Dob in a software pirate, earn $10K: BSAA

Easy money for dobbers

The Business Software Association of Australia (BSAA) has doubled the potential reward for people who report the use of pirated software within Australian businesses from $5000 to $10,000.

The BSAA announced today individuals can "earn" $10,000 for reporting software piracy and, as a result, expects the number of businesses reported to surge.

The BSAA claims Australian software piracy figures to be around 31 percent and will offer the increased reward until November.

BSAA chairman Jim Macnamara said businesses should pay close attention to their licensing and use of intellectual property, including software, and consider the risks if they are found in breach of copyright.

"We are effectively doubling the risk for businesses of getting caught out," Macnamara said. "Hopefully this will make software licensing and software asset management programs a higher priority for business."

According to the association, whenever the global BSA has doubled its reward, reports of illegal software use have surged with the UK seeing a 175 percent increase in the number of informants who came forward to dob in businesses across the UK earlier this year.

Research firm IDC claims 31 percent of software in use in Australian businesses is illegal, which equates to losses of over $480 million.

Illegal software use, whether deliberate or accidental, is a major problem among businesses of all sizes in Australia, according to the BSAA.

The BSAA cited research conducted by YouGov in the UK this year that found 64 percent of employees would report illegal activities to an external body if they had raised an alarm internally but their reports were ignored. Furthermore, corporate ethics are increasingly a concern for customers as 42 percent felt that if their customers knew they were using illegal software they would be less inclined to do business with them.

The BSAA provides free software auditing tools, tips, and advice to help businesses achieve licensing compliance.

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