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Using Pirated Software

Using Pirated Software

A recent customer survey reflected overwhelming support for Design Data's anti-piracy efforts. It is our goal to identify and shut down obvious violators, be proactive in informing customers of their responsibility, and also help reduce the market for unlicensed software.  This issue is important to everyone and we appreciate any help you can provide in our efforts.

What We're Doing
Design Data has been sending out audit notices to organizations using SDS/2.  Companies receiving these notices must show proper documentation of ownership of all licenses in use at that time.  If everything is accounted for, then we appreciate the cooperation. For those companies not providing the correct information, we continue investigating on a number of levels.

One step is to send letters of inquiry to general contractors, subcontractors and other project partners, requesting information on who they hired to use SDS/2 on their projects.  This effort provides information on whether those with suspicious licenses are being hired directly or indirectly by the contractor on the project.  Sometimes it's a third party that's been hired, who hired another illegal SDS/2 user to detail the project.  In other circumstances, the illegal user was hired knowingly.

These letters have produced a variety of positive results.  In some cases, the user has admitted fault and gone through legal channels to purchase their license. In others, legal action is ongoing. In almost all cases, the companies who may be hiring SDS/2 users have reviewed their policies when selecting contractors and awarding jobs based on a bid process.  This effort helps reduce opportunities for users who do not own legal licenses of SDS/2.  

What You Can Do
We appreciate all the information, tips and cooperation coming from our customers. We encourage you to keep that information coming, as it has helped immensely.

In addition, we request that you try to verify the SDS/2 legal number of project partners that claim to use SDS/2 before you award the project.  Request and verify the SDS/2 legal number of every detailer using SDS/2. If you have any suspicions at all, it's in your best interests to check this information and inform us of anything out of the ordinary.

Finally, we recommend that you conduct an internal audit on your own equipment from time to time. It is best to take an active role in the protection of your software.

What You Should Know
As you can imagine, copyright infringement and piracy law with software is rapidly changing. It is expanding to include everyone involved in the use of illegal or stolen software. This means that a company who does not use illegal software, but knowingly hires those who do, could be held liable.  

Just because an organization is not using the software in question does not absolve them of liability. The mentality of “don't ask, don't tell” doesn't relieve companies of the responsibility to supervise and verify legal software license use.