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EMF pays $85,000 settlement for unlicensed software use

Building simulation tools provider EMF Griffiths Engineers Pty Ltd and its director Warren Barfett have agreed to pay a settlement of $85,000 for damages, interest and costs arising out of unlicensed software use.

The settlement occurred after two members of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) launched court proceedings against EMF and its director in the Federal Court for unlawfully using its software.

EMF is a simulation software engineering firm with offices in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

In addition to this payment, EMF must also purchase valid licences for BSA member software that it uses going forward, or delete and cease using the infringing software.

“This case serves as a warning that organisations using unlicensed software may not just face paying licence fees to reach compliance, but may also be liable for substantial damages for copyright infringement,” BSA co-chair, Neil Hsien, said.

Directors may also be held personally liable for copyright infringement if their company is found with unlicensed software.

“Australian company directors should be aware that this can affect them personally. IT managers and directors need to ensure that a software asset management (SAM) system is in place to protect their professional reputations as well as their businesses,“ Hsien said..

This case follows settlement of another matter involving a media company based in Melbourne.

Both settlements included an obligation to implement a SAM program to prevent future under-licensing.

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