Press Releases

Fergus Falls Company Pays over $200,000 to Resolve Unlicensed Software Concerns

WASHINGTON, DC – December 20, 2012 –

BSA | The Software Alliance , the leading global advocate for the software industry, today announced a settlement with Northern Contours, a leading manufacturer of pressed thermofoil and veneer cabinet doors based in Fergus Falls, MN.

Northern Contours has agreed to pay $200,100 to resolve questions whether it had unlicensed copies of Adobe, Autodesk and Microsoft software installed on its computers. The company also agreed to delete from its computers all unlicensed software, acquire any licenses necessary to become fully compliant, and take measures to ensure its future compliance, one of the foundational principles of proper software asset management (SAM). BSA was alerted to the alleged unlicensed software use through a confidential report made through its antipiracy initiative.

Northern Contours’ CEO, Ken Pfarr explains: “Resolution of this matter is the end to a process begun by Northern Contours when the company’s current Chief Financial Officer joined Northern Contours, prior to being contacted by the BSA. In early 2011 the company initiated a review of the software products the company uses and related license documentation. Northern Contours respects the intellectual property rights of others. The company’s internal review and its work with BSA is a reflection of that strongly held company value.”

The use of unlicensed software is inherently risky – it is illegal and can results in both civil as well as criminal penalties; it exposes consumers and businesses to security threats including malware and viruses while ultimately leading to decreased efficiencies in organizations. Violation of software license agreements effectively denies software copyright owners their rights to compensation for their work. And competition can suffer when a company using unlicensed software gains a cost advantage over competitors who use legal software. Through its programs, BSA works to protect its members’ rights and promote fair competition through lawful software use.

“All businesses need to be certain they have adequate licenses for all software installed on their computers,” said BSA’s Vice President of Anti-Piracy and General Counsel Jodie Kelley. “Proper software asset management helps to maximize a company’s IT investment and ensure the highest level of software security. Unfortunately, the use of unlicensed software is a significant issue that impacts the technology industry and ultimately jeopardizes the spirit of innovation and creativity that is so critical to success.”

BSA offers anti-piracy programs to help organizations reduce legal and security risks while driving business value. BSA’s SAM Advantage is a state-of-the-art training course and certification program for IT managers that teaches the necessary skills for effective software management. BSA also offers Certified in Standards-based SAM for Organizations, or CSS(O), a product currently in pilot, that independently verifies whether an organization’s SAM processes align with the ISO SAM standard and are ultimately license compliant.

BSA receives voluntary tips from the general public including IT personnel and other sources knowledgeable of a company’s IT assets. Through its online reporting form and its anti-piracy hotline, 1-888-NO-PIRACY, the organization investigates thousands of cases per year in the United States alone regarding copyright infringement related to software. All reports are kept confidential.

About BSA

BSA | The Software Alliance ( is the leading global advocate for the software industry. It is an association of more than 70 world-class companies that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. Through international government relations, intellectual property enforcement and educational activities, BSA expands the horizons of the digital world and builds trust and confidence in the new technologies driving it forward.

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About BSA

BSA | The Software Alliance ( is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 60 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.
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