With Australian software piracy figures still at 31 percent, the software industry is stepping up its efforts to tackle piracy. Business Software Association of Australia (BSAA) is doubling the potential reward for people who report the use of illegal software within Australian businesses.
The BSAA is now offering a reward of up to $10,000, twice the existing limit of $5,000, to anyone, who reports illegal software usage in a business before the end of December 2006. Terms and conditions can be reviewed and reports submitted
Businesses should pay close attention to their licensing and use of intellectual property including software and consider the risks if they are found in breach of copyright. According to BSAA, it is effectively doubling the risk for businesses of getting caught out. This will make software licensing and Software Asset Management (SAM) programs a higher priority for business.
Globally, whenever the BSA has doubled its reward, reports of illegal software use have surged, with the UK seeing a 175 percent increase in the number of informants who came forward to report businesses across the UK earlier this year.
Illegal software use, whether deliberate or accidental, is a major problem amongst businesses of all sizes in Australia. According to research house IDC, 31% of software in use in Australian businesses is illegal which equates to losses of over $480 million.
International research has found that 64% of employees would report illegal activities to an external body if they had raised an alarm internally but their reports were ignored. Furthermore, corporate ethics are increasingly a concern for customers, 42% felt that if their customers knew they were using illegal software they would be less inclined to do business with them.
The BSAA continues to promote the benefits of SAM resources and tools to avoid unlicensed software use and promote compliance but still finds many businesses choose to ignore these and continue to put themselves at risk by running unlicensed software.
How can companies find out if they are software compliant?
The BSAA provides free a comprehensive range of SAM auditing tools, tips and advice to help businesses implement effective SAM programs.