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2 Corporations Settle Unlicensed Software Claims

Footwear retailer Payless ShoeSource Inc. and discount clothing chain Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp. agreed Tuesday to pay about $425,000 to settle claims they used unlicensed software.

Burlington Coat Factory paid $300,000 to the Business Software Alliance, an industry trade group that polices software licenses, to settle claims it had installed unlicensed copies of Microsoft Corp. and McAfee Inc. programs on computers in its offices.

Topeka, Kan.-based Payless agreed to pay $124,057 over using unlicensed copies of software made by Adobe Systems Inc., Autodesk Inc., Borland Software Corp., IBM Corp.-owned Internet Security Systems Inc., Symantec Corp. and McAfee.

Jenny Blank, BSA's enforcement director, said the settlements show it's more expensive to illegally copy software than to legally acquire licenses.

As part of the settlements, Burlington and Payless agreed to delete the unlicensed copies, purchase replacement programs and strengthen their software management practices.

"We have created a new software management policy and continue to refine its implementation to emphasize the importance of understanding each software company's licensing requirements and use only fully licensed software," Brad H. Friedman, Burlington's chief information officer, said in a release.

A Payless representative did not immediately return a call or an e-mail seeking comment.

BSA received reports on Payless and Burlington Coat Factory through its online reporting system at http://www.bsa.org . The industry group offers rewards of up to $200,000 for qualifying reports.

Bain Capital Partners took Burlington, N.J.-based Burlington Coat Factory private for $2.1 billion in April. International Business Machines Corp. in October completed its $1.3 billion acquisition of Internet Security Systems.

Shares of Payless dipped 20 cents to $31.76 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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