Illegal programs in the company - what could be the consequences

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Illegal programs in the company

Office workers use a variety of computer programs and applications on a daily basis. In the vast majority of companies, the software is purchased with a unique license key. However, more and more companies use programs made available via the Internet and only cover the subscription fee. It is noted that this form of using the necessary applications is becoming more and more popular and is a good alternative to piracy (illegal programs).

There is also a second group of users who either use illegally acquired software or go beyond the terms of the license agreement. Despite many actions of relevant services and appeals of producers, breaking the law by using pirated programs is a common and common phenomenon. In most cases, entrepreneurs are aware that they are acting illegally and continue to do so. And the consequences hanging over them are painful.

Penalties for illegal computer programs

An entrepreneur who acquires, owns, uses or copies computer programs in a manner inconsistent with the manufacturer's terms in the license is subject to a number of penalties, as it violates his copyrights. The Copyright and Related Rights Act stipulates that an entrepreneur may be subject to a fine, restriction of liberty, imprisonment for up to 5 years and the penalty of taking away the tools of a crime, such as computers, servers or CDs. Moreover, the committed crime is also subject to the provisions of the Criminal Code, which defines such an act as a pirate crime. If the purchased software was previously stolen (stolen goods), the entrepreneur is also subject to a number of penalties in this respect, because he is responsible for choosing the place and circumstances of purchasing the programs and - if he has doubts about the legality of the product - should resign from the transaction. The Penal Code also indicates other prohibited acts related to the broadly understood illegally acquired software.

In addition, the producer of the software whose copyrights have been infringed, has the right to bring a number of claims against a dishonest entrepreneur by way of civil proceedings. It may, inter alia, require you to stop using the program. He also has the right to claim two or three times the amount of compensation that he would have been entitled to if the license for a particular program had been paid for. No fault of the entrepreneur's piracy entitles the producer to receive lower compensation, and culpable piracy - to a higher amount of the benefit.

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Liability for illegal programs in the company

It is good for the entrepreneur to realize that he is responsible for all programs, including illegal programs that have been installed in his company. In accordance with the law, it does not matter whether the employee has committed a prohibited act arbitrarily or whether the entrepreneur knew about it. Therefore, the employer, for his own safety, should take special precautions, for example, prohibiting the unauthorized installation of any software on the company's computer. Such a prohibition should be communicated to subordinates in the form of a written instruction. Another very effective method is to establish a special lock that will effectively prevent any attempt at unauthorized installation. In relation to an employee who violated the established rules, consequences may be obtained in the form of bringing him / her financially responsible or dismissing him from work under disciplinary procedure.

For the safety of the entrepreneur, it is worth keeping all documentation confirming the legality of the software at the company's premises. Presenting it during an inspection will certainly be well received by the auditors and will make their work easier.

The information about the disclosure of illegal software will quickly spread among the customers of the audited company. It is likely to contribute to the loss of the company's credibility and its former reputation. Therefore, when choosing the direction of business, an entrepreneur should think twice whether it is really profitable for him to use pirated versions of computer programs and applications.