Last year I posted a note on piracy and how illegal downloading was down among US kids teens.

I received a note this weekend from Valerie asking...

"Is there a method to reporting people who illegally download software? Didn't see tele # or address."

ThereGlad you asked. :)

As related to Microsoft software, check out the section on piracy on microsoft.com, in particular the link in the upper right nav with more information on how to report suspected violations when you encounter them.  As noted, filing a report can have a positive impact on the fight against piracy.

And software is more than just applications: it's also about copyrighted content, including music, books, images, text, personal and corporate records.

The Software & Information Industry Association's (aka the SPA) has an anti-piracy division that "conducts a comprehensive, industry-wide campaign to fight software and content piracy.  (More info is available at http://www.spa.org/piracy/ and as noted below.)  The link at right is from their very cute poster from their anti-piracy awareness campaign: "My Daddy went to jail because of software piracy and all I got was this stupid t-shirt."

Ouch. Or perhaps more accurately, "My Mommy has to pay a huge six-figure judgement because of piracy..."

As seen in the news this week, piracy is expensive, with the first RIAA lawsuit to go to trial ending up with a guilty verdict and a US$222,000 judgment against a single mom who (according to the article in the Star Tribune by Larry Oakes and Steve Alexander) "makes $36,000 a year... [and] a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwa who works as a program administrator in the band's natural resources division."

And here are a few more links from our industry information page:

The Business Software Alliance represents the world's leading publishers, educates computer users on software copyrights, advocates public policy that fosters innovation and expands trade opportunities and fights software piracy.

The Recording Industry Association of America is a trade association with members who create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90 percent of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States. One of the organization's primary missions is to safeguard the intellectual property rights of recording artists and member companies.

The Motion Picture Association of America advocates on behalf of the U.S. film, home video, and television industries. The organization also provides information about music publishing, copyright laws and editorial standards.

The International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition is the largest multinational organization devoted solely to combating product counterfeiting and piracy. Composed of a cross section of businesses and industries, including automotive, apparel, luxury goods, pharmaceuticals, food, book publishing, software and entertainment, the IACC is devoted solely to combating product counterfeiting and piracy. The IACC's members' combined sales exceed $500 billion and account for more than 10 percent of annual U.S. GNP.

And the Software and Information Industry Association is the principal trade association for the software and digital content industry. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to the leading companies that are setting the pace for the digital age.

Of interest: read more about how hundreds of Microsoft customers provided evidence to help FBI and China’s Public Security Bureau crack $2 billion global software counterfeiting syndicate.

Tags: microsoft, piracy, digital music, illegal downloads.