Architecture firms included in Canadian companies stung by software watchdog

The Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST) and the Business Software Alliance (BSA), watchdog groups representing the world’s leading software manufacturers, today announced that seven Ontario companies agreed to pay a combined total of $166,155 to settle claims that they had unlicensed copies of software programs installed on their computers. In addition to the payments, the companies agreed to delete any unlicensed copies, purchase any needed replacement software and strengthen their software management practices.

These local settlements are part of a larger enforcement effort across Canada that includes four other companies in British Columbia and Alberta, with amounts totaling over $250,000.

Most of CAAST’s investigations begin with a call to its hotline, 1-800-263-9700, or with a report to the Online Reporting Form on CAAST’s website, In these cases, CAAST and BSA contacted the companies through their attorneys and invited them to work towards an informal resolution. In some cases a software raid is pursued.

“CAAST recommends that all companies and organizations have comprehensive software management programs in place,” said Jacquie Famulak, president of CAAST. “This includes conducting periodic internal audits, developing guidelines for supervisors and implementing clear procedures for employees. Companies cannot be too careful about being compliant.”

CAAST Member Companies include Adobe Systems, Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Bentley Systems, Borland, CNC Software/Mastercam, Internet Security Systems, Microsoft, McAfee, PTC, SolidWorks, Sybase, Symantec, The MathWorks, and UGS.

According to a study recently released by International Data Corporation (IDC), 33 percent of software installed on computers in Canada was pirated in 2005, representing a loss of CDN $943 million. Globally, software piracy resulted in a loss of CDN $41 billion in 2005.

Proper software management is important to every business, large or small. The consequences of not keeping an eye on one’s software assets can be serious, and even the most reputable companies can sometimes fall victim to software piracy even unintentionally.