A security firm in Burnaby now knows the price for having unlicensed software on its computers.
Cobra Integrated Systems Ltd. had to pay $78,000 to settle claims, delete all unlicensed software on its computers and acquire the necessary licenses moving forward, according to a Business Software Alliance press release.
The alliance is a software industry advocate committed to raising awareness about risks associated with software piracy and it takes action against illegal software use.
"Under-licensing is a significant contributor to the overall software piracy market in Canada and affects all industry sectors," said Jacqueline Famulak, the alliance's Canadian committee chair. "Software piracy hampers technology companies' ability to innovate and create much-needed jobs and government revenues during these challenging economic times."
Under-licensing is a form of copyright infringement when software is installed on multiple computers without proper authorization. Under the Canadian Copyright Act, it can result in fines of up to $20,000 for each software title illegally copied.
Cobra Integrated is a national security solutions provider and paid the settlement after being investigated by the alliance for being under-licensed.
"The demands of our growing business and the recent establishment of multiple new offices across the country led to a lapse in our adherence to IT administrative policies," said Bryan Sylvester, director of Cobra Integrated Systems Ltd., in the release. "We regret our lack of focus on internal matters that resulted in the circumstances leading to the settlement."
The alliance was alerted to the unlicensed software use from confidential reports filed on its website, www.nopiracy.ca.
"This is not indicative of our usual standard of excellence applied to our services," Sylvester said.
In 2010, 28 per cent of software installed in computers across Canada was pirated with a retail value of about $1 billion, according to a 2011 study done by the alliance.
For more information, visit www.bsa.org.