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Whistleblower lands former firm with £100,000 BSA settlement

Simon Quicke

A whistleblower has dropped his former company in it with the Business Software Alliance (BSA) after reporting them for using unlicensed copies of Microsoft and Adobe software.

Whistleblowing has been encouraged by software anti-piracy groups since legislation was strengthened to make it easier for people to report on company wrong doing and in this case it has landed the BSA with one of its largest UK settlements, in excess of £100,000.

A media hosting company was forced to settle with the BSA after being caught using illegal software and not only had to pay out damages of thousands of pounds but in addition had to purchase the required licenses to get back on the right side of the law.

The whistleblower said that he could not let the use of unlicensed products go with being challenged for his own reputation.

"As a Microsoft IT Professional it is my duty to report any known cases of unlicensed software, or risk losing my credentials," he said.

The BSA recently revealed that settlements over the use of unlicensed software across EMEA were up in the first six months of this year compared to 2009 indicating that it remains a serious loss of revenue for the channel.

"Every year we investigate hundreds of companies in Britain for using unlicensed software, and many of them will face the prospect of legal proceedings," said Julian Swan, Director, Compliance Marketing, Europe, EMEA, BSA.

"Unfortunately businesses continually fall into the trap of thinking that cutting corners on software will save them money. In fact, the opposite is often true, as this case demonstrates," he added.


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