BSA offers £20k bounty to rat on your boss

Disgruntled workers are a prime source of tip-offs

Anti-software piracy group the Business Software Alliance (BSA) is offering a £20,000 reward to anyone who informs on their employer using illegal or unlicensed software.

The BSA already has an online hotline for people to report the use of illegal software within UK organisations but it has now doubled the reward from £10,000 to £20,000 until the end of June this year.

The BSA said it opened 420 investigations in the last year as a result of these tip-offs, the majority of which came from people in IT.

Siobhan Carroll, regional manager for Northern Europe at the BSA, told ZDNet UK sister site that with all the software auditing tools and advice available, organisations no longer have any excuse for being caught using illegal software.

She said: "We are doubling the reward to make software licensing a priority for managers. It might seem harsh, but at the end of the day, there are 27 per cent of businesses who think they can get away with it."

Carroll said disgruntled staff are often the source of tip-offs, and a YouGov poll commissioned by the BSA found that three-quarters of workers would consider reporting their company if they felt their boss had treated them unfairly, while a quarter said poor pay rises would also spur them to grass on their employer.