BSA settles at £29,000 for unlicensed software use


The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has bared its teeth this week, charging the Salamander Organisation for using unlicensed software.

The York-based company has agreed to pay 29,000 to cover a settlement of licence fees to date, as well as ensuring it had paid for the software going forward. The type of software used has not been disclosed.

Salamander was caught out after an anonymous tip off to the BSA, followed by a software audit on the firm.

The BSA is currently shining a spotlight on Yorkshire to seek out those avoiding paying licences, claiming it does "substantial" damage to the UK economy.

Michala Wardell, chair of the BSA UK Committee, claimed the cost to businesses using unlicensed software was in excess of 2 million in fees and legal settlements last year double the amount from 2009.

"Businesses must be aware that enforcement action will be taken against any company found using unlicensed software," she said. "The abuse of intellectual property rights is a serious offence, and will not be accepted."

"Settlements such as this can seriously damage a company's reputation if they are caught out and can be costly."

A recent study by the Alliance claimed reducing the current piracy rate of 27 per cent down by 10 per cent over four years could create 5.4 billion in "new economic activity" and 1.5 billion in new taxes.

"Unlicensed software often occurs when a company's management regards software licensing as an IT problem, rather than treating their software as a business asset," said Julian Swan, director of compliance marketing in EMEA for BSA.

"It is crucial for companies to implement software asset management best practices and take advantage of the tools available from software vendors to ensure that their software licensing is in order."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.