Unauthorized Use of Software in Your Company - NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

Have you received a letter notifying you of your company’s discovery of illegal use of someone else’s software and demanding payment of several times the price of the software license? Does the letter warn you of possible legal penalties if you fail to pay the requested amount?

Multinational technology companies have recently taken a liking to embedding security mechanisms into their programs. These mechanisms alert them to any unauthorized use of the software in question, including the exact time when the software was “cracked” (i.e., illegally accessed without a proper license). Following the notification of the program, which can find out the email address of the alleged infringer in addition to the MAC address, a letter is sent proposing an out-of-court settlement.

The content of such a letter is usually almost form-based. It is most often referred to as a NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. In addition to the settlement amount, the letter includes a deadline by which the software rights holder expects you to respond.

The holder of the rights to the software may demand payment of amounts up to several times the normal license fee. The amount demanded can thus be substantial and can be liquidating for smaller companies or start-ups. The potential criminal penalties for unauthorized use of software, which are usually also mentioned in the letter, should not be overlooked.

If you have received a similar letter, please contact us at info@stuchlikova.com. We will be happy to prepare an adequate response and advise you on how to proceed to avoid such situations in the future.