With Asia Pacific having the highest overall rate of unlicensed software (61%) of anywhere in the world, it is no surprise to see the BSA very active in Australia. Twenty per cent of users in Australia are reckoned to be utilizing unlicensed software, this despite the clear link between unlicensed software and cyberattacks. Although rates are dropping, this is gradual and will need real focus and effort to eradicate it altogether.
It looks very much like firm and publicized legal action is a key part of BSA’s strategy to get users in Australia to change their software use behaviour. We have highlighted earlier in the year in this blog item about BSA member Microsoft’s new emphasis on software piracy across the country, so increased activity from the BSA itself is no surprise.
BSA offering $20K to employees who ‘fess up their bosses
To aid in this BSA are now offering $20,000 to “… eligible recipients who disclose accurate information regarding unlawful copying or use of BSA members’ software…” This approach seems to be working. The first case of where this was paid to an employee was reported in May this year when a West Australian metalwork company settled a case for $100,000 for the illegal use of Adobe, Autodesk and Microsoft software.
Now, following hard on the heels of this it has recently been reported a NSW-based exhibition stand designer and builder settled a case for $50,000 for the illegal use of Microsoft, Autodesk and Adobe software. This is part of almost $200,000 worth of actions the BSA is currently pursuing in 2016 in Australia.
Australia building sector is the worst culprit
According to BSA APAC director Tarun Sawney, the building and manufacturer sectors are to blame for most use of illegal software in Australia. He continued,
“A sound Software Asset Management (SAM) program with regular IT audits will ensure that businesses can avoid the damaging consequences of using unlicensed software, including serious cybercrime risks and losses, and get the best return on investment from their software license purchases, including data security by way of product updates and patching.”
To which we say, ‘Amen’ to that!