The Oriental Trading Co. this week agreed to pay $525,000 to settle a claim relating to unlicensed copies of software installed on its computers. The charges were filed by the software watchdog group Business Software Alliance, which has collected more than $35 million in the last six years from companies that have been caught with illegally copied software. Oriental Trading -- which sells toys, novelties and giftware to consumers, schools and religious organizations through mail-order catalogs -- agreed to delete all unlicensed software, purchase replacement software and strengthen existing software management policies. "At the point that we were contacted by BSA in 1997, we had already begun our own audit of our software systems and were working on bringing our software management in line," said Joe Schwaller, IT director at Oriental Trading. "Unfortunately, rapid growth and expanded use of new client service technology made this process a challenge."
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