Beware of using softwares without licence

Graphic designers and photography studios are anxious lot these days, as software firms are conducting raids to prevent the former from using illegal licences.

On September 7, representatives from software companies inspected shops of graphic designers and photography studios in Shivarampet and D Devaraj Urs Road to check if any of them were using pirated softwares.

The city has more than 400 photography studios and 500 graphics and design firms.
Software firms are conducting raids mainly to check the usage of softwares such as Photoshop and Corel Draw — causing anxiety among small firms in the city.

Many small firms have shut shop as they are afraid of being caught for using illegal licences.

Small firms affected by these raid include cyber cafes, DTP centres, advertisement agencies and videography centres, which extensively use the afore mentioned softwares.

Also, customers from Mandya, Chamarajanagar and rural parts of Mysore are facing the brunt as many of the graphic firms have closed down due to the raids.

Concern

While photographers and videographers have an association to voice their concern about the issue, graphic designers have no unified forum to express their apprehensions.

Universal Copy Protection Company director Shankar Sanjeevagowda accepted that raids were conducted on Wednesday last.

During the raids, it has come to light that many of the small firms were ignorant about buying licences. Using illegal licences is punishable under the Copyright and IT Right Act.

Users of such softwares have to purchase valid licences, he added. However, graphic designers are distraught that they have to buy these softwares, which are too expensive. They argue that large firms can afford to buy costly softwares, but for small-time vendors it is too expensive.

An advertising agency owner, on condition of anonymity, said a licence for photoshop costs around Rs 80,000 and Corel Draw is around Rs 34,000.  Firms in other countries can shell out money, but for designers in our country, it is too huge. He said companies should understand this and reduce the price to help small-time vendors. According to sources, talks between representatives of software companies and small-time firms would be held in the city on September 12 to discuss the issue.

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