The US-based Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), which represents vendors in the software and digital content industries, has issued a press release stating that it paid out more 'rewards' to those reporting software and content piracy in the last quarter of 2011 than in the previous two years.
While the US $35,500 paid out to five individuals is far less than the body's stated maximum incentive of $1 million per case, the fact that this is a record payout by the SIIA should get everyone's attention. The SIIA claims it has the 'most aggressive' corporate anti-piracy program and actively encourages employees and others to blow the whistle on corporations who are knowingly using more software than they are entitled to.
Through its Anti-Piracy Reward Program, SIIA offers rewards to eligible individuals who report verifiable instances of corporate software or content piracy. Rewards range from $500 for a settlement of $10,000, to $1 million for cases with settlement amounts over $20 million.
With the SIIA, BSA and major software vendors all proactively hunting down organizations that wilfully or accidentally misuse software (see earlier post about increase audits forecasted for 2012), there has never been a more compelling business argument for businesses to start managing their software licenses more carefully.