08/10/2002

BSA offers £10,000 reward for software piracy information

The Business Software Alliance (BSA), a watchdog group representing the world’s leading software manufacturers, has announced a new reward campaign to step up their efforts to combat software piracy in Northern Ireland.

A reward of up to £10,000 will be paid to persons providing the BSA with information concerning illegal internal business copying and use of software. This information will enable the BSA to take successful legal action against persons illegally copying software of BSA member companies.

The size of the reward offered reflects how seriously the software industry takes this issue. According to the latest estimates, the software piracy rate in the UK stands at 25%, that is, more than 1-in-4 business software packages is in use illegally. This high rate of piracy cost the UK software industry £290 million in 2001 resulting in lost jobs, wages, tax revenues and a potential barrier to innovation and product development.

Julian McMenamin, Chairman for BSA Ireland, said: “At a time when political correctness and company ethics are important, employees may take a moral stance and report current or former employers for illegally copying software. Indeed IT managers themselves may report employers if they are forced to copy software due to budget restrictions imposed by management.”

Persons with information regarding infringement and software copying can contact the BSA confidential helpline number on 08000 327 100. Their identity will remain anonymous to the public.

Julian McMenamin added: “We believe this move is necessary in order to receive pertinent information. The offer of a reward has been successful as an incentive to many employees in producing leads of unlawful software use around the globe. Similar campaigns have been conducted by the BSA across Europe.”

BSA represents much of the world’s software and various internet organisations before governments and with customers in the international marketplace.

Educating computer users on software copyrights, BSA advocates public policy that fosters innovation, expands trade opportunities and fights software piracy.

BSA Ireland members include Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Bentley Systems, Macromedia, Microsoft and Symantec.

(SP)

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