Following several petitions to management, a member of staff approached the BSA with incriminating evidence of illegal software use, resulting in a hefty damages settlement to the business. He is being paid £10,000 for the tip-off.
The company, whose identity is confidential, cut corners to save costs when it came to renew its software licenses, leading to a significant shortfall in licenses and putting the company in breach of copyright law.
Whistleblower, Paul Smith (pseudonym) said, “As a Microsoft IT Professional it is my duty to report any known cases of unlicensed software, or risk losing my credentials. I was aware that the BSA offers a financial payment but I never expected this much money. This is definitely an extra motivation for other people like me, already frustrated by a management that thinks that they can get more with less. I imagine my employer learnt their lesson the hard way.”
Recent YouGov research commissioned by BSA, showed that over two thirds of British workers are willing to shop their bosses for improper business practices and an additional 16% would turn whistleblower for cash.
The Business Software Alliance’s financial inducement sends a serious warning to businesses – put your software assets on the right side of the law or risk exposing your organisation to a lengthy legal battle and punitive costs.
“Every year we investigate hundreds of companies in Britain for using unlicensed software, and many of them will face the prospect of legal proceedings,” says Julian Swan, Director, Compliance Marketing, Europe, EMEA, BSA. “Unfortunately businesses continually fall into the trap of thinking that cutting corners on software will save them money. Companies that fail to use legal software or ensure that they have purchased correct licenses are actually putting themselves at a greater risk of financial burden, and possible operational and reputational damage.”
According to the BSA and IDC Global Software Piracy Study , unlicensed software with a commercial value of £1 billion – 27% of PC software installations – was installed in the UK between 2008 and 2009.