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Twelve Canadian Companies To Pay More Than $431,000

Twelve Canadian Companies To Pay More Than $431,000 In Damages For Unlicensed Software Use

Business Software Alliance Leads National Enforcement Effort Across Canada to Stamp Out Illegal Software Use

TORONTO, Sept. 14 /CNW/ - The Business Software Alliance (BSA) today announced it has settled with 12 Canadian companies for a combined total of $431,336 in damages for using unlicensed copies of software on their computers. The settlements are the result of a national BSA enforcement effort that spans British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

Enforcement actions like these are a result of BSA investigations of under-licensing, a form of copyright infringement that occurs when software is intentionally or unintentionally installed on multiple computers without proper authorization. Under the Canadian Copyright Act, under-licensing can result in fines of up to $20,000 for each software title illegally copied. In addition to the damages paid, the 12 companies that settled with BSA agreed to delete all unlicensed copies of software, purchase any licenses necessary to become compliant, and strengthen their software asset management practices.

"These settlements demonstrate that even well-managed organizations need to pay careful attention to software licensing requirements, especially during challenging economic times," said Michael Murphy, Chairman of the BSA Canada Committee. "With so many cost-cutting measures taking place these days, it's critical for companies to manage their software assets properly. Cutting corners in the short term can ultimately prove costly in the long run."

The companies that have settled with BSA are as follows:

British Columbia
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Company Description Location Settlement
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Cantrav Destination Destination services Vancouver $62,500
Services, Ltd. management
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TDS Technologies Lumber, plastics, and Delta $11,900
food industry equipment
provider
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Alberta
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Company Description Location Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Medical Scope Corporate imaging Edmonton $35,000
Publishing Corp. consultants
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Ontario
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Company Description Location Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A.V. Gauge & Fixture, Builder of checking Windsor $128,800
Inc. fixtures for the stamping
and building industries
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Net Present Services Online business planning Toronto $28,697
consultancy
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Freight Logix, Inc./ Provider of transportation Oakville $21,770
Accellos Canada management solutions
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PCCU Financial Financial institution Toronto $20,000
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DMCT, LLP Financial accounting firm Toronto $14,489
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VerticalScope, Inc. Internet media company Toronto $13,386
for various markets
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Quebec
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Company Description Location Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------
OmegaChem, Inc Developer of compounds Levis $50,486
for the chemical and
pharmaceutical industries
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Ventilabec, Inc. Systems specialists in Laval $15,558
climatization, ventilation,
and refrigeration.
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Ventilation G. R. Inc. Ventilation services Laval $28,750
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A representative from OmegaChem said "OmegaChem supports BSA's initiatives and appreciates the collaboration received in resolving the licensing issues. The audit carried out has permitted us to discover flaws and to implement processes that will not only assure that software licensing issues will not resurface but will also contribute to the protection of our own intellectual property."

"Unfortunately during our growth transition from a small to a medium-sized company, we did not have the resources for proper software control and fell victim to mismanagement of licenses on older computers. We have since created an IT Department and implemented policies and procedures to control and manage all aspects of our technology department and are fully compliant with all software," said Antosh Pieniazek of A.V. Gauge.

A representative from Net Present Services said "Our Company is committed to maintaining appropriate licensing. Self-audits should be an ongoing procedure within all companies along with employee awareness of copyright laws."

Michael Cornell, CEO of Accellos said "As a software company, we fully support the goals and mission of the BSA. We are a company that grows through acquisition and we were unaware of the inadvertent use of unlicensed software in one of our acquired offices. Once we learned of the issue, we were happy to work closely with BSA to ensure our software is fully licensed."

Most of BSA's software investigations begin with a call to its anti-piracy hotline, 1-888-NO-PIRACY, or with a report to an online reporting form at www.nopiracy.ca. The majority of leads come from current or former employees. Upon receiving a lead of software piracy, BSA contacts the company to explore the matter further by asking them to perform an audit of its software assets. If a settlement cannot be reached, both parties have the option of turning the matter over to the courts. In the cases announced today, BSA's attorneys contacted the companies after receiving tips and invited them to work towards an informal resolution.

Software piracy continues to be a serious problem in Canada. According to a recent BSA-IDC Study, 32 per cent of PC software installed on computers in Canada in 2008 was pirated, with a retail value of approximately US$1.2 billion.* A 2008 study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit(xx) found that despite high scores in the areas of IT infrastructure and development of human capital, Canada falls behind other countries, including the United States, Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom, when it comes to fostering a legal environment for intellectual property.

For further information: Hill & Knowlton Toronto, Megan Ramsay, (416) 413-4602, megan.ramsay@hillandknowlton.ca; Hill & Knowlton Toronto, Melita Vega, (416) 413-4743, melita.vega@hillandknowlton.ca

First published September 14, 2009





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