Illegal software costs Victorian architectural firm $118,000

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Illegal software costs Victorian architectural firm $118,000

A Victorian architectural drafting company has settled a $118,000 case of illegal use of Adobe and Autodesk software.

The Preston firm, Planning and Design Pty Ltd, settled for the unlicensed use of Adobe Photoshop and Acrobat, and “several versions” of Autodesk AutoCAD.

The case followed a tip-off from an informant about the illegal use of software since 2009, according to a statement from vendor lobby group BSA The Software Alliance.

The group has “consistently found” businesses in the architectural and design sectors using non-genuine and unlicensed software.

“Given the valuable intellectual property created within the architectural and design sectors, and the intrinsic nature of software to the creative design process, operating properly licensed, fully functioning software is imperative,” stated BSA Australia chair Clayton Noble.

The case follows several cases of companies in Australia settling cases involving unlicensed Autodesk software.

In Perth, an engineering firm settled a $65,000 case involving Autodesk. In Queensland, Wulguru Steel paid $17,500 in a settlement over unlicensed Autodesk software, while a Victorian company, Telford's Building Systems, settled a $100,000 case over Autodesk and Microsoft software.

The BSA offers a reward of up to $5,000 for informants who report information leading to a successful action against a business using unlicensed software

Estimates released earlier this year by the BSA indicated piracy levels had decreased slightly in Australia, though the organisation still puts the value of unlicensed software at $837 million.

BSA's membership includes most of the large global vendors, including Apple, Microsoft, CA, IBM, Oracle and Symantec.

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