A business owner must understand the licensing status of their company's software, but this has grown more complicated since the inception of the Internet. If you feel like your employees, or maybe even your corporate culture survives off of pirated software or applications, or stuff you found "for free" online, then your business could potentially suffer from legal issues.
Some businesses find themselves in this situation when they are looking for a certain software that is absolutely imperative to their success, but can't afford to purchase it. For businesses who don't want to bite the bullet and buy the software, the magical place called the Internet may (or may not) have what they are looking for. Don't succumb to this seemingly-attractive option.
In the early days of modern computing, you might recall seeing the "Don't Copy That Floppy" anti-piracy campaign. The goal of this campaign was to diminish copyright infringement. As said by MC Double Def DP, the "Disk Protector," don't copy that floppy:
The Internet might be able to provide you with thousands of illicit programs and applications, but it's a double-edged sword. The software manufacturers can use the Internet to pinpoint where pirated versions of their software are, and, they can take steps toward making sure that you can't use that software again (at least, without paying for it) by disabling it. What would happen to your business if you are running multiple instances of pirated software and you need them for your day-to-day operations? Your team forgets that the programs weren't obtained legally, and they tip off the authorities by downloading extensions or patches required for optimal network security.
And then, your applications required for important projects are suddenly... gone. Or, at least, not working properly. Now, your time-sensitive projects have to wait for you to stop pinching pennies and pay the piper.
That is, if the software company even gives you the chance to shell out for the program before retaliating with lawsuits and fines. Before you know it, you're up to your ears, as much as thousands of dollars, in fines. HGExperts.com reports that this happened to the military/aerospace company A.E. Petsche:
Not only did they pay a fine of over $90,000 for using unlicensed copies of Adobe and Microsoft software, they also ate their own legal fees and the expenses of an intense audit. And now they have a black-eye as well as possible ramifications to their federal government contracts.
We doubt your business can afford such massive fines. In order to prevent turning your pockets out over something as trivial as software licensing, always be aware of what you are doing. Some businesses don't even know they are pirating software, and you can be charged with a crime you committed unawares. If you aren't absolutely certain that you purchased and licensed every single piece of software you are using, you may want to think about saving up for that bulky fine; you know, just in case you accidentally "copied that floppy."
When it comes to software licensing, you shouldn't leave anything to chance. Machado Consulting works with you to manage your software licensing and we make sure that you are authorized to use each piece of software you acquire. Our managed IT solutions allow us to remotely check whether or not your software is legally acquired and licensed, and when the license expires. With Machado Consulting at your back, you can rest easy knowing that your organization is as legitimate as can be. Give us a call at (508) 453-4700 for more information.