Autodesk Australia has retained top legal company Gilbert & Tobin to commence copyright infringement proceedings against one of its customers – Adelaide-based Ginos Engineers – and has warned other customers to check that they’re legal.
And Business Software Alliance director Jim Macnamara warned that copyright breaches are especially prevalent in the engineering and architecture field: a sector in which Autodesk is almost universal
The proceedings launched by Gilbert & Tobin in the Federal Magistrates Court allege Ginos made and used 29 unauthorised copies of Autodesk software, while allegedly in possession of only two legitimate licences.
Autodesk’s APAC regional counsel Stuart Ong said the company had tried for more than a year to resolve the matter, and Ginos Engineers had been warned it was at risk of court proceedings. “In the final analysis, we needed to take this case to court in order to protect our intellectual property, and to safeguard the investments made by our network of customers and resellers,” said Ong.
He added: “We always prefer to give our customers a chance to meet their licensing obligations before we take the last resort of court proceedings. “Any concerned customer can e-mail us to check their licences are up to date or get in touch with their reseller to clarify their status and if necessary purchase the right number of licences.”
Ong echoed BSA estimates that up to 29 percent of software installed on PCs in Australia in 2006 has been obtained illegally – which the association claims amounts to A$622 million in losses to the industry.
Gilbert & Tobin partner Michael Williams is running the case or Autodesk. In a media release issued late yesterday he said: “While we are not commenting
on this case, some Australian businesses have a complacent attitude about ensuring they have all the necessary licences for the software they use.”
Big Jim Macnamara summed up: “It is unfortunate that many Australian organisations continue to run the risk of breaching copyright law,
particularly in the engineering and architecture field where software is an integral part of their core business processes.
“Organisations in all industries need to ensure they are appropriately licensed in terms of their software usage or they could face legal action.”