Feeds

Anti-pirates seek lifeline

Rescue hopes for beached UK firm BitArts

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Hopes are growing that a buyer might be found for UK security developer BitArts Ltd after cash flow problems forced the Nottingham-based anti-piracy software firm into administration last month.

"The firm went into administration because of short-term funding problems rather than more fundamental problems with its business. Nothing is confirmed but we're hopeful of finding a buyer," said a spokesman for Northampton-based HW Fisher which was appointed administrator for BitArts. London-based insolvency agency Amco is handling the sale. Although nothing has been finalised HW Fisher said it was optimistic that a deal can be thrashed out that will allow BitArts to continue in some form. "There's been a lot of interest," the HW Fisher spokesman said.

Bits and pieces

BitArts was founded in 1998 and specialised in anti-piracy technology for PCs and later mobile devices. Its technology development was led by CTO (and later chief security officer and chief architect) John Safa, a former software cracker (poacher) turned game keeper. The firm is best known for racking up the column inches with the rather obvious observation that Windows XP's product activation had been cracked only hours after the product was release in October 2001.

Latterly the firm has become focused on projects such as developing license management and DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology for mobile gaming applications. BitArts said it had 10,000 customers in more than 65 countries including Philips, Siemens, Barclays, Honeywell and Hewlett Packard. BitArts poached the head of anti-piracy in Microsoft's games studio division, Robbie Booth, to run its US operation in November 2004 when it opened offices in New York and California.

Lock out

At the time of writing BitArts' Nottingham office remains closed but its website remains up and running. BitArt's Safa declined our request to comment on the problems that lead to the firm's collapse into administration. ®

Related stories

Software poachers turn gamekeepers
Software piracy down, but piracy losses up
Mobile operators fight DRM corner
GSM Association rejects revised phone DRM rates

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.