Revulytics Blog

Unfair Competition Laws and Software Piracy

March 12, 2013


The use of unfair competition laws to address the use of pirated software is gaining momentum. Businesses that pay for licensed software are at a disadvantage when their competitors use that same software but don’t pay for it. In addition to states like Louisiana and Washington enacting specific legislation, we are seeing other states using existing law to level the playing field.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley was right when she said, “Businesses using unlicensed software should not gain an unfair cost advantage over rivals who play by the rules. We are committed to ensuring that companies doing business in Massachusetts compete on a level playing field.” She led the effort in October 2012 to fine Narong Seafood Company, Ltd., a Thai seafood processor, for using pirated software.

In January 2013 California Attorney General Kamala Harris filed lawsuits against Indian and Chinese apparel manufacturers “for using pirated software in clothing production imported and sold in California.” Harris stated that:

“This is an anticompetitive practice which harms our state economy and is illegal. These lawsuits go after overseas companies whose unlawful actions are eroding California’s garment industry and placing California companies who legally pay for computer software at a disadvantage.”

Abhi Joshi

We addressed this topic briefly in our recent 2013 License Compliance and Software Piracy Panel Discussion with SIIA and FAST (see an excerpt in the video below), but the topic is important enough to warrant its own discussion. We invited Abhi Joshi, Managing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, to lead a webinar and discuss:

  • the rise in global support for fair competition
  • corporate efforts to keep global supply chains free of pirated software
  • how software vendors can benefit from these laws

Watch the recording of the webinar.



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Michael Goff

Post written by Michael Goff

Marketing Director at Revulytics
Michael is Marketing Director at Revulytics where he is responsible for corporate marketing, content, and social media. He has helped to educate the industry on the benefits of software usage analytics for compliance and product management through the company's blog and contributed articles in trade publications. Michael was previously a marketing programs manager at The MathWorks and principal at Goff Communications. Michael earned a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. from Colgate University.