Cheap software always a deal?

Many of us habitually look for the best deal when we’re shopping, but in the land of software, sometimes the best deal bites.

If you find a “great deal,” be very careful… that great deal might be pirated software, even if the seller claims it’s legal.

(This happened to me, btw. I bought a perfectly legitimate-looking piece of software, got it registered, and used it for awhile. But lo and behold, one day when I had to reinstall it, the manufacturer refused to give me the access code. Seems more than 10 other people had the exact same “unique” product ID.)

Do not knowingly or negligently use pirated software

Aside from the fact that it’s unethical, it can cost you, too. Here are just two recent announcements from BSA.org:

  1. Florida-Based Insurance Company Settles With BSA for Unlicensed Software Installations, Agrees to Pay $70,000
  2. New York-Based Data Collection Company Settles With BSA For Unlicensed Software Use, Agrees to Pay Over $62,000

Who is BSA? BSA is the Business Software Alliance, which “…is the voice of the world’s software industry and its hardware partners on a wide range of business and policy affairs.”

They reward people who turn in businesses that use software illegally.

One of the ads on the BSA site
One of the ads on the BSA site.

Have any unhappy former employees who would love to know about this?

Software sellers can be crooks and still look completely legitimate, appearing to provide the real thing. But BSA catches up with some of them, too.

The headline: BSA Wins $210,000 Judgment Against Delaware Man for Illegal Online Software Sales

The details: “The Business Software Alliance (BSA), which represents the world’s commercial software industry, announced today that its members have won a $210,563 judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Matthew Miller of Newark, Del., who sold illegal copies of software through an Internet auction site.”

So that’s just a “heads up” for you – be careful out there!

Photo credit: Stuck in Customs