Larry Towner made a very important point on Peter de Jager's forum. Companies have used stolen software for years. They have not registered it, for obvious reasons. So, if and when it's upgraded to deal with the the year 2000, the thieves will not get copies of the upgrades. The old software will pass noncompliant data into many systems.
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Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 14:40:35 -0600 From: Larry Towner Subject: question: PC: Software: Unauthorized/illegal software on PCs
During a browse session on Y2k on the net, I came across a paper on the potential impact of illegal software (sorry; I can't remember the URL) on Y2k preparedness. The paper points out that such software is being used, often for mission-critical uses, and is often unreported by the users because they don't want to get caught.
Reflecting on this with my alter ego on the customer side, the topic expanded to "unauthorized" software. In an environment where a "standard" suite of software is supported, there are many different packages that have been in use for a long time but are not supported or, by default, "not authorized." Policy has indicated that users of these packages cannot expect support from the central site.
It would appear, though, that the lack of support has not particularly intimidated those users. What it means for Y2k is another source of contaminated data that could pollute downstream in our system.
It is in our best interests, therefore, to actively encourage not only the discarding of illegal software but the migration to that which is supported or "authorized." This is unfortunately like attacking shadows. You can see them but you can't catch them. . . .