Burnt by hot software

ITworld.com |  Business

When a police officer was called to a "domestic-related incident" in a high rise housing complex in Bloxwich, West Midlands, England, he found rather more than he was looking for.

While in the apartment, the officer noticed a tower PC connected to four CD writers, in the process of copying, and a large number of recordable CDs. He mentioned nothing at the time, but contacted the ELSPA (European Leisure Software Publishers Association) anti-piracy unit and arranged a joint raid on the premises.

Late on a Wednesday night in March, Bloxwich Police and ELSPA executed a search warrant on the apartment. When they arrived, they found the CD writers busy burning 24 CDs with a business software program.

The PC and CD writers were seized and a search of the premises found 106 recordable CDs containing business software titles, 28 with music titles, 11 film titles and six with PC format games. Five CD carry cases full of master copies were also picked up.

The man in question is no doubt peeved to be charged with doing what so many people in the U.K. do -- copying software.

Over a quarter -- 26 percent -- of all business software in the U.K. is unlicensed, according to the U.K. offices of the Business Software alliance. Spokesman Mike Newton says software piracy is responsible for the loss of about

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