You may feel that all of your software and programs are legitimate and your licensing is up-to date, but you may be wrong. If you have that great music CD your colleague burned for you, or that useful program that your cousin’s nephew brought from his previous job he was let go from and you figured you can use it since it was already paid for, you are in trouble.
According to the Software & Information Industry Association: “ The penalties for under-licensing are the same as those for software piracy. Under federal copyright law the company may be liable for up to $150,000 for each software program infringed. The law also permits the software publisher to recover court costs and attorneys’ fees it spends to sue the company and to destroy the all illegal software found at the companies. In cases of willful piracy, criminal penalties may also be assessed against the company.”
7 Basics that Keep You Out of Software Pirate Waters
What can you do today to protect yourself and your organization? These simple steps will go a long way:
- Make sure you acquire your software through an authorized software dealer or VAR (such as your IT computer support techs. Looking for New Jersey Computer Support Company?)
- Keep up-to-date records of the software applications and programs that you have. Keep all the CDs, books and documentations well-organized in a safe place.
- Designate an Anti-Piracy Compliance Officer within your organization. If you can’t find one, be one.
- Enforce strict Ant-Piracy and Use Policies to protect your company against piracy.
- Do not use software for purposes that are outside of its Usage/License agreement. That includes copying and exploiting software beyond expiration date, if such date is included in the agreement, or beyond licensed number of users.
- Communicate with your employees about not installing unauthorized copies of software and/or using any of company’s software outside of your organization.
- And, the most important thing – consult with your trusted IT advisor, an authorized VAR company. If software you are seeking is out of your budget, consider open-source solutions.