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BSA offers piracy lesson after collaring UK colleges

Software body reminds education establishments to sort out their software after combined £40,000-plus settlement

Written by Sam Trendall
CRN, 02 Mar 2010

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has reminded educational establishments to get their software licensing house in order after announcing hefty settlements with two organisations.

The Kingswood Learning and Leisure Group is based in Norwich and runs education activity centres across the UK. Having been collared for under-licensed Microsoft and Adobe software, the establishment has settled with the BSA for £40,000.

Following allegations of unauthorised use of Adobe and Autodesk products, London's Bickenhall College of Computing has forked out a "four-figure" sum in damages. Michala Wardell, chair of the BSA UK Committee, stressed that schools and colleges had the same licensing obligations as other companies.

“Educational establishments have the same responsibilities as any other business to operate legally and have the correct software licences, setting a good example for others to follow," she said.

"As it is, money that could have been spent on improving facilities and student services has been lost to poor software asset management. Businesses need to be aware of the threats posed by unlicensed software. The £40,000 settlement from the Kingswood Learning and Leisure Group should be a timely reminder for other businesses to check their licenses are up to date.”

The BSA took pains to point out that anyone using unlicensed software could expose themselves to additional security headaches and an increased risk of system failure. The anti-piracy body is calling on suspicious employees to shop bosses engaged in illegal practices.

Whistleblowers can visit to file confidential reports. Rewards of up to £10,000 may be offered for revelations concerning piracy of BSA members' products.

First published March 2, 2010

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