Business Software Alliance (BSA) has encouraged resellers to report end
users that they suspect of engaging in piracy after revealing that illegal
software rates in the UK channel are failing to fall.
The anti-piracy group’s annual Global Software Piracy Study, which was conducted by research house IDC, claimed that a 10 percentage point decrease in piracy rates could have strong implications on the UK economy in terms of creating new jobs and more tax revenues.
However, despite efforts from the BSA and other anti-piracy organisations, illegal software is still estimated at 27 per cent in the UK channel a figure that has remained unchanged for the past three years.
Najeeb Khan, a representative for the BSA, encouraged resellers to either report suspect customers to the BSA, or take it upon themselves to reason with them and eventually drop the account if appropriate.
“If a reseller comes across pirated software in a customer’s account it may not tell the BSA out of loyalty to its customer,” he said. “However, the VAR should try to address this issue and tell the customer it makes the relationship uncomfortable.
“Resellers may fear that they will lose an account if they confront a customer about illegal software, yet the customer will usually address the issue and stay with the VAR out of respect. Resellers should ask themselves do I really want to be doing business with a partner that has ignored my requests to address its illegal software?”
Khan said that the channel’s most effective weapon is awareness of the risks surrounding illegal software and how to avoid the piracy trap.
Michala Wardell, head of anti-piracy for Microsoft, agreed with Khan about educating the channel.
“Business software companies need to ensure that the reseller community is aware of the dangers of
trading in counterfeit software and the repercussions it has on both software retailers and the UK economy,” she said.
“Software pirates are denying genuine resellers the chance to form relationships with customers that could go on to purchase other services and products from them.”
Shaune Fröhlich, former chairman of VAR and Microsoft Gold partner Teksys, said: “If the BSA was to stop its efforts, the channel would see a huge increase in piracy. However, at present there is still plenty of room to improve.”
Matt Pawley, marketing manager at distributor Blue Solutions, said: “Blue Solutions works hard to promote the message of having a genuine channel. Microsoft also works hard on this message, however, the more the bigger OEMs can do to help, the better it is for the rest of the channel.”
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