View Full Version : Licences
19th May 2005, 11:57 am
I heard a while back that In a big company if you are found with illegal software on your computer you, personally are fined-not the company. I started asking questions as I am due to go on Maternity leave and wandered who would be taking over my spot for a bit. I'm a bit scared now as I've discovered 2 puters here without Autocad licences yet running 2002LT. I'm a bit concerned but no one is taking me seriously.
19th May 2005, 12:58 pm
I am not an expert in this area but my understanding is that it is the employers responsibility to police copyright infringement within their organisation since these tools are being used for their benefit. There have been numerous cases where employees have reported their employers for using illegal software.
Of course, if it is discovered that an employee has installed the software without their employers knowledge, they may be disciplined (or sacked) but it is the company who are responsible.
If you look at this article (http://www.iss.soton.ac.uk/regs/softdata.html) from Southampton University, it is clear where responsibility lies.
On the other hand, this is taken from the FAST (Federation Against Software Theft) website (http://www.fast.org.uk):
If an organisation is using illegal copies of software the organisation may face not only a civil suit, but corporate officers and individual employees may have criminal liability.
No one is exempt from copyright law. All individuals, organisations and government agencies are subject to the law.
My feeling is that you are only personally resopnsible if you knowingly installed the software.
If anyone has a more definitive answer than this, it would be interesting to hear it.
19th May 2005, 05:04 pm
Thankyou very much for looking into it for me. I am going to show my boss your response, maybe get him to realise that we do need to do something about it.
Thanks once again. :)
19th May 2005, 06:03 pm
It may be just hear-say but I've heard that the penalties for software piracy can be more strict than things like manslaughter. I've also heard of software raids on large companies.
19th May 2005, 10:29 pm
You are right. Another quote from the FAST site:
The legal penalties include unlimited fines and up to ten years in prison following the Copyright, etc. and Trade Marks (Offences and Enforcement) Act 2002.
Personally, you could lose your reputation, promotion prospects or even your job.
There are no mitigating circumstances and no organisation would condone or defend either illegal copying or the use of unauthorised software.
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