Disgruntled IT professionals who have fallen victim to the latest round of layoffs are hitting back by reporting their former employers' use of unlicensed software.
According to the Business Software Alliance (BSA), an international outfit that fights software piracy, the number of companies being reported is skyrocketing.
It attributed this to tempers flaring among fired techies who seek revenge by reporting the firms that sacked them.
"Angry ex-employees have supplied us with some incredibly detailed and accurate information about their former employers," said Bob Kruger, vice president of Enforcement for the BSA's North America Anti-Piracy Campaign. He declined to provide statistical information.
The BSA cites the story of one IT employee, who reported hundreds of illegal software copies at his company. In an email sent to the BSA he explained: "I went to my supervisor first, but was told I'd been hired to save money, not to cost them money."
Shortly afterwards he was laid off, and had no qualms about blowing the whistle on his discoveries.
However, the BSA said it recently collected $6.2m in damages from businesses that were using unlicensed software.
The organisation estimates that at least one out of every three software applications installed on computers around the world is pirated.
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