Code Confidential: The V.i. Labs Blog
Microsoft Goes to China, SIIA & FAST Team Up, BSA in S. Africa, and a Swede’s Arrest in Cambodia – Week in Review 9/10/2012
Welcome back to our weekly update where we filter and condense software piracy, licensing and protection news into easily digested summaries. We saw SIIA and FAST teaming up, Microsoft going to China, while the BSA is off in South Africa and finally a Pirate Bay founder is arrested in Cambodia. Want to know more? Read on. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Google+ and RSS to get the latest news as it happens.
SIIA, FAST teaming up to combat software piracy
Two of the biggest names in the fight against software piracy announced a partnership early last week. The UK based Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) and the US based Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) agreed to share resources in order to tackle the ever persistent problem software piracy. As Ken Wasch, President of SIIA, states in a press release, “Software piracy is a worldwide epidemic that requires a coordinated and aggressive global solution.”
Both companies are known for their aggressive campaigns against software piracy. Some of their tactics include the promotion of whistle blowing, suing infringing companies for software vendor’s lost profits and, in some cases, seeking criminal convictions. They also act as lobbyists for stricter intellectual property laws; “SIIA and FAST will work together not only to shut down copyright infringers, but to promote better intellectual property regulation and enforcement” says Wasch.
V.i. Labs applauds SIIA and FAST for continuing to be proactive and taking a cooperative approach to addressing intellectual property law and enforcement on behalf of software vendors. We are members of both organizations and team with them for our annual software piracy and license compliance panel discussions. Be sure to check out check out our 2012 panel discussion with Julian Heathcote Hobbins, General Counsel for FAST, and Keith Kupferschmid, SVP Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement for SIAA.
The BSA sets its sights on South Africa
The largest economy in Africa is not without its share of software piracy problems. According to the BSA’s estimates South Africa has the lowest rate of piracy in Africa at a relatively small 35%, but also has the highest value of unlicensed software on the continent – a whopping $564 Million. Software vendors and legal firms have taken notice, and in a recent survey 64% of businesses claim to have undergone a software audit last year. A regional license compliance manager stated that while the BSA won’t hesitate to bring suit against extreme cases of piracy, the primary strategy is still to educate businesses on license compliance and software management best practices.
Microsoft plans to hire 1,000 new workers in China
The most pirated software company in the world is planning to expand its presence in the geography with one of the highest rates of software piracy. As PC sales stagnate at home, Microsoft is looking to China as a key source of future growth. However, there are many hurdles Microsoft faces in China, software piracy being among the largest.
The difficulties facing Microsoft are exemplified by its recent suit against one of China’s largest electronics retailers for installing thousands of pirated copies of Windows and other software on their computers. Faced with an uphill battle, Microsoft’s new employees will undoubtedly be focusing a lot of energy trying to change the Chinese consumer’s perception of software piracy and the benefits of license compliance.
Hackers target the Cambodian government after Pirate Bay founder’s arrest
Svartholm Warg, Swedish co-founder of The Pirate Bay, was arrested in Cambodia last Sunday, September 2nd. Surprisingly, he was not arrested for activities related to the file sharing site, but for hacking a Swedish tax database back in 2010. According to the Financial Times a “hacktivast” group, feeling this amounted to internet censorship, allegedly hacked Cambodian government websites and publicly distributed a list of administrator passwords along with other miscellaneous documents. While Cambodia and Sweden lack an extradition treaty, the Cambodian Government plans to deport Warg back to his homeland to face prosecution.
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