Sydney-based engineering firm charged record $200,000 for illegal software use

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Sydney-based engineering firm charged record $200,000 for illegal software use

BSA The Software Alliance has made a $200,000 settlement in damages with a Sydney-based engineering firm that was using pirated software.

The firm was not named as part of the settlement.

In 2016, BSA settled 14 cases over the use of unlicensed software, totalling $589,000 in damages.

Each business caught using unlicensed software was required to purchase genuine software licenses for its ongoing use, in addition to paying copyright infringement damages.

Unlicensed software use in Australian business increased 105 percent year-on-year and more than 120 cases were reported and investigated in 2016.

BSA awarded two informants with $20,000 in 2016 for giving information on companies illegally used unlicensed software. Information provided by one of these informants led to the $200,000 record settlement.

Gary Gan, director of compliance programs at BSA Asia-Pacific, said: "While it has been a record year in many ways, unlicensed software continues to be a challenge for businesses across the country. By using unlicensed software, businesses are compromising their cybersecurity policies and putting their customers' data 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."

Gan added that BSA encourages businesses to implement software asset management practices to prevent financial losses and from cyber threats.

BSA will continue to offer up to $20,000 to eligible informants. BSA requires not only information, but also assistance and evidence from informants.

BSA is a group representing giant multinational software vendors including Apple, Microsoft, CA, IBM, Oracle and Symantec.

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