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Software pirates scuppered by Y2K

Huge swathes of world economy at risk, Business Week reports

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Well done Business Week’s Dennis Berman for his interesting take on the Y2K fiasco. Millions of users of bootlegged software will be unable to get their bug fixes from software publishers, he says. And this could cause grief for software-legit companies doing business with them. Worse still, "huge swathes of the world economy could be affected… (especially) in emerging countries, (where) piracy is practically the norm". Y2K patches will be too expensive to implement for small companies using pirated software in emerging countries, Berman reckons. Attachmate is mulling over whether to run a low-cost Y2K amnesty offer, but most publishers will play hardball with bootleggers, he reports. So will the pirates go legal? Wisely, Berman saves his quote from Business Software Alliance enforcement veep Bob Kruger till the last par: "'If you can get new releases in pirated form you can get Y2K-compliant software in pirated form.' Unfortunately, no one may be able to thest that thesis until Jan.1" Although the article ends with a flourish, The Register can't help feeling that Mr. Kruger's opinion slightly deflates the rest of the piece. ®

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