In January the BSA wrote to 43,000 UK companies asking them to complete an online questionnaire, declaring that all the software on their systems is legitimate.
The BSA says it has had a 20% response rate to the campaign. The anti software piracy group’s members include Adobe, Microsoft and Symantec.
Despite the low response rate, Mark Floisand, BSA’s UK chairman, said business use of pirate software is declining gradually: ‘It is getting better slowly – 25% of business software is pirate. This is less an issue of theft or aggravated privacy than simple neglect and a lack of awareness. Five years ago it was 30%.’
The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of the use of counterfeit software in business, and to get companies to check their systems, Floisand said. “We want 100% licencing not 100% form filling.”
Floisand said some companies do not respond to the audit because they are already fully licensed, and didn’t need the reminder. He claimed only a small number of companies don’t respond because they know they are using pirate software:
‘There are those organisations that don’t respond in the face of continual reminders and a small hardcore that may be fully aware they are using pirate software and don’t want to respond,’ he told VNU News Centre.
The BSA also has a hotline where people can report companies for using unlicensed software: ‘There is a strong correlation between companies being reporting to the hotline and non-responders to the SAR,’ Floisand said.
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