The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has launched legal proceedings against two London-based firms for allegedly using unlicensed software.
Thompson & Co, a firm of solicitors located in London’s Tooting Broadway, allegedly had 23 PCs running unlicensed software, while Harrow-based teleconferencing provider ACT has had a claim filed against it in relation to alleged illegal software use on 125 PCs. In both cases the software was predominantly Microsoft Office.
In a statement released exclusively to CRN, Julie Strawson, UK chairwoman of the BSA, said: “We are unable to comment on specific cases, but the BSA acts upon information supplied by the public, including reports of software piracy to its web site. It is important to note that court action is always a last resort. The BSA is committed to educating businesses about software piracy and software licensing issues. We will always try to work with companies through the software-licensing process.
“However, we defend our members’ copyright and will take legal action against organisations that are found to be under-licensed. Piracy is illegal and copyright abuse has serious consequences. The BSA would like to see stronger penalties for copyright abuse, both to increase awareness of the risks and to act as a deterrent.”
Shaune Parsons, managing director of Microsoft VAR Computer World Wales, said: “I’m shocked that solicitors are involved, and a teleconferencing provider should know better. The moral is that you should not do it.
“Some customers have unknowingly had illegal software because of their dealer. We have to go to the customer and refuse to do anything until they legalise the software.”
Parsons added that some end-users have been shocked to discover that their software is unlicensed, which can cost a great deal to rectify.
“There needs to be more controls put in place from the software vendors,” he said. “The BSA should also educate dealers to understand what the penalties are and how it will effect clients if they get caught.”
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