BSA wins $150,000 in software piracy case

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BSA wins $150,000 in software piracy case

Updated: Informant takes $20,000 reward.

A Melbourne engineering company has agreed to pay $150,000 to the Business Software Alliance (BSA) for allegedly using unlicensed copies of Adobe, Microsoft and Autodesk software.

The case was settled out of court for the amount that included compensatory and punitive damages under Australia’s Copyright Act.

Terms of the settlement also called for the engineering firm to purchase or uninstall the unlicensed software and implement software asset management procedures that were approved by the BSA.

BSA Australia co-chair Clayton Noble said the parties disagreed on the exact number of licenses that had been infringed but BSA believed that a “high degree of piracy” had taken place.

The alliance accused the engineering firm of using more than 50 copies of Microsoft software, more than 20 copies of Autodesk’s AutoCAD software and five copies of Adobe Acrobat without licenses.

The unnamed engineering company also had two Microsoft Windows servers with a large number of unlicensed users, the BSA claimed.

Noble said the BSA was alerted to the infringements in October by a former company employee, who was frustrated and “unhappy with the way the company refused to get legal”.

The BSA awarded the informant $20,000 -- the maximum reward in an "incentive campaign" that ran from September to October last year.

BSA Australia typically offered a maximum reward of $5000 for information that led to successful action against copyright-infringing businesses. In the US, BSA informants received up to $US1 million.

The Melbourne settlement was BSA Australia's second largest to date, after a February 2007 case that won it about $190,000.

Edited at 4.55pm: The BSA previously reported awarding the informant $5000. It issued a correction at 4.30pm, stating that the informant was paid $20,000.

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