The Business Software Alliance’s (BSA) war on unlicensed software meant Europe-based businesses were fined a total £10.2m last year, of which £960,000 was extracted from UK firms.
Sarah Coombes, senior director of EMEA legal affairs for the lobby group, said the £10.2m amount was the “direct result” of BSA lawsuits, excluding defendants’ legal costs and any disruption to business operations that might ensue.
“Over the year BSA stepped up its legal efforts, securing more settlements in Europe than in 2008,” Coombes said.
The BSA said that an IDC study it sponsored in 2008 had suggested that a 10 per cent reduction in software piracy could contribute £6bn to economic growth, increase taxes by £1.47bn and generate 13,622 jobs.
The lobby group received about 4,000 tip-offs in 2009 regarding suspected use of unlicensed software and followed up with 2,256 separate legal actions across Europe.
Michala Wardell, chairwoman of the UK BSA Committee, said the group also offered information, tools and advice to businesses on licensing issues.
“Effective management of software can save money by identifying underused software,” Wardell said.
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