BSA | The Software Alliance has settled a software copyright breach case out of court with a Melbourne-based recruitment firm that used unlicensed copies of Office 2007 Enterprise.
The company paid $11,190 in damages and must purchase software licences for its future software deployments.
According to BSA Australia committee chair, Clayton Noble, the settlement is a reminder of the “financial risks” businesses take if they use unlicensed software.
“Businesses using unlicensed software are also at risk of security threats from malware, leaving their systems and data open to threat,” he said in a statement.
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Almost 60 per cent of IT businesses experienced a data loss following a malware attack on unlicensed software in 2013, according to a global survey by BSA released in June 2014.
The BSA survey is conducted by analyst firm IDC every two years. The latest survey, which looks at the year 2013, was conducted during January to February 2014.
Sixty-four per cent of the 2,000 IT managers who took part in the survey said unauthorised access into the IT system by hackers was a concern, while approximately half would not use unlicensed software in the workplace because of malware threats.
The survey also found that unlicensed PC software levels in Australia were 21 per cent in 2013, a 2 per cent reduction since the survey was last conducted in 2011.
However, the Asia Pacific region had the highest rate of unlicensed PC software installations with figures of 62 per cent. Only 35 per cent of IT managers said their company had a policy that covered the use of licensed software.
At the time, BSA Asia Pacific's compliance programs senior director, Roland Chan, said the lack of a licensed software policy was “not surprising” as it is not something IT managers prioritise.
However, Chan said there has been growing awareness about the need for licensed software following news reports about companies ending up in court after the BSA found they were using unlicensed software.
For example, 16 cases of software pirating were settled by the BSA in Australia during 2013, a marked increase from 2010 when only six cases were settled.