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back to article Microsoft tops list of software piracy nailed in UK by FAST

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) - which investigates whistleblowers' allegations of organisations and individuals using pirated software - said half of the copyright-infringement claims it dealt with last year that were settled out of court involved Microsoft wares. The federation today disclosed its stats for the …

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Holmes

So, world's most popular and over-priced software is the world's most pirated software?

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong, you're on about Photoshop. A flipping paint program that costs more than Windows!

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Anonymous Coward

Photoshop CS6, £350.

Paint.NET free

MS Paint, Priceless.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 13:27

Linux distro £0.00 (optional donation)

GIMP £0.00 (optional donation)

LibreOffice £0.00 (optional donation)

TCO £0.00 , regardless of the bullshit MS FUDs up Linux costs.

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Anonymous Coward

"Photoshop CS6, £350"

I'm not sure what version that is, but I just looked on Amazon and Photoshop CS6 is a whopping £608. Photoshop is ridiculously overpriced and now with Photoshop CC, you don't even own the software.

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Windows

Re: @AC 13:27

@ac13:36

Linux Distro ( Which one there are thousands to choose from also blank DVDs, USB Sticks cost money. If you get stuck whilst installing you are on your own. By not knowing how to pass the correct parameters to Grub for your graphics card you will be treated as a complete noobie on any Linux forums. They won't help but they do sneer. Professional Pyschological treatment is expensive and you will need several sessions.

GIMP : Shouldn't take any more than 3 years to learn the basics. It's the kind of software that you will use only after being tied to a tree and beaten with a big stick. You will need to stock up on plenty of toilet paper/tissues. It will have you shitting and crying in next to no time.

Libre Office : Welcome to the 1990s, it makes MS Office 95 feel modern. You will never again feel Hip and Cool. You will have to rush out and buy yourself a "beard". You will lose your friends and your parents will no longer send you files, they will say things like "WTF is ODF". You will be relegated to solitary confinement at the end of the garden.. You will end up buying expensive copies of the "survivalist guide to Linux and office for the poor".

TCO : You will become bald, tearing your hair out as soon as a LIB is out of sync or between deciding with Desktop Manager Thingy to use for the day.... Hair replacement is more expensive than MS Windows.

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Re: @AC 13:27

I think you're a bit out -of-date.

Mint, Ubuntu etc install far more easily than Windows these days. A sixty something year old friend of my Dad's found the Ubuntu install so easy that he literally couldn't believe it was true. This was after years of struggling to get Windows to do things. So he installed Ubuntu two more times and of course it just installed perfectly each time in under thirty minutes.

GIMP is very professional and works fine for my limited needs. I'm not an expert but OH is a Graphic Designer and PS and GIMP look very similar to me.

Libre Office is used by our administrator who only ever used Office before and she's absolutely fine with it. The only difference is that LO is faster. In fact, I've installed Ubuntu and LO for a few small offices and they use it fine - i.e. I don't get any calls!

I suggest you get a recent Linux distro - (Mint is a good one for newbies - although I would also recommend Xubuntu). Once you try it I'm sue you'll be amazed. Until you try it I suggest you should hang fire on comments like you've made because this is a techie's site and you're coming across as a Fanboi.

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Unhappy

@AC 13:40

"Photoshop CS6, £350" - I'm not sure what version that is, but I just looked on Amazon and Photoshop CS6 is a whopping £608.

I just looked, there's a 'sponsored link' at the bottom of the page to someone selling it for £349 - no idea how kosher it is though as the only £300-odd CS6s on Amazon itself are for upgrades.

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Anonymous Coward

@khaptain

Your icon says it all.

You are talking shit, I think kraptain is a more appropriate username for you.

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Happy

Time to move towards open and free software. For some Windows users I would suggest doing it on Windows first, step by step.

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@Khaptain

You're right that there are way too many distros. However, Mint or Ubuntu will do fine for most users, out of the box. I put Ubuntu on my parents' laptops (not my distro of choice) and found it very easy, including encrypting the root partition. No tweaking was needed.

Gimp isn't easy for the newbie, but nor is Photoshop. It does what it does, and it does it without cost. Professionals are never going to switch, but the casual user is either going to use GIMP or pirate a copy of Photoshop.

My folks found Libre Office pretty easy to use, and more intuitive than recent versions of Office. Personally I actually like the ribbon, apart from the screen space you lose. I wouldn't pay for it with my own money though.

The same goes for Windows. I use the Windows 7 licence which came with my laptop for my desktop PC (I never installed it on the laptop). I use it because I play games on it and that's the only reason. I wouldn't buy it, mainly because it's not very good and a step backwards from XP.

By the way, does Microsoft Office really make you feel "Hip and Cool"? If it does, I really, really pity you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 13:27

Linux - May not run all your hardware, budget around £400 to replace that with older/inferior kit that Linux does support. Replace every laptop with older (i.e. non-discrete) graphics cards that Linux does run on.

GIMP - Cannot replace Photoshop, budget £1,000 per seat for Windows etc. for this who needs it (this includes interop for your new Linux dominion)

LibreOffice - Cannot replace MS Office and custom tools, budget £2,000 er set to re-write from scratch.

Current budget: circa £2,000+ per seat. And that's BEFORE the support contract!

In your scenario, Linux is an epic fail. It may (just) be suitable for a NAS. And they're not cheap either.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 13:27

"GIMP is very professional and works fine for my limited needs. I'm not an expert but OH is a Graphic Designer and PS and GIMP look very similar to me."

GIMP does not support CMYK. GIMP can also not reproduce PS's output with EXACT fidelity, nor can it reproduce the exact output of PS plugins etc.

If you admit to not knowing what you are talking about, why do you continue to talk. Speak to your OH and get an education.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 13:27

>>>Linux - May not run all your hardware etc etc

What on Earth are you talking about? None of what you say makes any sense at all. You're just plucking numbers from thin air and making up pointless arguments. The only thing you say that makes even the slightest bit of sense is GIMP not being a replacement for Photoshop. For a professional it's not. For the average casual user it's perfectly fine. And absolutely free.

If you really need Photoshop, then yes, you'll need a supported OS, and most graphics designers would go for Apple. So no £1000 for Windows. That's a lot of money for Windows, by the way. Most people don't pay that. And even if you did use Windows, why would you need interop?

Explain yourself.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 13:27

"What on Earth are you talking about?"

Reality. Linux simply does not support the level of current hardware that Windows does (e.g. UEFI, SmartBoot etc). And that's before we get into hardware that may be required for particular tasks. To get Linux running, you have to buy hardware that's behind the curve to allow the opensourcers to catch-up (copy) everyone else.

"So no £1000 for Windows."

Yes £1,000 for Windows. You are looking at the included cost of PhotoShop, plus the effort to integrate that Windows box into the Linux network (SAMBA is no where near as good or as efficient as Active DIrectory).

There is a reason Linux is barely 1% of the installed user base globally. The words "not", "fit", "for" and "purpose" come to mind.

Oh, I left out one other cost: the MASSIVE amount of retraining (users and suppot staff).

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Facepalm

Re: The words "not", "fit", "for" and "purpose" come to mind.

The words "Fear," "Uncertainty" and "Doubt" come to mine.

The Microsoft Screamers are out in force here, but the more they scream, the more it sounds like screaming --- and the less notice people take of them. So go on, screamers, have your little hissy fit whenever someone mentions Linux. You can, if you must, even pretend that you're right and that people are listening.

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Re: the world's most pirated software?

No

FAST (and BSA) are using the word "pirated" because of its sensational and emotional impact.

The vast majority of FASTs & BSA's victims are actually companies who have volume licensed products but for various reasons have not kept close tabs on their licenses. Hence have ended up with more products installed than they have formally declared. I suspect that this is what Perth and Kinross Council were really guilty of.

Remember, because of the way Windows (since 95) activates, it shouldn't be possible to have multiple physical machines (ie. ignoring VM's) using the same license key unless it is a volume license key.

However, there are some that do take advantage of things, so some "system builders" in reconditioning PC's don't do a complete clean install of Windows, but leave the license already on the machine intact. By "system builder" I mean both third-parties (who refurbish PC's for resale) and in-house IT organisations (who supply used PC's to employees for use at home).

Obviously with the rise of VM's and the non-availability of licenses from MS and resellers for Windows XP and other older MS products, we can expect more organisations and individuals to fall foul of MS licensing conditions...

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Windows

Re: @AC 13:27

"made because this is a techie's site and"

Hahaha.. Are you new here????

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@Khaptain

This is OT, but I've just been through the pain of reloading my laptop - XP suffered fatal internal disintegration and was bluescreening. So I bit the bullet and installed a Win 8 upgrade. Cue several hours of faffing around with Classic shell etc. OK, finally all working... except for a USB to serial converter for PICAXE programming.

I'm completely with you on the distro confusion, but I followed the herd and went for Mint with MATE - simple install alongside Win8, everything worked out of the box. I've not needed to drop to the command line at any point. Although the intention was to only boot into Linux when wanting to play with the PICAXEs, I haven't bothered to go back to WIndows.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 19:25 "MASSIVE amount of retraining"

> "MASSIVE amount of retraining"

And that is with the typical Linux desktop environment having a UI that pretty much works like XP. On the other hand, the only Microsoft desktop environment on offer today has a UI that is MASSIVELY different from XP (some thhings do work like XP but there has been a concerted effort to hide them!). Thus the retraining effort is even higher if staying with Microsoft for the long term - and because there is a major UI change every 6 years, you can be sure that your investment in training will be obsoleted by the next big MS UI refresh.

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Anonymous Coward

Of course

No one ever pirated IOS software or is it just such a small userbase that no one tells on them

get over the "overpriced" shit and watch your overpriced car losing value

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Pirate

Re: Of course

"No one ever pirated IOS software or is it just such a small userbase that no one tells on them"

FAST is not a government agency, a member of the legal fraternity or the judiciary. They are a "not-for-profit" organisation that is funded by the big software developers; and they only act on behalf of the people that fund their activities.

AFAIK, Apple don't pay anything to FAST; so I suspect that the good people at that organisation probably don't give a tinker's cuss if anyone pirates iOS.

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Coat

Re: Of course

A tad pointless to pirate IOS since it only works on Cisco kit.

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Anonymous Coward

But...

Last week they said using knock-off software gave a ROI of £28 which sounds good for no outlay.

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Re: But...

"Last week they said using knock-off software gave a ROI of £28 which sounds good for no outlay."

What does an ROI mean on no outlay?

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Re: But...

>What does an ROI mean on no outlay?

It's a bit like winning the Loto without having had to buy a ticket. ( If I correctly understood the logic)

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Re: But...

wouldn't a return on nothing be infinite, or some other brain numbing number??

or would we just get a divide by zero error....

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Only if there was some sense to the original study

If I download one copy of MS Office, I am supposed to get £28 from somewhere. If we follow the 'logic', by downloading 100 copies, £2800 magically appears in my wallet. Perhaps they mean that can sell pirate copies MS Office for £35, and the the cost of the sale is £7. This all seems a bit pointless as I could charge £35 for installing Libre Office without breaking the law and my customers would be better off. I think the real flaw here is assuming there is anything sensible going on here. Surely if a customer thinks he needs MS Office, a competent system builder should be able to sell him Libre Office Professional for £350, or the enterprise version for £3500.

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Pint

Piracy is actually HELPING to sell these products...

... by providing to companies, free of charge, a base of users and employees trained to use said products. It also helps MS and Adobe by making their non-standard file formats more popular. Seriously, if MS didn't want their products to be illegally copied, said products wouldn't be so easy to pirate.

That's the main reason why I think software piracy is bad for most users and -non software making-companies.

And that's also the reason why I had a good and hearty laugh when I first heard about MS plans for Office365 and similar schemes by other vendors. Don't know whether these decisions come from the -generally agreed upon- fact that most management nowadays seems brain dead, or from the clash between short term and long term objectives for companies.

Beer: 'cause it goes well with a big bucket of popcorn.

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Trollface

Re: Piracy is actually HELPING to sell these products...

I'm going with the idiot manager theory.

http://search.dilbert.com/comic/Cloud%20Computing

Companies are still stuck on office 2003 because they don't want to upgrade. Solution? Tack 'cloud' onto the latest release and they fish are sure to bite.

That and I'm sure part of it is the flawed logic that if all pirates were stopped from pirating they'd buy stuff legally. That's like saying if you cut a rapists penis off he'll only have sex consensually.

I apologize now for comparing piracy to rape. As I'm sure the MPAA have made abundantly clear, piracty is far worse.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Piracy is actually HELPING to sell these products...

To quote Bill Gates famous words

"They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect"

Windows 8 and Office 365 is collection time kiddies, that is of course unless you are wise enough to go Linux and Libreoffice

+1 Mephisto.

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Joke

Re: Piracy is actually HELPING to sell these products...

"To quote Bill Gates famous words"

At a hastily convened press conference Bill Gates announced that he personally thinks that "Linux is the best OS ever."

http://www.bbspot.com/News/2001/06/gates.html

Smile. Perhaps the date is wrong.

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Meh

You mean...

People actually give money for microsoft products?!

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Re: You mean...

Yeah, £5 to that chinese guy down the market. Thanks to him I have Windo's 8 and a copy of Office 364 and it cost me next to nothing, mwah ha ha.

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Re: You mean...

Yeah, £5 to that chinese guy down the market. Thanks to him I have Windo's 8 and a copy of Office 364 and it cost me next to nothing, mwah ha ha.

You want to pop back down the market, they've released Office 365 now.

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Re: You mean...

You cant use office 364 on Christmas day, its illegal

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Re: You mean...

Office 364 .. .clearly a chinese rip off.

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Meh

Re: You mean...

Nah, chicken chow mein, rice and noodles delivered to your workplace at lunchtime.

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Devil

Re: You mean...

"You want to pop back down the market, they've released Office 365 now."

Nah, Office 364 is just Office 365 adjusted to include the servers expected downtime.

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Anonymous Coward

Wonder if it's because

Microsoft's products aren't worth paying for....

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Black Helicopters

I wonder how much of these corporate piracy cases are actually just technical infringements caused by the completely incomprehensible licence models that M$ employs.

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Silver badge

Got your receipt?

I still have the licence certificate for a copy of MS Office 95. I cannot install it because the receipt has faded completely (I am not sure if it runs under WINE either). FAST will not accept a license certificate unless you have a receipt to prove you bought it yourself. Back in the day there was an excellent cartoon:

Policeman: 'What to you mean you have been burgled? All the computers are still here.'

Manager: 'They stole the licenses.'

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Re: Got your receipt?

>FAST will not accept a license certificate unless you have a receipt to prove you bought it yourself.

I take it that you (or the organisation you work for) have received a visit...

Given that as far as MS are concerned a correctly attached licence certificate is sufficient evidence for a machine to be licensed to run specific versions of their products, I don't see how FAST can ask for more.

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Re: Got your receipt?

Remember also that FAST have no more powers than any other type of door to door salesman. If it goes to court they have to prove that a.) they are the copyright holder of Office 95 or that they have exclusive distribution rights and b.) that you infringed the copyright

Saying that you haven't provided them with sufficient evidence that you didn't make an illegal copy isn't good enough. They have to prove it. Should you get a visit from FAST, the best approach is to give them the Arkell vs Pressdram response.

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Alert

I think the real story here is...

Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) is still around! Hadn't heard about them in nearly, probably, twenty years. What they been up to?

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Re: I think the real story here is...

The law used to be that if you got caught using unlicensed software then you had to buy a license. The problem was that gave no incentive to buy because you could either pay up front, or not pay and risk having to pay the same amount if you got caught. Plan B was to prevent you from using the software ever again:

http://news.cnet.com/2008-1082_3-5065859.html

Plan C now includes a hefty fine. The fun bit is part of the license says they can raid your business to do a software audit. If you do not have any software protected by FAST, they cannot just raid you at your expense. They have to buy some sort of warrant from a judge, and do the raid at their expense. Make certain there is no trace of any commercial software before you try that.

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Re: I think the real story here is... @Flocke Kroes 29May 15:39

I think you missed off the Ms variant of Plan B - revoke your VLK keys.

I know of one UK organisation who agreed to this action, because their existing keys had been so widely abused, it was simpler to issue new keys to the systems on the in-house network as and when users called the helpdesk...

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Anonymous Coward

Software Theft?

Do they mean copyright infringement or has somebody run off with the source code?

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Re: Software Theft?

Even if they got the source code, it is not "theft" unless they also deleted it from your servers.

Of course, for the MS Office assistant that could be considered an act of mercy...

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FAIL

Warez...

"Heathcote Hobbins added that unlicensed software downloaded from an unauthorised internet source - from file-sharing networks to shady websites - could be incomplete or littered with viruses."...

Or in many cases the downloaded software is not only complete and virus free, but is actually superior to the version you could have bought because it has user-hostile and dangerous features such as drm schemes removed from it. The amount of times i have seen such features malfunction and disrupt paying customers while the cracked copies keep on running.

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