European businesses caught using unlicensed software have had to splash out £6.5m in the first half of this year as they settle with the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and buy the required licenses to get legal.
The value of settlements has already eclipsed last year's half year mark by 20% costing more than £500,000 as firms continue to run the risks of using unlicensed products.
In the UK firms have paid out in excess of £2m and with the fight against piracy ongoing the figure is expected to carry on rising through the rest of this year.
"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.
The BSA only recently announced its latest case in the UK against a medical supplies firm found using unlicensed software and continues to look for firms to chase up encouraging the public to report those that are guilty of breaking the law.
"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 at the BSA.
She added that not only did those caught out leave themselves exposed to public naming and shaming and reputational damage but also significant legal and financial sanctions.