A nation of laid-off employees is finding a new way to take revenge on former employers. The Business Software Alliance (BSA), an international firm that investigates software piracy for software developers, has noticed a sharp increase in the number of reports filed by disgruntled ex-employees.
"The increase in the amount of calls we are getting is almost certainly a result of lay-offs in the technology sector," said Bob Kruger, BSA's vice president of enforcement.
A recent study released by BSA found that at least one out of every three software applications installed on computers around the world is pirated.
Most companies are willing to comply with BSA investigations by performing their own audits and reporting the results to BSA. When a company is found with pirated software on company computers, the company is required to delete the illegally-installed programs, purchase new software, and pay settlement claims to BSA to settle the case out of court.
Alternatively, if a case goes to court and the company loses, a judge can assess damages of up to $150,000 for each copyright violation.
Money collected by BSA funds the BSA education and compliance programs, which include free auditing and management tools to help companies keep track of their software.
AccountingWEB recently reported the results of BSA's study and listed the top ten regions in the world for software piracy. The U.S. has the lowest rate of piracy (25 percent) of the regions studied.