The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has agreed a £6,000 settlement with a power conversion company for using unlicensed Adobe and Microsoft software.
Coverteam UK Limited, based in Rugby, also agreed to purchase a number of licences to become fully compliant, at a further cost of £2,000. It employs more than 5,500 people globally and was described as "fully compliant" throughout the proceedings.
Philippe Briére, chair of the BSA UK Committee, said: “A lot of businesses do not realise that software is protected by the law. When a business acquires authorised software, a licence is also being purchased to use the program under the agreed terms. If a user makes more copies of the software than the licence permits, they are acting illegally.
“This case highlights the financial penalties that have to be paid if a business does not have correctly licensed software installed. The abuse of intellectual property rights is a serious offence, and enforcement action will be taken against any company found using unlicensed software and can result in a damaged reputation and significant costs."
Julian Swan, director of compliance marketing EMEA at the BSA, added: “Businesses need to recognise that software is a strategic asset for organisations of all sizes, which must be properly managed and optimised to derive the greatest possible value from it. The installation of unlicensed software often happens when a company’s management regards software licensing as purely an IT problem, rather than treating their software as a business asset.
"It is important for companies to implement software asset management (SAM) to ensure that not only are they legally compliant, but are deploying their software in the most cost-efficient and productive way.”
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