Software channel disrupted by pirate and cheap software

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Vendors and friends need to play together nicely

The software channel is being disrupted by pirate and cheap programs, FAST has said.

And according to the organisation, there is still work to be done.

Software piracy has a huge impact on vendors and the business space. According to the most recent figures by the Business Software Alliance, unlicensed software with a commercial value of £1.2 billion was installed in the UK in 2010. It also found installations of unlicensed software on PCs in the UK stood at 27 percent.

However, despite ongoing education and crackdowns on this topic, it seems that the problem is still rife and could eventually damage the channel.

Julian Heathcote Hobbins, general council at FAST told ChannelBiz: “The simple rationale is that there is one business model here.

“Vendors, publishers etc sell their software through the channel instead of directly. This model has been very successful.

“However, in order to keep it like this, the channel needs to be clean. There needs to be a level playing field.”

He told ChannelBiz that selling software at a cheaper price for example, disrupts this model and causes competition.

“Pirate software also disrupts the channel and causes problems,” he said.

“At FAST we have a few cases we’re looking into. One involves a word of mouth newsletter with a company offering cheap software which disrupts the channel. And of course there’s the counterfeit software from China that’s sold over eBay.”

And companies can’t blame the recession for their wrong doings.

“Even in the boom era this sort of practice went on,” said Mr Heathcote Hobbins.

“It happens because companies can get away with it.

“The software model is different to the music and film one. Software vendors and makers don’t want to heavily encrypt their products because this makes it harder for people to use and could drive them to competitors’ software.”

The organisation aims to tackle the problem and make the channel aware through a range of ways. One includes road shows with the authorities for the software channel which aims to educate them on the damages pirated software has on the chain and how to spot this.

Two of these workshops will be taking place in May.


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