The Business Software Association of Australia has announced a two-month amnesty during which companies using unlicensed software can apply for immunity from prosecution while they remedy the situation.
The two-month amnesty begins on May 1 and ends on June 30. It is for any products belonging to participating BSAA members, including Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Macromedia, Micrografx, Lilly software associates, Microsoft and Symantec.
During the amnesty, companies can gain a participation number from the BSAA Web site (www.bsaa.com.au) and proceed with cleaning up their systems before the end of June.
Unfortunately, if you are a company already on report to the BSAA for piracy (of which there are 20 to 30 at any one time), the amnesty does not apply.
The BSAA is embarking on a national radio advertising campaign and is informing 40,000 businesses via direct mail, as well as editorial publicity. "There is no excuse for not knowing about it," said BSAA director and managing director of Symantec Australia John Donovan.
The BSAA is also lobbying the Federal Government to make legislative changes to streamline the disciplinary process for those guilty of piracy, including the introduction of statutory fines and criminal proceedings for many breaches previously considered a civil matter. The BSAA is also calling on the Government to reverse its decision to allow for the parallel importing of software.