Anti-piracy body the Business Software Alliance (BSA) has revealed it took legal action against 294 UK firms in 2008, netting it £400,000 in damages on behalf its members.
The total cost to UK firms caught in the BSA’s net was £1.9m – as they were forced to cough up a further £1.47m on software for compliance purposes.
The body, whose members include Microsoft, Adobe and Symantec, highlighted the engineering sector as a piracy hotspot.
However, UK settlements made up less than 10 per cent of the BSA’s case-load across EMEA.
For the region as a whole, the BSA conducted 3,000 legal actions, netting it $8m (£5.6m) in settlements and forcing those it caught to pay out a further $15m in software for compliance purposes.
Julian Swan, EMEA director of compliance marketing for the BSA, said the figures demonstrated that the severity of the software piracy issues in the UK remains at an “unacceptable level”.
“We urge companies to recognise the dangers of using illegal software, and warn those deliberately flouting the law that we will be ramping up our enforcement operations in the months ahead,” he said.
Swan added: “Aside from the financial consequences, using unlicensed software carries a number of operational risks, such as vulnerability to viruses which cause downtime, security threats and data loss, as well as damage to reputation if caught. Companies using legal software on the other hand benefit from vendor support, services and upgrades, which help businesses run as securely and efficiently.”
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