Software piracy costs Canadians

(NC)-Software piracy in Canada is more pervasive than people may realize. According to the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST) 2003 Provincial Software Piracy Study, more than one in three commercial business software applications used in Canada are pirated-meaning that they were copied illegally.

The cost of software piracy to Canada is staggering. In 2003, software piracy cost the Canadian economy more than $419 million in lost retail sales of business software and 32,000 jobs in the IT and retail sectors. Provincial software piracy rates ranged from a low of 34 per cent in Alberta to 65 per cent in Prince Edward Island.

“Canadians need to understand that software piracy impacts us all. Consumers and businesses who use illegal software need to understand that pirated software may lead to legal liabilities or leave your PC and networks vulnerable to viruses and security breaches,” said Jacqueline Famulak, president of CAAST.

Famulak provides a few tips on how Canadian consumers and businesses can do their part to curb software piracy in Canada:

1. Take an inventory of your current software assets. Make sure you know what software is nning on your computers and who’s using it.

2. Check your licenses. It is standard within the software industry that every legal piece of software includes a license agreement. This applies whether you are purchasing software for use on one machine, software to be networked across a number of machines or software that’s preloaded as part of a system.

3. Verify your ownership of software licenses purchased on the Internet. Maintain up-to-date records of your purchase invoices and receipts. And remember, if the price seems “too good to be true,” it probably is!

4. Create a software asset management database. The database should contain all the information obtained from the previous steps, and be updated regularly and include any deletions, additions or upgrades.

5. Acquire the appropriate licenses for all unauthorized software programs.

6. Report piracy to the CAAST Piracy Hotline – 1-800-263-9700 and/or visit the CAAST website to learn more about the issue (

Photo courtesy of CAAST

– News Canada