Eight firms caught in CAAST net

The Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST) and the Business Software Alliance (BSA), watchdog groups representing the world’s leading software manufacturers, recently announced that eight companies agreed to pay a combined total of $269,548.50 to settle claims that they had unlicensed copies of software programs installed on their computers. In addition to the payments, the companies agreed to delete any unlicensed copies, purchase any needed replacement software and strengthen their software management practices.

Most of CAAST’s investigations begin with a call to its hotline, 1-800-263-9700, or with a report to the Online Reporting Form on CAAST’s Web site, www.caast.org. In these cases, CAAST and BSA contacted these companies through their attorneys and invited them to work towards an informal resolution. In some cases a software raid is pursued.

“These settlements demonstrate that companies of all industries and geographic locations are at risk of becoming a target of a BSA/CAAST investigation if they do not implement an effective software management program,” said Jacquie Famulak, president of CAAST. “Companies should conduct periodic software audits, centralize documentation of software purchases and educate their employees about the respect for copyright.”

According to a study entitled “Global Software Piracy Study,” recently released by International Data Corporation (IDC), 36 per cent of software installed on computers in Canada was pirated in 2004, representing a loss of CDN $1.1 billion. Globally, software piracy resulted in a loss of CDN $41 billion in 2004.

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