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Do I need to look for a job?

By clwclark ·
I used to work for a software company that wrote a proprietary financial and clinical suite. I recently took a job as a network admin at a management company. They have alot of pirated software loaded on their computers and have asked me to continue the trend. They don't want to hear anything about copyright violations. Do I need to look for a different job?

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I had the same problem

by jlemmon In reply to Do I need to look for a j ...

I went to work for a small company that had 1 licensed piece of software installed on 55 PC's. The first time I told management of the serious situation, they blew it off. Next I put down on paper the cost of legally licensed software compared to the cost of getting caught and paying the fines associated with it. These fines could have put our company under. That day I had to uninstall the software on 54 PC's. I have found that management needs to see $$$ in black and white, and a little re-education in business ethics. If this doesn't work, do you really want to work for a company that doesn't want or will not do the right thing?!

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Where can I find the fines

by clwclark In reply to I had the same problem

In order for me to have some numbers I to put on paper I need to know how much fines are. Were talking about 80 computers all with Office 97 PCA and Virus software. I have only seen about two licenses of each. There are even a few OS loaded without licenses. When I first brought this to their attention they said that they had licenses and that the former consultant was responsible. I contacted him and he informed me that they asked him to load the software and that they would pay for the licenses later. Can I be held accountable if this company is fined? I really like this job and hate to look for another especially with the economy like it is.

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by Packratt In reply to Where can I find the fine ...

You will be held accountable to some degree... whether it's the company claiming that you were responsible and heading after you to recoup some of their losses when fined or them just firing you as a scapegoat and then you will have some difficulty finding another position irregardless of the economy.

Mostly, you have to hold yourself accountable to yourself in the end. No matter what the other consequences would be IF caught.

Good luck.

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Good Point

by clwclark In reply to Accountability...
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This is incorrect

by FluxIt In reply to Accountability...

As an employee you are not liable for the company's actions unless you are an officer. If you are found criminally guilty of something then the law will deal with you not the employer. This would be like violating a copyright and selling the companies software for your gain.

The employer could sue for civil damages but is highly unlikely because most people do not have deep pockets and no judge will leave anyone destitute and a burden on society. They prefer people be self-sufficient.

If you are an independent contractor hired to manage licensing then you could be liable and should have insurance to protect you.

The worst case is you may get fired as a token of them doing something but that does not happen alot too. A firestone mechanic did not put all the lug nuts on after changing a tire on a car. A leg panty hose model got into the car and drove off. The tire came off after she reached speed, spun around, and got hit by a truck destroying her legs. She sued, won, and the mechanic never got fired.

If you put a memo to file you will protect yourself and if you get fired - SUE! Most likely you will win. Alot of these companies are closely held and many business owners are clueless about this stuff. Most closely held business owners are interested in lining thier pockets and become blind to anything else. Most of them have no leadership or management experience.

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NO - This IS Correct

by maxwell edison In reply to This is incorrect

Here is a quote from a reputable source on the subject:

"Finally, software piracy is illegal. Unlike retail theft, innocent bystanders are held accountable; IT professionals who manage a department where software is quietly pirated could find themselves on the wrong side of the law."

If you'd like to bet a few (thousand) dollars, I'll be happy to find more sources stating that the Network Administrator (or similar positions) can indeed be held lawfully and legally responsible if they knowingly participate in software piracy.

Ask yourself this, Why would he/she not be responsible for breaking this law just because he/she is not an officer of the corporation? What if a legitimate import/export company was involved in smuggling drugs into the U.S? What if some network administrator was helping them do it? Would that administrator be handed a "get out of jail free card" when the company got busted? No way. He/She broke the law, plain and simple.

However, (unlike drug smuggling) with software piracy, I will admit that (in most cases) it would be very unlikely the administrator would be held responsible. But it is possible.


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You need to read more closely

by FluxIt In reply to NO - This IS Correct

I said unless you commit a criminal act you are not liable. The point of being an officer is to be held accountable. The fact that you appoint someone to manage licensing does not dilute an officers responsibility to have a program in place and responsibly manage it.

The company can try to sue you for damages but they are accountable. If you fail they will probably fire you before they sue you.

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look a little closer

by FluxIt In reply to NO - This IS Correct

I believe I remarked unless you commit a criminal act. Purpose of an officer is meant to be the one held accountable. He cannot delegate his responsibility. He can hire people to assist him and put in place programs to ensure that things are complied with. He can also leverage a civil suite against those he charged with maintaining the program but mostly he will just fire them.

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I checked it out...

by FluxIt In reply to NO - This IS Correct

Finally, software piracy is illegal... This is nothing more than a statement with no substance. What is it referencing?

FL law is vague. They discuss railroad, aircraft, communications, and maritime piracy. Under Florida law, 815.06 Offenses against computer users, applies to people not on employer computers.

Under vicarious liability of the US Copyright Act, an employer is liable for acts committed by its employees when those acts are within the scope of their employment duties. Othertheory of liability is the doctrine of contributory copyright infringement, whereby a party who does not do an infringing act but who aids or encourages it is liable for the infringement.

I cannot find where it is criminal for the employee working within the scope of his job. The employer is always liable and may in turn attempt to hold the employee acountable under civil law. It a long shot though.

Document wrong doing in a memo and put it to file to protect yourself.

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by Packratt In reply to I checked it out...

You are saying that I was right but that you still say I'm wrong because you think employers (companies) will or can not sue you as an employee responsible for information technology when they are fined for software piracy?

Well.. I am right, they will at least fire you and black list you, at worst they will take you to court and will sue you to garnish whatever wages you may be able to get in the future and the judge will let that happen because the court doesn't care if you're poor so longas nobody else garnished 25% of your wages yet.

I've seen this happen before, don't be so naive.

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