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Ethical reasons behind uptick in informants reporting software piracy: BSA

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has reported that 49 per cent of informants who reported businesses using unlicensed software cited 'morality' as the reason for doing so.

In an official statement, the BSA said that the "result shows a growing public appreciation of the importance of the Australian IT sector to Australia's economic future, and recognises that pirating software is unfair competition."

This year, BSA has settled 14 cases of businesses using unlicensed software for damages bills totalling $440,237. All of these were a result of reports from informants.

The largest was a settlement for $100,000 against a Melbourne-based point-of-sale (POS) designer, and 50 per cent of all settlements are from the engineering sector.

Despite the increase in settlements from 2011, BSA Australia chair, Clayton Noble, said that there is much work to be done.

"We urge every Australian business, large and small to implement a sound Software Asset Management (SAM) practice and conduct regular checks," he said. "It's the best way to ensure their businesses aren't at risk from using unlicensed software.

"Checks on software, like any other asset which is key to a business's stability and growth, should be managed on a regular and ongoing basis.

In 2011, the BSA posted its Global Software Piracy Study which outlined that the nation's piracy rates continue to decrease by one per cent each year. That year, 23 per cent of all new PC software installed was illegal, with a commercial value of $739 million.

Follow Nermin Bajric on Twitter: @nermin_au


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