RealTime IT News

BSA Collects $2M For Pirate Offenses

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) said Tuesday it collected more than $2 million in settlements from 19 companies admitting to software piracy.

In addition to the settlements, each company agreed to delete any unlicensed copies, purchase any needed replacement software and strengthen its software management practices.

"We hope that these announcements will encourage other businesses to reexamine and update, if necessary, their software management systems," Jenny Blank, director of enforcement for the BSA, said in a statement.

"Businesses should be certain that using fully licensed software is part of their corporate responsibility checklist."

In 2005, the BSA said the United States lost $6.9 billion as a result of software piracy. According to IDC, 21 percent of software in the United States is unlicensed.

U.S. Manufacturing of Warren, Mich., an automobile axle housing maker, paid $300,000 to top the list of settlements, followed by telecom equipment services firm Goodman Networks of Farmers Branch, Texas, at $295,000.

The two companies admitted to using unlicensed copies of Adobe, Microsoft, McAfee, Symantec and Bentley software products.

Other companies making three figure payments to the BSA included PCB Piezotronics ($175,000), Monterrey Mushrooms ($165,000), Arcadian Healthcare ($150,000) and Superior Production Partnership ($140,000).

"Although overseeing compliance can be difficult in a geographically vast company like ours, Monterey Mushrooms views intellectual property protection very seriously," Ray Selle, Monterey Mushrooms' CFO and secretary, said in the BSA statement.

A grower, shipper and marketer of fresh mushrooms based in Watsonville, Calif., Selle's company admitted it was using unauthorized copies of Adobe, Autodesk, Borland, Microsoft and Symantec software.

"We have instituted programs and communicated with our employees in order to ensure that our company does not violate the rights of others," Selle said.

In an effort to encourage people to report piracy, the BSA offers rewards of up to $200,000 for qualifying software piracy reports.

Two weeks ago, the trade group awarded its first bounties under the program, passing out a combined total of $15,500 to three individuals after their reports of software piracy led to BSA investigations and settlements.