- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 7, 2006

One of the forms of junk e-mail I hate with a passion — besides those unholy “medical” ads — are the ones ripping off consumers, software publishers and just about everyone else, offering expensive programs for pennies. It’s disgusting, illegal and immoral.

Now there’s a way to do something about it:

The Business Software Alliance (BSA), a watchdog group representing the nation’s leading software manufacturers, today launched an Internet fraud reporting website, www.bsacybersafety.com/fraud. The website is designed to raise awareness about online fraud while encouraging individuals to submit their own stories of how they were “duped” into purchasing pirated software online.

Last year alone, BSA shut down more than 16,000 auctions offering pirated and counterfeit products, most of which were on eBay. Unfortunately, some eBay sellers post ads offering what they claim to be legitimate software, but actually provide the customer with pirated copies once the transaction is complete.

“The sale of pirated software greatly harms consumers and the legitimate market, costing billions of dollars each year,” said Neil MacBride, BSA’s Vice President of Legal Affairs. “We encourage consumers to be aware of the risks involved with buying software online, and hope that this new website provides a forum for consumers to tell stories on how they were ‘duped’ into purchasing pirated software in the hopes that others won’t fall into the same trap.”

The Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) and International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) are supporting the BSA in their efforts.

There’s the tool. Have at it. Give these guys what-for — the spammers, that is!

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