Canadian school division fined for software piracy

When hearing about organizations involved in software piracy, schools probably wouldn’t be the first culprits to come to mind. But for the Chinook school division in southwest Saskatchewan, the issue of software piracy very quickly became front and center, reports the Regina Leader-Post. It all started when the school division received a letter last June from the Business Software Alliance (BSA), an organization that operates on behalf of the software industry to promote safety and legality in the digital marketplace. "We received a letter … indicating we had some unlicensed programming in one of our schools, and they gave us details on it," said Liam Choo-Foo, director of education for the Chinook school division. He said the division looked into the matter and was able to verify the details from BSA, including the number of machines and the type of software in question. The software was a program used to teach students about drafting. While the school, which Choo-Foo cannot identify, had one license purchased for the software, the program ended up being installed on 30 computers in a practical/applied arts lab at the school. BSA originally requested the school division pay 2.5 times the manufacturer’s suggested retail price in damages, equaling between $600,000 and $650,000. However, Choo-Foo said through negotiations between the lawyers for BSA and the school division, the matter was settled out of court for $195,000 last fall…

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