Phoenix-Area Companies Pay More Than $350,000 to Software Watchdog; BSA Announces Software Audit Week in Phoenix

WASHINGTON--()--July 21, 2003--The Business Software Alliance (BSA), a watchdog group representing the nation's leading software manufacturers, today announced that three Phoenix area companies agreed to pay a combined total of $351,000 to settle claims relating to unlicensed copies of software programs installed on office computers. In addition to making their respective payments, the companies agreed to delete any unlicensed copies, purchase replacement software and strengthen their software management practices.

The following companies settled with BSA:

-- The Alexander Group, Inc., a consulting company headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ, paid BSA $120,000, after a self audit revealed more copies of Microsoft and Symantec software programs on its computers than it had licenses to support.

-- Big Two Toyota, a car dealership in Mesa, AZ, paid $81,000 to BSA after a self audit revealed more copies of Adobe, Macromedia, Microsoft and Symantec software programs on its computers than it had licenses to support.

-- NT Media, LLC, a newspaper publisher located in Phoenix, AZ, paid BSA $150,000 after a self audit revealed more copies of Adobe, Apple, Microsoft and Symantec software programs on its computers than it had licenses to support.

These settlement announcements coincide with the launch of BSA's Software Audit Week (July 21-28) in Phoenix. BSA urges businesses to avoid playing "software piracy roulette" by conducting a software audit to ensure that all software programs installed on their computers are fully licensed.

Most investigations begin with a call to BSA's hotline, 1-888-NO PIRACY, or with a report to BSA's Online Reporting Form, at www.bsa.org. In these cases, BSA contacted the companies through its attorneys. Each company cooperated with BSA and voluntarily conducted a self-audit.

"Organizations should pay careful attention to their software management just as they do to other aspects of their business," said Bob Kruger, vice president of enforcement for BSA. "Software Audit Week is an educational campaign focused on ensuring good business ethics in the workplace. We're reminding businesses to conduct a software audit and acquire the necessary licenses to get legal. Ignoring software compliance is like gambling with bad odds."

"The Alexander Group, Inc. strongly affirms its respect for copyright laws and its commitment to continuing to refine and improve its software license management program, as well as ensuring that all of our employees understand and actively support the program," stated Robert Conti, Senior Vice President of The Alexander Group, Inc.

"Big Two Toyota is committed to compliance with the copyright law and we've taken steps to improve our software management practices," said Wally Henkel.

"NT Media disputed that we did not have the proper licenses, but our record-keeping was inadequate to demonstrate this. We have now bolstered our software policies by automating our software audit process, improved our record keeping, and have clearly communicated our policies and procedures to our employees." said Gerard Goroski, CIO.

Businesses trying to determine whether their organizations are using unlicensed software can download the free BSA software audit tools at www.bsaaudit.com. They may also call the special Software Audit Week hotline at 1-877-536-4BSA for additional information.

An independent study(1) shows that nearly 27 percent of all business software in Arizona is unlicensed. Last year, due to software piracy, Arizona lost more than $22 million tax revenues. (1) "2003 State Piracy Study," conducted by the International Planning and Research Corp.

The Business Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the foremost organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world. BSA is the voice of the world's commercial software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members represent the fastest growing industry in the world. BSA educates consumers on software management and copyright protection, cyber security, trade, e-commerce and other Internet-related issues. BSA members include Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Bentley Systems, Borland, CNC Software/Mastercam, Internet Security Systems, Macromedia, Microsoft, Network Associates and Symantec.

Contacts

Business Software Alliance
Debbi Bauman, 202-530-5132
debbib@bsa.org
or
Lindsay Rubin, 202-775-1401
lindsay.rubin@dittus.com

Contacts

Business Software Alliance
Debbi Bauman, 202-530-5132
debbib@bsa.org
or
Lindsay Rubin, 202-775-1401
lindsay.rubin@dittus.com