Revulytics Blog

Waiting for software pirates to call?

March 24, 2009


The BSA and SIIA have made lots of news recently about large settlements made on behalf of their members (for example, “Utah Business Settles with BSA and Agrees to Pay $250k” and “SIIA Reaches Six-Figure Anti-Piracy Settlement with Iowa Corporation”). What are some of the takeaways of cases like these?

  • Piracy is not limited just to emerging markets – it’s a problem in the U.S., too
  • Legitimate corporations are using unlicensed business software – it’s not just students playing unlicensed games
  • When confronted with evidence of infringement, businesses will pay for their licenses

Indeed, the SIIA reported in its 2008 Anti-Piracy Year in Review that most of the cases it pursued involved “relatively larger companies – the average number of staff is over 804 with average annual sales of nearly $90 million.”

So how do they find out about these infringing companies? Both the BSA and SIIA rely on reports to their hotlines or websites. The BSA reports that it receives over 2,500 reports of software piracy each year and that “the majority of BSA’s leads come from current or former employees who had information relating to the unlicensed software activity.”

The problem here is that (in most cases) software vendors must sit and wait for the phone to ring to learn about actionable cases of infringement. Frustrated by revenue lost to piracy, many vendors seek to prevent their applications from being pirated by going after the crackers or piracy distribution channels (peer-to-peer, websites, CDs/DVDs sold on the streets, etc.). They end up in an escalating “arms race” with the crackers – each group trying increasingly sophisticated techniques to defeat the other, or they play “whack-a-mole” trying to stamp out the widely distributed and ubiquitous outlets for cracked software.

CodeArmor Intelligence allows software vendors to generate actionable piracy leads within days of their software’s release. Some are receiving more than 1,000 infringement reports a day to aid their business intelligence, potential sales and anti-piracy efforts. V.i. Labs offers the first solution that enables software vendors to be proactive about identifying the businesses that are actually using their software without paying for it.

So why wait for someone to call when you can be proactive about identifying the companies using your software without paying for it?

Activate Your Data-Driven Compliance Program

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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.