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WH Smith fined for software theft

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WH Smith Online has been fined around £4000 for using pirated software on its computer network. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) stamped on the Web arm of the retailer giant after getting an email tip-off from an unrevealed source earlier this year. An investigation revealed the company had been using unlicensed software on its internal network for Corel and Symantec products. According to WH Smith Online, the embarrassing incident occurred due to the service's rapid expansion. "Due to the growth of the site, and the number of internal users coming on, there wasn't an adequate auditing procedure in place," a WH Smith Online representative said. Certain pieces of software had been paid for, but there were more users than the company had originally registered for. "This was brought to our attention by the BSA. We paid the fine and a new auditing procedure has been brought in," she added. WH Smith Online said it had been fined just under £4000. The individual who grassed to the BSA will get ten per cent of this amount. Mike Newton, campaign relations manager for BSA UK, said: "It's disappointing that WH Smith Online has allowed its on-line service to fail its own internal processes. We are hoping that this settlement will be taken as an example of the damage that Internet companies face if they don't take software management seriously. "Quite apart from it being bad practice, using software without a licence leaves you vulnerable to fines which businesses can ill afford." ® Related Stories Pirates named and shamed on Web BSA declares UK piracy truce

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