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BSA offers £10K bounty to catch software thieves

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The BSA has doubled its reward for reporting businesses using unlicensed software to £10,000. This is because, big surprise, research suggested more people would turn supergrass if they got more money to do it.

"Personal grudges and a feeling of responsibility have been the two main motivators for people to call the BSA confidential hotline," says the BSA. Which seems surprising when there was £5K on the table for pointing the finger. But now its' 10 grand, the money might become the main motivator for shopping users of unlicensed software.

Here's what the person who informed on WH Smith online said about grassing up their employer. In accordance with BSA's policy of confidentiality he/she is to remain anonymous.

"Before I contacted the BSA, I alerted my employers to their illegal use of unlicensed software. I was told that it didn't matter and that nobody would find out. Their reaction very much changed my perception of the company. The respect I had for my superiors came into serious question: it's hard to look up to someone when you know that they are stealing. I have since left the company and subsequently emailed the BSA to alert them. Since then I have received a proportion of the settlement money paid by the company to BSA."

The small print on getting the BSA reward is that your information must lead to a successful settlement or prosecution for BSA members.

If you've got something to get off your chest call the BSA confidential hotline on 0800 510 510 or visit their site. BSA's own research shows that the majority of callers are ex-employees from IT-related jobs. The second largest employee group to call the hotline is from the design industry. ®

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