We are always talking on this blog about the BSA and the importance of software licensing compliance. Most people (you can substitute the word “people” with “company”) probably think that this is something that would never happen to them, shrug it off, and continue on as usual. Well, here is $50,000 reason to change your mind.
Nels Consulting Services Inc., a 65-person office in Canada, was investigated by the BSA in September of last year over pirated MS and Autodesk software. A few weeks ago, after a year-long probe (and legal fees) the company settled with the BSA for $50,028.
They have no idea how they “got” on the alliance’s radar, nor were they expecting it. They faced huge fines because they had thrown out receipts for their software that were older than 7 years old. They kept everything from the boxes to the CDs, but those don’t meet the requirements for a proof of purchase. Other violations came from employees installing unlicensed programs they had brought from home.
The Nels’ fine is relatively inexpensive compared to others the Alliance has levied.
Keep your receipts, and keep an eye on every piece of software being used by your employees. It should be part of your software asset management plan. And, if you don’t have one, you could be making a very expensive mistake.