BSA announces payments for software piracy leads

The Business Software Alliance, a watchdog group representing the nation's leading software manufacturers, Tuesday announced its first three Rewards Program payments.

The BSA Rewards Program offers incentives for individuals who report companies and organizations involved in software piracy, according to the BSA.

The alliance said that three people have received a combined total of US$15,500 after their reports of software piracy led to investigations and eventual settlements.

"The success of BSA's Rewards Program is an exciting step forward in the fight against software piracy," Jenny Blank, BSA's director of enforcement, said in the statement. "With the extra incentive the program provides, more and more people are doing the right thing and confidentially reporting software piracy. However, even with this important step, there is still much to be done."

Since the BSA launched the Rewards Program in the U.S. last fall, it has received nearly 2,000 leads nationwide. The program encourages people with detailed information about software piracy to come forward and report infringements at their current or former workplaces. Qualifying reports may be eligible for rewards of up to $200,000. Confidential reports can be made by visiting or by calling 1-888-NO PIRACY.

All three reward recipients reported their employers after leaving their jobs. After receiving those reports, BSA officials began investigations and contacted the companies. The BSA ultimately reached deals with the three companies that included monetary settlements and commitments from the firms to bring all software installations into licensing compliance.