Internet service provider Magna Data has settled out of court with a payment of $20,000 for the alleged software copyright infringement and use of unlicensed versions of Microsoft Office and Adobe PhotoShop.
The settlement followed a two year litigation involving Magna Data and Business Software Association of Australia (BSAA), which serves as a software piracy watchdog in Australia.
Jason Ashton, Magna Data's managing director, asserted that "Magna Data settled for commercial reasons that relate to the recent multimillion dollar merger with Davnet," rather than as an admittance of guilt.
"At this point we simply didn't want to have any outstanding potential litigation on our books, " he said.
Pledging Magna Data to be fully licensed, Ashton also claimed the case was "put together by a fired ex-employee who subsequently took us on for an unfair dismissal, which Magna Data won in court at the end of 1997."
Law firm Mallesons Stephen and Jaques partner, Morris Gonsalves, who represented BSAA on the claim, confirmed "the evidence of the vast majority of cases brought by BSAA was provided by ex-employees who were unhappy with their former employers for a variety of reasons."
He was quick to add that being aware of this situation, his practice "takes best care to test the credibility of the witnesses, and only takes on cases in which the informant is firmly believed to be telling the truth.
"And in Magna Data's case, we were satisfied that there was evidence of infringement," Gonsalves concluded.
BSAA's chairman, Jim Macnamara, also assured that BSAA "does not launch cases unless it has substantial evidence, and it has never lost a case since its establishment in Australia in 1989."
Amongst the main methods of investigation following infringement claims, Macnamara listed software audits, corroboration statements from other employees and monitoring reports in BSAA's database.