BSA fines Melbourne engineering firm $150,000

The Business Software Alliance has fined a Melbourne engineering company $150,000 for allegedly using software without a licence in an out of court settlement.

The firm, which cannot be named due to the settlement, used Autodesk, Adobe and Microsoft software illegally.

In addition to paying the $150,000 fine, the company is now required to buy the required software licences and implement software asset management (SAM) plans to prevent future software infringements.

The case was reported to the BSA's website in October 2010 by a former company employee. While BSA Australia usually offers a maximum reward of $5,000 for information that leads to successful action against a business, the informant in this case would receive a reward of $20,000 due to an incentive program which ran during September and October last year.

According to BSA, it is the second largest case damages bill ever for Australia.

BSA Australia co-chair, Clayton Noble, said the case serves as a reminder to Australian businesses to use properly licensed software.

"Some businesses think they can save a few bucks by installed pirated software, but they risk loss of data and network downtime if their pirated software is fake or doesn't receive security updates," he said in a statement.

"If they're caught, those businesses also face a substantial damages bill on top of the need to purchase proper licences.

“Software piracy is false economy"

In January this year, BSA found that the reporting of software piracy in Australia had risen, with some 161 reports of illegal software use received by the organisation in 2010.

Software piracy occurred across a range of industries, including design, services, architecture, software development and media.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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