In May 2001 the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the interest group of software companies, received a tip claiming that a medical technology company was using unlicensed software in its operations. After looking into the matter more thoroughly BSA found out that the company was using 50 unlicensed, and therefore illegal, computer programs.

Under the Finnish Copyright Act (404/1961, as amended) anyone who infringes a copyright is liable to pay equitable remuneration to the rightholder. In court practice such compensation usually consists of the regular tax-inclusive purchase price of the illegally copied software. If the infringing actions have been performed intentionally, through gross negligence or with the purpose of making financial benefit, such actions may fall under the category of copyright offence or copyright crime. In such cases the punishment is a fine or up to two years of imprisonment.

In this case the matter was not brought before the court as BSA reached an agreement with the company, under which the company was obliged to pay compensation of over €17,000 to the copyright holders. The company has also agreed to destroy the illegally copied software or obtain relevant licences.

For further information on this topic please contact Rainer Hilli, Kati Tusa or Craig Thompson at Roschier Holmberg, Attorneys Ltd by telephone (+358 20 506 6000) or by fax (+358 20 506 6100) or by email ([email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]).