In a sea of computer pirates, one government gunship sails alone.
The Ottawa area is considered something of a hotbed for illegal software traders, but RCMP's A Division has just one constable on their trail.
"I could keep 10, 15, 20 people busy for the National Capital Region but we just don't have the resources", says Const. Denis De Haitre of the Federal Investigations Unit, which polices copyright infringement.
The Mounties recently identified 16 "pretty good pirate boards", in the Ottawa area, De Haitre says. <> "There is more computer use in this area than anywhere else in Canada and it's estimated 58% of all software out there is pirated."
That translates into millions of dollars of lost revenue for companies like Ottawa's Corel Corp., which has seen pre-release test versions of its CorelDraw graphics software illegally traded through electronic bulletin boards and the Internet.
Corel relies on the Washington, D.C.-based Software Publishers Association to do its policing, a company spokeswoman said.
U.S. software giant Novell and its "anti-piracy" team, known as the toughest in the business, have successfully sued or initiated criminal charges against only about 30 pirates since 1989.