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Small businesses targeted for unlicensed software use

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has cracked down on unlicensed software use, with five Victorian organisations currently under investigation, including manufacturing businesses and a scientific research group. According to BSA Australia vice chair Clare Wharrier, half of BSA’s settlements last year were Victorian businesses.

“Organisations will go to great efforts to protect their own copyrights and intellectual property, yet may think nothing of using illegal and unlicensed software,” said Wharrier. “We often see companies claiming ignorance: the ‘we didn't know it was on our computers’ defence.”

The alliance’s piracy study found that in 2007, “for every two dollars spent on legitimate software purchases [globally], one dollar’s worth of software was obtained illegally” and in the highest piracy countries, “for every one dollar spent on PC hardware, less than seven cents was spent on legitimate software”.

BSA has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to successful action against a business using software illegally—a criminal offence that can be referred to the Australia Federal Police. For further details, see www.bsaaustralia.com.au

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