Earlier this month, the UK's six biggest ISPs agreed to support the record industry with their fight against copyright theft by issuing letters to people using P2P (peer to peer) sites for downloading. We at ITACS support the record industry in their educational campaign and have linked up with www.ifpi.org.

Opinion: Ahoy there

We all see machines that are infected with viruses on a daily basis and the vast majority have some form of software loaded. There is nothing wrong with P2P in itself because even the BBC use the technique with their iPlayer downloads (Kontiki).

The problem with P2P is that many items available for downloaded are often illegally shared. So, thanks to IFPI, all of our members will now get free leaflets to help educate the public about this serious matter.

This month, Microsoft prosecuted 13 dealers in the UK for what it calls hard disk loading, I myself had a phone call about this once. But I explained our policy of no COA means no reload.

The lady on the phone was very pleasant and told me that I should also insist on the original media – but we all know that not all PCs come with media. She also asked if I knew what hard disk loading was and I had to admit not exactly so she gave me a useful description.

Hard disk loading is defined by Microsoft as: "When builders of computer systems sell PCs with unlicensed software pre-installed.

These dealers use one copy of a software program but install it illegally on many machines. The original disks and the documents that should come with the PC are often missing or incomplete. If they are supplied, they frequently turn out to be counterfeit."

ITACS takes a strong stance on piracy. Any members convicted of copyright theft will be expelled from the organisation.

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