BSA welcomes software compliance

Pressure on UK businesses increases

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has warned UK businesses that it will still be keeping up the pressure on them to get their software licences in order despite giving tacit support for a new body claiming it can ensure companies run their IT systems within the law. The BSA is expected to issue a statement later this week acknowledging the work of a newcomer to the compliance market - the Initiative for Software Compliance (ISC). Unlike BSA, ISC is not an enforcement agency and is attempting to establish a standard along the lines of the ISO quality management standard which will help companies run their IT systems in line with the laws governing software copyright, data protection and so on. BSA European MD Amelia Knight said she welcomed ISC’s involvement in the software compliance market, but that it was just one approach to ensuring compliance. “The ISC has a job to do and so do we, but we both have different objectives. Companies have to work within the law, having the ISC standard will not guarantee immunity from the BSA to anyone.” BSA works on behalf of many of the major software manufacturers and will seek damages from anyone it finds using pirate software. Punitive damages set by the courts are often as much as 10 times greater than the cost of any unpaid licences. ISC has laid out a framework that explains the legal obligations of company directors in relation to IT systems, including software licences and year 2000 compliance. It believes its members will be safe from the BSA. ISC chief executive Michael Ludlam said: “The whole point of providing a standard like this is to be able to demonstrate that yours is an outward facing company with a genuine commitment to best practice.” Knight played down the BSA’s endorsement of ISC. “I wouldn’t call it a big deal. The work of ISC is just one piece in the puzzle,” she said.

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