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The Vatican is a software pirate

P2P filesharing gets papal blessing
Tue Dec 07 2010, 10:27

HIS HOLINESS Pope Benedictus XVI, Pontifex Maximus and Dominus Apostolicus can now at the words "P2P Pirate" to his list of official titles.

The Pope was one of 774,651 people caught by the insecurity outfit Avast's sweep of illegal use of its software.

Avast noticed that a license for its paid-for security software, sold to a 14-user firm in Arizona, was being distributed online. Rather than shut down the scam, the company decided to see how far the software would spread.

The Avast Pro licence showed up on filesharing websites, and a year and a half later it had topped three-quarters of a million active users. This includes two in the Vatican.

Vince Steckler, CEO of Avast Software said its licenced code turned up at a number of warez sites around the globe.

Now the outfit is turning the illegal copying into a marketing opportunity, looking to flip users of the dodgy version to genuine software by popping up a notice on machines with the illegally-shared edition offering a link to the free or paid-for versions.

We guess there were some red faces in the Vatican when the news was announced. Since Avast is dealing with the Vatican, Steckler did say that there had already been "some conversions" to the legitimate PC version. µ



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