The recent arrest and conviction of William Edwin White, III, a software pirate who was caught selling counterfeit versions of ALLDATA Repair, has once again turned the spotlight on the problem of software piracy. But to our in-house ALLDATA Antipiracy Team, the problem is not news.The team was created in 2006 to fight the piracy problem after the customer service team reported receiving calls from customers who thought they bought authorized versions of ALLDATA products until they started having problems or were unable to register or update the software.
Yes, software piracy drives up the costs to you, but in the auto repair world, the issue is far more serious. As ALLDATA President Jeff Lagges put it, buying pirated ALLDATA software is “not the same as downloading a pirated song—it’s potentially a consumer safety issue because counterfeiters don’t care if the information is correct. We do care, because incorrect information should never be used to repair vehicles.”
As often as manufacturers update their information, using pirated software with outdated information exposes shops to risks of dissatisfied customers, consumer complaints, and lawsuits. Worse, an incorrectly performed repair could lead to an accident with tragic results.
“Offering our products through online subscriptions allows us to get changes to our customers quickly,” added Lagges. “So buying counterfeit ALLDATA products not only wastes money, it’s a risky business that we’re working hard to stop.”
If you learned that the plane you were about to board had a 30 percent chance of crashing, would you still get on the plane? Probably not. Yet a recent study commissioned by Microsoft shows that three out of every 10 pirated software products comes with harmful code, called malware, exposing users to computer viruses, identity theft, data loss, and other hazards. The study goes on to point out that consumers who install counterfeit software will spend 1.5 billion hours and $22 billion cleaning up the messes the malware creates. In other words, that too-good-to-be-true price for software could come with an enormous price tag.
What You Can Do We need to ask for your help in putting an end to this potentially dangerous practice. Stopping piracy will also help keep down the prices we have to charge for authorized ALLDATA products. All we ask is that you report piracy. It’s not hard to spot counterfeit ALLDATA software, since our products are only sold through our team of representatives or our online store. If anyone else approaches you or you see an offer online or in a publication, we encourage you to file a report by clicking on the quick
link from our home page.
You can file a report anonymously, but the more information you provide, the more likely it is that the police can make an arrest and get a conviction.
Thank you in advance for your help in putting an end to this costly and dangerous practice. If you have any questions, give us a call at 1-800-829-8727.