The Business Software Alliance (BSA), the voice of the world’s commercial software industry, today announced a settlement with Citrin Cooperman of New York, NY. This is the second highest settlement ever in NY.
Citrin Cooperman paid $385,000 to BSA to settle claims that it had unlicensed copies of Adobe, Corel, Microsoft, and Symantec software installed on its computers. As part of the settlement agreement, the company agreed to delete all unlicensed copies of software from its computers, acquire any licenses necessary to become compliant, and commit to implementing stronger software asset management (SAM) practices. BSA was alerted to the unlicensed software use by confidential reports made on its web site.
Citrin Cooperman is an accounting, tax and consulting firm that assists entrepreneurs to examine their businesses’ financial structure and provide new perspectives on business strategies. Currently they have offices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and the Cayman Islands.
“Our firm has grown significantly in the last decade. We have always felt we were fully in compliance and had no idea there was any unlicensed software on our computers. When BSA asked us to check, we launched an investigation. Upon learning there was unlicensed software, we immediately contacted BSA and corrected it. We are happy to say that in addition to ensuring all of our software products are fully and properly licensed, BSA has helped us safeguard our IT systems from serious risks such as malware and viruses that pirated software often brings,” said Joel Cooperman, Managing Partner of Citrin Cooperman.
According to analysis conducted by the Business Software Alliance, nearly half of all suspected cases of corporate software piracy in America last year originated in six states. New York, California, Texas, Florida, Illinois and Michigan together produced 49.3% of the reports BSA received in 2010 from sources alleging that companies were using unlicensed software.
“Businesses that employ unlicensed or pirated software put their companies at risk and jeopardize the efficient and effective operations of their IT systems,” said BSA’s Vice President of Anti-Piracy and General Counsel Jodie Kelley. “Proper software asset management helps to maximize a company’s IT investment and ensure the highest level of software security. Unfortunately, the use of unlicensed software is a significant issue that impacts the technology industry and ultimately jeopardizes the spirit of innovation and creativity that is so critical to success.”
New York is one of six states producing 49.3% of the instances of software piracy in the US (in 2010). Many of these settlements result from businesses using unlicensed software unknowingly as echoed in BSA data released yesterday. Companies not only face potential fines, but also expose their systems to viruses that commonly come with pirated software.