Software can be expensive
The appeal of saving a few bucks can have decision makers wondering things like, “Why can’t I just use the product code from that other computer?”, or “Why can’t I just buy the package labelled ‘for up to 5 home users’?”
The simple answer is that it violates the “End User License Agreements” (EULAs) of most software vendors.
“Okay, but I’m just a small company, how will they ever know?”
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is an organization formed by the biggest software companies out there, and they don’t much care how big or small your company is. In fact, they’ve figured out they don’t even need to do the leg work to find you: They’re recruiting your employees.
Perhaps you’ve come across an ad like this on Facebook? Maybe not, but there’s a good chance some of your employees have, and all it takes is one misstep for that person to become disgruntled and report your business to the BSA.
What are the consequences?
After being reported, you may be asked to complete a full software audit, and potentially face legal action, which will quickly exceed the cost of the proper licensing you should have had in the first place.
“In 2008, the Business Software Alliance received more than 2,500 reports of illicit use of software by companies in the U.S. It settled 588 cases for a total of $9.5 million. The BSA also paid out $136,000 to 42 informants, with the average reward being about $3,000.” Software Piracy: The whistle-blowers’ motives
It’s happening right here in Southwestern Ontario: Over $225,000 in fines for just 6 companies in our area!
Any reputable IT service provider will insist on using software that is fully compliant with vendors’ licensing agreements. Be sure your IT people are doing the same.