some of his essays.

  18. Joe Stalin

    Line Microsofts pockets...

    Somebody missed something here. Software used to be the means to sell hardware, it was used as a sweetner. Bill G came along and redefined the model, software was the product hardware was the sideline. Open Source is an attempt to change the model yet again, the cost of hardware has been reduced to the bare minimum (graphics cards aside) Open source offers the chance of low cost software (the OS might be free but support probibly needs bought in) Stu hasn't seen the light yet be that by choice I can't say but he will be the last M$ customer when the rest of us have moved on.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    From a Manc and proud

    We are poor up here so we can't afford to pay for your la de da rip off priced southern software monopoly

    Now piss off BSA before we nick your car as well.

    Getting my coat ? Hell no going though your pockets !

    Now where is that bottle of open sauce ?

  20. Gary


    Fuck em

    By John Naismith

    Posted Monday 19th May 2008 15:00 GMT

    Our business has had letters from the BPI and the BSA in the past. They go in the bin because I'm not listening to fuckwits sending letters out blindly in the hope that some moron will be scared by their meaningless threats.

    Tell them to fuck off is my advice.

    I refer the learned gentlemen to the answer my colleacue gave earlier. (Skull and Bones added to let you know which side I favour. (If I can find the right button!!!) Gary

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Remember, it's only illegal if...

    .... you get caught (or is that court?)

  22. Ascylto

    ... a devastating effect on the economy

    The BSA doesn't say (of course) that it needs to publicise its lack of effect disguised as threats because it NEEDS software pirates to justify(!) its existence.

    Nor does it state the bleedin' obvious ... that the overblown, bloated software (of whatever persuasion) has a far more devastating effect on the economy than their pirates.

    "Sorry, the computer's down." (Actually, it's the software!).

    Good for the pie-rats I say!

  23. Steve B

    Why do people advertise BSA

    I got fed up with corporate directors presenting me with software audits to fill in and send back to the BSA so I did some investigating, particularly as the various directors went apoplectic on seeing the threatening missive immediately enter the round filing cabinet by the desk without even a first glance.

    BSA are a commercial company and have no rights other than those accorded to any commercial company, eg if your competitor send you a letter demanding to know what processes you used in your business you would probably not answer it. This is no different to the BSA, which despite hiding behind such jargon as "chair of the BSA's UK committee" in an attempt to appear to be a public body with merit, is just another commercial entity.

    I passed the info on to a journalist who wrote an expose which stopped the BSA in its tracks. The next year they held a much diluted campaign, but it looks like they are again trying their luck. It does help if you know you are legal, but under no circumstances invite this company to help you do an audit, go anywhere else, and if you can't afford the licences utilise open source.

    Unless something has changed recently, when it comes down to it, articles like this are just free advertisements for BSA. If I wrote to El REG and said I offered a similar service for the citizens (many descended from real smugglers and pirates) of South Dorset, I doubt if it would get a mention and unlike BSA I am not funded by M$ etc.

  24. Martin Pittaway
    Black Helicopters


    Software development is costly; that's fact. Someone has to pay the nerd to write the code.

    Three issues here.

    First. Developers issue software code that's still in development stage (beta testing).

    Second. They charge we users for the privilege.

    Third. They then expect us users to pay for an upgrade to the version that we have paid to test on their behalf.

    This is profiteering on a grand scale. and then the software authors accuse the users of 'stealing'. Isn't this more a case of taking some reward for the hassle of testing?

  25. Glenn Charles

    re Giles Jones/It's Not Piracy

    "Those that do realise they're unlicenced should be punished."

    We are. They made us Americans.


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