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No quarter for software pirates

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Today may be International Pirates Day, but the Business Software Alliance (BSA) is giving no quarter to companies caught pirating computer software, having recently agreed a record global settlement of €2,5-million with an international media firm found to have significant shortfalls in software licenses. 

Following a criminal complaint made by the BSA on behalf of Adobe, Autodesk, Avid and Microsoft, this organisation now faces substantial costs for unlicensed software use.
The BSA complaint led to police raids on the company’s premises and the freezing of its assets. The organisation, which cannot be identified for legal reasons, had its PC’s searched for unlicensed software during the raids which took place last year. BSA conducted a coordinated investigation of the organisation’s international operations to identify license compliance deficits.
The legal outcome of the case requires the organisation to delete all unlicensed software products and purchase the correct licenses for the software it wishes to use in the future. Substantial penalties were levied to compensate for the extended period of illegal use.
A source at the organisation, who also cannot be named, says: “This situation came about because we relied on a single individual to keep us compliant and manage our software assets across multiple-locations during a period of significant expansion. The management were shocked at the scale of the situation and recognise that by having software management processes and tools in place this could have been avoided.”
As a result of its international enforcement action, BSA reached a global settlement with the organisation and an agreement for future co-operation and audit procedures.
Robert Holleyman, President and CEO of BSA, comments: “This action demonstrates BSA’s global footprint and the integrated and coordinated efforts of our global license compliance campaigns. BSA member company software was core to this company’s business and yet it failed to manage this vital business asset. This action brings the organisation into compliance with the copyright laws but at a significantly higher cost than if it had software asset management processes in place to begin with.”
He adds: “Sadly it is the BSA’s experience that companies undergoing periods of rapid growth, as in this case, can overlook software licensing issues. Software is critical to this organisation’s business, so it is vital to have genuine licensed versions to ensure its customers and staff benefit fully. This case clearly indicates that prevention is better than cure for everyone.”
BSA operates anti-piracy enforcement, education and policy initiatives in 75 countries around the world.