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BSA Australia offers $20K to software piracy whistle-blowers during July

Reward level jumps from $5,000 to $20,000

The Business Software Alliance(BSA) Australia has brought back a $20,000 reward incentive that it last offered in 2010 in order to entice more Australians to report software piracy this month.

It usually offers a reward of up to $5,000 to encourage people to come forward with cases of software piracy and go through the process of making a report.

"We're offering a special increase in that reward during July to try and drive an increase in leads and see if that will bring out more cases," BSA Australia co-chair, Clayton Noble, said.

"We do ask a fair bit of our informants. You don't just get the reward for dobbing in a name and then walking away."

To get the $20,000 reward, the informant has to help the BSA with constructing a case which involves discussions with its lawyers. "The informant also needs to provide evidence, usually in the form of an affidavit, so that we can investigate further and see if it is a genuine case of software piracy," Noble said. In September 2010, when the $20K reward was last offered, the BSA received 72 leads that month. Five of these leads led to cases that were settled successfully.

One case was against a Melbourne engineering company which was fined $150,000 for allegedly using software without a licence in an out of court settlement.

The firm, which could not be named due to the settlement, used Autodesk, Adobe and Microsoft software illegally.

The BSA received a total of 104 software piracy notifications during 2011.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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