NORTH MANKATO — North Mankato-based Costumes Galore/BuyFun.com has agreed to pay $120,000 to settle legal claims that it had unlicensed copies of Microsoft software on its computers.
The Business Software Alliance, an association of nearly 100 companies that create software, announced the agreement.
BuyFun.com President and CEO Tom Fallenstein did not immediately return a call for comment.
The company also agreed to delete from its computers all unlicensed software, acquire any licenses necessary to become fully compliant and take measures to ensure its future compliance.
BSA was alerted to the alleged pirated software use through a confidential report made through its www.nopiracy.org antipiracy initiative.
According to a prepared statement by Costumes Galore, “Our Company has grown significantly over the last few years and we were unaware of any issue of non-compliance related to our use of certain software. Upon being contacted by the BSA, we undertook our own extensive internal investigation and cooperated fully with BSA to identify any compliance issues and areas for correction.
“We are now pleased to announce that in working with the BSA, we have eliminated any unauthorized software and are now properly licensed going forward. We appreciate the efforts of the BSA and remain committed to a strong software management practice in the future,” the statement said.
Violation of software license agreements effectively denies software copyright owners their rights to compensation for their work. The BSA said one in five copies of software in the U.S. are illegal.
“The most common form of piracy continues to be under-licensing,” said Jodie Kelley, BSA’s senior vice president. “This can be done by copying, downloading, sharing, or installing multiple copies onto personal or work computers. When you acquire authorized software, you are buying a license to use the program under agreed terms.”
As part of its anti-piracy initiative, BSA receives confidential tips from sources knowledgeable of a company’s IT assets through its online reporting form www.nopiracy.org and its anti-piracy hotline, 1-888-NO-PIRACY.