Impact: PIRATED Software ( ~50% of operable businesses use it ) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

# # # 19981217

I haven't seen/heard much concern about the segment of the global business world ( ~50% ) sitting on the Year 2000 Techno-Ambush train tracks using PIRATED software. ( Perhaps I've missed it in the archives? Without a search engine, it would be easy to miss. ) This is like the part of the Y2K-iceberg below the surface. No attention to it at all--it seems.

What about this? If anyone thinks that this element of the computer user world--despicable, scumbag trolls, all, granted!--doesn't significantly factor into the grand scheme of the Year 2000 Techno-Ambush, I'd like to know why not?! I wonder if Yardeni has factored this element into his famous "ratings." ( Haven't seen anything from Ed addressing this issue, either. Reference?)

These are the least likely entities to upgrade and/or purchase legitimate, compliant versions of software used to keep this segment of the world economy going!

In mid-1997, I mentioned this issue to Peter de Jager and Alan Simpson, drawing no intelligible response.

Anyone care to speculate about the impact of this segment of the "business" world imploding or vaporizing? What's it do to _your current ( 0-10 ) rating on the Y2K-collapse scale?

Makes you wonder, don't it?

Regards, Bob Mangus # # #

Consider the following:

** From Novell: < >

** Under fair use distribution ...

< >

The Software Police Take a Hard Line

With unauthorized copying running rampant, the software industry pursues targets of all types with the civil liability provisions of the Copyright Act

By: Jim Sicilian and Stefan Underhill

Have you downloaded any good software from the Internet recently? Maybe stretched that 20-user spreadsheet software license to include a few extra new employees who really needed to use it? Taken home a couple of disks so you could finish up that report after the kids went to bed? Been using some programs that came with only photocopied documentation? Watch out for the software police. These infractions could cost a lot more than a speeding ticket would. Yes, the software police really are out there, patrolling the information superhighway. The software police are better known as the 1,100-member Software Publishers Association, or SPA, and the Business Software Alliance, or BSA, industry groups that seek to reduce software piracy through education and enforcement activities.


Unauthorized copying of computer software programs may seem insignificant on an individual or even a company-wide basis, yet the SPA estimates that it costs the U.S. software industry more than $8 billion each year worldwide. In the United States alone, the SPA calculates, software piracy losses in 1994 were some $1.4 billion, despite the seemingly effective efforts of software makers to increase both awareness of the problem and compliance with applicable law and license agreements. The BSA has estimated far greater losses.In this country, the publishers' association estimates, one of every four pieces of software in use was unlawfully obtained. In anonymous user polls, more than 90 percent of users admit illegally copying or using software at some time, and more than 50 percent report that they are currently using undocumented programs. And while the United States, as the largest software market in the world, is estimated to generate the greatest losses, its compliance rate is far higher than that of many other countries. For example, the SPA reports that the piracy rate in Russia and China exceeds 95 percent.With the software industry continuing to grow at an explosive rate -- the SPA reports that worldwide software sales in the second quarter of 1995 grew more than 15 percent from the same period in 1994, and that U.S. sales alone reached $1.57 billion for the quarter -- the SPA and the BSA have a strong financial incentive to continue to turn up the heat on software pirates.LICENSE AND REGISTRATION

** Another interesting factoid:

888 Microsoft Protection Against Software Piracy Piracy is not a victimless crime. It hurts everyone. When you consider that 27 percent of software in use in the United States is illegally copied, you begin to see the scope of the problem.

< > (Excite) # # #

-- Robert Mangus (, December 17, 1998


I know that several of the computer manufacturers are quite concerned about this problem. On the one hand, they can't resist chuckling about the problems that are going to occur with pirated software; on the other hand, they would like to be in a position where they could help. But they also have another, somewhat related, problem: they don't even know who their customers are. This is an obvious reality with the PC vendors, but even big companies like IBM have found that they can no longer track down some of the customers to whom they sold a mid-range, or even a large, machine 15-20 years ago.


-- Ed Yourdon (, December 17, 1998.

Hey, good one, Bob. How can this NOT have some impact? One more of many small threads in the weave that could lead to the fabric unravelling...

-- pshannon (, December 17, 1998.

Well, I guess that in addition to a lot of folks learning the hard way that Y2K is real, we'll have a lot of folks learning the hard way that software piracy has real consequences.

-- No Spam Please (, December 17, 1998.

Yup, this is another point to consider, along with, my personal favourite, sabotage. Believe me, there are a lot of underpaid (don't believe all those stories you read), crapped on by PHM geeks sitting in their rabbit hutches, not talking to anyone all day, staring at their screens and plotting revenge via timebombs, trapdoors and the like. Then you have just plain lousy programmers that generate more bugs than they eliminate (strike #1 for me :) ). Then we have all this code being farmed out to India and the like, not to mention the influx of hundreds of thousands of foreign programmers (for I am one, strike #2). And many more scenarios we haven't even thought of. So Mildred, the stage is set for another fine mess you've got me into...

BTW Robert the subject came up someways back on csy2k if you can figure out a search for it.

-- Andy (, December 17, 1998.

When I first heard of this aspect of y2k I filed it under "Russia and China are totalled", but maybe it's a big thing elsewhere too. Speaking of piracy, is organised crime y2k-compliant? They're probably the least computer-dependent of all the world's mega-industries...hmmmmm...

-- humptydumpty (, December 17, 1998.

Well, humpty, the mobs may still be relatively low-tech, but they depend on being able to cycle CASH through the banking system. I suppose they are, however, used to having CASH on hand. Hhmmmmm...

-- pshannon (, December 17, 1998.

# # # 19981217


Has _anyone EVER--theoretically, or otherwise--the proportion of ( any ) economy is likely driven by PIRATED software? The raw ( estimated )numbers of ~50% would seem to suggest that it MUST BE SIGNIFICANT, in the scheme of things!

Leon Kappleman didn't have any notion about this in another forum that I am a participant of. He shrugged it off. ( *sigh* )

Seems that esteemed prognosticators ( e.g., Yardeni, de Jager, Capers Jones, et al ) are undershooting with their numbers, considerably if they _don't count this factor. Perhaps their riches and positions ( masters? ) have tainted that "well?" They do what they are able; holding back ( to "compromise" ) still.

Too late to actually do anything--outside of total ( anonymous? ) "amnesty"--to remedy _that segment of the global Y2K-pie ( ~27% pirated software, in the U.S. alone, though!?! I still shudder!! Is it _just me? )

Highly unlikely, in my humble opinion. Simply adds more "fuel" to the impending Y2K-inferno.

Thank you for your indulgence, Ed!

Regards, Bob Mangus # # #

-- Robert Mangus (, December 17, 1998.


So you're saying (among other things) that ironic as it may seem, on 01/01/00 the infamous "blue screen of death" could actually become what it's called, depending on what the system is running at the time...hmm, could microsoft be sued for deaths or serious injuries caused by pirated copies of it's software which failed due to y2k?


-- Arlin H. Adams (, December 18, 1998.

If you're talking pirated off-the-shelf software, I expect that if the organisation doing the pirating is Y2K-aware, they'll pirate the latest Y2K-remediated version as well. If they aren't ... well, makes little difference whether it's legal or not, it'll fail!

Also I suspect that most organisations who run pirate software have *some* legitimate copies; maybe buy five, use twenty. If the cops come calling you can try calling it an administrative oversight, grovel a lot, and find a scapegoat.

If you're talking pirate copies of custom software ... no, I don't want to think about it! If you know any organisation that does this you might almost do them a favour by shopping them to the software cops!

-- Nigel Arnot (, December 18, 1998.

It occured to me today that the pirated software problem may not be soooo huge, because they could just buy pirated copies of the patches/fixes (whatever the proper jargon is.) Just like Nigel has just said. So maybe it's just another enourmous problem, rather than another catastrophic problem.

-- humptydumpty (, December 18, 1998.

If whoever you work for is too cheap to buy the proper s/w they are going to be both too cheap and too disorganised to buy, even on the black market, any purported fixes! Point two - having just left VISA - I can divulge that amongst the mid-range and Sun and PC and UNIX geeks, pirating is rampant. I'm sure it's endemic throughout the industry. Mainframes IMO - not the same type of problem. Code is oviously bought from other vendors/entities, who's to know if fixes are passed on down the line? Highly unlikely as pretty much everything is individually customised at the user level.

"What a tangled web we weave..."

-- Andy (, December 18, 1998.

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