The software industry's copyright cop has recovered nearly $100,000 from three businesses found to have unlicensed software, including one that became a "phoenix" corporation to escape liability, the industry trade group said.
The Business Software Alliance said the businesses agreed to buy licensed originals in future.
The US group that represented the likes of Adobe, Autodesk, Corel and Microsoft conducted a $10,000 enforcement action against a foreign-language publisher that shut down its operations and restarted with a similar name and the same directors and staff at the same address.
"This kind of 'phoenix' operation is often used as a means of denying liability," the BSA said.
"This case serves as a reminder that directors may also be held personally liable for copyright infringement if their company is found with unlicensed software," said BSA's Australia committee chairman Clayton Noble. "Australian company directors should be aware that infringing copyright can affect them personally."
The alliance also recovered $74,000 from an "international student-services provider" and $14,000 from an architectural services and software developer that Noble said had poor compliance controls.
Noble, a Microsoft lawyer, said the businesses agreed to implement software asset management.
The Business Software Alliance is conducting a marketing and PR campaign including advertising on hoardings at train stations and encouraging staff to dob in their bosses.