Six-Figure Settlement In Piracy Case

Creative Master Shop agrees to payout to settle claims brought by software group.
The Software & Information Industry Association said it has obtained a six-figure settlement in a copyright infringement case against a company and its affiliate that used illegal software.

The SIIA, a trade group for software and digital content companies, said last week that Creative Edge Master Shop, of Fairfield, Iowa, and its affiliate, Flex Kits, agreed to the settlement to bring their licenses up to date. Creative Edge also agreed to only used licensed software and to adopt internal controls to avoid infringement from now on. The group did not disclose the exact amount of the settlement.

SIIA said Creative Edge installed and used multiple copies of software from several companies, including Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Nero, and Symantec, without proper licenses. After SIIA leveled the accusations, the company audited itself, reported the results to SIIA, and agreed to the settlement.

The case is part of SIIA's corporate anti-piracy program. SIIA offers up to $1 million to people who report piracy. SIIA also offers Certified Software Manager (CSM) seminars to help organizations comply with software licensing laws.

"Every business has an obligation to ensure that its software is legal and licensed," said Keith Kupferschmid, SIIA's senior VP of intellectual property policy and enforcement, a statement. "Companies must have valid licenses for the software installed in their offices, or face significant legal repercussions and payouts that far outweigh the price of purchasing legitimate software."

Scott Bain, litigation counsel for SIIA, said that companies that permit use of unlicensed software "rob software companies of critical revenue from their intellectual property."

SIIA said it will use the settlement to fund further anti-piracy education efforts and enforcement work.

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