Magna Data warns industry of BSAA anti-piracy tactics

Magna Data, an Internet services provider, has warned business to be wary of antipiracy lobby Business Software Association of Australia (BSAA) after the association announced the ISP was fined $22,000 for software-piracy.

Magna Data's managing director, Jason Ashton rejected press statements by BSAA last week it was "caught" for software piracy and warned other organisations might fall victim to the group's aggressive tactics.

"You could do the same thing tomorrow to Telstra," he said, explaining it is easier to settle this type of matter out of court.

Ashton suggested BSAA was making a profit from the antipiracy lobbying by luring employees to report licensing problems with the promise of a $5000 reward.

In this case, the informant is expected to receive the $5000 reward, BSAA reports.

Ashton said Magna Data decided to settle the dispute with BSAA to avoid "bad publicity".

However, the ISP overlooked a clause in BSAA documents permitting the antipiracy lobby to issue press statements about the case.

"We're pretty upset about it," he said.

The BSAA report claims Magna Data illegally copied and used software such as Microsoft Office and Adobe PhotoShop.

Ashton rebutted the allegations, saying the case was never proven, is based on allegations by a disgruntled employee and said Magna Data does not use Adobe PhotoShop.

In addition, he defended the company's current status, reporting all software licences are up to date.

"[The BSAA] has got a pretty strong reputation for making a big issue of these things," Ashton said.

BSAA chairman, Jim Macnamara rejected Magna Data's profit making statements.

"Number one, we don't make any money out of it," he said. "I certainly reject we are profiteering."

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study found Australia's IT industry could earn an extra $US800 million a year if software piracy was reduced to US levels.

Macnamara said the ISP had the opportunity to take its case to court but decided to settle.

He said the BSAA "is fairly aggressive" about its publicity of piracy cases, but said the press release was approved by Magna Data's lawyers.

"We believe our case was very strong," he said.

As for Magna Data's issue with the press release, Macnamara said the ISP's lawyers did not request the matter to be kept quiet.

"If [Jason Ashton] feels he has a case against us he can seek redress," he said.

"Our policy is always to issue press releases."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about Adobe SystemsBSAABusiness Software Association of AustraliaMagna DataMicrosoftPricewaterhouseCoopersPricewaterhouseCoopersTelstra Corporation

Show Comments