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BSA flashes gums at 'online software scams'

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The Business Software Alliance (BSA) claimed late last week to have issued nearly 50,000 takedown notices about BitTorrent files in the first half of this year.

The group, in its latest effort to crack down on what it describes as “online software scams”, claimed (pdf) that BSA members lost an estimated $525m in sales as a result of BitTorrent site users downloading their software.

It reckoned more than half a million (633,000) people favoured offerings of illegal software over legit via various websites and P2P networks.

The BSA said it hunted down 13,800 online auctions punting more than 50,500 individual software products with a total retail value of over $13.3m in 2007. It asked eBay et al to shut down the dodgy auctions, nearly two thirds of which were US-based.

In the first half of 2008 the trade group asked auction site providers to shutter 18,314 auctions flogging 45,000 products, worth a total of $22m, according to the report.

It also sent 471,694 non-BitTorrent takedown notices to ISPs in the first half of 2007. By the same period this year 782,832 takedown notices had been issued.

The BSA thinks that such a move against ISPs is helping it win the war on software piracy. However, the organisation ultimately has to rely on websites to play nice.

But the report fails to provide a breakdown of how many of those takedown notices led to successful prosecutions against individuals it accuses of selling dodgy software online.

Meanwhile, The Pirate Bay, which claims to be the world's largest BitTorrent tracker website, just last month claimed to have clocked up three million registered users. ®

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