Group nets US$1 million in piracy settlements in December

A trade group collected more than US$1 million in software piracy settlements in December

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) received more than US$1 million for software piracy settlements in December, the group announced Friday.

SIIA, a trade group representing software vendors and digital information providers, reached settlements in 11 cases last month, the group said in a press release. The US$1 million in settlements represents one of the five highest monthly totals for the trade group, an SIIA spokesman said.

The number of settlements in December show there are many companies that don't have "adequate software compliance practices" in place, Keith Kupferschmid, SIIA's vice president of intellectual property policy and enforcement, said in a statement. While the settlements seem "somewhat large," the 11 companies may have been hit with larger costs if they did not cooperate with SIIA's investigations, he said.

Among the companies settling with SIIA in December:

-- Petroleum Heat & Power, a distributor of home heating oil, heating and cooling equipment and maintenance. After SIIA contacted the company about a report of unlicensed software, Petroleum Heat & Power cooperated by conducting an audit, SIIA said. The company settled for US$217,570, about two and a half times the retail price of the pirated Microsoft software installed on its systems.

-- Preventative Maintenance Company (PMCI), a provider of predictive technology including vibration and infrared analysis of machinery. Sources reported that PMCI was installing software on company computers without regard to the number of licenses that the company owned, SIIA said. PMCI also cooperated with SIIA and settled for US$156,137.70, based on the unlicensed software on their systems from Microsoft, Adobe Systems, Symantec and Nero.

-- Ciberlynx, a Web hosting company. SIIA contacted Ciberlynx after two sources said the company did not have enough licenses to support its software. SIIA settled its copyright infringement claims with Ciberlynx after the company paid damages of US$130,000 based on their possession of multiple unlicensed software titles published by Adobe, Microsoft and Symantec.

SIIA will use the settlements to fund further antipiracy education efforts and enforcement work, it said.

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