The first case, Meldan (Vic) Pty Ltd, trading as Granvue Homes, a project home builder, paid $35,000 in damages for the use of unlicensed software, following an audit which revealed use of unlicensed product keys for Adobe Acrobat, Autodesk, AutoCAD and and Microsoft Office software.
BSA says the Victorian settlement is the first for the state in 2016, following a record number of settlements for Victoria in 2014 and 2015 above any other state, “indicating an increase in Victorian business accountability in 2016 for software compliance”.
In another case, Sosan Pty Ltd, an architectural model maker in Brisbane, was found to be using Autodesk Building Design Suite in excess of their license entitlements. In addition to paying damages of $18,000, Sosan has purchased the necessary licenses to legalise ongoing software deployments.
To ensure ongoing software compliance, each business has also agreed to undertake regular software audits which will be reported to BSA.
Tarun Sawney, BSA Senior Director – Asia-Pacific, said, “It is important for the Australian economy that unlicensed software be discouraged and infringing businesses be held accountable, particularly with the growing trend in illegal cyber activity".
“Unlicensed software not only compromises security and puts customer information at risk, it can also 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 any legal proceedings.
“We urge all businesses, whether large or small to conduct regular checks of software licenses and deployments, and implement an effective Software Asset Management (SAM) practice.
“A sound Software Asset Management (SAM) program with regular IT audits will ensure that businesses can avoid the damaging consequences of using unlicensed software and get the best return on investment from their software license purchases.
“We ask those who are aware of unlicensed corporate software use to report piracy.”
The BSA is offering up to $20,000 to eligible recipients who disclose accurate information regarding unlawful copying or use of the BSA members’ software.
Sawney says potential recipients must provide assistance and evidence to support the information, as the information may be required by the BSA’s legal advisers, in connection with any claim or legal proceedings initiated by the BSA members. For the full terms and conditions, click here.