A total of 41 companies in Glasgow are under investigation for alleged software piracy following a successful campaign by the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
Throughout the month of November, the BSA offered Glasgow businesses a 30 day legalisation period to ensure their software was fully licensed, during which they agreed not to take any legal action against firms who registered their participation in the programme.
The goals of the campaign were to reduce software piracy by raising awareness of the issue and encouraging businesses to manage their software effectively to avoid the risks associated with illegal software. The BSA also asked people to report piracy incidences to the BSA so that potential cases could be investigated.
The month-long campaign proved to be a major success, with several hundred businesses taking the BSA’s warnings on board and taking steps to ensure they were respecting copyright law.
The 41 businesses reported for alleged piracy – which range across many sectors, including engineering, media, architecture and IT - will now be scrutinised and face potential legal action. The BSA’s legal team will be looking into each case, and, if piracy is suspected, the businesses will have to provide evidence that they are operating legally. If they are not, further moves will be taken which could result in legal action.
“We encourage businesses to address the situation themselves. The Glasgow crackdown was heavily focused on education, and providing both information and free software to help businesses check all their software was correctly licensed,” said Julie Strawson, BSA's UK committee chair and director of marketing, Europe, for Monotype Imaging.
“However we know that enforcement is an effective device in reducing software piracy levels. Those businesses that have ignored warnings and are flouting software licensing laws will now face the consequences of failing to take this issue seriously," she added.
Mohammad Sarwar, MP for Glasgow Central, said: “Glasgow’s poor software piracy record threatens the city’s economic stability as well as damaging its reputation. Glasgow was the first city in the UK to be offered this 30-day legalisation period and it is great to see that businesses have embraced this educational initiative and are working with the BSA to make sure they are adequately licensed in the future. The implications of software piracy in Glasgow are far reaching, especially for companies in the IT sector, and I strongly urge businesses to continue to place software asset management at the top of their list of priorities for 2008.”
Glasgow was selected first as a result of the BSA receiving more reports of software piracy within businesses in Glasgow than any other city across the UK outside Greater London. Further city-wide crackdowns are scheduled across the UK, with Manchester as the next stop in early 2008.
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