New Zealand resellers investigated for software piracy
Posted on 17-Apr-2009 12:22.
Filed under: News
Three Auckland-area companies found to be selling unlicensed software have settled with Microsoft as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to protect local resellers and consumers by reducing software piracy.
The three companies that entered into settlement agreements are: TDM Technology Limited, operated by Ayman Franso and Nicholas Jansen; Pars TV, operated by Al-Huseiny Ibrahim; and PCTown, run by Linjiang Yu. Two other companies did not settle with Microsoft, and the matters are before the Auckland District Court.
These latest settlements follow two High Court proceedings filed in November 2008 against Auckland-based traders charged with selling counterfeit Microsoft software likely sourced from China.
Kevin Ackhurst, country manager for Microsoft New Zealand, says software piracy by resellers most often occurs through “hard loading,” where computers or hardware are sold with counterfeit or unlicensed software pre-installed.
Research by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and International Data Corporation (IDC) from 2007 showed that 22 percent of software used in New Zealand is either non-genuine or used in violation of licensing agreements, costing the New Zealand economy USD$55 million in lost revenue.
“Piracy creates unfair market conditions for resellers, and in the current economic climate, every cent of revenue is critical,” says Ackhurst. “We cannot stand idly by while our channel partners and customers are at risk, and will continue to take responsible actions to ensure the safety and vitality of the local software economy.”
Pirated software is proven to be harmful to local businesses and puts users in danger of identity theft or harmful viruses.
IDC found that 43 percent of tested pirated software contained spyware, malware or other added binaries.
Pat Huo from local reseller PB Technologies says the impact of software piracy on the channel is significant and partners want to know offenders will be investigated and prosecuted to ensure a level playing field.
“Partners suffer from the unfair competition of companies selling pirated software. Legitimate businesses need to add margin on top of costs to turn a profit. When resellers hard load software, they’re going around this system to steal money from other local businesses and from the customers who pay them for a genuine product.”
The company says partners and customers can report suspected piracy on a special hotline set up by Microsoft at 0800 PIRACY (0800 747 229) or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.