The National Association of Software and Services Companies and the Business Software Alliance have joined hands to check software piracy, which resulted in the loss of $367 million in 2004, in India.
"Awareness plays a very important role in curbing piracy. Along with BSA we will set up a toll-free hotline number. We will reward anyone reporting under-licensing and or use of illegal software at workplace," Kiran Karnik, President Nasscom told reporters on the sideline of the launch.
According to Nasscom, the domestic IT software and services market is around Rs 16 billion in 2003-04. Karnik said that the Nasscom-BSA alliance would work closely with software resellers to educate end customers and corporates about the perils of piracy.
Speaking on the occasion Jeffrey Hardee, VP and Regional Director, Asia-Pacific, BSA, said, "This launch of anti-piracy hotline number 1600110033 validates BSA's vision to help all businesses legalize, address under licensing issues and maximise their software resources."
In addition to the hotline, BSA has also launched its website www.bsa.org/india which will help end users obtain information and download software asset management tools on a free-to-use trial basis.
'Differential pricing needed'
The government on Tuesday asked the software industry to come out with unique solutions such as differential pricing which can help in curbing piracy and simultaneously ensure that technology products reach out to the common man.
Launching an anti-piracy hotline toll-free number on the occasion of the World Intellectual Property Rights Day, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal also favoured changes in current laws to include piracy as a theft crime and ways to counter it.
"In the last 20-30 years there has been a movement in favour of IPR. Protection of IPR is needed to bring back the returns for those who make investments for generation of intellectual property," Sibal said.
However, enforcement of laws towards protection of IPR related to all areas, including software and drugs, becomes difficult if needs of the different communities are not taken care of, he said.
"While on the one hand we say computerisation must reach every village, prices of software are high," he said adding it leads to piracy.
"Industry should think of unique solutions to reduce chances of piracy. There is a need for national and international dialogue on the matter," he said.Sibal said differential pricing was one such solution that could be deliberated upon. Appreciating a law passed in Tamil Nadu that has a provision of three years of imprisonment for those who indulge in piracy in the area of cinema, he said there was a need for such changes in the area of software piracy as well.