Corel is planning to give illegal users of its applications an amnesty, enabling them to legalise their pirated copies of WordPerfect and WordPerfect Office for $29.
The Canadian software vendor found that market research data about the WordPerfect installed base indicated that US usage had grown 10 per cent in 1998 to 22 million users, but Corel had not experienced a corresponding rise in its own figures.
A representative at Corel said: 'We didn't see a corresponding rise in registrations. As a result, many unlicensed copies of WordPerfect may have been subject to unintentional pirating, for example, by companies that unwittingly use more copies of the program than they have licences for.'
The company hopes to turn illegal users into paying customers by offering to legalise any copy of WordPerfect or WordPerfect Office for the $29 fee. In return, users will receive a one-page licence document, but no software.
The document will also allow users to take advantage of upgrade pricing.
They will be able to purchase WordPerfect Suite 8 or the forthcoming WordPerfect Office 2000 for the upgrade price of approximately $89.
The exact terms of the amnesty will differ from country to country. In the US and the UK, the $29 fee will apply to all WordPerfect versions prior to the current WordPerfect Suite 8.0. But in France, only versions up to WordPerfect Suite 6.1 will qualify.
However, one observer said the move could open Corel up for a lot of abuse, as some users would use the opportunity to upgrade from very old software, such as WordPerfect 4.2.
Corel has set up a hotline for users, as well as an email address, [email protected]
Two weeks ago, Corel announced its support for Linux, pledging to develop software for the platform (PC Dealer, 10 March). Corel became the first mainstream commercial company to launch its own Linux release.
See Linux feature, page 48.
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