Anti-piracy body says court orders issued to RedPC and Overclockers followed several attempts at diplomacy
Industry onlookers have questioned the Business Software Alliance’s (BSA) approach to conducting software audits after two channel firms were hit with court orders.
The BSA applied for court orders against RedPC Services and Overclockers earlier this month for suspected use of illegal software. The BSA claims both companies failed to respond satisfactorily to requests to undergo a software audit.
Najeeb Khan, vice chair of the BSA’s UK Committee, told CRN: “We tried a number of times to mediate and find an amicable agreement through diplomacy, but we had to apply for a court order.”
Khan indicated that talks with both firms are still taking place. “We have started dialogue,” he said. “The hearing will not take place until August, so there is always a possibility that common sense will prevail. We will work very hard to find a business-like resolution.”
The BSA has made a number of headlines in the channel already this year after urging VARs to confront customers using illegal software in January. Targeted crackdowns have also taken place in Glasgow and Manchester this year and the first drop in piracy rates in three years was announced in May.
RedPC Services and Overclockers are not the only channel players to land in hot water with the BSA this month, after security distributor e92plus agreed to an out of court settlement. “The channel could do better as they deal with IT and sell IT. The BSA not only does education, it also does enforcement,” said Khan.
Overclockers’ managing director, Rupert Lowery, said: “I was disappointed with the release issued by the BSA. Its approach has been
fairly aggressive and we take this investigation very seriously. We will present it with our findings.”
Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of distributor Wick Hill, said: “We strongly support the use of legal software. But is the BSA taking them to court for failing to fill in a voluntary form.”
Another industry source, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “The BSA has not been as effective as it would have liked. I have been on the receiving end of its procedures and it was harassment.”
E92plus and BSA agree to settle out of court
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