The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has launched a free CD-ROM to help companies take action against software theft.
LegalWare is designed to help companies implement good business practice across their organisation through effective software management, and to understand why software is being used illegally and what the penalties and effects are.
The CD-ROM provides a step-by-step guide to the auditing process, from planning through to analysis, as well as a directory of auditing tools available on the market.
In addition, BSA members including Adobe, Novell and Symantec, have supplied details of their software packages, purchasing conditions and software licensing regulations. Information is also provided on the different types of software theft, including end-user copying, counterfeiting and Internet piracy, and on copyright laws in the UK and Europe.
A recent report from Spikes Cavell on attitudes towards software theft among the top 100 companies in the UK is also included.
About 12% of the survey's respondents reported that they have illegal software on site. Worryingly, Spikes Cavell said in reality this figure is much higher. The research also showed that many organisations "do not know where to start" when it comes to software management.
Claire O'Brien, director of marketing for BSA Europe, commented: "LegalWare is not just a tool for IT directors but should be used by managing directors, finance directors and company lawyers. Software theft has become an endemic feature of business life and it is the BSA's role to highlight just how harmful it can be.
"Software theft is simply bad business practice which ultimately undermines a company's reputation."
LegalWare is available from the BSA on 0800 510 510.
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