Twelve cases of illegal software usage in Australia totalling $825,000 were settled by BSA | The Software Alliance (BSA) during 2014.
According to the BSA, the architectural/design industry accounted for 27 per cent of settlements while the engineering sector featured in 20 per cent of settlements. Software piracy cases were also settled with manufacturing firms (20 per cent), sales/distribution (17 per cent) real estate (6 per cent), IT (2 per cent), media (4 per cent), recruitment (2 per cent) and education/training organisations (2 per cent).
Victoria recorded the most software settlements in 2014 with 73 per cent, followed by Western Australia (14 per cent), New South Wales (9 per cent) and Queensland (4 per cent).
This was in contrast to BSA's 2013 figures where 39 per cent of software settlement cases were settled in Victoria and 38 per cent of cases were settled with firms in NSW. Queensland accounted for 17 per cent of settlements in 2013 while 6 per cent of cases were settled in WA.
Each business that was found with unlicensed software was required to buy genuine software licenses and pay the copyright infringement damages penalty.
One of the largest cases settled in Victoria during 2014 was with Planning and Design, an architectural drafting firm. The company agreed to pay $118,000 in a settlement case after it emerged that the company had been using unlicensed software since 2009. The software included Adobe Photoshop, Acrobat and Autodesk AutoCAD.
Commenting on the results, BSA Asia Pacific compliance programs senior director Roland Chan said Victoria, in particular Melbourne, had become a hub for creative industries including design, architecture and engineering firms which all use business software.
“With this surge in industry we are seeing a notable increase in the number of Victorian businesses reported for use of illegal software,” he said.
“In 2015, the BSA will continue to work hard on educating businesses on the benefits of a software asset management [SAM] program, helping them to avoid legal and security risks, and ensure they have the right number of licenses for their users.”
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