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Software Group Doles Out Cash To Piracy Tipsters

SIIA distributed almost $90,000 to inside informants last month.

The Software & Information Industry Association it paid nearly $90,000 in March to 10 sources who reported cases of corporate end-user software piracy to SIIA.

The software and digital content trade association offers rewards of $500 for settlements of $10,000 and up to $1 million for cases that settle over $20 million to tipsters who report corporate software piracy if the tips are confirmed. The group announced its March rewards Wednesday.

"We value the extensive cooperation and information provided by our sources and the reward program is a significant way in which we show our appreciation for their efforts to help us combat corporate end-user piracy while also ensuring that we obtain the most accurate and reliable information," Keith Kupferschmid, senior VP for SIIA's Intellectual Property Policy and Enforcement, said in a statement.

SIIA's Corporate Anti-Piracy program relies on whistleblowers to notify the association of companies that copy, distribute, and use software and digital content illegally. SIIA investigates the cases and seeks settlements, which usually include promises to adopt policies that prevent the illegal use of software. SIIA has offered rewards since the program's inception in 2003. It claims that no trade association has given out more rewards or larger amounts to combat software and content piracy.

The group receives tips three ways: via e-mail, phone calls, and online complaint forms. SIIA said that most tipsters are current or former employees, people with direct knowledge of a company's IT operations, vendors, and SIIA member company representatives.

InformationWeek will be highlighting innovative government IT organizations in an upcoming issue. Nominate your agency by submitting an essay on your most innovative IT initiative completed in the last year. Find out more, and nominate your organization by May 1.

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