Software Piracy Cops Offer Amnesty, Target 7 US Cities

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has announced its Software Grace Period for seven major US cities during the month of January. During the Grace Period, BSA is giving area businesses a one-month opportunity to review their software programs and acquire the licenses they need to get legal without facing penalties for past infringement imposed by BSA.

Between January 1st and January 31st, BSA will reach out to nearly 800,000 businesses simultaneously in

Billings/Bozeman/Missoula, MT
Houston, TX
Indianapolis, IN
Nashville, TN
Norfolk/Richmond, VA
Orlando, FL
San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, CA

Businesses in these cities will receive information from BSA on the Grace Period and how to participate. Companies that take part in the Grace Period and take the necessary steps to become fully licensed will be excused from penalties for software violations occurring prior to January 31, 2002*. These penalties include fines up to $150,000 per copyright work infringed.

"The Business Software Alliance recognizes that for whatever reason, some businesses may not have managed their software assets properly, but ignoring the problem can lead to substantial financial exposure," said Bob Kruger, vice president of enforcement for BSA. "The Grace Period offers businesses a chance to catch up, conduct a software audit and acquire the necessary licenses they need to get legal – penalty-free. This is a great opportunity for businesses to resolve any compliance issues before they become subjects of a BSA investigation."

Over the past nine years, BSA has collected more than $68 million in penalties from companies using unlicensed software. This is the seventh BSA legalization program since August 2000. Since that time, BSA has already offered its program in 28 cities to close to four million businesses. Prior cities include: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Omaha, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Rochester, St. Louis, San Diego, Seattle and Tampa.

According to a recently released state software study, in 2000, software piracy cost the United States more than $5.6 billion in lost wages and resulted in a tax loss of close to $1.6 billion.**

Businesses trying to determine whether their organization is using unlicensed software can download the free BSA Software Audit tool at www.bsagrace.com or call the special Grace Period hotline at 1-877-536-4BSA for additional information.

Business Software Alliance worldwide members include Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Bentley Systems, CNC Software/Mastercam, FileMaker, Macromedia, Microsoft, Symantec, and Unigraphics Solutions. BSA Web site: www.bsa.org.

*This excludes any organizations already informed of a BSA investigation. See www.bsagrace.com for full rules.

**Conducted for BSA by International Planning & Research Group (IPR).

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