Software Piracy is Expensive Business

Every year, billions of dollars are lost to software piracy, which is the illegal distribution and/or copying of software for personal and/or business use. In 1996, the total losses sustained by the software industry as a direct result of software piracy were in excess of fifteen billion dollars worldwide.

That's a lot of software.

What many people fail to realize is that the harmful effects of software piracy reach far beyond the software publisher. While folks like us certainly feel the crunch because of software pirates, the ultimate victim in this crime is the consumer. Pirating software is stealing, and that makes prices go up. The more revenue that's lost because of stolen goods, the less that can be spent on research and development of new products and new innovations.

What can be done about it?

Symantec Corporation is a Worldwide member of the Business Software Alliance, an organization formed in 1988 spanning 65 countries across North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The mission of the BSA is to advance free and open world trade for legitimate business software by advocating strong intellectual property protection for software.

Since 1988, the BSA has filed more than 600 lawsuits against suspected software pirates. This, of course, represents only a tiny fraction of the criminals.

As a member of BSA, Symantec has the resources to prosecute software pirates. That said, however, our best information comes from our consumers, and for this we remain very grateful. To report software piracy, use the BSA hotline number to call the chapter in your area or complete the report online. If you know of, or believe you know of an organization or an individual who is committing software piracy, either through conventional distribution, or over the internet (web or ftp site), please let us know. With this sort of information, our investigation team can begin work. Our investigators will determine whether the case in question is, indeed, a case of software piracy, and what appropriate legal actions need to be taken.

If you would like to send a message to Symantec concerning a possible case of software piracy, please write to:

Symantec Corporation
Brand Protection Department
20330 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Cupertino, California, 95014-2132

Or send an email message to piracy@symantec.com. Be sure to include the words "piracy report" in the subject line of your message.

For more information:

Business Software Alliance

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