BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Scotland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 28 June, 2002, 05:59 GMT 06:59 UK
Software pirates target Scotland
Software
Software piracy is a multi-million pound business
Scotland is emerging as a major centre for counterfeit computer software, according to the world's largest software company.

Microsoft has revealed that 20,000 labels which are used to prove the authenticity of software were stolen in Glasgow in April.

Those labels will now be used by software counterfeiters to make it virtually impossible for consumers to tell real and fake products apart.

Experts have suggested the stolen labels could possibly be worth as much as 1m on the black market.

Microsoft software
Microsoft is a frequent target for pirates

Microsoft has already been the target of computer criminals in Scotland.

In 1997, thieves stole software worth about 10m from a factory in East Kilbride which was licensed to make Microsoft products.

During that raid, which saw two security guards tied up, about 200,000 certificates of authenticity (Coa labels) were also stolen.

Jim McNulty, the firm's investigator in Scotland, said: "Coa labels have become very valuable items to software counterfeiters.

"They will apply them to a counterfeit product rather than a genuine product and this has the effect of the persuading the buyer that the software is genuine when it is in fact counterfeit."

Increasing numbers of people are being taken in by counterfeit software because of the difficulty of spotting it.

Clackmannanshire Council bought fake product licences by mistake two years ago. The council had to pay Microsoft 150,000 for new licences and to cover legal costs.

Of the 20,000 labels stolen from Glasgow, just 5,000 have been recovered by police and Microsoft investigators.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Bob Wylie
"Organised crime is now into counterfeit software in a big, big way"
See also:

27 May 02 | Science/Nature
13 Dec 01 | Science/Nature
29 Jul 01 | Business
11 Jan 00 | Scotland
15 Jun 99 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes