The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has announced the results of its ‘Feeling uncomfortable at work’ campaign, with the number of Australian workers who reported piracy in their workplace increasing by 17 times.
The campaign, which ran in September and October this year, reached more than 1.5 million Australian workers, with a reward of $20,000 being offered to individuals who reported offences.
The piracy hotline recorded a 1709 per cent increase in reports made, compared to the monthly average recorded from January to August this year.
Co-chair of the BSA Australia Committee, Clayton Noble, said the rise in employees reporting their bosses for piracy breaches is a wake up call for many Australian businesses.
“The BSA is already investigating several companies for using unlicensed software, and many already face legal proceedings, with the prospect of damages bills and dented business reputations,” he said.
“Australian businesses should make every effort to ensure that they are properly licensed for the software that they use.”
As part of the campaign, the BSA announced it had increased its reward from $5000 to $20,000 for people providing information on organisations using pirated business software during the two-month period.
While the extra money may have enticed more people to report piracy, Noble said morality was another reason for the spike.
“32 per cent cited ‘morality’ as one of their reasons for reporting piracy, and 26 per cent cited ‘the reward’ as one of their reasons,” he said.
In September, Noble told Computerworld Australia about piracy in the enterprise and said that the move by many businesses to the cloud will change the forms of piracy the BSA will face in the future.