Investigations were triggered by an anonymous lead, from which BSA filed a police complaint. The District Attorney leading the case, raided the company’s IT-headquarters and found large-scale use of unlicensed software across its 30 sites.
"This is not a case of accidental under-licensing. With over 1,000 employees, this company had only very few outdated volume licensing contracts," said Dr. Christoph Süßenberger, legal counsel for the BSA in Germany. "The cost to the business is accordingly high, estimated at 1.1million Euro, for the payment of damages and licensing fees to make the company legal. In addition, the company and its managers have personally signed cease and desist declarations."
With this case, the BSA has proven once again that the commercial use of illegal software is a risky business. Individual cases have seen high-costs in Germany; in 2007, a media company paid 2.5million Euro, and a national wholesale and retail dealer paid 600,000 Euro for unlicensed software.
"The enforcement programme in Germany is a clear indication of the consequences and seriousness of using unlicensed software," said Georg Herrnleben, Director CEE and MEA, BSA. "Working closely with the District Attorney and police, IP protection is highly-valued. Companies across EMEA should be careful to check their licenses and ensure they are within the law."
In the EMEA region, In the first half of 2009, companies paid out more than seven million Euros in damages and software in order to become legal, after being caught using unlicensed software. BSA has conducted more than 30 legal actions every day to tackle the industry-wide issue.
The Business Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the foremost organisation dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world. BSA is the voice of the world's commercial software industry and its hardware partners before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members represent one of the fastest growing industries in the world. BSA programmes foster technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade and e-commerce. BSA members include: Adobe, Altium, Apple, Autodesk, Bentley Systems, Corel, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation, Embarcadero, Famatech, Graphisoft, McAfee, Microsoft, Mindjet, Siemens, Symantec, Tekla and The MathWorks.