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REPORTING · 6th February 2012
Walter McFarlane
On January 23rd, the Business Software Alliance issued a press release in regards to the settlement between them and School District 82 in regards to unauthorized copying of its software.

According to the news release, it was in regards to under licensing the software programs. The School District had installed copyrighted software on multiple computers without authorization.

The School District paid out $15,750 in settlement.

However, the press release is not on the BSA webpage and the only reference to it can be found on straight.com here

According to Art Erasmus, School Board Chair, this started three years ago. Someone in the school had downloaded a program and they did not have the license for it. He said this would not happen again because they have someone to look after their licenses for them.

Reed Nelson, President of Kitimat Teachers Association however expressed surprise because for the last 4-5 years, teachers have been unable to download anything from the internet to their desktop. Any request for software has to go through proper licensing procedure though the IT department who have to come in and install the software on the desktop for the teachers to use.

The School District was not the only group targeted by a press release regarding unlicensed software that day. Ross Video, based in Iroquois Ontario also had to pay $51,971 and delete all unlicensed copies of software, purchase the licenses and implement software asset management practices.

This press release is not on the BSA webpage as well and further information can be found on our home town.ca here.

There are a number of BSA press releases showing Canadian Companies paying through the nose for under-licensed software. These include a statement most of their investigations begin with a called in tip from current or former employees.

One press release even makes a claim that there is $1.066 Billion dollars of unlicensed software on Canadian Computers.

“At 28 per cent, Canada’s piracy rate is at an all time low, dropping six percentage points since 2006,” said Michael Murphy, Chairman of the BSA Canada Committee. “While these findings show that progress has been made in reducing the software piracy rate in Canada, there is still more work to be done on behalf of Canadian businesses and consumers alike. The further we reduce software piracy, the better it will be for the Canadian economy.”

This article references a survey done in Canada where most people agree licensed software is better then un-licensed. However, there was not a clear understanding about how software licensing is supposed to work. For example, according to the BSA, it is illegal to buy second hand software. It is also illegal install multiple copies of the same program on multiple computers.

According to this press release, buying software and then installing it on multiple computers is one of the most common piracy practices.

Read more about this study on the BSA website here.

The question which remains unanswered is: Which software company was willing to take money away from an under-funded school system?
Whose mistake was it?
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 9th February 2012
Before one can form an opinion it would be useful to know who messed up. If one person made a foolish decision then why are they not held responsible? Why do the students have to pay through fewer educational dollars?
How about this?
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 7th February 2012
Seeing as how Christy Crunch has now told us BC hydro will not be self sufficient,the liberals should get rid of the useless carbon tax that is costing all the school districts a ton of money ,which could be better spent on the kids.
"Under Funded" School district.
Comment by Lousy Comparison on 7th February 2012
Before bleating over the poor under funded school district, let's not forget about the $350,000 the school district has been paying former superintendent Rob Greenwood and former Secretary Treasurer Linda Brown in severance to sit on their butts and do nothing. That $350,000 could pay for at least a few of the SSA positions the school board cut in their newest budget. The question isn't so much who chose to sue the poor underfunded school district, but what software did they pirate?
Rules need to be followed
Comment by David on 7th February 2012
The school district could steal all the text books and not pay. Or steal all its software and not pay. The school district may be underfunded but it can't steal and the amount for this infraction is reasonable. They could donate school fines to projects in the community that benefit students but that is there choice.