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Half of UK schools are software pirates

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Almost half the nation's schools are unwittingly using dodgy software. This shock revelation comes via a report from Microsoft, a well known software vendor that likes doing business with the education market. Half of all primary schools and one in four secondary schools claimed to be blissfully unaware that it was illegal to make copies of software after buying just the one licence. Microsoft and the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) got 40 per cent of the 1,500 schools surveyed to admit to possible guilt of software piracy. And only 10 per cent of schools said they had actually discussed software licensing. The other 90 per cent seemed ignorant of the fact that the Great Satan could twist the survey to sue them any time it pleased. "It is disappointing that confusion seems to be hindering progress in this [IT in education] area," commented Mark East, group manager of Microsoft's education group. East said the IT industry: "Should make greater efforts to simplify software licensing and provide more clarity on the consequences of software theft." But if the teachers were locked up, and the schools made to fork out for hundreds more copies of software, wouldn't the British taxpayer wind up paying the difference anyway? Software piracy is claimed to cost the UK over £400 million per year. ® Related stories: Threat of gaol not enough to deter piracy Time for Europe to stamp out software pirates UK schools offered free Web access

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