Businesses Pay £6.5 Million Software Piracy Bill

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has today announced that legal action against companies using unlicensed software has cost businesses in EMEA £6.5 million in the first six months of 2010. More than £2.5 million was paid out in settlement fees and a further £4 million was used to purchase business-critical software to ensure companies were legally compliant. In the UK alone, the total cost to businesses reached more than £2 million.

“The BSA conducted more than 1,000 legal actions in the first half of this year in EMEA,”

said Sarah Coombes, Senior Director, Legal Affairs EMEA, for the Business Software Alliance.

“One company’s use of unlicensed software was so extensive that a settlement of nearly £200,000 was agreed. In the current economic climate, businesses should not run the risk of flouting copyright laws and opening themselves up to potential legal and financial sanctions.”

In the first half of 2010, settlements reached with companies in the region for infringing software copyright increased by more than £500,000 compared to the same period in 2009 – a 20% increase on last year’s figure.

“Despite ongoing campaigning by the BSA to educate businesses to make sure that they have adequate software licensing in place, these figures demonstrate that there is still a way to go in changing the attitude of some companies,”

said Julian Swan, Director of Compliance Marketing EMEA.

“We hope that these figures act as a reminder to businesses that if they are caught using unlicensed software, the BSA will take action. In order to protect themselves, we urge all companies to ensure they are legally sound when it comes to their software use. Knowing what software they have and where it is deployed means companies can use it more efficiently and perhaps even save costs – an important consideration in the current economic climate.”

If you are aware of a company using unlicensed software, this can be reported to the BSA at:

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