When U.S. firms tried pinching pennies by pirating software, it cost them. Indeed, more than $35 million in fines and legal fees over the last six years has been collected by the Business Software Alliance (BSA). "Companies continue to pay a huge price for failing to implement sound software-management programs," says Bob Kruger, vice president of enforcement. The BSA, the voice of leading software developers, aims to educate businesses about such programs. Top 10 states where firms are caught with illegally copied software: California, Texas, Illinois, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida, and Massachusetts. BSA-suggested guidelines to avoid copyright infringement:
- Issue a comprehensive software-management policy.
- Appoint a software asset manager, and provide the necessary tools to track and monitor software usage.
- Conduct regular audits of firm's software, document software purchases.
- Educate management and employees of their obligations under company policy.