The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has caught up with a West Midlands-based firm discovered allegedly using unlicensed Microsoft and Adobe software in its first settlement of the new year.
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Accident claims management and vehicle services provider Accident Exchange Group, which is listed on the LSE and made total sales of £64m in the six months to October 2009, was the subject of a BSA investigation last year.
The company has now agreed to make a payment of £20,000 and purchase legal software to the value of £50,000 without admitting liability.
BSA EMEA compliance marketing director Julian Swan conceded that the settlement was a "hefty cost of any company to bear, particularly in this difficult economic climate."
He continued: "But as long as unlicensed software accounts for more than one in every four pieces of business software, we will continue to take a hard line. Eventually the message will get through."
The BSA - which pointed out that alongside legal ramifications and damage to a user's reputation, unlicensed illegal software also left end-users vulnerable to security threats and data loss - is currently offering rewards of up to £10,000 for those prepared to report illegal usage.