Anti-piracy body the Business Software Alliance (BSA) has ordered a Belfast-based architecture firm to pay damages totalling £15,000 for using unlicensed Microsoft, Autodesk and Adobe software.
The case marks the third time in recent months that the BSA has taken action against firms in Northern Ireland for software misuse.
In the other two cases, it fined a Derry-based medical equipment manufacturer £12,000 and another unnamed company £10,000 for software piracy-related offences.
Philippe Briére, chairman of the BSA UK committee, said companies caught using pirated and unlicensed software often suffer reputational damage, as well as taking a financial hit.
"A lot of businesses do not realise that when they purchase software they are actually purchasing a licence to use it, not the actual software itself. If a user makes more copies of the software than the licence permits, they are acting illegally," he said.
Julian Swan, director of compliance marketing for EMEA at the BSA, added: "Unlicensed software often occurs when a company's management regards software licensing as only an IT problem, rather than treating their software as a business asset."
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