School district dinged for software piracy

In a statement, Coast Mountains school district superintendent Nancy Wells acknowledged the district's actions.

THE COAST MOUNTAINS school district has paid a $15,750 settlement for using software on multiple computers without authorization.

News of the settlement was released by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a global group which represents nearly 100 software companies and which works to stop software piracy.

In a BSA statement, Coast Mountains school district superintendent Nancy Wells acknowledged the district’s actions.

“Coast Mountains Board of Education School District 82 (CMSD82) regrets the errors that led to this settlement and strives to enforce software compliance at all levels of the organization,” said Wells.

As good corporate and digital citizens, CMSD82 believes that all individuals and organizations should be paid for their intellectual property and we will continue to provide education regarding these matters throughout the school district,” she said.

The school district has also agreed to delete copies of unlicensed software, purchase any needed licences and keep better track of its software use.

The BSA statement indicated it was “alerted to the unlicensed software use via confidential reports made on its website” by current or former employees.

Under-licensing, the term used when software is used on multiple computers without authorization, can result in penalties of up to $20,000 for each software title illegally copied.

A Vancouver property management firm has also paid a settlement – $20,000 – to the BSA.

Upon receiving information of alleged software piracy, BSA contacts the company to explore the matter further by asking them to perform an audit of its software assets,” the BSA statement indicated.

If a settlement cannot be reached, both parties have the option of turning the matter over to the courts. In the cases announced [Jan. 23, 2012], BSA’s attorneys contacted the companies and invited them to work towards an informal resolution.”

A 2011 study in which BSA participated estimated that 28 per cent of PC software installed on computers in Canada was pirated, with a retail value of approximately (US)$1.066 billion.

Apple, Intel and Microsoft are members of the BSA.