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Rounding up Pirates

Techstination feature for Thursday, July 27, 2006

Rounding up pirates….and not just in the Caribbean. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Microsoft filed 26 lawsuits this month against companies that allegedly pirated software or installed unlicensed software on computers they sold. Mary Jo Schrade, a senior attorney with Microsoft, says consumers are often unknowing victims….buying PCs with versions of Windows and other software they assume are legal….

"Many people are victims of piracy without even knowing it. And it is difficult to tell sometimes but there are some signs. For example, if you get a price that's too good to be true, I'd be careful of that because it probably really is too good to be true. Secondly, when you buy a new computer, you should get a number of components with that including the back up disk that you would get with Windows for example and certificate of authenticity that would be attached to your computer and the manuals and other documentation. So I would advise consumers to look for those things and make sure they get those when they purchase a new computer."

Software piracy has gotten plenty of publicity in China and Russia ….but Schrade contends it is a big problem in the U.S. as well….

"The piracy problem in the United States is more prevalent that most people might think. It's estimated that it's in the range of about 24 percent for business software."

Microsoft is hoping the lawsuits will help to make consumers…and businesses more aware…of the risks. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.