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BSA and the Morality of Informants, Microsoft and Autodesk sue a Chinese Corporation and an Update on the Case of a Pirate Bay Founder - Week in Review 12/10/2012

December 10, 2012

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Welcome back to V.i. Labs’ weekly update on software license compliance and piracy. This week we cover the BSA's boast about the morality of informants, Microsoft and Autodesk sue a Chinese corporation and an update on the case of a Pirate Bay Founder. Read on and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Google+ and our RSS feed to get the latest news.

Morality is the Motivation Behind Anti-Piracy Informants in Australia

In 2012 the BSA settled 14 unlicensed software cases in Australia for a total of $440,237. All of these cases were brought to the BSA’s attention by informants within the infringing companies. Although the BSA offers a very generous informant reward program – in some cases offering rewards up to $1 Million ($5,000 in Australia) – the BSA reports that nearly fifty percent of informants blow the whistle for “moral” reasons.

With about half of informants citing moral, rather than financial reasons, it appears the BSA's anti-piracy educational programs are paying off. However, it's possible some informants simply claimed a moral reason to make themselves look better.

In a statement the BSA said that the “result shows a growing public appreciation of the importance of the Australian IT sector to Australia’s economic future, and recognizes that pirating software is unfair competition.”

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Microsoft and Autodesk Team Up to Sue Chinese Company For Piracy

Last week Microsoft and Autodesk announced legal proceedings against an unnamed Chinese company for unlicensed use of their software. The software giants are suing for $1.2 Million in compensation.

According to the court filing the Chinese company allegedly was using pirated versions of Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office and Autocad. The company was found to operate more than 100 computers with pirated Microsoft and Autodesk software. The Chinese company claims that the software came preinstalled and that they aren't liable.

Piracy is a well documented problem in China and the Government has made a concerted effort towards compliance. For its part, Microsoft has significantly stepped up its enforcement efforts in China, suing three very large state owned firms earlier this year.

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Pirate Bay Founder Released from Solitary Confinement

Last August, Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm was arrested in Cambodia and extradited back to Sweden to serve an old sentence for his involvement in The Pirate Bay and to face unrelated charges of hacking and fraud. Ever since he landed back home in Sweden, Gottfrid was placed in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. He had been in custody for three months and was released from solitary confinement last week.

Swedish prosecution extended custody over Mr. Svartholm as they continued to gather evidence and implicate him in additional instances of hacking and fraud. While the suspicions of hacking and fraud haven’t been dropped, the courts have yet to officially charge Mr. Svartholm with a crime. If no charges are brought by May he will be a free man, as the time he served in custody will be applied to his sentence in the Pirate Bay case.

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Victor DeMarines

Post written by Victor DeMarines

Vice President, Products & Strategy at Revulytics

Victor DeMarines brings extensive security product management and marketing experience to Revulytics, where he is responsible for product strategy and direction. He is a frequent speaker and author on topics including piracy, reverse engineering and the protection of intellectual property.