SOFTWARE piracy continues to lurk in the shadows of the legitimate IT industry and every so often rears its ugly head.
Microsoft is still the most vigilant of companies when it comes to busting counterfeit software.
Last week an Australian reseller, PC Club, was ordered to pay Microsoft Australia $1.3 million in damages for trademark and copyright infringement.
Vanessa Hutley, Microsoft Australia senior corporate attorney, is confident the ruling will send a clear signal to software pirates.
Hutley urges all Microsoft partners and customers to question deals that look too good to be true.
Legitimate business people should not have to compete with people who are undertaking these sorts of practices, she says.
Helen Robinson, Microsoft NZ director for small to medium businesses and partners, echoes the sentiment.
“It’s the same old thing, if it sounds too cheap it probably is,” she says.
While Robinson believes demand for counterfeited goods is probably driven from the consumer side, she says unscrupulous businesses are to blame.
“There are certainly some commercial organisations creating a market that makes it difficult for anyone else to survive.”
But, as IDC country manager Graeme Muller points out, piracy can have an even greater impact on small software companies.
“If you are a New Zealand company piracy is vitally important to you in the global market — especially in countries that don’t have a high regard for intellectual property. If you ship your product to China and someone thinks it’s good, they can make their own product and run with it and you’ve lost out,” he says.
• To read more on piracy in New Zealand and its negative effect on the channel, turn to page 16.