The number of tip-offs about unlicensed software use has shot up eight per cent across EMEA, compared with the same time last year.
More than 800 leads were given to the Business Software Alliance (BSA) in January and February, with the service industry leading the way.
Other sectors blowing the whistle were architectural/design, sales/distribution, engineering, manufacturing, and graphics.
Julian Swan, director of compliance marketing for EMEA at the BSA, said: “There is a very real risk that businesses will get caught out using unlicensed software. We receive over 100 leads a week and that is in addition to raids and criminal investigations carried out independently by the police.
“With the financial crisis in full swing, ex-employees recently made redundant might be attracted by the financial incentive to report their former employers. The only way to avoid an investigation and the unwelcome attention of the law is scrupulous diligence to software licensing rules.”
The BSA reminded businesses that having fully licensed software entitles them to support and services as well as protection from viruses and data loss.
Being caught using unlicensed software could also damage a company’s reputation, it added.
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