Software alliance, BSA, has stepped in and settled a case with an unnamed Victorian IT company for the use of unlicensed software programs owned by BSA members, Adobe and Microsoft, in breach of copyright law.
Under the settlement, the business paid $72,000 in damages for the use of unlicensed Adobe and Microsoft software products. In addition to paying the damages, the company will purchase legitimate licences of the infringing software to legalise its ongoing software deployments.
BSA Asia-Pacific senior director for compliance programs, Roland Chan, said in the release of its 2014 case review, there have been a few cases cited which involved the IT industry but yet, such cases still continue to come up.
“Earlier this year, there were a few cases cited which involved the IT industry. Yet, we continue to see incidences of unlicensed software use in the very industry where there should be a greater appreciation for intellectual property rights, and an understanding of the risks involved,” he said.
Chan highlighted a recently released report conducted by global research firm, IDC, which found a link between unlicensed software and malware on PCs.
He claimed the analysis found that the higher the unlicensed PC software rate in a country, the more malware was generally encountered on PCs in that country.
As such, he said the implication for governments, enterprises and end users is clear – eliminating unlicensed software on their networks could help reduce the risk of cybersecurity incidents.
“Cybercrime and the weakened security of unlicensed software is a dangerous combination. We can no longer look the other way as unlicensed software creates a dangerous environment for data security and electronic transactions,” he said.
“The consequences of cybercrime are immediate and irreversible. When the money or data disappears to a criminal network, possibly even to another nation – it is never coming back to Australia.
“I would encourage all organisations to adopt a robust software asset management (SAM) process which will not only mitigate cybersecurity risks, but also enable them to extract the maximum benefit from their investments in information technology,” Chan added.