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Users of pirated software given 35-day ultimatum

KARACHI, April 24(Dawn): The Business Software Alliance (BSA) on Monday announced 35 day truce with users of pirated software in Pakistan, to allow time to all firms, organizations and individuals across the country to install licensed software to avoid legal action.

"The truce begins on April 26, and once it ends on May 30, BSA will take strict legal action against the businesses and organizations using unauthorised software," BSA Representative for Eastern Mediterranean and Pakistan, Aly Harakeh, told a press conference at the Karachi Press Club.

"Companies that take necessary steps to become fully licensed will be excused from penalties for software violations occurring prior to April 26," he said.

During the 35 days, Aly Harakeh said, BSA would encourage businesses to benefit from its campaign, besides raising awareness about software copyright and its application. He said his organization was working in association with Pakistan government, police and Customs to check software piracy in the country.

"BSA understands that the illegal software in use of the corporate sector is for the main part a result of poor system management rather than deliberate theft, so it has decided to run the 35-day truce," he said.

Mr Harakeh said software piracy was normally considered as a 'victimless crime,' but in fact it cost $34.3 billion to the global software industry in the year 2005, besides cutting jobs in IT sector and reduction in government revenues through taxes.

He referred to a recent study citing Pakistan having a piracy rate of 86 percent during year 2005 for the business software, which hurt the country's IT sector by about $48 million in the same year.

Computer users who do not come forward and clean up till May 30, could face the risk of legal action, which may result in fines up to Rs100,000 and imprisonment up to three years, besides confiscation of equipment used for making illegal copies.

Your Comments
"hahahahaha- but it should not be for individual but could be for highly earning companies and organization"
Name: name
City, Country: Karachi, Pakistan

"We will really appreciate this change as a software engg. but dont you thinnk this warning of piracy first should be advertised on TV channels like GEO etc. and warning should come thorugh governament directly on TV. so that one should be thretened by piracing and usage of pirated softwares."
Name: aqeel zia nayyer
City, Country: Lahore, Pakistan
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