IIT-B, stop using pirated software: Software firm sends notice to institution

Apr 07, 2017, 04:16 IST | Pallavi Smart

The institute has sent out an email to students and faculty to ask them to refrain from downloading illegal software
The institute has sent out an email to students and faculty to ask them to refrain from downloading illegal software

It is one of India's premier technical education institutes, but even IIT-Bombay is not immune to the temptation of using pirated software. In what is sure to be an embarrassing position, the institute has been served a notice from a software company for using non-licensed versions of its software. While IIT authorities have not revealed the name of the software, they have sent out emails to students and faculty members, asking them to be cautious in the future considering the institute's Computer Cell does have free authorised copies of several software for use.

Tell-all article
Recently, the student media body of the institute, Insight, published an article which states, "A few days ago, students and faculty across the campus got an email from the Computer Centre saying that the institute had been formally served a licence non-compliance notice from a major proprietary software developer because a number of people inside the institute were using the said software in an unauthorised manner."

Rishabh Israni, one of the Insight editors said, "Most times, students download software on a need basis, but instead of using the institute's free student copy, they download it directly. There is absolutely no malicious intent, but a notice will certainly serve as an awareness tool."

Around 20 persons from the institute are reportedly using the unauthorised software, and the institute has asked all to delete this copy of the software. A report will then be sent to the company.

Commenting on the development, the institute's PRO said, "There is no precedent to it. This is the first time that we have received such a notice. Somebody may have downloaded software and these companies have a way of tracking them. It would be difficult to state who may have downloaded it, but a general email has been sent out to all."

The PRO further added that it is not a legal notice, "but they have brought it to our notice".

Varsha Apte, Head of the Computer Centre, said, "We are in possession of a licenced copy of the software, so we do not understand why some people still downloaded the pirated copy. The company itself was able to figure out the source machines, and respective department heads have been asked to clean the machines."

However, on the question of whether there will be any disciplinary action, Apte said, "It is difficult to pinpoint, but if we see repeat offenders, then we will have to take strict action."

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