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.
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.