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Schools hit by pirated Novell software

Reseller passing off illegal copies of NetWare

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Novell UK has reached a six-figure settlement with GTi Networks, after the Salisbury-based reseller was found selling illegally copied software. Novell uncovered sales of the counterfeit copies of NetWare to more than 100 establishments across the country. The scam had been running for more than four years and had mostly targeted schools and vets’ practices. According to Novell, NetWare 3.11 and 3.22 are priced according to the number of users – costing around $3,500 per 25 users, and $7,000 per 100. Most of the sites affected had 25 or less users, but some schools had over 100. Simon Swale, Novell regional licensing investigator, confirmed that customers would not lose out financially. He said that anyone that had bought an illegal copy of NetWare from GTi would receive a free replacement from Business Data Systems (BDS), the Edinburgh company that is in the process of buying GTi. BDS has agreed to take over and service all GTi existing customers. Swale said: "Our customers have been defrauded through no fault of their own. A condition of the settlement was that the cost of the legal software provision would be covered by GTi." He noted that businesses in these areas were particularly at risk to piracy. He said: "This case is important for us, customers like schools and small businesses are especially vulnerable. They trust the people providing the goods as they often have no internal IT departments of their own." Neither Novell nor BDS were able to comment on what would happen to the remaining GTi staff – believed to number around 50. ®

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