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Monday, 28 July 2014 14:53

Melbourne recruitment firm fined for illegal Offices


The Business Software Alliance has settled a copyright breach claim with a Melbourne based recruitment firm for illegal use of Microsoft software after it allegedly used pirated copies.

The unnamed recruitment firm paid $11,190 in damages for the unlicensed use of Microsoft Office 2007 Enterprise, and is also being forced to purchase legitimate software licenses to legalise its ongoing software deployments.

BSA Australia Committee Chair, Clayton Noble, said the recent settlement highlighted the financial risks of using unlicensed, non-genuine software.

"As well as exposing themselves to potential financial penalties, businesses using unlicensed, non-genuine software are also at greater risk of security threats from malware, leaving their systems and data open to threat,” he said.

A recent study from BSA, its Global Software Study, revealed ‘security threats’, including access by hackers and loss of data, are the chief reasons computer users around the world cite for avoiding using unlicensed, non-genuine software.

The BSA survey is conducted by analyst firm IDC every two years. The latest survey, which looks at the year 2013, was conducted during January to February 2014.

"At BSA, we are committed to helping businesses understand these real risks, and to implement simple software asset management (SAM) steps to ensure they use software legally and minimise security risks," the group said.

Almost 60% of IT businesses experienced a data loss following a malware attack on unlicensed software in 2013, while 64% of the 2,000 IT managers who took part in the survey said unauthorised access into the IT system by hackers was a concern.

About 50% would not use unlicensed software in the workplace because of malware threats.

The survey also found that unlicensed PC software levels in Australia were 21% in 2013, 2% less than when the survey was last conducted in 2011.

The news comes amid a fierce piracy debate in this country - as iTWire's senior associate editor Graeme Philipson reports, "Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull are about to issue a ‘discussion paper’ outlining a vastly more severe copyright enforcement regimen that will require Internet Service Providers to police their users’ behaviour.

"The paper proposes a range of draconian measures favoured by the copyright industry, and goes far beyond measures in place in the US, the UK and other Western countries. It entirely ignores what is increasingly recognised to be the biggest cause of piracy – the refusal by copyright holders to make content more easily available."

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