The industry group Software and Information Industry Association, or SIIA for short, has launched a new campaign to eradicate online piracy. In the past few weeks we’ve seen new High Court rulings forcing BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Plusnet, and Virgin Media to automatically shut down free movie streaming websites and online apps that allow users to download music from YouTube videos to block. But it seems that the SIIA believes it will catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
To this end, the group has launched a campaign to encourage people to sneak into websites where internet users can download paid software for free without permission from the rights holders. The unauthorized copying of files has resulted in a loss of $ 8 billion in revenue for software companies, according to SIIA research.
“Piracy steals. We need your help to fight this crime. When you see something, say something. Report piracy problems here. SIIA is committed to the industry and protects intellectual property from theft, ”says the SIIA website.
While reporting websites where users can download or share copyrighted software for free may not be for everyone, the SIIA offers a reward that is difficult for most to refuse. Yes, those snooping around pirate websites could stand in line for a profit of $ 1 million … or around £ 720,000 at the current exchange rate. In addition to the extremely generous reward, the SIIA promises anonymity for anyone who discloses intimate details about piracy operations.
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“If you report software piracy to SIIA, you can earn up to $ 1,000,000,” the industry group promises.
As always, the fine print makes it clear that £ 720,000 will not be spent on someone who shares a dodgy torrent link or anecdote on LimeWire.
For one, the maximum jackpot only applies to situations where companies pirate software. If you tell SIIA that your employer has been investigated and this claim has been found to be accurate, the company will be able to pay the maximum prize money. The size of the billing that the company pays to the SIIA determines the individual award that is passed on to you.
So, if you work for a multinational that uses pirated software to run its operations and there is a significant out-of-court settlement, you could easily have seven-figure amounts in your checking account. However, if you work for an independent retailer, you should expect the windfall to be much, much less.
As the SIIA explains in the fine print, “If all eligibility requirements are met and the settlement amount paid to SIIA is at least $ 10,000, the source will be considered for a $ 500 reward. SIIA may increase the reward up to $ 1,000,000 depending on the piracy reported by the source and the settlement amount collected by SIIA. “
It’s worth noting that the SIIA may not decide not to make a payout if the case goes to court. Although the SIIA can still “reimburse” the whistleblower for its time, this is not guaranteed in the conditions listed on the website.
Even so, piracy is a crime – and regardless of whether your bank account benefits from it – it’s worth pointing out.