DEC 22, 2015 | AUSTRALIA
West Australian businesses top settlements for unlicensed software use in Australia
WA Manufacturing businesses Gastech and Offsite held accountable by ex-employees for unlicensed use of software.
SYDNEY – 22 December, 2015– West Australian (WA) businesses are leading unlicensed software settlements in 2015 with over one third of settlements related to WA businesses with penalties tallying up to $100,000 for using unlicensed software.
BSA | The Software Alliance (BSA) has most recently received information from ex-employees of two new WA businesses, Gastech and Offsite for unlicensed software use, which included Autodesk AutoCAD© and Revit© software, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks software, and Siemens Solid Edge Software.
Gastech denied the allegations, but following an audit request from BSA member organisations, the business took steps to reformat (wipe) the hard drives of its computers and could therefore not refute the evidence provided by the informant. Gastech agreed to settle the dispute by payment of $50,000 to the BSA and agreed to purchase licensed software. The informant received a financial reward for reporting unlicensed software use to BSA Australia.
In a similar case. Offsite, a WA manufacturing business, had reformatted (wiped) the hard drives of the ex-employee’s computers. As a result, Offsite was also unable to refute the information provided by the ex-employee. Offsite denied that it had infringing software in the amounts alleged by the ex-employee. However, following legal discussions, Offsite agreed to pay $30,000 and agreed not to infringe Autodesk’s copyright in future. The ex-employee was also financially rewarded for reporting unlicensed software use to the BSA.
The number of ex-employees reporting the illegal use of software has increased significantly in the last year. People start to realise the use of unlicensed software could put companies who do the right thing in a disadvantageous position when it comes to bidding for business or just being able to keep afloat in a highly competitive market, creating an unfair playing field.
Tarun Sawney, Senior Director – Asia-Pacific, said, “It is important for Australian business that illegal software be discouraged, particularly with the growing trend in illegal cyber activity. Illegal software not only compromises security and puts customer information at risk, but can result in financial losses for the business, as information can be intercepted and repurposed for others’ financial gain. Not to mention the impact to the reputation of the organisation, business and its employees during court proceedings.”
Information on the use of unlicensed software in business organisations can be lodged at www.bsa.org. BSA provides a reward of up to $5,000 for any information that results in a successful action and settlement against the company.
BSA recommends that local businesses of all sizes undertake regular checks of their software licenses and deployments, and implement a sound Software Asset Management (SAM) practice. Information about SAM best practices, and tools to help businesses implement SAM, are available at www.bsa.org.
For more information about the state of unlicensed software use in Australia, BSA or for general media enquiries, please contact:Michael VatalidisText 10002 9956 5733Michael.Vatalidis@Text100.com.au
BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) 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.