The Business Software Alliance (BSA) today announced that Miller Automotive (www.millerautomotive.com), a group of car dealerships located in Van Nuys, CA, agreed to pay $107,998 to BSA to settle claims that it had unlicensed copies of Adobe and Microsoft software on its computers. In addition to the payment, the company agreed to delete all unlicensed copies of software installed on its computers, acquire any necessary replacement licenses, and commit to implementing stronger software license management practices.
“BSA recommends that all companies implement effective software management policies,” said Jenny Blank, Senior Director of Legal Affairs for BSA. “Periodic internal audits, guidelines for supervisors and clear procedures for employees are necessary to ensure compliance. The settlement with Miller Automotive sets another example to businesses that software should be managed just as carefully as any other asset.”
Software piracy affects the California economy, eliminates local jobs, and damages local industries. In 2003, piracy cost the California economy more than 13,000 jobs, over $802 million in wages and salaries, over $1 billion in retail sales of business software applications, and approximately $239 million in total tax losses.
Unlicensed software use also poses serious threats for California businesses, including legal liability, financial costs, technical problems, and jeopardizes the technological innovation that is crucial to the growth and success of businesses in California and the nation. Last year the United States software industry lost $7.3 billion as a result of software piracy, an increase of $400 million over the previous year.
Thirty-five percent of the software installed in 2006 on personal computers (PCs) worldwide was installed without legal licenses, amounting to nearly $40 billion in global losses because of software piracy. An independent study shows that 21 percent of software in the United States is unlicensed.*
BSA offers businesses free tools and educational materials designed to protect users from the dangers of illegal software and ensure software compliance. Businesses trying to determine whether their organization is using unlicensed software can also download free software audit tools from the BSA website, www.bsaaudit.com.
BSA offers rewards of up to $1,000,000 for qualifying reports received via its hotline or online reporting form. Confidential reports can be made by visiting www.bsa.org or by calling 1-888 NO PIRACY. Reward payments are subject to eligibility requirements, the details of which are available on the website. Software piracy is against the law and can result in damages of up to $150,000 for each software title copied and increases the risk for security and technical complications.
* “Global Software Piracy Study,” conducted by IDC for the Business Software Alliance, May 2007