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Florida Firms Face Stiff Penalties for Possessing Pirated Software

According to Business Software Alliance (BSA), two Florida located firms will forfeit $225,000 in fines for allegedly holding unauthorized software on their computers.

BSA is the leading anti-piracy software group that represents companies like Apple, Adobe, Symantec and Microsoft and claimed to have prohibited over 36,000 pirated software packages with a collective retail cost of about $8 Million being marketed through cyber auctions.

Tampa's Media Lab Ventures LLC will pay up $125,000 to resolve claims that it had pirated copies of Autodesk, Adobe and Microsoft package on its machines. J&B Importers Inc. from Miami forked out $100,000 to the BSA as defrayal for possessing pirated versions of Microsoft, Adobe and Symantec software, a statement from BSA stated.

South Florida BUSINESS JOURNAL in its October 3, 2007 edition reported that as per BSA's Senior Director of Legal Affairs, Jenny Blank, ever since the 2004 settlement in Florida, dollars have risen by about 23%. BSA is troubled about these jumps and wishes to increase knowledge about the various threats connected with software theft so as to discourage firms from utilizing unauthorized software.

As per BSA, this was only the beginning and cautioned users to be careful of auction sites marketing software at much lower prices than the original cost since they may carry malware.

Florida has always been ranked in the list of top ten from whom dollars have been retrieved by BSA for the usage of pirated software - almost $8.4 Million as of the inception of the program in 1993. The state presently takes the responsibility for almost 6% of the overall BSA settlements.

BSA alleged that piracy caused the Florida economy a lose of over 5,200 employments, $213 Million in incomes and pays, $228 Million financial loss in retail dollar, and over $60 Million towards payment of 2003's federal and state taxes.

News published by ZDNet on October 3, 2007 informed that Microsoft UK's Chief of anti-piracy, Michala Wardell, maintained the firm would resume its crack down on unlawful importers.

Wardell added, since BSA has found that apart from copied software sales, parallel importing too is becoming a grievous problem, and causing a damaging impact on the distribution channel.

Related article: Florida’s ‘CyberCrime Awareness Week’ Promotes Activities for Cyber Safety

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