The Business Software Alliance has been flexing its legal muscles after settling out of court with four companies found using unlicensed software.
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The list of companies involved with the latest legal wrangling with the BSA were spread over the country: London-based Blitz Corporation, Genetics Limited of Ludlow, Sheffield-based MTL Group and Modular UK, based in East Yorkshire.
Blitz Corporation was operating around 15 PCs containing unlicensed copies of Adobe, Microsoft and Quark software. Genetics and Modular UK Building Systems were also running illegal copies of Microsoft Office and Adobe and Autodesk software respectively. Lastly, MTL Group was investigated for the alleged under licensing of several copies of Autodesk AutoCAD.
Julie Strawson, chairwoman of the BSA's UK committee, said it had settled with the companies for significant sums that included damages as well as the costs of using unlicensed software.
"It is business as usual and the BSA is not going away and this is not a one-off and not just here and there," she added "We are getting the message across to all sectors of business."
She added that although an out of court settlement denied the opportunity to go into public detail about the case the fact the companies had been named and settled a sum that would have an impact on their business.
In a letter to MicroScope responding to the recent activities by not just the BSA but also the Federation Against Software Theft, Matt Fisher, Centennial product manager at FrontRange Solutions, said that those that ran the risk of using unlicensed software were being naive.
"It is shortsighted of businesses to think that not being appropriately licensed will lead to cost savings as the risk of a vendor audit and subsequent fine, significantly outweighs the potential money saved on not purchasing licenses," he said.