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Time for Europe to stamp out software pirates, BSA says

Flog 'em. And if that don't work, make 'em walk the plank

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The Business Software Alliance (BSA) today called on Tony Blair to get tougher with software pirates. The group sent letters to the European Commission, the European Parliament and heads of member states – including our very own prime minister – to spur them into action to combat counterfeiting. The letters asked for a five-point plan to be put in place at EU level, via the BSA's Green Paper on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy in the Single Market. The BSA said tougher penalties needed to be adopted. "To combat piracy effectively, it simply must be made more risky, embarrassing and costly to pirate than to obey the law," it stated. It also asked for the creation of an EU agency to handle piracy and a crack down on factories where CDs were copied – including the implementation of plant licensing and mandatory identification (SID) codes. Would-be candidates to the EU should be vetted for piracy issues, it said. And the state sector should set an example to the private sector and establish policies to stop the use of illegal computer software within its institutions. The BSA said it was waiting for a response. Well, at least it should keep spin doctor Alistair Campbell busy for a day or two.®

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