Kailua-based solar energy company Sunetric has agreed to pay $115,000 to settle legal claims that it had unlicensed software installed on its computers.
The settlement was announced Tuesday by BSA The Software Alliance, a trade group that represents some of the world’s largest software companies. The group said that Sunetric had unlicensed copies of software from Apple, Autodesk, Microsoft and Symantec.
Sunetric officials disputed the allegations, saying they chose to settle the matter without the admission of liability in order to avoid the costs of conducting an audit to make its case.
“Sunetric has purchased all of its software through appropriate channels, and is in full compliance,” Alex Tiller, Sunetric chief executive officer. “We accepted this settlement because of record-keeping issues that trace back to the company’s earliest days as a small business startup, over nine years ago,” he said.
“After our analysis, we concluded it would be more cost effective to settle this quickly and get back to our work of providing the best possible solar services, rather than drag out a fight over old records.”
The use of unlicensed software can expose companies to many unexpected risks from legal fines to criminal penalties, according to BSA, The Software Alliance.
“Pirated software opens businesses to a slew of both legal and security risks that often cost more than buying genuine software,” said Jodie Kelley, BSA’s general counsel and senior vice president of anti-piracy.
“The harmful effects of piracy extend outside the company – software theft has a steep impact on the economy as well, as innovators and companies are hampered from creating new jobs and advancing further developments in technology,” Kelley said.