BSA warns Aussie businesses about software piracy ‘can of worms’

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BSA warns Aussie businesses about software piracy ‘can of worms’

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is urging Australian IT managers to better examine their security policies and software assets to make sure they aren’t sitting on a dangerous ‘can of worms’ of software piracy.

The ‘Can of Worms’ awareness campaign comes on the heels of the fifth annual BSA/IDC Global PC Software Piracy Study, which found that Australian software piracy still sits at about 28 percent.

“This is an unacceptable level, demonstrating that many organisations in Australia are still hiding a multitude of sins” said Clare Wharrier, BSA Australia spokesperson.

Wharrier said that through the campaign, BSA wants to encourage businesses to look inward at practices and policies that may have been overlooked, and take that first step towards a safer system.

“It’s really about taking that first step in the journey that we’re focusing on, just to make sure these businesses are paying attention to what’s going on in their networks,” she said.

Because of the mining boom, Western Australian is primed to take the lead of the state with the most software piracy violations in the country, which Wharrier attributes as a case of too much growth too quickly.

“The rate of expansion in WA has been rapid and it would seems that some IT networks are not being equipped to handle the growth, with software licensing responsibilities being overlooked,” Wharrier said.

Recently, WA based company Australian Health, which traded as Risk Management Technologies, paid out an $80,000 settlement for using illegal products from numerous leading software companies.

For the future, BSA hopes this campaign and others like it will continue to fuel the steady decline in software piracy that Australia has experienced over the past few years.

“It was about 31 percent in 2005, and has gone down about 1 percent every year since then,” Wharrier said.

“We would like it if that rate were faster, but we’d be pleased if these campaigns helped it to stay steady.”
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