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Clackmannanshire collared for ‘loose’ MS licenses

Plays tough with BSA - loses

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Clackmannanshire Council in Scotland has trousered a settlement with the Business Software Alliance after it was caught using 470 illegal copies of Microsoft Office 97. The amount is unspecified, but it includes damages and costs.

Clackmannanshire has incurred the ignominy of a BSA press release after choosing to fight Microsoft's contention that a: it had bought 470 heavily-discounted 'loose' end-user licenses (over and above a Select Agreement volume purchasing license it held with the software firm) which were rendered invalid as they were not supplied with software and b: that, in any case, the licenses were counterfeit. Furthermore it ignored Microsoft's advice to seek redress from its supplier.

Mike Newton, programme manager for BSA said: "This is a classic case of the deal being too good to be true and proves that local councils are not immune to unscrupulous vendors. Local councils should be setting a good example, operating within the law, and should be vigilant when buying software.”

He continued: "In instances such as this one where organisations find that they possess illegal software, it is imperative that they don't bury their heads in the sand but approach the software manufacturer and
take advice on how to solve the problem and seek redress from the illegal supplier. Unfortunately, Clackmannanshire Council persistently refused to co-operate with either Microsoft or BSA to rectify the
situation."

The BSA says it is currently investigating 500 UK organisations for suspected under-licensing, six of which are government funded. ®

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