For the second time in five years, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) has doubled the controversial bounty it pays to workers who inform on their companies’ use of unlicensed software to £20,000.
The bounty programme dates back to at least the year 2000 when a £10,000 maximum was established. In 2006 the organisation raised this to £20,000 before apparently and quietly halving it again. This makes the new doubling a reinstatement of the sum offered five years ago.
The sum is a maximum reward for information that results in a company making a payment to the BSA to cover correct software licensing and legal costs. These settlements vary widely with the largest case made public by the BSA in recent times being that of an unamed company that in 2010 agreed to pay over £100,000 in to get its licensing in order.
Not coincidentally, this case turned out to have been the result of a tip-off by an ex-employee who received the then maximum bounty of £10,000.
The company announced the new reward as it turned its attention to Nottingham, the latest English town to feel the heat from the company’s licence Witchfinders on the hunt for the guilty.
“As such, we want to promote the value of software and hit home with businesses in Nottingham on how it could and should be better managed,” said BSA compliance marketing director, Julian Swan.
The BSA has also launched an online reporting form through which members of the public and employees can let the BSA know about their tip-offs.