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Alastair de Wet, Chairman of the SA BSA committee, said: “With over 193 legal actions alone in South Africa in one year, the size of the piracy issue is demonstrated in the country and the commitment to BSA to reduce illegal software use. However, it is not only the financial consequences that businesses must consider. Using unlicensed software opens businesses up to the risk of operational issues, such as viruses causing downtime, security threats, including data loss, and reputational damage. We urge companies to understand the risks of using pirated software, as well as the advantages of licensed versions. Legal software provides support, services and upgrades, which ensures your business runs securely and efficiently.”
Across Europe, Middle East and Africa, because of BSA actions, the cost to businesses (damages and acquiring legal software) reached more than $23 million in 2008; of which, just over $8 million was paid to the BSA in settlements and more than $15 million spent by companies on the purchase of business-critical software for compliance purposes. More than 3,000 legal actions were conducted by BSA in 2008 across the EMEA region, as a result of 5,546 leads, which averages at over 460 businesses reported to BSA a month.
Sarah Coombes, BSA’s Senior Director for Legal Affairs, in Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “Breaching intellectual property rights (IPR) does not just impact the software publisher; the 2008 costs to businesses illustrate the serious financial consequences faced by companies who illegally use unlicensed software. In an effort to crack down on piracy, we will continue our worldwide effort to identify companies which flout the IPR laws. In uncertain economic times businesses should protect their assets, rather than use the unstable market as an excuse to skip corners.”
The BSA encourages reports of suspected software piracy, whether regarding businesses using unlicensed software, or individuals and organisations selling pirated software over the internet. Confidential reports can be made at www.bsa.org. Speak up now!
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