Business Software Association (BSA) Australia is encouraging companies and individuals to invest in cloud-based software as a way to track compliance and save money.
BSA Australia chair Clayton Noble told Computerworld Australia that companies and consumers in Australia should look at cloud offerings as a viable option to pirated software.
"They should have a think, not only about the price, but also the cost of compliance as a total cost of ownership," he said.
"Customers now have so many different options with licensing models, whether they are buying perpetual licences and pay up front or paying for the use they need of the software at the time."
Noble's backing of cloud-based software follows comments by BSA member Adobe's Australia and New Zealand managing director Paul Robson. Appearing before a House Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications in March, he said that people should buy the company's cloud-based software from Creative Cloud or import the United States version.
At the time, Robson said that Adobe would prefer selling products over the cloud.
Noble also warned that employees who breach intellectual property copyright infringement will be liable under Australian law along with employer who authorises the infringement.
"The employer can be liable for what the employee does on their systems so it's important that every business has proper software asset management controls and policies so that the software is not only licensed but secure," he said.
According to Noble, pirated software can contain malware and key loggers so businesses and individuals could be putting their data at risk.
BSA Australia offers $5000 to whistle blowers who give it information about companies using pirated software.
"It's not just a matter of giving us a name but helping us out with the case and that often involves giving evidence," he said.
In 2012 14 cases of software piracy totalling $440,237 were settled in Australia by the BSA.
In addition to paying the copyright infringement damages bill, each business was required to purchase legitimate software licenses for its ongoing use.
While BSA Australia has nothing formal planned for World Intellectual Property Day on 26 April, Clayton said it was a good day to think about the benefits intellectual property brings to an economy like Australia.
"The software and entertainment industries flourish depending on how well their intellectual property is protected," he said.
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