The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has agreed settlements with two under-licenced Scottish businesses, after they were caught using illegal software.
Based in Renfrewshire, mobile phone repair company Total Repair Solutions (TRS) has paid the BSA a total of £120,000. This is split into a £20,000 settlement fee, and a further £100,000 to correct its software licensing deficit.
This has included legalising and acquiring the software needed, as it was allegedly found using unlicenced copies of Microsoft software (including Office, Project, Visio, SQL Server, Windows Server and Exchange Server Client Access Licenses) on about 100 computers.
Sergio Tansini, chief executive of TRS, said in a statement: "We have been growing incredibly quickly over the last few years and situations such as this can, and do, occur in all businesses. As a reputable company, we took immediate steps to correct our software position once it had been brought to our attention. Throughout this period, we maintained constant dialogue with Microsoft.”
He added:“The vast majority of our expenditure was purchasing the relevant software, which we would have done anyway.”
The BSA’s legal team also took action against Scottish motor dealer John R Weir Limited, which was made to pay £24,582 as a penalty for installing unlicenced copies of Microsoft, Symantec and Adobe software on a number of office computers.
A representative for John R Weir said: “We were more than happy to work with the BSA after discovering a licencing shortfall on our PCs. We now understand the importance of ensuring our licences are up-to-date and the potential threats we were exposed to.
“We have taken major steps to ensure the effective management of our software licences and would urge other companies to do the same.”
Last year, the BSA contacted businesses in Glasgow alerting them to the ris k s of illegal or unlicenced software. Backed by local politicians, the campaign urged businesses to take action and manage their software licences.
Julie Strawson, chairwoman of the BSA’s UK Country Committee, said: “The continuing disregard for licensing law is a real cause for concern. With the economy entering a period of slowdown, companies should make sure they are compliant – no one wants to face an unexpected bill after falling foul of the rules or encountering operational difficulties due to viruses.
“By ensuring an efficient SAM programme is in place, businesses can reduce the risks associated with illegal or under-licenced software, and benefit from potential cost savings, from both direct expenditure, and related process and infrastructure costs.”
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