back to article Glasgow is UK's runner-up in software piracy stakes

Glasgow has been crowned the worst city in the UK for software piracy outside of Greater London. In a bid to crackdown on the problem, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) will kick-off a month-long awareness campaign this week. The BSA said from this Thursday (1 November) local businesses will be given a 30 day cooling off …


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  1. Steven
    Black Helicopters

    Wait a minute

    So, if Glasgow is getting all this attention from the BSA, why is nothing happening to Greater London, which should surely be getting even more attention?

    Or is this yet another case of "It's happening in London, so we'll just brush that under the carpet?"

  2. Michael

    eh? what are they going to do about it?

    I'm somewhat confused. They are asking people to volunteer information that they are using illegal software and promising no legal action (I assume this means the business has to buy a license rather than continuing without threat of legal action). But why would any company volunteer that information?

    How are they going to check? Can they just walk in to your business and demand to see your licenses? I'd assume they'd have to get evidence from a former/current employee and get the police involved for that.

    So effectively what they are doing is saying we know you're out there, but we're not quite sure where.

    They've started radio ads on this in Glasgow and it is completely pointless in my view. They'd be better going after those that are infringing and publicising successful prosecutions. That would be an effective campaign.

  3. ScottK

    These havn't been a big success then?

  4. Nick L

    After 30 days...

    so, after 30 days, then what?

    They're back onto their tactics of walking around saying things like "look after your car for a fiver, mister?" or similar thinly veiled mugging tactics?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Put em up... or we'll... er... not sure

    The big companies must have had the IP addresses logged on their systems and Glasgow came top of the list. I don't think the BSA has the resources to take the 8,000 odd firms to court but I bet you they'll take on the smallest company with limited cash to use them as an example. There should be a deal with some of these companies... make your software CHEAPER and people wouldn't need to get burned copies...

  6. Iain Argent

    Too late for what?

    And what exactly are they going to do if nobody decides to incriminate themselves? Can they get a court order allowing them to randomly enter business premises and start poking around with their computer systems? I've been through this already with our Indian office. We are quite careful not to use pirated software (there's no need with FOSS) but I always resented the debt-collector tactics used to try and scare our employees into letting strangers onto our systems. I've never known exactly what the legal situation is, so we politely used to inform them that all our software was legal, and that if they wanted any further information, they would have to get a court order. It seemed to work ok on the three individuals who visited us.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    And then what ?

    I hate to sound negative, but this smacks of sabre rattling to me. If they were to back up their 30 days with a planned enforceable (not sure how that would work !) visit to companies then this may be a worthwhile event.

    However, it looks to me like there will once again be no action taken to backup the words.

    Hope I am proven wrong.


  8. W

    Two words...

    The Barras?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "BSA didn't offer any explanation for Glaswegian businesses's piratical tendencies"

    Um, Barra's market on a Saturday, anyone?

  10. Bruce Leyden

    Before it's too late for what exactly?

    Is the BSA's enforcement army massing on the outskirts of Greater Glasgow, ready for the simultaneous swoop on thousands of unsuspecting businesses at midnight on December 1st?

  11. Anonymous Coward


    The Barras, or Barrowlands, is a flea market in Glasgow that is rather well-known for being the home of many a peddlar of software of dubious origins.

    Gets raided by the Office of Fair Trading and the police about once every 3-6 months, which means that for the two weeks following it's a bit harder to get hold of your favorite applications

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yeh right.....

    I can see BSA (doesn't birmingham small arms, makers of motorcycles still own that trademark ?) walking into Big Shug's Massage Parlour in the East End demanding to see their computers....

    They'd better send really big blokes, didn't they see the treatment terrorists get in Glasgow :-)

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Clyde

    More money making threats

    They're after your money, pure and simple. They have no rights to walk in and ask any questions, let alone investigate or take any computers. But as others have said above, it's the age old bully boy approach. Shout loud enough and someone will give in.

    M$oft particularly needs to get real about the prices it charges ordinary punters, how about the equivalent of what it charges Dell ??? Then at least they would have the moral high ground. People will not buy copies if they can have the "real thing" for a reasonable cost.

    And don't forget that M$oft regard (say) a legit US purchased Windows disc as counterfeit if you try to use it in Europe. What's that all about ?

    Ignore them and they'll go away ...

  15. The Sceptic
    Black Helicopters

    If it smells like sh*te then it probably is - Not the Barras

    Something not right here! Why are the authorities going to spend money on such a high profile operation when they get very little in return?

    Microsoft has over the last year been requesting that software vendors who are approached for site licensing from organisations forward their details to check against their currently licensed products - I was personally involved in just such as case less than 6 months ago - in Scotland about 20 miles from Glasgow. This has nothing to do with the Barras as its not cost effective to take individuals to court or pursue small time retailers who are the main clients of that great little market.

    I would guess that the authorities are looking for justification for some type of audit and by targeting Glasgow and allowing people to assume its the Barras they are effectively covering their intentions.

    My money is on they are looking to audit specific firms and this is their justification.

  16. W
    Dead Vulture

    Damn moderation delays...

    @ 18:08 GMT Coward's Barras explanation:

    13:21 GMT Coward's post wasn't showing - nor any others for that matter - when I posted mine. I live in the East End so I'm fairly well versed in the Barras experience and was merely suggesting the same as the 13:21 GMT coward. Cheers all the same though.

    The icon was the closest I could choose for "Reg moderation delays created a warp in the space-time continuum and made me look like a numpty." :-)

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