Engineering Firm pays $65,000 for Unlicensed Use of Autodesk Software

Last week a Perth based engineering firm agreed to a settlement with Autodesk (the makers of Autocad) for unlicensed use of Autodesk products. In addition to $65,000 in damages the engineering firm also agreed to buy genuine licenses for all Autodesk products in use. The firm had been using unlicensed Autodesk products since early 2012.

According to reports, the engineering industry has accounted for a whopping 34% of settlements this year relating to unlicensed software. In August, a Queensland engineering firm was penalised $17,500 for unlicensed use of Autodesk’s AutoCAD, and a shed company was forced to pay $100,000 for unlicensed use of Microsoft and Autodesk products.

Cases such as these are not isolated incidents and in the past 12 months we have had multiple clients come under audit scrutiny from Microsoft. While in all of these cases the end-client was compliant, this serves as a timely reminder for all businesses, large and small, that use of unlicensed software is illegal and infringers can expect to engage in lengthy, expensive litigation when caught.  As software companies work to protect their intellectual property they are becoming ever more efficient at detecting and penalising software pirates thereby increasing the risk of being caught as time passes.

If you believe that your organisation is at risk of being targeted by software auditors, or would simply like to verify that your productivity software licensing is fully up to date, we encourage you to speak with your site manager and avoid any nasty surprises!