Software // Enterprise Applications
10:53 AM

BSA Ups Reward To $1 Million For Software Piracy Whistle-Blowers

The Business Software Alliance is encouraging people to submit information about companies that are using pirated software.

The Business Software Alliance is stepping up its fight against software pirates, temporarily increasing its reward for information on piracy from $200,000 to $1 million.

The BSA Rewards Program, which kicked off in the fall of 2005, is set up to encourage people to confidentially submit "detailed information" about software piracy. The association reported in a release that it has "settled with hundreds of companies, bringing in nearly $22 million as a result" since the program's inception.

"Reporting software piracy is the right thing to do, and BSA is pleased to reward individuals who come forward with credible information," said Jenny Blank, director of enforcement for BSA, in a statement. "BSA will diligently continue fighting software piracy and we hope the rewards incentive goes a long way in helping us. Businesses often have a million excuses for having unlicensed software on office computers. BSA is now offering up to a million dollars for employees who turn them in."

According to the BSA, 35% of the software being used around the world is pirated.

The BSA, which represents major software vendors like Microsoft, Apple, CA, and Hewlett-Packard, announced a new campaign just as it announced the reward increase.

The alliance is kicking off what it's calling "Blow the Whistle," a national radio and online advertising campaign encouraging employees to report software piracy. The program will launch in July, focusing on California, Texas, Illinois, New York, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, and Arizona. The association mailed out red whistles to reporters to announce the campaign.

People can learn more about the BSA Rewards Program or submit a confidential report by going to this Web site or by calling 1-888 NO PIRACY.

Businesses trying to determine whether their organization is using unlicensed software can download the free software audit tools at this Web site.

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