Is Microsoft Software Piracy on the Rise in Australia?

3 Apr 2016

I received an interesting email direct from Microsoft Australia the other day. They had rented the CRN database to make contact, about software piracy. This struck me as odd, as normally Microsoft would address piracy through organizations like the BSA or FAST. So, is software piracy so much worse in Australia that Microsoft is now doing something about it direct?

A quick Google search pulls up an article from nearly 2 years ago in Computerworld that highlighted 12 piracy cases worth AU$825K and one this year saw Australian businesses pay $65K for use of pirated Microsoft and Autodesk software. The largest of these concerned Adobe Photoshop, Acrobat and Autodesk AutoCAD, but no mention of Microsoft.

Avoid Software Piracy: New Approach and Emphasis

Looking at Microsoft’s piracy page for Australia reveals that the last publicized ‘Action taken – Illegal traders’ reports were all Nov 2013, quite a few years ago. So, this new email prompting people to report companies who they suspect of selling illegal software, directly to Microsoft is certainly a change in tack and emphasis.

BSA’s director of compliance for Asia-Pacific stressed the importance of being aware of pirated software: “It’s important that businesses […] are vigilant when it comes to their software and ensuring they are software compliant.”

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