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Micro Focus accuses NSW Police of software piracy

Wants $AUD10m in unpaid licences

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UK software company Micro Focus is suing New South Wales (NSW) Police Force for unauthorised use of its ViewNow product, which ABC program 7:30 reports is used to access a critical database that contains information on most of the Australian state's citizens.

Micro Focus' Australasian Managing Director Bruce Craig told the program that the force does have licence for 6,500 users of the software, but has been “handing out our software like confetti” to other law enforcement agencies and internal users.

The unauthorised use of the application apparently came to light when the NSW Ombudsman told Micro Focus it would soon be using ViewNow. But Micro Focus knew the Ombudsman did not have a licence. Further investigations revealed that other law enforcement agencies were using the application. NSW Police, meanwhile, cannot say how many of its 20,000 staff are using the software, but Micro Focus feels it is more than 6,500

NSW's Police Integrity Commission, Department of Corrective Services Ombudsman's Office all settled with Micro Focus, but the Police Force has not offered the company any information about how many of its workers use the software. Nor has it reached an agreement or admitted fault.

Craig says that means Micro Focus will pursue the claim in the courts, as he feels that the Police Force is not particularly interested in investigating itself. ®

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