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Pirates named and shamed on Web

Substitute home page for offenders' sites to end software piracy as we know it. Apparently

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The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has masterminded a scheme to name and shame software pirates on the Web. It has created a substitute Web page to slap on sites it has closed down for selling unlicensed software. The page, set with a brick-like background, declares: "This site has been disabled by the Internet Service Provider at the request of the Business Software Alliance. For further information about software piracy, please visit the links below." It then has links to the BSA and nopiracy.com sites, and a list of international hotline numbers for the BSA. The amount of time the BSA page can be displayed will depend on the ISP involved, but it will only be a matter of days or weeks, a representative said. As well as targeting sites offering copied software, the BSA has vowed to close pages involved in "other illegal software activities". It includes in its definition anyone found "publishing methods of hacking into computer programs and password protections". The piracy-fighter claims to have received 577 leads in 1999 denouncing Web sites that offered software without a licence. This resulted in 249 UK Web sites being pulled. "By posting a Web closure seal on the home page of illegal Web sites, BSA hopes to make the Internet safer for legitimate commerce," said Mike Newton, campaign relations manager for BSA UK. "There are thousands of pirate Web sites located on the Internet, and virtually every software product now available on the market can be located on one of these sites. Internet piracy represents perhaps the single greatest threat to electronic commerce." ® Related Stories BSA declares UK piracy truce BSA breaks chatroom piracy ring 40 per cent of business software illegally installed

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