BSA| The Software Alliance has settled seven cases of pirated software totalling $147,000 this year.
While the organisation won't name the companies, the firms are from the architectural/design, engineering and manufacturing industries.
Each business that was found with unlicensed software was required to buy genuine software licences and pay the copyright infringement damages penalty.
BSA Asia Pacific senior director for compliance programs, Roland Chan, said the organisation settled 12 cases last year totalling $825,000.
“We are not seeing any indication of settlements slowing in 2015, with Australian businesses again failing to understand the risks with using unlicensed software,” he said.
“Organisations that knowingly use unlicensed software for commercial gain are getting an unfair advantage to the detriment of the market, and are doing a disservice to their customers and partners.”
Another risk is data loss. Almost 60 per cent of IT businesses experienced a data loss following a malware attack on unlicensed software in 2013, according to a global survey the BSA conducted last year.
Chan suggested that companies establish a formal, written policy and log all software deployed in the organisation.
Businesses should also conduct employee workshops and regular software audits to ensure the business maintains compliance, he said.
“Consider implementation of a robust software asset management [SAM] program that can help your company stay compliant and generate maximum value from your software.”
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