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Piracy in the news

Business Software Alliance ready to partner with the European Commission to make Europe cloud-active

Unbiased procurement policies needed to harness full potential of cloud solutions

Brussels – 26 January 2012 The Business Software Alliance welcomed Commissioner Kroes' announcement of the creation of a European Cloud Partnership and her call to both industry and Member States to work closely together to advance procurement rules for cloud computing services. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) looks forward to partnering with the Commission and Member State representatives to make the EU more cloud-active.

"Cloud computing solutions offer enormous opportunities for the delivery of government services," said Thomas Boué, Government Affairs Director EMEA, BSA. "The cloud can save money and increase efficiency for the benefit of citizens and government agencies alike."

However, Boué stresses that "in order to fully unlock the tremendous potential of the cloud, discriminatory restrictions on choice and protectionist measures need to be avoided in cloud procurement policies across the EU. The Commission and Member States governments must ensure a regulatory approach that promotes competition through harmonization and the smooth flow of data across borders."

As part of its continued commitment to dialogue with the European Commission and governments around the world, BSA will unveil in February 2012 a first-of-its-kind Global Cloud Scorecard. The study will benchmark the policy and regulatory environments across European and non-European countries on their ability to support and promote the adoption of cloud services today and moving forward.

BSA released its own European Cloud Computing Policy Agenda in 2011, and has worked with a selected group of industry representatives to deliver 10 key recommendations on how the European Commission can provide a coherent legal framework for cloud computing and spur investments in cloud computing services across Europe.

"The European Commission has the opportunity to advance the economic benefits of cloud computing", said Boué. "We hope Vice President Kroes' upcoming Cloud Computing Strategy seizes that vital opportunity, providing Europe with a strategy that is comprehensive and flexible while at the same time protecting privacy, bolstering security and facilitating data transfers on an international level."

For more information from BSA on online software piracy or other important IT topics, visit www.bsa.org.

Business Software Alliance Tackles Software Piracy in Nottingham

BSA doubles whistleblower reward to £20,000 as local businesses are urged to review their software assets

London, 11 October 2011 - Businesses in Nottingham are being urged to check that their software licensing is up to scratch. As part of a crackdown, the Business Software Alliance (BSA), an organisation representing the commercial software industry, has launched a campaign to ensure businesses in Nottingham hold the correct licenses for all the software installed on their computers. In order to make it easier and less time-consuming for people to report suspected cases of illegal software use, the BSA has also launched a new online reporting page to coincide with the campaign and is doubling its existing maximum reward to up to £20,000.

Julian Swan, Director, Compliance Marketing EMEA, BSA, said: "Software is one of the most valuable assets for any organisation, so it's vital that businesses realise that they are running serious risks if they are not correctly licensed. Over one in four pieces of software in the UK is illegal, and over the past two years, the cost to UK businesses of using unlicensed software doubled to over £2 million as a result of legal action. This figure includes settlements and the cost of acquiring new software licenses in order to become compliant. However, the real cost to businesses would also take into account other expenses, such as the impact to cash flow when having to make unplanned software purchases, damage to companies' reputations and the operational downtime, resulting from using unlicensed software which is often less resistant to viruses and other malware. As such, we want to promote the value of software and hit home with businesses in Nottingham on how it could and should be better managed."

Recent research from the BSA, which polled 250 Financial Directors (FDs) in the UK around their attitudes towards software piracy within their organisations, has shown a clear need to educate businesses in the Midlands around the need for sound software asset management. The results found that only 11% of FDs in the Midlands are very confident their software is correctly deployed, with almost a quarter of FDs in the region admitting that they cannot confidently say there is no illegal software use in their company.

Swan continued: "It's crucial that businesses, particularly smaller ones, take the financial risks of software piracy seriously. This campaign is designed to encourage businesses in Nottingham to review their software licenses and to expose those that may be using software illegally. Although many businesses do the right thing when it comes to software management, others, either through ignorance, neglect or financial corner cutting, persist in using illegal software. This campaign sends a strong message that this will not be tolerated and companies that continue to avoid the legal route will be subject to action and investigation from the BSA."

What should companies do?

If you are concerned about your software licensing, there are a number of sources that can be contacted for help. Publishers and software suppliers should be the first port of call to answer any questions you may have regarding your licensing situation. The BSA website also provides guidance and resources that can help ensure that your company is operating efficiently and legally. Further information and software compliance tools are available from www.bsa.org.

For more information from BSA on online software piracy or other important IT topics, visit www.bsa.org.

Nearly Half the World's PC Users Acquire Software Illegally Most or All the Time, the Business Software Alliance Reports

BSA Members Secure Largest Ever Worldwide Settlement of US$5.7 million in Japanese Software Piracy Case

London — September 7, 2011 — Nearly half the world's personal computer users — 47 percent — acquire software through illegal means most or all of the time, and in developing economies the figures are much higher, according to the most extensive survey ever undertaken on PC users' behaviours and attitudes toward software piracy and intellectual property rights. In the UK, almost a third (30 percent) of PC users admit to acquiring software illegally most or all of the time.

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) today released detailed findings from the groundbreaking study on its official blog, BSA TechPost. Ipsos Public Affairs conducted the research for BSA by surveying approximately 15,000 PC users in 32 countries. This included 400 to 500 in-person or online interviews per country.

The findings come on the back of the BSA announcing the largest settlement agreement to date worldwide, secured by three members of the BSA with a Japanese computer software planning and production company based in Kanto, Japan, for software license infringement. The settlement amount of JPY437.34 million (approximately US$5.7 million) involved the rights infringement of various software products belonging to BSA members Adobe, Autodesk and Microsoft.

The Ipsos study finds that large majorities of computer users in the developing world regularly acquire software through illegal means — such as buying a single license for a program and then installing it on multiple machines, or downloading programs from peer-to-peer networks — even though they express support for intellectual property principles.

China had a higher percentage of these regular software pirates among its PC-using population than any other country surveyed, followed by Nigeria, Vietnam, Ukraine, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Mexico.

The study finds that significant majorities of software pirates in developing markets incorrectly believe that typically illegal means of acquiring software are, in fact, legal. At the same time, they believe software piracy is common, and they think it is unlikely that software pirates will be caught.

Critically, business decision-makers around the world exhibit behaviours and opinions that are similar to those of other computer users.

"It took hundreds of millions of thieves to steal $59 billion worth of software last year. Now we have a better understanding of what they were thinking," said BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman. "The evidence is clear: The way to lower software piracy is by educating businesses and individuals about what is legal — and ramping up enforcement of intellectual property laws to send clearer deterent signals to the marketplace."

Pirate Populations by Country

Click here to download the complete report from BSA TechPost.

For more information from BSA on online software piracy or other important IT topics, visit www.bsa.org.

Business Software Alliance Cracks Down on Northern Irish Architecture Firm

Coogan & Co Limited pays out £33,000 following software piracy investigation

London, 31 AUGUST 2011 – The Business Software Alliance (BSA), an organisation representing the business software industry, has settled with Belfast-based architecture firm Coogan & Co Limited for the unlicensed use of software products published by Microsoft, Autodesk and Adobe. In addition to paying damages of £15,000, Coogan & Co also purchased software to correct the under-licensing to the value of approximately £18,000.

Coogan & Co is not the first business in the area to be exposed by the BSA. Armstrong Medical Limited, a County Londonderry-based medical equipment manufacturer, was also recently caught using unlicensed copies of BSA member software, which cost the business nearly £12,000. This included settlement fees and the cost of purchasing the software licenses it needed to ensure it was legally compliant. Another unnamed company based in Northern Ireland has also recently been hit with costs of over £10,000 for software piracy.

Software piracy is the unauthorised copying or distribution of copyrighted software. This can be done by copying, downloading, sharing, selling or installing multiple copies onto personal or work computers.

Philippe Briére, Chair of the BSA UK Committee, says: "The case of Coogan & Co highlights the financial penalties that have to be paid if a business does not have correctly licensed software installed. A lot of businesses do not realise that when they purchase software they are actually purchasing a license to use it, not the actual software itself. If a user makes more copies of the software than the license permits, they are acting illegally."

Briére continues: "Businesses must be aware that enforcement action will be taken against any company found using unlicensed software. The abuse of intellectual property rights is a serious offence, and will not be accepted. Settlements such as this can seriously damage a company's reputation if they are caught out and can be costly. Only last year, the total cost to businesses in the UK using unlicensed software was over £2 million, more than double that incurred in 2009."

Julian Swan, Director, Compliance Marketing EMEA, BSA, comments: "Unlicensed software often occurs when a company's management regards software licensing as only an IT problem, rather than treating their software as a business asset. It is important for companies to implement software asset management (SAM) to ensure that not only are they legally compliant, but are deploying their software in the most cost efficient and productive way."

Reducing the levels of software piracy could benefit the UK's economy substantially. A 2010 study produced by IDC for the BSA found that by reducing the 27 percent software piracy rate in the UK by 10 percentage points over four years, 13,011 high-tech jobs, £5.4bn in new economic activity and £1.5bn in new taxes could be created by 2013, with 87 percent of those benefits remaining in the local economy .

If businesses are concerned about their software licensing, there are a number of sources that can be contacted for help. Publishers and software suppliers should be the first port of call to answer any questions they may have regarding their licensing situation. The BSA website also provides guidance and resources that can help ensure that a company is operating efficiently and legally. Further information and software compliance tools are available from www.bsa.org.

The BSA also encourages reports of suspected software piracy, whether regarding businesses using unlicensed software, or individuals and organisations selling pirated software over the internet. Confidential reports can be made at www.bsa.org.

IDC study, Economic Benefits of Reducing Software Piracy, September 2010
For more information from BSA on online software piracy or other important IT topics, visit www.bsa.org.