Organisations within the IT sector were the most common offenders of software piracy during 2003, representing 24% of settlements last year, according to figures from the Business Software Alliance.
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Other regular offenders included construction/engineering and architecture/design which together represented 27% of settlements, and educational organisations 8%.
“It has been another busy year for BSA legal counsel,” said Siobhan Carroll, regional manager for Northern Europe at the BSA. “We are particularly unhappy to see the lack of diligence within the IT sector. We would like to see the IT sector as a guardian for our mission but this clearly isn't the case.”
The BSA has been criticised in the past for being heavy handed in its treatment of organisations suspected of using unlicensed software. IT users have complained that honest errors with licensing have been treated as deliberate software piracy.
The BSA, which admitted that many companies are finding it increasingly difficult to track and monitor software use, has launched a website to help organisations with their software asset management (Sam).
The site includes a step-by-step approach to finding all of the necessary information to get started in Sam, from centralising purchasing and distribution to setting policies and procedures to creating and maintaining Sam databases.