The Business Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) agreed to a record settlement of nearly $3.5 million with an international media firm that was found to not have software licenses to cover software it uses.
The Business Software Alliance made a criminal complaint for software piracy on behalf of Adobe, Autodesk, Avid and Microsoft, the software companies whose products were allegedly being pirated. The complaint led to police raids on the media company’s premises and the freezing of its assets.
The media company, which cannot be identified for legal reasons, had its computers searched for unlicensed software during the raids that took place last year.
The legal of the case requires the media company to delete all unlicensed software products and to purchase the correct licenses for the software it wants to use in the future. Penalties were levied to compensate for the extended period of illegal use.
A person at the media company said: “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 recognize that by having software management processes and tools in place this could have been avoided.”
The piracy case is being seen as an example for small businesses that are not careful about the origins of the software packages that they use.
Robert Holleyman, president and chief executive officer of Business Software Alliance, stated: “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 organization 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.”
The Business Software Alliance operates anti-piracy enforcement, education and policy initiatives in 75 countries around the world. Its members include Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Bentley Systems, Borland, CNC Software/Mastercam, McAfee, Microsoft, PTC, SolidWorks, Sybase, Symantec, The MathWorks and UGS.