BSA collects over $2M in settlements from U.S. companies

Each of the 19 firms also agreed to delete any unlicensed software

The Business Software Alliance (BSA), a watchdog group representing the nation's leading software manufacturers, today announced it has collected over $2 million in settlements from 19 U.S. companies that were running illegal software.

In addition to making the payments, each company agreed to delete any unlicensed copies of programs it was using, purchase any needed replacements and strengthen software management practices, the BSA said.

"We hope that these announcements will encourage other businesses to re-examine and update, if necessary, their software management systems," Jenny Blank, director of enforcement at the BSA, said in a statement. "Businesses should be certain that using fully licensed software is part of their corporate responsibility checklist."

Software piracy is illegal, and companies can be fined up to $150,000 for each software title copied, the BSA said.

Blank said most investigations begin with a call to BSA's hotline or with an online report to the BSA by a company's current or former workers. "Once we have that information, we review it and assess it to make sure it's something we should act on," Blank said. "Then we contact those companies generally through our attorneys and invite them to cooperate with us by doing a self-audit, as opposed to being involved in a court lawsuit."

That process can take anywhere from two weeks to several months, Blank said.

The companies that settled with the BSA include:

  • Arcadian Healthcare Inc., a Cranford, N.J.-based provider of home oxygen therapy and clinical respiratory care, which paid BSA $150,000 to settle claims that it had unlicensed copies of Microsoft Corp., Symantec Corp. and McAfee Inc. software installed on office computers.
  • BioTrove Inc., a Woburn, Mass.-based biotechnology company, which paid BSA $82,442.70 to settle claims that it had unlicensed copies of Adobe Systems Inc., Apple Computer Inc., Microsoft and Symantec software on office computers.
  • Dimensional Innovations Inc., a Shawnee Mission, Kan.-based design and specialty fabrication firm, which paid $80,000 to settle claims that it had unlicensed copies of Adobe, Microsoft and SolidWorks Corp. programs on office computers.
  • Goodman Networks Inc., a Farmers Branch, Texas-based telecommunications equipment services company, which paid $295,000 to settle claims that it was using unlicensed copies of Bentley Systems Inc., McAfee and Symantec software.
  • King Venture Inc., a Southfield, Mich.-based family restaurant acquisition, management and development company, which paid $85,000 to settle claims that it used unlicensed copies of Microsoft and Symantec software.
  • LinkShare Corp., a New York-based online performance-based marketing company, which paid $89,000 to settle claims that it was using unlicensed copies of Adobe, McAfee, Microsoft and Symantec programs.
  • Monterey Mushrooms Inc., a grower, shipper and marketer of fresh mushrooms in Watsonville, Calif., that paid $165,000 to settle claims that it had unlicensed copies of Adobe, Autodesk Inc., Borland Software Corp., Microsoft and Symantec programs on office computers.
  • Noble Systems Corp., an international call center software, computer telephony and customer contact technology company in Atlanta that paid $80,000 to settle claims that it had unlicensed copies of Adobe, Microsoft and Symantec software installed on its office computers.
  • PCB Piezotronics Inc., a Depew, N.Y.-based manufacturer of electronics for the measurement of dynamic pressure, force and vibration that paid the BSA $175,000 to settle claims that it had unlicensed copies of Adobe, Autodesk, Borland, Microsoft, The Mathworks Inc., SolidWorks and Sybase software on office computers.
  • The Polo Club Boca Raton Property Owner's Association Inc., a social and sporting community club lin Florida that paid $85,000 to settle claims that it had unlicensed copies of Adobe, Microsoft and Symantec software on its computers.
  • Superior Production Partnership, an automotive and appliance dies manufacturer in Columbus, Ohio, that paid the BSA $140,000 to settle claims that it had unlicensed copies of Adobe, Autodesk, Microsoft and Symantec programs installed on its computers.
  • U.S. Manufacturing Corp., an auto industry axle housing maker in Warren, Mich., that paid BSA $300,000 to settle claims that it had unlicensed copies of Adobe, Microsoft and Symantec software on office computers.

"These companies decided to settle because it made sense to find an amicable resolution rather than go to court," Blank said.

FREE Computerworld Insider Guide: IT Certification Study Tips
Editors' Picks
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies