Unlicensed software harms software publishers, creates unfair competition which adversely affects legitimate companies, damages brands through distribution of substandard products, and exposes customers to a range of IT risks including malware, security breaches and data loss. In 2012, BSA investigated over 15,000 unlicensed software reports around the world.
Where necessary and appropriate, BSA uses traditional tools such as civil lawsuits when necessary to stop software theft, providing a real and tangible response to end-user unlicensed software use. BSA also refers cases to national law enforcement authorities for criminal prosecution, providing close collaboration and invaluable support throughout the investigative process.
BSA works closely with national and local authorities around the world in a coordinated effort to change cultural perceptions among businesses and individuals about the legal use of software. In collaboration with governments, BSA helps promote software asset management (SAM) programs, raises awareness of the risks associated with using pirated software, and educates communities on the economic impact of failing to use lawful, licensed software.
BSA’s worldwide enforcement programs are designed to reach end-user organizations and the general public to educate them on the business value of legal software, and the critical reputational, legal, and security-related risks associated with the use of unlicensed software.
Global Internet Program
BSA employs a variety of techniques to detect and disrupt the distribution and consumption of infringing software in online and cloud environments, including: working with hosts to remove infringing files from their sites, litigating against those who illegally distribute software online, and collaborating with US and international law enforcement agencies to pursue software pirates. During a typical year, BSA’s Internet enforcement efforts result in the removal of hundreds of thousands of download links and e-commerce listings offering counterfeit and infringing software, as well as felony convictions and millions of dollars of civil judgments against online distributors of pirated software.
Solutions for Software Compliance
BSA provides business solutions through effective software asset management and compliance programs aimed at helping organizations gain maximum value out of their software assets. BSA offers three proprietary programs to help individuals and organizations reduce risk and IT costs associated with illegal software:
- Verafirm Professional, also known as SAM Advantage, is the industry’s first ISO-aligned (19770-1) standards-based SAM training course. Targeted at the IT manager/SAM professional, the online course available in multiple languages provides complete guidance and best practices that professionals can use to develop and institute ISO-aligned SAM processes within an organization. Professionals who successfully complete the course receive certification as a Verafirm Professional.
- Verafirm Certified (CSS(O)) is based on the ISO 19770-1 SAM standard. This certification offers organizations assurance that they are following globally recognized best practices, have implemented comprehensive processes, and have addressed the entire software life-cycle on a uniform basis – allowing immediate, sustained license compliance, and optimization of software assets.
- Verafirm Registry is a multi-lingual, online tool that helps companies effectively manage their software and provides customers who demand strong controls and compliance from their business partners a showcase of companies that take software compliance seriously.
Tools and Resources
Implementing a basic SAM program and software audit can protect your organization from the risks, penalties, and ethics problems associated with using pirated software. In addition to providing its own solutions, BSA provides links to free tools and resources that help end-users manage their software efficiently.