Warning to software buyers this season


The SIIA is warning shoppers to be on the lookout this holiday season for pirated software. “The holidays are a prime time for software pirates to prey on unsuspecting consumers,” said Keith Kupferschmid, SIIA general counsel and senior vice president for intellectual property policy and enforcement. “Many people innocently purchase pirated software during the holidays as they try to stretch their gift-buying budgets. We want to make certain buyers are aware of risks they take when purchasing software from third-party Websites and auction sites and how they can avoid getting ripped off.”

SIIA conducts the industry’s most aggressive anti-piracy campaign, premised on the notion that one must balance enforcement with education in order to be effective. To help online shoppers spot pirated software this holiday season, SIIA issued the following tips:

1. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.
The first and most important rule is to use common sense. If someone charges $20 for software priced at $200, you can bet that it is illegal software.

2. Check the seller or Web site’s reputation.
Don’t be fooled by just seeing “Power Seller” or an equivalent rating. Pay close attention to whether they have any neutral/negative feedback or comments from buyers claiming fraud by the seller. Even just a few claims of fraud is a serious warning sign.

3. If you are using an auction site, check the seller’s other auctions.
Has this seller placed 10, 20 or more auctions for the same piece of software—all at an unbelievable price? This is almost always an indicator of pirated software.

4. Check the seller’s history.
Has this seller or Web site just appeared and started selling massive amounts of the same piece or set of software products?

5. Check the location of the seller.
Is the seller or Web site offering products from another region of the world? In addition to the potential for piracy, you may be purchasing software that will be incompatible for your computer. If the product is coming from a foreign country, you might be buying software that will not run on US computers, will run in a foreign language, OR may be unlicensed in the U.S.

Resources:

eWeek.com and siia.net

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