The Software & Information Industry Association's Corporate Content Anti-Piracy Program, initiated last October, has nailed its first violator, according to an August 17, 2007 article by Grant Gross from IDG News Service “Copyright Violations Cost Big Bucks.”
“Analyst firm Knowledge Networks Inc. has agreed to pay US$300,000 to settle a complaint that it distributed news articles to its employees without permission of the copyright owners, a trade group announced Thursday.”
“Knowledge Networks' marketing group had been distributing press packets to some employees on a regular basis, the SIIA said. Those packets contained articles under copyright and owned by SIIA members such as the Associated Press, United Press International and publishing company Reed Elsevier, the trade group said.”
Check your agreements with your content providers to determine if your organization can copy material, and if so, under what conditions. Also, speak with a lawyer to ascertain if you summarize or otherwise use information contained in copyrighted articles, you will not be violating copyright laws. If your organization does want to distribute copyrighted material, build the payments into your budgets. The competitive advantage of keeping employees up to date is worth the fees.
The SIIA did not reveal who turned in knowledge Networks, but did reward that person with a $6,000 payment so an employee could easily have been the source. Do not be next!