ANTI-PIRACY group the Business Software Alliance (BSA) is launching a fresh campaign against illegal software use by smaller businesses.
But the group has dropped the threat of adding non-responders to its infamous SoftwareWatch database.
BSA will write to 80,000 small businesses over the next few weeks, asking if they are using licensed software. Unlike last year?s Crackdown campaign, however, those who do not respond will not find themselves on a database of companies suspected of misusing software.
Mike Newton, the BSA?s campaign relations manager, said the decision followed criticism over Crackdown 98. Some lawyers advised firms to ignore it.
Newton said: ?Because this is the first time we have communicated with small business, we?ve decided not to feature the SoftwareWatch database and we are appealing to their better nature.?
However, Newton said the BSA ?reserved the right? to compile a database if it felt it necessary. Companies already on the database will continue to be targeted ?until they realise that we are not going to go away?.
Pirated software is a particular problem among smaller businesses, the BSA says. The group claims that 31 per cent of business software in use is unlicensed, compared to 49 per cent 10 years ago.
According to Newton, this figure breaks down to 20 per cent among larger corporations, but is nearer 50 per cent in small business.
For more stories see 18 March issue of Computing
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