Or a copy of Microsoft office??
Then you should be concerned, because you are setting yourself up for a potential liability and huge financial disaster from the BSA (Business Software Alliance) in a case of a Raid.
Every day, local companies are raided by law enforcement officials whose sole intent is to find pirated software. Those caught are forced to buy original versions for every single computer in their office and are also hit with a heavy penalty. This amount could exceed a few million baht. Ask yourself "If I received such a fine, could I even afford to stay in business?" If the answer is no, then why even take the risk?
These raids happen because the Business Software Alliance (BSA) gives huge rewards (250,000 baht) to people who report companies using illegal software. Every business owner has a disgruntled former employee or some rival who are candidates to contact the BSA, turn them in and collect their reward. That's the reason why any company is exposed, no matter its size or activity.
This article also appears on www.bankofthailandaudit.com, another SafeComs site where we describe our comprehensive range of audits:
- e-commerce license for the BOT (Bank of Thailand Compliance Audit)
- Backup audit of your data
- IT Security audit
- ISO IEC 27001 preparation
SafeComs can also prepare your company for certification with Sarbanes-Oxley, ITIL Certification, and Computer Usage and Best Practices.
Please contact us for more details.
- We perform an audit to see if you are using illegal software or useless software
- We advise the needed legal software tailored to their needs
- Negotiation Memorandum with the BSA, so that the company have time to legalize the software before “getting caught”
Peace of mind
Be more productive
SafeComs regularly speaks at conferences promoting Intellectual property rights, we advise companies on the benefits of using legal software and we help in the process of becoming fully legal without any risks. SafeComs is accredited to audit your systems and give you a certificate of good standing for legal software. This certificate is delivered under the SAM advantage program of the BSA and will be recognized by your clients and suppliers overseas in the fair competition program.
Bernard Collin also publishes paper on the risks associated with using illegal software, you can download a PDF here.
You can also read other recent articles published by the Bangkok Post:
- Thai shippers warned of illegal software
- Thai seafood firm caught with illegal software
- Malware contained in Key generator for illegal software
It is worth going back a couple of weeks before when we were discussing legal software with the management of the company who was aware that they had some illegal software installed, had no idea of the size of the problem but had decided to fix it and make sure the company would be perfectly legal. They were just signing some new investors, could not afford a negative publicity, but also were tight on budget and had to wait till the money arrived to make their purchase.
We discussed alternatives, however, our recommendation was to run an audit first to know exactly what was illegal and what needed replacement and what budget they had to allocate. We also proposed to negotiate in their name, a moratorium with the BSA to give them enough time without risk, the only requirement was to audit their systems, declare what was illegal and commit to a replacement with genuine software within an acceptable time frame for both parties.
You understand now that the management was not keen on the Moratorium and preferred to wait 10 days for the money to arrive to start the cleanup process. We highlighted the risks to no avail...
The raid performed by a law enforcement official revealed a number of illegal licenses of MS Windows, MS office, and a MS small business server that were needed by the company, however when the whole thing turned to a nightmare is when they discovered that the IT manager decided that it was too difficult to download Acrobat reader (free version) to all 120 PCs, so he installed a cracked version of Acrobat professional (15,000 Baht per user) on each. He was also running a couple of file servers on 2 separate enterprise version of Microsoft.
And to top it up, one of their designers had installed Photoshop on all the computers in his department even though only one user was able to use it, and another one had installed an AutoCAD full license because he was redesigning his kitchen during office hours...
The negotiations with the representative of the BSA were really long and painful, but I will say that I found people prepared to listen and negotiate fairly. They understood the situation of the client and the payment only covered software needed by the company, not the additional ones installed by "careless" employees.
If you know you have illegal Software, don't wait; request a moratorium in full confidentiality that will give you a few months to make your company clean without taking any risks.