Melbourne company coughs up $150K for using unlicensed software

Melbourne company coughs up $150K for using unlicensed software

Whistleblower gets $20,000 reward for reporting illegal software use to BSA

Business Software Alliance (BSA) has settled a record Australian software piracy case with a Melbourne-based engineering company for using unlicensed software.

The company allegedly used Autodesk, Adobe and Microsoft products without a license.

It has settled in court with BSA for $150,000, making it the second largest case damages bill in Australia.

On top of paying the damages bill, the company has to legally purchase required software licenses. It must also implement proper software asset management (SAM) procedures to prevent future incidents of software copyright infringement.

The case was reported via the BSA website in October 2010 by a former company employee. BSA usually offers whistleblowers $5000 for information that leads to successful action against a business, but this case was reported during a BSA incentive campaign offering a $20,000 reward for providing the lead. The incentive program ran from September to October 2010.

BSA Australia Co-Chair, Clayton Noble, said the significant case served as a reminder to Australian businesses about the importance of using properly licensed software.

“Some businesses think they can save a few bucks by installing pirated software rather than licensing it. But they risk loss of data and network downtime if their pirated software is non-genuine or doesn’t receive important security updates,” Noble said. “And if they’re caught, those businesses also face a substantial damages bill on top of the need to purchase proper licenses. Business software piracy is false economy.”

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Tags software piracyBusiness Software Alliance (BSA)

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