The BSA report led to raids by police and the customs and finance guard on the companies' premises and the freezing of their informatics assets. The organisations had all their PC's searched for unlicensed software during the raids and the ones containing illegal software products were confiscated. As an outcome of the legal procedures and settlement processes, the industrial company located in eastern Hungary together with the national food retail chain were required to pay several millions of forints as a compensation to BSA, in addition they had to legalise their software assets by purchasing the correct licenses. According to the agreement BSA does not make public the names of the companies in question.
"We regard this day as an important milestone, because now everybody can be made sure that using or accepting the use of illegal software in a company is like playing with fire. While we are content with the agreement in these two cases, at the same time we are sorry to see another case where the criminal proceeding has started 7 years before, without any judgement of first instance to this day. For the better protection of intellectual property we think it important that legal proceedings speed up in the cases concerned." - said Gabor Sarlos, BSA spokesman in Hungary.
The situation of illegal software use in the two companies came about because the organisations did not manage their software assets properly. However, the management of both the industrial goods manufacturer and the food retail chain recognised that by having correct software management processes and tools in place this could have been avoided.
"Government initiatives like HENT (National Body Against Forgery) as well as the recent steps taken by BSA and other copyright protection organisations show that it has become unacceptable and highly risky to steal the property of others. Intellectual property is unambiguously protected by the law. Every company head has to be aware that using illegal software is like playing with fire because they risk the security of their organisation and also face legal consequences. In license compliance deficits of wider scale the settlement costs may increase in magnitude and that sum may have serious effects on the operations of given business." - said Gabor Sarlos.
According to BSA experience companies undergoing periods of rapid growth, can overlook software licensing issues. Software is critical to the organisation's business, so it is vital to have genuine licensed versions. Only these can ensure full benefits for the customers and the staff.
BSA operates anti-piracy enforcement, education and policy initiatives in over 80 countries around the world. Each year BSA, and its members, invest millions of dollars informing businesses about the benefits of software asset management and the risks of using unlicensed software. Nevertheless, last year alone many organizations faced the payment of large fines for use of unlicensed software. One recent case happened in September 2007 when BSA agreed to a record global settlement of 2.5 million euro (HUF 600 million) with an international media firm found to have significant shortfalls in software licenses. The details of BSA’s worldwide anti-piracy programs involving enforcement, policy and education initiatives can be learned from the BSA 2006 Year in Review Report, which can be viewed at www.bsa.org
The Business Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the foremost organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world. BSA is the voice of the world's commercial software industry and its hardware partners before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members represent one of the fastest growing industries in the world. BSA programs foster technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade and e-commerce. BSA members in Hungary include: Adobe, Altium, Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Bentley Systems, CNC Software/Mastercam, Corel, Famatech, Graphisoft, Microsoft, Mindjet Corporation, Monotype, Quark, Siemens PLM Software, SolidWorks, Symantec, Tekla and The Mathworks.