BSA collects $3.5 million from firm for infringement

BSA collects a software copyright infringement settlement of $3.5 million from an unnamed company.

The Business Software Alliance has collected a record settlement of nearly US$3.5 million from an international media firm that was using unlicensed software, the trade group announced Tuesday.

The settlement between BSA and the company, which BSA declined to name for legal reasons, followed a criminal complaint the trade group made on behalf of members MicrosofT, Adobe Systems, Avid Technology and Autodesk. The BSA complaint led to police raids on the company's premises last year, the trade group said.

BSA did its own investigation of the company's software licenses and alleged copyright infringement. The settlement with the company requires it to delete all unlicensed software products and purchase the licenses for the software it plans to use.

The large penalties were the result of an extended period of unlicensed software use, BSA said.

"This situation came about because we relied on a single individual to keep us compliant and manage our software assets across multiple-locations during a period of significant expansion," an unnamed source at the company said in a BSA news release. "The management were shocked at the scale of the situation and recognize that by having software management processes and tools in place this could have been avoided."

Software from BSA members was "core to this company's business and yet it failed to manage this vital business asset," Robert Holleyman, BSA's president and CEO, said in a statement. "Sadly it is the BSA's experience that companies undergoing periods of rapid growth, as in this case, can overlook software licensing issues."

The settlement cost the company significantly more than if it had managed licensed software, Holleyman added.

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