Time to take hard line over software piracyBy David Millward
April 18, 2012
A crackdown on software piracy in businesses is being launched in the Reading area today.
The Business Software Alliance (BSA), which represents the commercial software industry, will be contacting 1,500 companies in the area asking them to declare the software they have installed on their computers.
The organisation is also doubling its reward to £20,000 for whistleblowers who help it successfully take action against businesses using unlicensed software.
Julian Swan, BSA director for compliance marketing in Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “Software is one of the most valuable assets for any organisation, so it is vital that businesses in Reading realise that they are taking risks if they are not correctly licensed. The abuse of intellectual property is a serious offence.
“It can result in a damaged reputation and significant costs, not to mention operational downtime as unlicensed software is often less resistant to viruses and other malware.”
The campaign being launched in the area today is being backed by Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Chief executive Paul Briggs said: “We are pleased to support this campaign to raise the awareness of the risk of software not being licensed correctly. We urge the local business community to check software agreements on company-owned devices and networks.”
The campaign is being launched following recent research by the BSA which polled 250 financial directors in the UK about their attitudes towards software piracy.
It found only two per cent in the South East were very confident their software is correctly deployed and more than one third admitted they could not confidently say there is no illegal software use in their company.
Mr Swan said: “This campaign is designed to encourage businesses in Reading to review their software licenses and to expose those that may be using software illegally.
“It is crucial that businesses take the potential risks of software piracy seriously.
“Although many do the right thing when it comes to software management, others, either through ignorance, neglect or financial corner cutting, persist in using illegal software.
“This campaign sends a strong message that this will not be tolerated and companies that continue to avoid the legal route will be subject to action and investigation from the BSA.”
The BSA is a global association of nearly 100 software companies including Microsoft, Apple, Siemens, Symantec and Adobe.
It has introduced a new telephone hotline for people to report suspected cases of illegal software use, on 0844 241 3460, or cases can be reported online at www.bsa.org/reading.
More information and advice about software licensing can also be found at www.bsa.org.