General discussion


software pirates in the workplace

By justmakingit ·
I had until recently held an IT postion within a small organization that contained only pirated software. Since I was the sole IT person within the organization, I confronted the director and told them that all of the software was illegal and that there would be dire consequences it was brought to the attention of Microsoft, Adobe etc. The director didn't want to hear anything about it and was told to forget about it because no one would find out. My question is this... do I, as an IT professional, have the responsibility to confront large manufacturers showing the illegal software? And does it come down on me if they are caught?



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by GentleRF In reply to CYA

I might add to makins' observation that in the e-mail he might include open-source replacement deployment costs in his facts and figures to migrate away from the pirated commercial software. I agree that stealing (spelling correction) is not just against the law in its letter, but it is against most unwritten codes of social contact.

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step further

by brichardson In reply to RE: CYA

One thought to further rick's excellent idea is to map out and document a plan for moving toward compliance. Make it very detailed and comprehensive. Include budget variences that may need to be approaved from the higher ups and stretch it out over a 5 year period (this takes some of the sting out of it). Indicate that (upon your hire date) you became aware of the fact that the software in use was not legitimate and that you intend to move toward compliance. Even if the boss won't sign off on it, at least it, coupled with the other documentation of correspondance with your boss, will it was so adequately worded.
I offer this based on experience with walking into an organization that was "unaware" of the dire situation they were in having exceeded licensed installations and the use of "less than legitimate" software. Once the leg work was done with the planning and it was submitted in black and white, it was suddenly agreeable to the higher ups. Scary stuff but, it doesn't need to cost you your job or excessive amounts of sleep. Good luck.

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It's a Business Risk

by IS Girl In reply to CYA

I have only worked for one company that was diligent about making sure all software was leagal. This company has a recently aquired plant with about 25 users audited by the BSA. Each of these users shared a single copy of Windows and MS Office. The fine was 2.5 million dollars.

The aquiring company was large enough to absorb the fine and stay in busines, but a smaller company would not survive a penalty like this.

I find it's critical to present this practice as a risk to the entire business and remind Sr. Management at every opportunity (in writing if possible) that they are putting the company you work for at risk of bankruptcy.

There is a huge problem with people stealing non-tangible items like software, movies, music, etc. They seem to think that it's no huge loss to the corporation they are stealing from -- probably because they might not use the item if they had to pay for it.

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Squell or not to Squell, that is the question

by jfreedle2 In reply to ah..yeah

The director's response would tell me that I need to tell the appropriate authorities because the director does not place any value on people's work and therefore needs to be shown the light.

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The only problem here is

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Squell or not to Squell, ...

If you report the current situation the company very likely will end up out of business and you'll have a black mark against your name with the stamped impression of {Never to be employed anywhere again!}

I've seen a few cases of things like this where a copy of a program is installed on several computers but to date I've never seen a situation where all the software is illegal.


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The **** of software piracy

by jorge In reply to The only problem here is

I was reading the discussion regarding the software piracy thorugh the world. In Brazil a great major part of small and reasonable part of medium sized bussiness still employ non legall software, begining with operational system. And it?s quite common that the company owner, major quotaholder, director, manager, and so on, don?t WANT to discuss the ilegal situation. I agree with HAL9000 that if any IT professional point out the situation to the software creator, he/she are immediately work killed with a "black mark" on his/her professional profile and name.

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Black mark?

by ITgirli In reply to The Hell of software pira ...

What happened to honor or integrity? What happened to standing up to the boss and making it known that they are doing something illegal. I would be more willing to hire someone I could trust to be honest regardless of what side he's on. Of course I'm just a contractor, what do I know.

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Ethically - Yes ... Legally not Sure

by JimHM In reply to software pirates in the w ...

Ethically you should say something to someone even hire than your director. If they dismiss you or try to force you out - those are all actionable in the USA. It's all part of the Whistle Blowers protection law.

So - I would approach the owner - or VP - or President - let your boss know that you are going that way. Play everything upfront...

If the when the defication hits the rotary occsalator - you better have on your slicker.. the director - will point his finger right at you... for installing the stuff.

CYA - Emails sent and received... if you try and no action - then you are covered. If the dismiss you - you have recourse - and I am sure MS / Adobe would pay you a few dollars as a finders fee...

But its and interesting position they put you in - You are kind of sitting in the cat birds seat... Hey - where's my good raise - Oh no money - I guess I'll call M.S. or the SPA - how about Adobe.. Oh your going to lay me off -

It will be interesting - you could just leave and find a new job ... but I think this one would be fun ...

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1st mistake

by gralfus In reply to software pirates in the w ...

Telling the boss, who probably already knew, now implicates you in his eyes if the authorities come down. Of course, he'd be the first to blame you in a legal battle, feigning technical incompetence on his own part. Do you have any documentation that says the software was already there when you were hired? If not, let it go and avoid such places in the future.

Conversely, if the authorities came for another reason, then you will be implicated by them since you are the IT guy, unless you were the one that called them.

Don't consider this legal advice, since I'm not a lawyer. And if you do decide to tell MS, be prepared to endure legal proceedings either as a witness or in a countersuit from the company you worked for. Ain't law grand?

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produce a proof of software was already present

by theboss In reply to 1st mistake

use an auditing software to audit all computer to find the installation dates of all pirate software..there are some program which let u do that i belive..

produce a hard copy get it approved by the ceo / directors and keep is along with the proof of ur hiring date..

if BSA busts them..ur hands are clean..

regularly email / submit to ceo's and directors stories abt compaines caught with pirate software and penalty they paid..

stress in then end of each such email.. the need to legalize software in ur organisation and rough calculations of penalty if your company is busted by BSA

keep all such emails in your record..along with replies to such emails from directors...

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