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Latest international research into the level of unlicensed software has reported a 33 per cent rate for Australia - up from 32 per cent in 1999.

Chairman of the Business Software Association of Australia (BSAA), Jim Macnamara, said the research placed Australia in the invidious position of being one of the few IT developed nations in the world where piracy was increasing.

"Australia is at risk of attaining Third World status in terms of its approach to intellectual property, unless the problem is addressed," Mr Macnamara warned.

The BSA conducts a worldwide study of unlicensed software rates through an independent company, International Planning & Research Corporation (IPR). The latest IPR study, released May 16, found an average worldwide unlicensed software rate of 37 per cent. This accounts for worldwide losses to software companies of US$11.75 billion a year.

Asia Pacific was the only region with an increasing unlicensed software rate with its regional average rising to 51 per cent, according to the BSA's 2000 survey.

In Asia Pacific, losses through unlicensed software increased to over US$4 billion in 2000, with the worst rates in the world reported in Vietnam (98 per cent); China (91 per cent) and Indonesia (85 per cent).

"Australia cannot compare itself with developing nations in Asia or Eastern Europe or Latin America where rates of unlicensed software are also high. Australia's business software piracy rate of 33 per cent is more logically compared with 25 per cent in the US and 26 per cent in the UK," Mr Macnamara said.

"While up only one per cent, the fact is that Australia's rate of unlicensed software and use should be coming down," he said.


Business Software Association of Australia
The Business Software Association of Australia (BSAA) is cracking down on businesses that are using unlicensed software. No business is too small to be the target of a software investigation.
If you find you’re not completely legal, call Dejai and we’ll help you get the licenses you need.

What’s the BSAA?
The Business Software Association of Australia (BSAA) is focused on protecting copyrights and preserving jobs in Australia through education, assistance and litigation.

Open Business - The Small Business Licensing Solution
The Open Business licensing option is a simple method for you to save money on a purchase of multiple software licenses. With a low entry point of just five licenses for any Microsoft product or combination of products, the Open Business option saves you approximately 20% of Estimated Retail Price (ERP), anytime.

Want more information?
Simply ring David on +61 3 88230000, e-mail on and let us help you get fully up to date with software licencing.


Licensing FAQs

Intellectual Property Rights
Software is considered intellectual property - the same as books, music and scientific developments, to name a few. Unlicensed software and unauthorised copies of software damage software developers who, through copyright laws, try to protect the integrity of what is rightfully theirs. Innovation relies on incentives, and when the creators of software programs are denied fair reward for their efforts, there is no motivation to put in the time and resources to develop newer and better products.

Why is unlicensed software and copying a problem?
1. Unlicensed software and unauthorised copying costs the software industry in Australia around $260 million a year. This cost is not only borne by software manufacturers. It affects local distributors and dealers, which are mainly Australian companies.
2. software copying increases the risk of viruses being spread.
3. copied software does not come with manuals or documentation and is not eligible for support, which limits its useability.
4. There is no upgrade path for users of copies to gain low cost access to upgrades and new versions.
5. Users of unlicensed and unauthorised copies of software risk heavy penalties through civil damages or even criminal prosecution.

What are the penalties for unlicensed and unauthorised copies of software?
For each unauthorised copy made or distributed by an individual, fines of up to a maximum of $60,500 and/or sentences of up to five years imprisonment may be imposed. For companies, fines for each unauthorised copy made or distributed can be up to a maximum of $302,500. Management of a company may also be personally liable if they authorised the infringement, knew or reasonably ought to have known that the infringement was occurring, and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent it. In addition, civil action can be brought by software copyright owners against companies or individuals where damages are unlimited.

Large or small, every organization needs to guard against unlicensed and unauthorised copies of software. Peace of mind comes from knowing that all software used is fully licensed.


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