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Software piracy:Will joint effort by vendors and industry associations end the menace?

Yogesh Gupta | March 25, 2013
Software piracy continues to be a menace. How can vendors and industry associations beat this problem?

BSA aims at increasing public awareness about using legal software and encourages the procurement of legal software both in private and public sectors. Capacity building initiatives have been hosted for Government officers in partnership with the Department of Electronics & IT (DIETY ), Government of India.

For the enterprise community, BSA offers an industry certification on software asset management (SAM) called certified in standards-based SAM or CSS (O). This helps companies implement and maintain effective SAM processes, which enable them to improve IT and business efficiencies, reduce the risk of being audited, control costs, and ensure software compliance and license optimization, says Thounaojam. It launched the CSS (O) certification in India in 2011.

Adobe also invests in training and is ready to assist law enforcement to identify counterfeit products. "We can offer customized training to various organizations. With Adobe Genuine Software, one can receive technical support, important updates, and future upgrades," says Sood.

Microsoft Store's online presence in India is a one-stop shop for a host of products from Microsoft ranging from Windows, Office, and Xbox to Microsoft books, Windows Phones, Windows PCs (including net books and webcams).

"'Dial-a-Software is an initiative with key aggregators in the top eight cities, where customers can call-in and get FPP (retail packs) delivered to their homes and offices. Through SAM, Microsoft encourages customers to assess and audit their IT environment through independent third parties," says Khanna at Microsoft.

A Bigger Consortium

Various IT associations and trade bodies like NASSCOM and FICCI play a vital role in the crusade against software piracy. ISODA (Infotech Software Dealers Association) advises all its members on ways of curbing software piracy at the customer-level by educating them, says Devesh Aggarwal, vice president, ISODA. "To achieve this, ISODA has joined hands with BSA, and formed an ISODA--BSA alliance," adds Aggarwal.

"BSA recently partnered with Trade Association of Information & Technology (TAIT) and ISODA to address IT compliance as part of its Advantage Channels initiative that aims to bring together software distributors, publishers and industry bodies," confirms Thounaojam.

An IT dealers and reseller association, Computer & Media Dealers' Association (CMDA) Pune, has worked with companies like Microsoft, and has held meetings with dealers to educate them on the benefits of using legal and licensed software, says its president, Jayant Shete.

Chetan Shah, Chairman of Association of Systems Integrators & Retailers (ASIRT), says that his association is taking steps to fight the menace, and is in talks with vendors to push the cause forward. 

Some vendors have also sought alliances to protect their business interests. Adobe has a partnership with BSA and the anti-piracy division of Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), which has helped in curbing the distribution and the use of pirated software.


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